“Tailing” Reds in Charlotte Harbor”
I’ve been plying these flats for five years now and can honestly report that in Charlotte Harbor “tailing” reds are the most technically challenging fly-fishing I have ever done. Less you think that’s just my opinion, allow me to add this. When I arrived an experienced local angler issued me this warning. He said that on any given day 90 percent of the time you will not see any tails. If you do see one, however, another 5 percent of the time, its no dice. The “tailer” will either spook as you approach, spook as you cast, spook as the fly lands, or worst of all, simply ignore your fly altogether. So all in all, if you’re seeking “tailing” reds, expect to go home empty handed 95 percent of the time.
So why bother? Well for one thing your odds of a hookup are actually considerably better than I just suggested. This is especially true after you learn when and where reds are most likely to “tail”. Second, hunting for “tailing” reds gets in your blood. It is wicked addictive. You’re constantly trying to improve the odds, hone your skills, discover the secrets, find the right fly, find the best retrieve, figure out how to win the war. And when you’re successful it is a total adrenaline rush. Yeah this is the most exciting fishery you can imagine!
Got this “tailer” on a 6-weight fly rod a few days ago. I’ll never forget the sight of his tail waving to me across the flats, the slow careful stalk, the delicate cast, and wake he created as he charged the fly. Yes he fought like a demon. And yes, I was on top of the world when I let him go.