Paul posted this on Fly Anglers On Line

Doing it my way

After hearing stories and seeing videos from my son's cell phone from last
night I decided to have a go at it with a fly rod. Sure enough at the
appointed time or somewheres there about, redfish started showing up under
the lights of the pier. Now throwing a fly rod is not only verboten on the
pier I think, but its a silly thought to even consider. But non-the-less
the reds were there and I just couldn't resist.


So off came the shoes and
emptied the pockets to my wife's faithful care. Tho' I still don't think it
was necessary of her to count the money. Off the beach, in to the dark I
walked fully armed with my two most trusted fly patterns, the gold spoon
and the ever present Junk Yard Dawg fly. Full disclosure here my wife, son
and grand son stayed on the pier, high and dry to witness the events from
the box seats. OK they just leaned over the rail and yelled "Fish coming".
Understand these are not finely tuned fish spotters and stalkers of the
flats and I got advice like. "straight in front of about 20 feet to your
right or no make that about 20 yards". They were trying and the fish coming
part actually help to put me on alert. Plus when the real first fish showed
up and I realized how big these fellas were, that was all I needed. I
started with the Junk Yard Dawg but just couldn't make the connection even
after such solid direction being offered. So I switched to the spoon, it
got looks but still no tight line event. After about forty five minutes a
pattern started to emerge. Seemed every time I lit a smoke this one rather
large distraction would put in an appearance. That thing is on the hunt, I
know them moves. The jerky sudden changes of direction, the jealous
guarding of a feeding space, the hovering inches over the plate like a
starving five year old with a happy meal. I switched back the the junk yard
dawg for the second time. Now there's a reason its named that, it's because
it has this single endearing quality about it. It bites fish weather they
make up their mind or not. Tonight it proved it yet again. As the line came
tight the reaction was a well practiced maneuver, hit and hold, clear the
line and test the resolve of the your quarry. In my dreams that is the way
it goes any way. What actually happened was, I went to work the fly again
and felt pressure on the line, strip strike, released methane in my wet
jeans and got line burn for a reaction. The fish had its game plan in full
operation before recovered from the shock. Threw the pilings and in a south
by west angle was off and testing the backing knots in a nano second. From
the east side of the pier it wasn't easy to determine just how many sets of
pilings were to be involved in this pursuit, so I dropped all drag and
opted for rim break. A fat man slogging threw the dark surf under the pier
straining to follow his fast disappearing backing, I began to feel like a
priest seeking divine guidance in a skid row brothel. Knowing one wrong
decision meant certain damnation, as the barnacle laden piling would shred
the line or backing instantly. Was it the hand of the almighty or just dumb
luck either way I'll take it. The line and I both cleared the obstacle
course and the fight in earnest was on. Go west young man, the fish and I
both heard the call it seems. He south west to the gulf, me north west back
to the beach each both determine to stand the fight in our better element.
As I neared the beach to the adulation and encouragement of my family
members, nature had one last little joke, mother nature arranged to place
an eight inch sand curb directly in my dimly lit path. Oh who among us
hasn't made some undignified quick steps while fighting a fish right?
Finely up on the beach the fight continued for some time gaining and
letting backing come and go, but ultimately I emerged the victor. A fine
and worthy thirty five inch redfish was brought to hand, briefly admired
and the fly removed from under his chin. Yup that's right under his chin
not from its mouth, that's how the fly got its name. Two of the first four
fish I caught with it were hooked under the chin (black drum), not by
purposeful design with intent, but I love that it does just the same.

Capt. Paul Darby