Sunday Classic / Saltwater Fly Fishing: Don’t Get Mad, Get Even

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Big Thanks to Capt. Bruce Chard for his expert guiding and patience. Photo By: Louis Cahill

Five long years had past, since I’d last set foot on a flats boat in the Florida Keys. After my previous trip, I had left the keys vowing to not return, until I was a more capable saltwater fly fisherman. Good news for me, a few things were going to be in my favor this time around. First, the five years of time that had elapsed had allowed me to drastically increase my fly casting skills. Second, I wasn’t worried anymore about making quick backhand casts into the wind, to tarpon trying to slip out the backdoor. Third, targets at eighty feet no longer seemed an impossible distance for me to reach, and most importantly of all, I had permanently imprinted in my brain, “Thou shall never set thy hook like a trout fisherman on the flats”. There was no doubt I was going to be much more prepared this time around, but even with all the drastic improvements in my saltwater game, I’d still have to cope with being rusty as hell, and controlling my nerves as 100 plus pound tarpon cruise past me on the bow.

“Don’t Get Mad, Get Even”

I don’t recall whether it was Louis or I, that came up with the saying above. What I do know, is I started silently chanting those five words on the bow after each one of us blew perfect shots at high happy tarpon the first day. It had become crystal clear, that the worst thing saltwater anglers can do to themselves, is get mad and lose their cool on the water. Doing so, anglers will almost certainly fail to capitalize on many fish catching opportunities on the water. If you blow a cast or screw up a hook set, don’t let it frazzle you, and get your mind in the gutter. The best thing you can do is accept that it happened, and move forward with confidence. If you don’t, you’ll probably find yourself entering into a never ending, downward spiral of chaos, that will get uglier with every screw up you make during the day. If you want to become a well rounded saltwater fly fisherman that regularly catches fish on the flats, the first thing you should master, is learning how to keep your cool on the bow, when mistakes have been made. If you can manage this, you’ll end up being ten times the saltwater angler down the road.

*I’d like to give a big thank you to Captain’s Joel Dickey and Bruce Chard for guiding Louis and I in February. We both have the utmost respect for you guys. It was a real honor seeing you guys in action.*

Keep it Reel,

Come fish with us in the Bahamas!

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline
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8 thoughts on “Sunday Classic / Saltwater Fly Fishing: Don’t Get Mad, Get Even

      • Contact Orvis flagship store in Manchester, VT. They have a dandy hanging above the fireplace. Looks like the first jump with the after burners on! Color is perfect. Great fish Kent.

        • Grey’s Taxidermy in Dania Beach does a great job on mounts. I’ve got an 80 pounder they did on the wall and glancing at it during the rest of the year (ie. NOT Tarpon season) just helps me survive until those three months of chaos arrive! I highly recommend Grey’s.

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