Photos of the Day: Getting Schooled on Louisiana Redfish

Written by: Peter Kutzer

This is one of the best reasons to leave Vermont in the winter.
Photo by Dave Yoder

Let’s face it, guides know more than you about fishing. Get over it. Ego in fishing is something that should be kept in check.

This is something that was really driven home on my last trip to Louisiana. In the months before I made it down to the marsh, the weather looked less than ideal. Wind, rain, and clouds are not very conducive to sight fishing—and for some reason these bad weather days get names now—but we were going regardless even if winter storm Cleon, Deon, or whatever the storm of the week’s wrath said otherwise.

That’s a face any angler could love.
Photo by Dave Yoder

Dave Yoder is one of my best friends and one of the best guides and anglers I know. Watching a guide on the pointy end of the boat can really teach you a lot about your quarry if you pay attention, even with less than adequate poling by yours truly. I would like to blame my lack of skill up on the tower on the wind or the mud that seems more like glue most of the time, but that’s just not true. I try to push through the water as stealthily as I can, avoiding the ear-piercing shriek of Dave’s boat hull getting an oyster massage and alerting every redfish for miles.

A guy can learn a thing or two from watching the guide fish.
Photo by Peter Kutzer

I try to keep an eye on the spot where that fish just tailed. This is not the easiest task for someone who spends 90 percent of their yearly fishing walking on slimy rocks. Without hesitation, Dave makes a perfect cast, landing his fly not too far and not too close, but just right. He makes one deliberate chug, as if the fly was saying, “Here I am. EAT ME!”

It gets cold on the marsh, but thoughts of bulls keep you warm.
Photo by Dave Yoder

I’ve heard people say fly fishing is not an extreme sport and that the new styles of fishing videos take the quiet sport and turn it into something it’s not. Well folks, adrenaline is adrenaline, and in my opinion I get the same feeling standing on top of a particularly hairy run with my board as I do seeing 30 pounds of redfish go from a headstand eating off the bottom to throwing a 180 and lifting its massive head out of the water to come down and crush a popper. It’s one of the coolest eats in fly fishing.

Ok, a little overdramatic there.

That is a beast.
Photo by Peter Kutzer

On our trip, I did manage to catch some great fish, and I’m thankful for every fish I get an opportunity to cast at. As a teacher working with people all the time, I can’t help but think about learning as combination of three different aspects. We see it, we feel it, and we hear it. On this particular trip, all three of those different learning styles were firing away up there on that platform, and I came home to face some newly-named winter storm with that same feeling I had in Louisiana, saying to myself, “This is why I do this.” I learn something new every day.

It’s easy to get a little overdramatic about fish like these.
Photo by Dave Yoder

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