A few weeks ago, the Ditch Fishing Master, my buddy an co fly fishing addict Chris got a call from friend of his. He had come across a pile of old rental canoes from a state park all of which were damaged. When I say damaged, I mean minor imperfections. But, through some liability issue, they are not able to use them for public rental use anymore. Luckily, we were able to snag one of the better vessels before they were sent to their death at the local Transfer Station. Chris took her home, cleaned her up, and did some minor fiberglass work. He patched a hole literally the size of a quarter which was located just under the gunnel on the canoe. The hole was in a spot where it would have only taken in water if you were 12 beers deep and were slumped over in an alcohol induced nap and swamped it yourself. Not that I have ever done that, but, I may have witnessed something similar on a canoe trip mission on the Sacco river in Maine. But, that is another story for another time. And, for the protection of the accused, no names will be mentioned here. Anyways, after Chris finished the sanding and patching process, we set out for a test float/fly fishing mission on a local waterway.
We arrived at the Creek at O'dark Thirty, loaded up the new ride with a couple of 5 wts. and an 8wt. just for good measure, and launched her off on her maiden voyage with her new owner. We had heard that this creek was Tidal and chock full of baby Snook and other popular game fish, and this proved to be true. We launched the canoe, sat 3 feet off of the ramp,and Chris began casting at a small section of moving water which was dumping out of the mangroves due to the tide rushing back to the Atlantic. Second cast, Snook on, well, let me say, baby Snook on. It absolutely crushed a Glades Minnow pattern that Chris has improved and perfected. This was an epic start to a nothing less than an epic day.
We continued exploring the Creek for the better part of the day. We fished all of the bridges, mangrove pockets, and shaded areas we could find and absolutely put on a Baby Snook BEAT DOWN!! After about 30 minutes of hooking Snook on almost every cast with the Glades Minnow, we decided to throw nothing but deer hair divers. We put some dry fly floatant on the diver to make it ride a bit higher in the water column and we started popping it on the surface. It turned out to be Snook Crack! It worked even better than the Minnow pattern we were throwing. It was getting gobbled by everything in the Creek. We landed probably 25 Snook on it, not to mention, had about another 30 eat it and not get stuck. Total, we probably boated over 40 Snook.....but who's counting. All were about the same size, but, we did get land one that pushing 20". Stellar day to say the least!!
This creek is nothing less than beautiful in places. Stretches of this canal are so pristine that you would think you were deep in the Everglades backcountry, and, other stretches are littered with trash, old tires and Interstate 95 road noise. None the less, we found all kinds of fish here. We saw hundreds of baby Snook, some chunky slobby Snook well into the 30' range, Mayan Cichlids, schools of Jacks and some Tarpon. We had 1 Poon eat the fly but did not stick him.....probably a good thing being armed only with a 5 wt! We will definitely be back to explore this creek some more another time,and, we will come loaded up with a bigger arsenal and try to get into some canoe Tarpon. Landing them might be an issue........but we will see. What a great day! I am looking forward to our next exploration there no doubt.