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Topics - Finn Maccumhail

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1
Outing Chat / Key West tarpon report
« on: August 17, 2015, 10:09:24 AM »
So the Minister of War & Finance and I had a nice vacation in Key West this past week. Got in early Monday the 10th and came home yesterday.

Monday was beach/pool time and the Duval Crawl. Your's truly was in fine form. Somehow I got pulled up on stage at a great bar called Irish Kevin's to partake in a contest to see who could down a pint of Guinness the fastest. I was about 2 sheets to the wind at this point and then the dude running the contest decides to torpedo my pint with about 2 shots worth of Jameson- whoa nelly this is gonna hurt. Anyway, I posted a respectable time of 6.4 seconds but some 22-year old kid from University of Florida, who didn't have his Guinness torpedoed downs his in about 3.5 seconds. He's still competing on the regular tour, I've evidently moved on the to the "masters" division.

Some non-fly fishing action in the interim as I split a trip with a buddy and he was on the bow when he took this permit on a live crab out in the Marquesas (he doesn't fly fish but I'm working on converting him). Then we took the ladies offshore Thursday and got some nice mahi (plus feeding tarpon at the docks) but Friday & Saturday I went out with Capt. John O'Hearn. John is a well known guide down there and is the dude running the boat/poling in this video: https://vimeo.com/83816888

Friday I took Mrs. Finn along. She didn't really want to fish but wanted to see what all the fuss was about. To her credit she was a total trooper. It was super calm and hot. We killed about 3/4 of a case of water and 6 32oz bottles of Gatorade.

We left the ramp at 6:30 Friday morning and headed to some flats where he'd been seeing tarpon and were looking for rollers as the sun came up. He said this time of year most of the big girls have moved on but there are still plenty of poon in the 40-70# class. Throwing my 10wt and little tiny flies (for tarpon anyway) on size 2 hooks. John said he's a stickler for using IFGA leaders. Which means a 16# class tippet of at least 15" and bite tippet of no more than 12". He's so hard core about it he's got 2 little marks tattooed on one shin (that he did himself with a fish hook and India ink) to mark the proper length for the bite tippet.

Anyway we head into the back country where we're looking for rollers until the sun gets high enough to sight-fish them. We pole up to where we see some rolling and I make a cast at a roll, strip, strip, BAM! And damnit, she's gone. Reel it in and there's the telltale curlicue at the end of the bite tippet- the knot failed. And it was the guide who tied it on. He was apologetic and was OK with me busting his balls over it the rest of the day.

We see one other big tarpon (easily a 100# fish) in the back country flats but I rushed my first shot and was off-line as the fish was slowly moving away and when I lifted my fly off the water to make a second shot the sound spooked her and she took off. Soon the back country flats  quiet down as the sun gets higher and it's too hot on the flats so we move oceanside on the white sands out in front of Ballast Key (about 15mi west of Key West https://www.google.com/maps/place/Ballast+Key,+Florida+33040/@24.520875,-81.9646565,1816m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x88d1cf37fbb9bbbf:0xee8b8e2d37e7fe71).

Here we found a ton of smaller tarpon up to about 50#.

I got 3 more to eat but each one of them either broke me off on the hookset or I hit bone and they spit the hook. I had several more flat out refusals and a couple where the dang needlefish beat a tarpon to the fly.

Saturday morning it was just me on the skiff and it was not nearly as calm and we had crap light but we found the tarpon again working bait balls out on the white sand in front of Ballast Key.

So about 8:45 Saturday morning after getting some refusals John says, "there she is, 1 o'clock 40 feet out, 2 of 'em coming right at you" (I had been looking the other direction and they came onto the white sand off a darker bottom) and I make a snap-shot cast strip, strip, SHE ATE IT! And then all hell breaks loose. She's jumping and cartwheeling and stripping drag. After about a 10 minute fight we bring her alongside the skiff, it's about a 45# poon and John grabs the leader. My first official tarpon catch. But, as he's about to go from the leader to grab the mouth for some pics, out pops the fly and she's gone. WOW! What a rush.

The bite tippet is shredded so we tie on a new one and wait. I got another one to eat but she must have gotten the tippet down into the corner of her mouth because she bit through 50# bite tippet like a pair of scissors. Then we had some weather come up and we had to wait it out.

Finally, about 12:30 we're sitting in in almost the exact same spot as the first fish and I'm sitting down on the casting platform having a drink when John says, "there she is, 3 o'clock, 30 feet out, heading to the back of the boat" I throw my Gatorade into the cockpit and rush out a short backhand cast that lands 6' in front of the poon. A couple strips across her vision and she turns to follow and inhales the fly not 15' from the skiff. I come tight and rather than jumping she heads for the bottom and runs out to sea. She ran through all kinds of sargassum patches, tried to wrap me around a lobster trap buoy, and just ran. After about 20 minutes we get her alongside the boat and John grabs the leader when she decides to make another dive and CRACK! she snaps my Scott Tidal 10wt at the first ferrule above the handle. We try to hand-line her up but the tippet pops and she swims off. Oh well, she was an official catch and went about 70#. I ain't even mad about the rod.

At this point I decide I should go ahead and close on a high note and we head back in for celebratory beers for the first 2 tarpon I've officially landed even though I don't have pics- I have the memories.

Rather than posting all the pics here's a link to the slideshow. Password is: keywest

http://s719.photobucket.com/user/dfstarr/slideshow/Key%20West%20August%202015

2
General Discussion / Soon...
« on: July 14, 2015, 07:46:28 AM »

3
Outing Chat / Tarpon report
« on: June 15, 2015, 08:21:10 AM »
So I know a bunch of y'all have jumped/caught a bunch of tarpon in your lives but this is new for me- before this trip I'd been on just 3 trips where my focus was tarpon and on all 3 came up empty.

This time I jumped 3- none landed but HOLY naughty wordING naughty word THAT WAS AMAZING!!!!

I get it now. I so totally get it and if you haven't had the opportunity to jump a tarpon yet the only way I can explain it is this:

It's like the first time you have sex. You know it's gonna be awesome but nothing can really prepare you for it. It's over way too quickly and when you're done you're jacked on adrenalin, breathing heavily, heart racing, weak in the knees, and overall a wee bit shakey. And at the same time you're completely elated and want to do it again, and again, and again.





I linked this from my FB so if they don't work let me know and I'll repost.

4
General Discussion / Just ordered my new boat!
« on: June 05, 2015, 12:42:15 PM »
2015 Panga Marine 18 Evo.

This boat only with a 90 Etec and the hull will be medium gray not the ice blue.


5
General Discussion / My favorite fish caught so far in 2015
« on: April 20, 2015, 01:43:00 PM »
Not a big fish but my favorite thus far in 2015.

Too my 4-year old, Brady, to a neighborhood pond for his first fly casting lesson- caught a bunch of blue gills and a couple green sunfish.












6
Outing Chat / Grand Isle trips 1 & 2 (pic heavy)
« on: February 23, 2015, 04:25:23 PM »
I was fortunate enough to make 2 trips over to Grand Isle to fish with Scott Null in February. February 6-7th I fished with a buddy from work who made the trip with me last year and 2/21-2/22 a college buddy who saw my pics from last year and just had to get out- he's a gear chunker but a great guy.

2/6-2/7: conditions were absolutely perfect. Clear water, low tides, lots of sunshine, and minimal wind. Both days also presented really spooky fish. While the weather, wind, and water conditions were pretty much perfect this trip was not as epic as last year's trip where my partner and I landed 11 reds over 20# in 2 days plus drum & sheepies- all sight-cast on the fly we still managed to have a decent trip.

I landed 3 reds between 8 and 14# and 3 drum ranging from 9-17#. You get spoiled over there- an 8# red on the fly pretty much anywhere in Texas is a trophy. Over there it's a baby.

I don't know if it was because the water was so clear or because we caught the back end of the full moon but the fish were extra spooky. Reds would spook at the shadow of the fly line in the air above them. I've never seen that before.





Trip 2:
So I took an old Aggie buddy of mine to Louisiana to do some fishing. He's a newbie to saltwater fishing, never done any sight-casting, and a gear-chunker to boot. But he's a damn good Ag and we've been friends for nearly 20 years.

Conditions Saturday were rough. Cloudy with winds blowing 25+ all morning so we didn't get on the water until 11 or so. I caught a puppy drum on conventional when the wind was howling and I couldn't fly cast. Late in the day I got my one and only shot of the day and stuck this 31# black drum.



But by late Saturday afternoon the winds died and were almost nonexistent in the morning on Sunday and we found some protected water that cleared up overnight and clear skies helped the cause.

My good buddy was giddy as a schoolboy watching these 16# and 20# reds inhale a well-placed soft plastic (he is a bass guy so he can cast accurately) but his monster was a 34# black drum that damn near ran off 200 yards of 20# PowerPro on his spinning rig.















Solid 8# fish. Practically a baby over there:



This little bastard went about 6# and robbed me of my best shot at a 20+ pound red. We were poling a shoreline and big honking red was kind of waking along a drop-off about 6' out from shore and I drop the fly a couple feet in front of him and maybe 18" to one side. He swirls and is about to eat when this little drum races up out of the deeper water where I never saw him and slammed my fly, taking it from the big red.


7
Sell Anything / 2013 Custom Gheenoe NMZ for sale
« on: February 10, 2015, 09:44:54 AM »
Here's my 2013 Gheenoe NMZ I'm selling. $4500 firm for everything and I've got all the titles. NE Houston.

I really enjoy this little skiff but it's not big enough for me to take the wife & kiddos and it's not versatile enough for me to have it as a single boat. If all I ever did was fish Pierce Marsh or Greens Lake marsh or the wife would let me have 2 boats I'd keep it. But the war department is not gonna let me have 2 boats at present.

2013 Gheenoe NMZ (high front and rear decks)
2013 Tohatsu 9.8 (Electric Start, Short Shaft)
2013 McClaine Galvanized Trailer
Fulton Fold-Away Trailer Tongue
Mangrove Push Pole (17ft)
Stake-Out Stick anchor
Yeti 65 Quart Cooler
Custom Carbon Fiber Grab Bar
Custom Carbon Fiber Tiller Extension
Fuel Forward
Extra 3.1 Gallon Gas Tank (both tanks are OEM models) - Total of two gas tanks
Front Locking Hatch
Odyssey AGM Battery (pc 625)
Automatic Bilge Pump (Rule 1100)
Livorsi LED Nav Lights
Hella Marine Anchor Light
Push Pole Holders
Fixed Jack Plate (Bob's Machine Shop)
Electrical
Acon Marine Fold-Away Cleats (x2)
Spare Prop (8 Pitch)

I have a bunch more pictures I can email if needed. PM me.








8
General Discussion / New fishing buddy is here
« on: August 28, 2014, 10:08:12 AM »
Jacob Charles Starr entered the world at 5:57PM on Monday, August 25, 2014. 22" & 8lbs 15oz. Mama & baby doing great and we came home yesterday. He'll have his big brother, Brady, to show him the ropes.









9
Outing Chat / Blyth & I out front at POC
« on: August 01, 2014, 07:56:12 PM »
Hit the jetties & beach last Friday with the same guide as Puck. jacks were there and he bonita were blitzing all over.

10
Sell Anything / SOLD: Kayak for sale: OK Drifter
« on: June 09, 2014, 03:16:04 PM »
OK Drifter- I'm willing to part with the yak, seat, Carlisle Magic fiberglass paddle, and paddle leash for $400. If you're interested I'll get you pictures. I've even got a cart I'll throw in.

Follow the link to see why I'm selling: http://texasflyfishers.org/reports/index.php?topic=588.0

11
General Discussion / early Father's Day gift...
« on: June 09, 2014, 12:23:35 PM »
...Happy Father's Day to me!

Now sitting in my garage after test-running Saturday and pulling the trigger:

2013 Gheenoe NMZ (high front and rear decks)
2013 Tohatsu 9.8 (Electric Start, Short Shaft)
2013 McClaine Galvanized Trailer
Fulton Fold-Away Trailer Tongue
Mangrove Push Pole (17ft)
Yeti 65 Quart Cooler
Custom Carbon Fiber Grab Bar
Custom Carbon Fiber Tiller Extension
Fuel Forward
Extra 3.1 Gallon Gas Tank (both tanks are OEM models) - Total of two gas tanks
Front Locking Hatch
Odyssey AGM Battery (pc 625)
Automatic Bilge Pump (Rule 1100)
Livorsi LED Nav Lights
Hella Marine Anchor Light
Push Pole Holders
Fixed Jack Plate (Bob's Machine Shop)
Electrical
Acon Marine Fold-Away Cleats (x2)
Spare Prop (8 Pitch)


Not my pics, these are the sellers. My garage is a freaking mess right now. I've got a bunch of stuff (including 2 kayaks) to sell/give away.





http://i719.photobucket.com/albums/ww193/dfstarr/SaltyFly1_zpsa1e348c8.jpg

As an aside, I've now got a couple kayaks to sell. I'll post pics ASAP.

12
Ifly / iFly closed? Out of business?
« on: April 08, 2014, 07:20:42 PM »
Some poster on TKF said he went by iFly today and it was completely empty of merchandise and dark.

13
Fly Fishing Gear / 10wt gear for sale (SOLD)
« on: March 25, 2014, 08:45:06 PM »
SOLD

14
Tying Chat / Seeking some crack
« on: March 11, 2014, 04:11:29 PM »
So I've yet to become addicted to tying flies and as such need a source for my crack.

Redfish crack that is. If somebody will tie me up a dozen or so, say half with lead eyes and half with bead-chain eyes I'd pay $5 apiece if I can get them before the Xmas Bay outing.

Gracias.

15
Outing Chat / Christmas Bay 3/29 - redfish crack flies wanted/needed
« on: March 11, 2014, 11:57:03 AM »
So with the Xmas Bay trip coming up and me not really a tyer of flies yet I was hoping to prevail upon the folks who do tie to tie me up a mess of redfish crack- some with lead eyes and some with bead-chain.

I will happily pay a fair price for a dozen or so.

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