Congratulations on surviving the insanity of 2021! Seriously though, I had a great year and it has a lot to do with all of you. After guiding "part time" for 9 years, I finally had the guts to jump off the cliff and leave the safety of a job that no longer fulfilled me. I packed my parachute with all of the support of my anglers, and it was more than enough to safely carry me through my first year of full time guiding. I can't express how much I appreciate you all and how much fun I have on the water with you all. Since it's the last day of the year, I wanted to take a quick minute and look back.
January and February of 2021 brought some great cold-weather clear-water sightfishing opportunities. I'm a board shorts and flip flops guide, but I don't mind the cool weather when it results in a hundred Redfish daisy chaining right in front of the boat in ten inches of gin-clear water.
March and April arrived and we enjoyed the final weeks of clear water and schooled fish as the algae began to bloom and the marsh really came back to life.
March and April also brought back the Albies for a few weeks, and I finally got to put my "new to me" Parker 23 to use. After so many years of chasing Albacore in a poling skiff, it felt really good to be able to run further, faster, and dryer than in the past.
April also brought one of my favorite fish of the year, the Atlantic Bonito. I really wish these fish hung around longer than they do. They are so much fun to chase, fight, and eat!
We also got into a little bit of action with the Bull Reds in the ocean this spring.
April was plenty "sharky" in the nearshore waters. There's more physical abuse and ego destruction behind that shrimp trawler than most anglers can endure.
May 1st found us back on the Roanoke for a change of pace. I enjoy this fishery so much and can't wait to get back up there. I may hit it for a week of shad fishing before we do the annual striper run in May.
Stripers aren't the only fish on the Roanoke...we saw surprises from Common Carp to Catfish to Largemouth Bass...we even watched another boat hook up to a 300lb Sturgeon on light tackle.
By the time I got back from the Roanoke, the Redfish were in full summertime swing. The schools had broken up and they were crushing topwater, metal, soft plastics, and flies.
Walking the Dog was the ticket this summer and we burned through a bunch of Skitterwalks and Spooks that were destroyed by angry Redfish. I'm getting antsy right now, just thinking about it.
In between Redfish trips, we ran the nearshore waters of the Crystal Coast and chased Bluefish, Spanish Mackerel and a few other surprises on fly and spin.
The big flood tides were awesome this year, and after 15 years of chasing tailing Redfish, it still hasn't gotten old.
It's as close as you can get to hunting with a fly rod.
As summer transitioned to fall, our focus jumped back to the nearshore waters, where we chased what is possibly "pound for pound" the baddest fish around.
October and November booked solid for me this year chasing Albies. I had so much fun with all of you and I appreciate the support so much!!!
November and December brought the Speckled Trout back to their winter haunts. Although we usually focus on spots over specks, I always enjoy catching these fish.
And we ended the year with the same fish that started it. The fish that built my business. I owe a ton to these Redfish, and a ton to you all for coming and chasing them with me.
Thank you so much for such an awesome year, and I look forward to fishing with you all in 2022!
All the best,