Today the tide will flood the grass late in the afternoon giving me my last shot, for who knows how long, at catching a redfish on the fly. After this date my life will become a frenzy of activity as I prepare to move away from my beloved saltwater of coastal SC to the town of Rock Hill, SC, three hours inland. My wife has just become the new Media Specialist (librarian) at an elementary school there and lack of good fishing in the area is not enough to keep her from going. I do kind of like her and the kids so I’m also going.
When you’re presented with the “one last chance” scenario, you imagine everything going just right. This is something movies have wrongly led us to believe but that’s nether here nor there. When you only have one chance to accomplish something people tend to think that some higher power will come through for them, because, you know, this is the last chance.
Now, I’ve checked the weather, and it looks great for today; only day with no chance of rain, a light wind, some sun, some clouds, overall a great day to be on the water. I’ve checked the tide, which will be high enough to flood the grass around 7:00pm. All of this should (should) bring the redfish up onto the flooded grass flats to look for fiddler crabs and other food. Over all it should (should) be the perfect setup for sight casting to redfish tailing in the grass. If it really does all come together the way it’s supposed to the only thing that should (there’s that fucking word again) get in my way of catching fish will be me, which is a terrible scenario because, quite frankly, I sorta’ suck at this kind of fly fishing.
I practice fly casting all the time in my backyard. I found that my children make excellent targets. I’ll cut the hook off of an old fly, as long as they’ve been well behaved, and cast to them as they run wildly around the yard. I can usually drop a fly in front of them as they run full tilt as far out as 90ft. That, if you don’t know, is an awesome cast. But, when it come to placing a fly in front of a redfish grubbing around with its tail waving out of the water, the late afternoon sun glinting off of its golden… Well, I just fall all apart. It’s like buck fever, but with a fish that I’ve caught a thousand times. Something about seeing the fish really gets to me. I end up lining the fish or stumbling on the cast or standing on my line almost every cast. When I do get out a good cast its usually to the wrong end of the fish.
So here’s to my “one last chance”. Hopefully I won’t fuck it up.