This fall run has been different for me. I’ve been spoiled the past few years for having a boat in the water through November. This year, instead of chasing after fish from the bow of a center console, I’m on foot. To make myself more mobile and cover more water, I’ve been leaving the fly rod at home and breaking out the heavy lumber.
There’s something very satisfying about surfcasting, of feeling the rod load like a catapult and then having enough time to eat a small sandwich before the bucktail crashes back down. Even still, the extra distance hasn’t been enough to reach the epic schools of busting fish that always seem to form just out of range. I witnessed this about 10 times today and instead of just cranking up the V6 to 5500 rpm and getting on them, I had to stand and wait and hope they moved close enough. It’s enough to make you want to shoot someone.
Even if I had wheels, it would be different this year because my brother moved out of town. We had a great system of trading between casting at the bow and driving, and knew instinctively how to position the boat so each guy could get a good fly line loaded and out. And when you cuss out your brother for flubbing a cast to the only pod of false albacore that’s popped up all day, well, he’s still your brother and he has to take your future phone calls.
But I’ve been enjoying working the beaches, though so far I’ve caught no keeper bass in the surf. It’s a whole different discipline and it’s been rewarding to dive into it this year. The hardcore guys that are out there all the time, that can power their Lamiglas rods about 30 feet beyond where I can muscle up my old Ugly Stick, they’ve been pretty cool and always generous with information. And one of these days, I’m going to time it right and connect with that 30-pounder that’s going to make my season.