So much going on that I haven’t had time to post so this will be a melange of fishing, trips, and travel. We’ll start with my favorite tournament of the year, the Doug Johnson Reeling for Kids tournament, which is the largest of many Steinhatchee tournaments. Doug Johnson, former Gator and Falcon quarterback, grew up in Gainesville and spent a lot of time at the Boy’s Club. After his pro career, he came back and since he is a committed and skilled fisherman, decided to host a tournament every year to raise money for the Boy’s and Girl’s Clubs of Alachua County. Over ten years, it has grown into a huge tournament. I have donated trips for the past five years, and for the past four I’ve gotten to fish with Noah Brindise, a former Gator QB who also coached with Steve Spurrier with the Redskins. Noah also returned to Gainesville and began working for Arthrex, a company that makes orthopedic appliances for surgeons. We’ve had some pretty mixed years, but it’s always great fun to fish with Noah and members of his company. This year among the participants was Chris Luzar, former Jacksonville tight end. Just in case you’re not sure how really big these guys are, there’s a picture with little old me, Chris on the left and Noah on the right, and Noah with some decent trout we caught on day 1.
Yes, we also found a redfish…..Noah caught this nice one that was just oversize, no matter how many different ways we measured him and a nice flounder. Noah looks grim because we were about to release that fish.
And then, as if that wasn’t frustrating enough, on day 2 I managed this nice red that measured exactly as shown. Someone needs to tell my why the top tailfin isn’t the same size as the bottom one…if it had been, this would have been a legal fish, but this one swam away as well.
In spite of the close calls, as always this was a great tournament (with around 100 boats this year) and I can’t wait to participate again next year.
We had decided to combine a family wedding with a trip to the mountains of north Georgia. A great outdoor writer and fisherwoman Polly Dean, agreed to allow us to inhabit her cabin on the Toccoa River in Blue Ridge, Georgia, for a week. What a beautiful place, and I had a great exposure to fly fishing for rainbows.
I got to fish with Bob Borgwat, from Reel Angling Adventures (http://www.reelanglingadventures.com/) and did two days of drift trips for rainbows. It was a great experience, especially for a novice fly guy like me. After several hours of tangles I figured out a bit and we caught a nice batch of small trout. We never did find a trophy fish, but given the rain and the skills of the guy in the front of the boat, we did pretty well and I improved my casting skills.
Along with a trip to Nashville and a wedding in Asheville in there somewhere, it’s been a busy month but I had a great time and I’m glad to be home and looking forward to getting on the flats this weekend….