August Wind – by Caroline Smith


This month has been as wild as salmon in the Alaska rivers. Running against the current is tough, but it’s also the most rewarding when you catch that break.

Starting in the beginning of the month, I taught my first fly fishing class to women with the help of my own teacher, John Irwin. We had a full class, in fact, we had to turn women away. We met at the Charleston Angler, and before getting started, I took a brief survey of each lady angler. Only one has caught a fish on a fly rod, most have caught fish on spinning rods with live bait, and a couple had never even tried to catch a fish. This gave me a great place to start… the very beginning. That said, even when a master at something, it’s important to remember the fundamentals. Each lady left the pond at the beautiful plantation with enough confidence to throw the line in the water. I left confident each one had the skill to now catch a fish. It was a win-win.

The next weekend, I went out on the Jones Brothers with John and a few of his buddies. We went 30 miles offshore as the seas were allowing. Within a few hours, Craig Henke and Andy Villacres had amber jacks on the fly rods. Later, Jason Stemple and I both hooked at the same time. Jason’s came to the boat before mine. When you see the picture, you’ll know why… I had a monster on the line. He ran into the backing three times. After the second run, I knew I had to let him go out and reel him in as many times as he wanted or I would break him off (I’ve lost too many cobia because of my lack of patience). So, with time, and very little energy left, I finally got this big 40+ # fish to the boat. No help. Was a thrill.

IMG_2373-300x225Later in the month, I visited a best friend in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Having been many times before, something was very different this year. I have learned how to fly fish. So, the night before our float trip down the Snake River, I was so excited I couldn’t sleep. We started our drift in the middle of the day, ready for a new hatch. We ended up floating 16 miles and lost count of the tiny little trout we caught. But only a couple of big boys. It was amazing and I can’t wait to go in Montana next year.

August has blown me into many directions, however, it has been an amazing month. It was exactly one year ago that I caught my first redfish on the fly, so to look back, it’s amazing. I have caught flounder, redfish, sea trout, snook, bonefish, tarpon, triple tail, and an amber jack on the fly, I’d say August marks a good year.

-Caroline Smith

Lowcountry Journal