Key West, Day 4

March 8, 2004 By: Marshall Cutchin

Yesterday the wind went flat and so we ran into the Key West/ Sugarloaf backcountry to look for tarpon. We fished Asphyxiation Basin and NoWhere. The fish were highly sensitive, but clearly new fish and pretty large — 80-120 lbs. and olive green across the back. Unfortunately they were also highly sensitive and we got a only a couple of follows. By noon, a weird frontal event happened and the wind picked up to 20 knots out of the northeast and the sky clouded over; we called it quits.
Today, we woke to a 20-knot north-northwest wind and ran west to the Seamaster flat on the oceanside about 18 miles west of Key West. I poled Jim L. into the wind for a mile or so but we didn’t see anything until the tide change at 11 AM, when Jim had a good shot a 15-lb. fish. We then ran back to the gulf side and began fishing near Cottrell Key. Jim poled me to two fish. The first fish followed the fly through two or three strips and almost ate it. The second I had to cast to into the wind at about 50 feet and made a bad presentation (landed on his dorsal), but he settled back down and Jim chased him and I made a good presentation beyond and to the side, but he ignored the fly; I pulled the fly back in and found that a wind knot had fouled around the fly. Oh well.
Jim had three or four more shots fishing back to the east in the afternoon, and a couple of close calls, but all the fish turned out to be tire kickers.