Not the deadly hurricane Matthew, but Matthew Dattilio from Vermont.
Matthew had originally scheduled to go fly fishing with me on Tuesday October 4 but had to reschedule to October 6.
Tuesday’s weather was fantastic and on Thursday, our rescheduled fishing trip date, this area of Florida was under a Tropical Storm Watch from hurricane Matthew. When we met at the boat ramp Thursday morning there wasn’t a single boat trailer in the lot, which is very unusual for the popular Punta Rassa boat ramp. No doubt this was because of our area being under a tropical storm watch. However, the winds weren’t horrible or unsafe and there was no rain in the immediate forecast.
Since we were fly fishing we always expect the wind to blow and today it did. However, we had the tides in our favor for fly fishing in high winds and heavy overcast conditions. We fished in the lower portion of Matlacha Pass so we wouldn’t be too far from the boat ramp if the weather turn ugly(er) and we needed to make run for it. After poling the super shallow flats for about 20 minutes we finally spotted our first Redfish. Matthew is an avid fly fisherman but new to sight casting in shallow water and from a boat. The degree of difficulty is a solid 9 when compared other types of fishing. The fish will not tolerate any noise or not being prepared when it’s time to make the cast. Most anglers realize there are more efficient ways to catch a fish than with a fly rod, but boy is this fun. It would be even more fun, however if the winds weren’t blowing 20 mph.
Matt made his first cast of the day to a Redfish about 40-50 feet away and in approximately 9-10 inches of water. The cast must be accurate and delicate, just to give yourself a chance. The most important factor however in getting the fish to eat your fly, is luck. Well his cast was both accurate and delicate (maybe because of the Scott Meridian fly rod) and the fish ate the fly which means we had some luck also, we always need good luck on our side if you want to catch fish, always.
After landing and photographing the fish we soon spotted another redfish. Another great cast, plus accuracy, plus good luck equals another Redfish caught on a fly rod during a windy tropical storm watch day. Matt was probably thinking, this is easy – I should be on TV. The next 10 to 15 shots at Redfish brought him down to earth with the rest of us. Only now can he fully appreciate the first two fish he caught.
Matthew was fortunate to get a number of shots at Redfish throughout the day and did catch several more using his fly rod. He made the most of his opportunities and the results proved it.
So what started out looking like a busted day because of the weather, turned out to be a great fishing day. We also had the entire waterway to our selves which is a real treat these days.
Thank you Matthew for fishing with me and that thank you goes out to everyone who has fished with me. I really do appreciate it.
Here are a few photos of the day.