redfish tail
Photo: Johnny Carrol Sain

Vanishing Paradise III: Force of nature

The redfish doesn’t just live in the Louisiana marsh, the redfish is the Louisiana marsh

The drag was squalling. There’s no better word for it. No staccato clicks at all. No crescendo. Just one long note of protest.

The protest began as gills flared after a nervous cast and one strip. I remember outfitter Ryan Lambert yelling at me to set the hook, then raw power transmitted from leader to line to rod. The reel took the brunt of it with a silky smooth confidence and that shrieking battle cry.

charlie bush with speckled trout
Photo: Johnny Carrol Sain

Vanishing Paradise II: Charlie and the specks

Speckled trout are the lynchpin of coastal Louisiana's fishing culture and economy

Charlie Bush loves speckled trout.

The “L” word often gets tossed around with flippancy, but this is not one of those instances and it’s not hyperbole, and it goes beyond catching and eating speckled trout. No, it doesn’t. Charlie’s love for speckled trout is the purest manifestation of a predator/prey relationship.

coastal louisiana dock
Photo: Johnny Carrol Sain

Vanishing Paradise I: Pure life

Coastal Louisiana is disappearing right before our eyes

“Pura vida,” said Erin Brown as the boat hummed across brackish waters. Erin is the sportsmen outreach coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation’s Vanishing Paradise program. More importantly, Erin is a coastal Louisiana native in love with her home. “Pura vida means pure life,” she said. “They say it everywhere in Costa Rica.

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