Reds, Flies and a Kayak

Guy Harvey Magazine Editor-in-Chief Fred Garth and his prized redfish

Last Sunday I was standing up in my kayak sight fishing for reds and poling with my paddle when I saw a school of about 50 fish in a foot of very clear water 30 feet from the boat.

Reds are easily spooked by any movement or boat shadows, so even though the sky was gray and I had the clothes to match, I crouched down and quickly shot the fly a few feet ahead of the school and bounced it slowly along the sandy bottom (Reds are a bit lethargic in January when the water temps fall into the 60s, so stripping a fly quickly usually doesn’t work for me).

Suddenly, a fish tugged softly on the lure and I set the hook. He ran a hundred feet or so as I tightened the drag, sat down and prepared for battle. Ten minutes later I had him next to the kayak so I could remove the hook. I tied a stringer through his gill and paddled around until he was strong enough to be released. After that, I was fully prepared to cheer Tom Brady and Eli Manning to victory!

The rod I used was an 8-wt. The lure is an original called a “Rocket”, tied by a friend of mine, Dr. Greg Speer. The location is somewhere in Northwest Florida near my house. That’s all the info I’m giving out on that subject.

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