Fly Fishing Florida’s Mosquito Lagoon Redfish

Mosquito Lagoon Redfish

NOTE: Here are some pics from a trip to Florida last week to visit friends and enjoy family time away from the blizzards of Montana. Of course, I worked in some time for redfish. Hope you enjoy. gt

Every kid fears that a dentist is either going to stick a needle in their gum or crunch a molar out of their jaw with a toothy vice and a serrated blade. I can’t say that I didn’t have that same fear with my early dentists but then a dentist moved in next door to our family home in Seattle and my relationship with he and his wife has stood the test of time, and the extraction of four wisdom teeth, for 36 years.

Tail of the red.

While visiting those two, Jack and Layne, in Satellite Beach, Florida and lounging in their pool I considered the good people in life. You meet some who seem more generous caring and selfless than others and Jack and Layne certainly fit that mold; they were generous to me as a child, they supported me with gifts, cash donations, food and sound advice in the college years and, later, they provided a loan for my first home in Montana. These days they offer their various houses to me and my family whenever we care to visit, whether they are present or not. In addition, they hold a keen interest in my kids and they treat them as if their own. There are few people on earth, a handful at best, that I’d leave my kids with for an extended period—Jack and Layne are two of those. Most important to me, Jack and Layne continue to serve as a sounding board and I am able to discuss any issue with them and know that their words come from experience and are thoughtful and articulate.

Among the things that Jack and I did frequently when I was a child were basketball and fishing. On the fishing side Jack never took things too seriously while casting jigs and lures off his dock on Lake Washington in Seattle. To catch perch and a few bass and a big trout every once in a while he used nothing  more than a pink children’s Zebco rod and reel. Yes, he’s been spooled a few times. Remember, Lake Washington harbors king salmon to 30 pounds or more. Fact is, Jack and I got up early one morning and probed Lake Washington with large rods, flashers and plugs and we caught our fair share of kings up to 25 or 30 pounds. I can’t say that Jack always followed the letter of the law to a tee; some of the salmon he cooked on the barbeque looked a bit oversized and suspicious.

Among our angling triumphs was the landing of a bonito in Puget Sounds during an El Nino period. Another time I caught a large yellow perch in Lake Washington and tried to relocate it to a pond in Jack’s backyard in Richmond Beach. When the end seemed near I bonked it over the head, filleted it and had jack serve it as a snack.

While in Florida last week I booked a guided trip with Tom Carver who runs Flat Addicted ( and lives along the Space Coast. He’s a full-time guide who chases redfish in Mosquito Lagoon and elsewhere. I told him I’d want to strictly throw flies and that Jack would probably want to throw whatever would provide the best chance for success. Following are a few shots from the trip, including shots of a sweet redfish that Jack landed. I failed miserably despite numerous shots at tailing reds. Carver said the fish just weren’t as aggressive as usual, probably because of the recent spate of could weather Florida and its fishes have endured. Nonetheless, the sight fishing in two feet of water was awesome and it reminded me a bit of bonefishing. I did get a take from a black drum but the hook pulled free. So what do I think about redfish? I want to go back and catch a few, whether that’s along the Space Coast or somewhere else, say Texas or Louisiana. And what do I think about Jack and Layne? Everyone should be fortunate enough to have a few friends in life that are as good as them. Hope you enjoy these additional pics from the family and fishing portions of the trip.

Um, yea. I could get used to Cocoa Beach.

Oh yea, about the redfish. Very cool fish.

Tate and Myka digging Disney World.

Hours and hours and hours in the pool.

Too bad all good things have to end. Sunset on the Florida trip.

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