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A Fish Story: Running of the bulls

  • 4 min read

A Fish Story: Running of the bulls

I had just got home from work when I got the call anyone would love to receive. My friend Meredith McCord was calling. She asked me if I could be in Louisiana the following day because the upcoming forecast was looking amazing, especially for south Louisiana…It was calling for calm winds and clear skies for the next 3 days. The objective was to get some great POV clips of catching bulls on fly and even better drone clips.

So we immediately booked the flights and air bnb. Fast forward to the first morning and we are running out through a very chilly marsh at 45 degrees aiming for a high of 67 degrees. These are prime temperatures to go with the other perfect weather conditions we had to look forward to. As we pulled up to the first spot we instantly saw a nice sized red pushing down the bank so we knew we had struck gold. That fish kept on his way but as soon as we poled another 70 feet we came up to a creek mouth. There I was greater with 3 big fish over 20 lbs just cruising across the bow. I put the fly in front of the trio and the middle fish shot out and sucked it down. Unfortunately the fly slid right through her lips on the first strip and never hit pay dirt.
Immediately I was in aw of what this place is and knew it was going to be an incredible day. It did not take long to get redemption. We rounded the first corner about 50 feet later and here comes a single redfish about 32 inches(small in comparison to his buddies) I placed the fly about 4 feet in front of him as he swam towards us and let it sink. Once he was about 2 feet away a gave it two ticks and he turned to look at it. He slid right over to where the fly was bouncing and slurped it up, fish on. I proceeded to catch two more fish immediately after that with the third one being a bigger fish around 38 inches and 20 lbs. This would turn out to be just the tip of the iceberg for what the day had to bring. Meredith hopped on the bow after and whacked a few fish as well in short time and great fashion. As I made my way back to the bow the sun was now high and the water glass. We would now really be able to see these fish glowing like pumpkins from a better distance and setup for some great casts and video opportunities.
We had picked up on the pattern that almost every creek mouth and point we came across had a fish or two. So as we approached a very pronounced point I was on high alert. As expected I looked down the edge of the bank and saw a tank sliding right down the mud/grass edge clearly on the hunt. With his pec fins fully extended and with a slow wide wobble to how he was swimming I know he would eat. I decided to wait until the fish was at about 20 feet from the boat to be sure the Gopro would capture the clip really well. I dropped a cast about 5 feet in front of the fish. He noticed it as it sank and rose up to meet it and stare at it. Surprisingly he shot off after I stripped it as my heart sank. As quickly as he shot off though he cut a U turn and blitzed back towards the fly as I kept stripping it. He ran up and absolutely obliterated the fly! He proceeded to hit it for the hills and dump me into my backing. The fish turned out to be a VERY healthy 35 inch bull red. At this point anything else would be icing on the cake so I sat down to just watch Meredith stick a few more fish.
After I captured 3 fish on the drone in a row for Meredith I took my turn on the bow again. At this point the sun was setting and we only had about 15 mins of light. As we pushed a bank we saw two large wakes swimming in a spooky manner. I figured the chance of these fish eating was small but I’ve learned as long as a fish is presenting you a shot you take it. You just never know, that fish COULD eat. I had put about 5 casts in a row straight across their faces with no good reaction at all. They were swimming in about 2.5 feet of water so I thought let me put one more back cast Hail Mary in their path and try a different approach. Instead of stripping it in front of them I dropped it 8 feet in front of them and just let it sink. As they came across the path of the fly one ate it on the dead stick! I was pleasantly surprised to be hooked to what I could feel was my biggest fish of the trip. After a nice hard fought battle we got her boat side. She ended up being 28 lbs and as fat as they come! We decided to end the day on that note. As we rolled back to the dock I couldn’t wipe the smile off of my face. This is a place that absolutely everyone who loves to fly fish needs to visit!


Written by Kieran Hoffman

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