Photo Essay


Spartina Holiday: Sugar Lips, Drum Machines and Redfish Anemia on the gulf Coast

“A little beat for the rhythm and some words to read”—Beastie Boys, “Super Disco Breakin”

It was a spartina holiday, the brindled grasses of the Louisiana marsh tan, brown and green, their yellowed tips waving in the wind for miles, a welcome compliment to textureless skies that were mostly gray. We had clouds, soupy fog and rain delays during which we hunkered inside the Eleven Experience Outpost Mothership, a 61-foot Hatteras yacht; we checked emails, pored over maps and local brews, and watched college football championships, eyes always southward for breaks in the weather.

When breaks came, Jake Jones and I hopped into a skiff with Captain Jerry Perez. We wove through marsh and settled into the holiday, searching for protected lees, convergences and cleaner water. We said hi to the dolphins and spooked a few drum and reds in dirty water. It is mostly visibility that limits the flyfishing here. Dirty water and sight-fishing don’t mix, and combined with fog and cloudy skies we opted to cast big cork bobbers above colorful jigs with spinning rods. Popping corks. The commotion of jerky retrieves drew in the biggest of bull reds, their bellies drumming like an alien heartbeat echoing off the hollow bow. I’d rather catch redfish this way than check email… 

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