A canal runs along the berm separating wilderness from civilization, but that demarcation is lost on the alligators. They migrate out of the swamp and into the canals and the farm ponds until a dog goes missing and someone calls for their removal.
We rode a gas-powered cart along the edge of the canal in search of largemouth bass and we saw the white underbelly of a floating alligator that was missing its head. My friend speculated that some crackers had done it, on a midnight joyride. The odor of decay wafted over the area and in the morning heat we moved on.
Another canal ran parallel, about a half mile to the east, abutted by a series of horse paddocks. The horses mostly worked the fields with their heads down, swatting their hind quarters with their tails. At dusk they’d move into the stables to feed. As with pool tables, swimming pools and Irish pubs, it’s better not to own a horse but to have a good friend who does. I had been offered the opportunity to ride the trail along the swamp’s edge, but chose to go fishing instead.
Bass are not too hard to find in the backwaters and if you make enough casts one of them is going to take a pass at a popper. Just don’t bend down for too long on release, lest you present a canine profile to the local reptiles.
A north, northeast wind with gusts to 30, even 40 mph can make the east coast of Florida an unpleasant place to be, especially outside the inlets. But there’s a lot of water to cover between the coasts, too, and there’s always a lee somewhere¹.
People ask, what’s the point of having a blog? You don’t make any money. There are, like, a million people doing it, and your words get lost in the clutter. You should be ashamed of yourself you stupid idiot. (That’s just Mom.) And I answer them thusly: Sometimes you get free flies.
A while back I sent Michael Gracie my Drift tickets. As thanks, he just sent me some killer poppers and clousers. [editor’s note: I am supposed to share a few with Jason Puris of The Fin but I think I’ll just tell him they never showed.] As a side bonus, he sent them along in a reusable plastic sandwich container. Thanks MG, they will be used and abused.
And, as a result of catching a bowfin on fly when I was trying to catch snakeheads, recording it for posterity with a photo, and sending it into the Roughfisher, I have more flies en route. (Photo of the Roughfisher flies to follow soon.)