Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Tailing Season

Imagine if you will... the sun is rising over the water and flooded grass. You are slowly stalking though the grass looking for the tell tale sign of a tailing redfish...


Then you see it... the Tail in the grass of a redfish happily rooting out a fiddler crab...

Your heartbeat skips and speeds up... tunnel vision sets in, your hands shake, you notice your breathing has stopped. You make a false cast, another one and then let your fly carry out. It lands with a soft plop about three feet in front of the tail. The tail pauses, then turns. There is a boil then an eruption of water and your fly line starts to come tight. You feel the power of the fish is you strip set the hook and the fight is on.

The fish runs and you let her run, she slows and you gain line back. Ten feet, five feet and she sees you and takes off on another blistering run. Your backing is getting close, then the joining knot slips through t your tip top and nightmares fill your head.

"Did I tie that knot right?"

The fish slows and you start to gain line back and then the backing is back on the reel. There is more line back on your reel, the fish is snaking though the grass.
There is little fight left in her but you can sense the building energy. As the fish slowly come to your hand, you notice the shaking has abated just enough to raise your prize from the water.

A picture or two are taken, you are all smiles, your heartbeat still hasn't slowed down. A quick flip of the pliers and the fly just falls out of the fishes mouth. You realize how close you were to losing this fish. You put her back in the water holding her by the tail. Her gills are pumping, her fins are slowly moving. She makes a few half hearted tries to escape but you hold her firm. Then you feel her turn, there is a hard kick of her tail and you let her go. She swims off strong, alive and ready to fight another day.

THIS is my favorite time of year. Tailing season is almost on us. I can't wait to get back to it. If you are in the Charleston area top by the Lowcountry Fly Shop and they can take ya out on a guided trip or make sure you have the flies and gear you will need!

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