Casting, St. Augustine, FL-0578

Here we go again; that time O’ year.  Got me thinkin’ about my first…….

Especially after a week of Florida in March with overcast skies and gale-force winds that included cancelled flats charters along with a quality of light that we were not looking include in this photo-based project.  Forcing the fishing by wading in swampy estuaries, that may or may not have contained unhappy alligators lurking about, and casting from docks with their line-snagging cleats………..has me ready to SNAP!!!  Redfish, Schmedfish; I need to feel that pull, it’s been a long six months.

Not to mention the fact that I want photos……  Preferably pretty, warm images depicting active lifestyles in sunny locales. I know my way around cameras and light, and I know what makes an image look authentic and technically accurate; something I strive for in my photography.  Weather and the eating habits of game-fish are two things that are impossible to control though.  Good thing this trip was a self-project and I don’t have to explain to any editors why the light in the images is flat and why there were no fish.  Still a tough trip.  I hate getting skunked, and I’m out a bunch of fresh images with Redfish, flats boats and talented anglers.  There goes my new promo.

“Spring promo-piece, take two:”  Moroné Saxotilis.

Migrating Striped Bass showing up this time of year is what usually gets me leaping out of the winter/spring routine.  The majority of the flies I will use have already been tied with a few exceptions; always room for more and I never really tire of it.  The past two years I’ve landed a fish my first day out.  Always a good thing.  That kind of vindication when the passion you center your life around most [apart from family] actually comes to fruition on the first day?  That day becomes irreplaceable.  Not an ego boost or something you would brag about; just feels good to know that you’re not crazy [or not as crazy as everyone thinks you are, anyway].  All the preparations of tying the flies, watching the weather, looking into sea temps, stalking online reports about their migration north from both Chesapeake and Hudson Bays, making your educated guess as to where they’ll show up locally first, and how you’ll try and make the time available to meet them.

That first fish after a six month wait; your quiet reward.

The first week in May I’m looking forward to guiding a high school friend for what will hopefully his first Striper on the fly [Bay Colony Guides]. I’ve got him tying flies for the trip, and will do my best to make it a sure-thing, but we all know how that works.  Sunshine AND Fish; yeah, can I get a guarantee there?

Since moving south, back down to Boston four years ago, I’ve caught my first of the year on May 1st, May 2nd , May 7th  and last year on the 14th of May.  I attribute their slightly later arrival last year to the return of colder Winter weather patterns, the amount of spring rains in the Chesapeake Bay and Hudson River Valley watersheds and more importantly to us all:  air temperature averages.  No signs of Global Warming in New England this year… far; but I am all for it.

Today I’ll be raising my glass to celebrate the return of sunshine and blue skies; the end of winter alongside the renewal of spring and all that it brings…… warm skin tones, pretty pictures and, hungry fish.


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