The Location: It’ll never be bottled and hanging out on Victoria’s Secret’s perfume rack, but the redfish marsh has a distinct aroma that I dig. It’s that smell that first greets and welcomes me to the game. The same goes for the carp flats, while they lack the salty aroma they still have a certain skunky aroma that gets me going.
The Sight Fishing: What I love most is how similar sight fishing redfish is to sight fishing grass carp. How they move around in the shallows and make themselves available for those that prefer to hunt one down rather than rely on a chance encounter.
Similar Habits: The search for those elusive fish that seem to appear and disappear effortlessly. How does 2 feet of scale disappear in a foot of water? It’s the ultimate game of hide-n-seek. At times, the sun will have them glowing like fire in the water. Other times, the eyes search so hard they sting from the strain.
The Fight: It’s complete anarchy, a tug-of-war between man and fish at the end of a fly rod. Fly line ripping off the reel one moment. Then they turn and double back on you without warning. The first run is always chaotic, while you struggle to reacquire the lost line, you watch them as they dive under your kayak. There’s no tapping out, either clear the bow or watch your fly rod get shattered.
The Playing Field: It’s a place of natural beauty that becomes the ultimate obstacle course. Marsh islands, oyster reefs, pilings, log jams, and your own kayak are in play. The winner is the one that can negotiate the obstacles the best.
To those that sight fish, we understand it’s the one fish encounter that we dream about. It’s not about how many we caught or how big. It’s the experience of knowing the outcome is largely determined by our own abilities. When the conditions are right, we find ourselves on a flat searching for shadows and casting at tailers. There aren’t many things as exciting as casting to a tailing fish, grass carp and redfish offer some of the best opportunities out there.
Content courtesy of Drew Ross check him on his Instagram at @looknfishy for some killer kayak fly fishing content.