On one particular occasion we used this fly to record a nice Slam for Wayne Ambrose and his son. We started out catching some nice Snook in a small Creek on the way to Rookery Bay where I knew when the sun came up we would be able to see some nice Tarpon laid up. These are the big ladies 100lbs. and up. The Snook bite wasn’t hot but we managed to tally ½ a dozen on the little black and red version. I like to use the darker colors of this pattern when fishing low light conditions.
Well it was time to go hunting. I new about where the fish were going to be but when it comes to the biguns you just never know. We powered into the area on the side where I could pole the boat away from the rising sun so as to hopefully spot one before they spotted us and went on guard making things difficult. The first pass though found us with no fish. I thought well maybe it wasn’t going to be and all of a sudden I caught a glimpse of a soft rise 150 ft. to the left a little off the track we had taken. I didn’t say anything at the time, wasn’t exactly sure I could get on her from where we were. I had to make it back around and over about 50 yards without spooking her, not easy in this shallow of water. I told Wayne hold on a minute and get ready to make a cast if we need to fast. I poled the boat to the outside of the island she was on, and down a little where I thought I would catch the correct line for the fish. I new she was a good one most of the fish at this time of the year and this area are, but I didn’t know how big. I didn’t have to make but one little push and there she was. The water was a little dingy but there was no mistaking that big white glow in the water. I said do you see her Wayne said he answered yes, but I’m not sure which end is the head, an important part of the equation. I told him it looks like she is right to left, and land the fly about 3 feet to the left of the darkest spot you see on her. Well, I’m not sure I could of done as well as he did under the circumstances. It equates to drawing that bow on a ten point buck or the anticipation of the first gobbler of the year. Tarpon fever you have to love it. The cast was perfect about 3 feet in front and foot behind. I think he made to strips and woof she took it. It looked like someone dropped a Volkswagen beetle into the water. Well the first of three grey hounding jumps away from the boat left us both in awe and shock. I first said 125lbs., then it was maybe 150lbs., well by the last jump I said I’m not sure but this is one of the biggest fish I had seen up in this area. Well ten minutes into the battle Wayne who has caught a number of the big fish decided to let his 13 year old son have the fun of fighting her. I wasn’t too concerned, I knew she wasn’t a record and I knew he wouldn’t have killed her even if it was. I was somewhat concerned that the young man didn’t really have the experience of fighting a fish this large and it could take up wards of a couple of hours to beat a fish like this if proper technique wasn’t used. I said I do not want to kill this fish and if it goes too long I would break her off to save her. I’m not a record hunter never have been. It’s not to say that I haven’t caught many record sized fish in my fishing career I just have never been one to kill a fish so as to get my name in a book. Well anyhow, the young man was marvelous he fought her like a true pro and took all the coaching from me like it was gospel. He had her boat side in just less than 40 minutes. This was quite a feat with a fish like this. We were using one of the new Bluewater light rods from TFO at the time and it handled everything the fish had to offer even some early problems with a small knot in the fly line we had to work out halfway thru the fight. That was a scary moment for all of us but with a little team work we cleared it out. Boat side she came I released her and we all had a cool drink and discussed the weight. I used to spend my summers working Boca Grand and have seen some big fish. I estimated her at least at 180lbs. maybe more, Wayne agreed. This was quite a start to the morning. Well by now we were into the late morning. I said let’s turn on the AC and run to a back creek where the Tarpon were a little smaller and there were some nice Snook. Well need less to say we didn’t make it 20 yards into the creek when a beautiful 30 inch Red tailed right in front of us and again Wayne made a perfect cast and another perfect take and hook set. After a few minutes we were finished for the day. Wayne said no more and wanted a dozen of them Bunny Flies to take back to Atlanta. I just wished FLY H20 was tying them at the time oh well. I knocked them out in an hour and sent them along. He has been booked for this year 6 months in advance and has requested we fish with is favorite fly. I think I will put something else on just to see his reaction it should be priceless.