Little pink clousers for you and me

Saltwater adventure off the North Carolina coast
Photo: Trevor Lawson.

Saltwater fishing is adventure. Why? Because there’s always a chance—just a chance—that you’ll tie into a sea monster. And with a fly rod in hand, any chance is just too much to pass. Today we’re steaming out of Wrightsville Beach with Captain Guion Lee, III (aka Captain G) and a three-man crew: Jon Newar of Captain Experiences, Trevor Lawson, and me.

Heromaker — Part III

Part 3 of a 3-part story
Photo: Tom Hart / cc2.0 modified.

Monday, he went in early and reviewed all of his accounts. Everything was in order, but he wanted to be clear when he talked to Mr. Purdy. He knew Mr. Purdy held him to a higher standard, that it would take more for him to advance, but he felt he had met that. If he hadn’t, perhaps Mr. Purdy could explain what more he needed to do.

He decided to give Mr. Purdy a half an hour to get his coffee and check his mail before he spoke to him, so he watched the painful minutes drag by. Just as he was about to get up and walk to Mr. Purdy’s office at the other end of the building, the devil himself knocked at the door.

“George, got a minute?” Mr. Purdy already had his sleeves rolled up, a steaming mug of coffee in his hand.

“Sure, Mr. Purdy. I was just coming to see you.”

Target big changes when chasing predatory fish

Masters of their environment, opportunistic predators only feed when the moment's right
Photo: Matt Reilly

Several hours into day two of our musky hunt, a satirical air still hung about the boat. My friend and fellow musky nut, Rob Rogers of Deep South Outfitters, summarized it perfectly as we shoved off into a steady downpour and biting wind under a leaden sky–conditions we’d both been hoping for.

“Why the hell do people want to do this?”

It’s a valid question.

Marginal water for trout

Find oxygen and you'll find more and bigger trout—most of the time
Photo: Tim Schulz.

“Where can I catch a big trout?”

I sometimes field this query from fishing friends who seemingly mistake me for someone smart enough to know and dumb enough to tell. Our subsequent dialogue generally transpires like a scene from All the President's Men:

Heromaker — Part II

Part 2 of a 3-part story
Photo: PD + cc2.0 / modified.

The extra weight proved problematic, after trying to shoot the line somewhat unsuccessfully, George automatically tried to backcast. In his rush, he snagged the line in the fir, bending the aspen rod like a bow. Just as this was registering, the line released and shot forward, the jewelry flashing like a shooting star in the gloom.

George could no longer see the fish, but he pulled in rote, knowing this would be his last cast for the night. Bump. Bump. The wily bruiser was at it again. Perhaps he was blind with age? Bump. The lure was almost at the end of its arc and George could no longer see where the line met the water when suddenly the water erupted. Like a train coming out of a tunnel, the fish hit so hard he pulled the entire line into the air.

George gave a mighty heave to set the hook and tried to use his right hand on the line to slow it down while simultaneously palming the reel with his left. Suddenly he realized that his system had so many weak links that he didn’t know how to play the fish. Maximus began zooming around the pool in great ellipses, George playing and taking line as best he could. The force of the fish was amazing.

Like his dad, he began a constant dialog with the beast. “Oh, Max, dad was right, you are going to be the world record, don’t make this hard.”

Oblivious, the fish raged around the pool. Within fifteen minutes the mountain light was completely gone.

“Easy boy, you stay out of that snag. That’s right, come to papa.” George reeled furiously.