Key West, Last Day

March 10, 2004 By: Marshall Cutchin

The wind was forecast to be 15 knots north again yesterday, and when we ran west around the northern edge of the Cottrell Key reef I had to navigate some 4-foot rollers. We arrived at Heaven’s Gate around 8:45 AM and poled west, but the temperature was quite cold (64 degrees) and I knew our chances of seeing fish in the morning were slim.
In fact we didn’t see fish until moving to the oceanside at 11AM. We fished Renee Richards on the high outgoing and Jim L. had a shot at a group of three tailers. Then we moved to the back of Seamaster and had shots at several tailing permit and one pair of bonefish, but the permit were quite spooky. Based on that, I decided to run back to the deeper, silty water on the gulf side.
We poled through afternoon down the 6 miles of flat stretching east from Cottrell, but didn’t see fish until 3PM, down near the end of the flat, where they were feeding into the last of the outgoing. Jim had a couple of shots and finally had a fish tail on his fly, but the wind and current were pushing the boat down on the fish and he was unable to come tight.