Enjoy the Low Country waters of Beaufort, Hilton Head, and Fripp Island

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Beaufort and Hilton Head Fishing Charters

Cobia Fishing in Beaufort, SC

Double redfish on fly! Hilton Head Fly Fishing 

Client from TN with a big one! Beaufort Fly Fishing 
Lady angler from MI with her first redfish on fly! Beaufort Fly Fishing 
Flood tide tailing Redfish! Hilton Head Fly fishing 
Newly weds fishing for Redfish on there honey moon! Hilton head Fishing Charters 
Local angler with one of many on fly! Beaufort Fishing Charters 
Angler from MI with his first redfish on fly! Beaufort Fishing Charters 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Beaufort, SC Fall Fishing 2013

George from Maine with big ole Beaufort, SC Redfish on fly!
Rick from Indiana his 1st Beaufort, SC Redfish on the fly!
   The months of October and November are two of the most anticipated months of the year here in Beaufort, SC when it comes to some of the best Redfish action on the East Coast. The water cools down, the shrimp move in, and fishing is excellent! This fall was full of high number days whether you are fly fishing or using light tackle gear. Super high numbers of fish and gorgeous weather, create some amazing memories on the water here in the Lowcountry. After guiding in Russia for 5 months I can't say enough how awesome it felt to come back home to some of the best fishing of the year. It was really great to get back out on the water with all my clients I haven't fished with in so long!

Buddy Ben from GA with nice one in the creeks! 
  This fall was full of action when it comes to fly fishing and sight casting. Watching fish bust shrimp, tail, cruise with there backs out, and a take your fly in mere inches of water! The ultimate experience while fishing shallow water low tide mud flats and back creeks. The excitement of seeing this action in person is unmatched and always makes me smile when having a first time angler during this time of year. With the cooler water temperature and mass amount of shrimp in the water, it seems to keep the Redfish in feeding mode non stop! Had tons of days with return clients and also new fly angler with 5-12 fish days which in 4 hours of fly fishing is like landing 50 on a light tackle rod!
Tyler from TN with a pretty early morning Redfish on the fly! 
   Light tackle of course was also non stop action this fall with tons of days when we would literally lose count of fish! Whats great about the fall fishing during the mid to higher tide is that once you find a school of fish, you can literally catch them on every cast. These kind of situations always produce high numbers of redfish between 20-50 fish in a few hours which is crazy! The feeling of catching a Redfish on every cast is unbeatable and always my favorite part about fall fishing. The key is being able to learn where the fish move and targeting certain schools on specific tides. Always love watching my clients catch lots of fish and especially there reaction afterwards, which is why I love my job so much. Watching these king of memories being made on the water is incredible!
Chuck from Columbia, SC with a big daddy Beaufort, SC redfish! 
   The trout bite this fall was also on fire! Seemed like no matter where you were at the Trout were always biting. Having a 12-50 fish day on trout was the regular and also nice to see some larger fish in the mix. Our Speckled Sea Trout rarely get above 20 inches so it was nice to see a lot of 14-18 inch fish being caught. The key to these fish in the fall is colder weather and lot of soft plastic artificial baits. Makes for a lot of fun when using light tackle and not to mention a good eating dinner.
Jeremiah from GA with a big early morning red
Lee from NC with his first Beaufort, SC Redfish on the fly 
The fishing right now is still in that fall mode. The weather is fairly warm which has kept some of the shrimp in and also kept these fish very active. My prediction is that fish will stay this way for another 2-3 weeks before the really cold weather kicks in and the water temperature drops. As much as I love fall fishing, I can't say enough how much I look forward to seeing these fish school up in huge numbers during the winter months! Gin clear water, calm days, clear blue sky, and huge schools of redfish are what winter fishing is all about! Another great Fall season for the books here in the Lowcountry and I cannot say enough how happy I'am to be back on my home waters!

Robert from TN with his first Beaufort, SC Redfish on the fly!
Joking around with return client from NC
Local client Rick with a nice one in the fog! 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Beaufort, SC Cobia Fishing

Customer with a big 40 Pounder! 
     Any fly fisherman out there will tell you that watching a big fish eat your fly is always an incredible feeling! Here in the Low Country it can be hard to find a fish over 15lbs to experience the intensity of a big fish bite. Our beloved Redfish keep us busy through the winter with big schools at low tide which can be some of the most visual fishing around but can also tend to get old after fishing 4 months of cold morning runs, and lethargic fish. Well in the middle of April a fish comes inshore here in Beaufort to spawn and gives us fly anglers the opportunity to sight cast to not only  a different species, but a much larger fish ranging between 15-80lbs!
      Cobia is the name of the game and can offer some of the most intense sight casting situations here in the Low Country. Cobia also known as “Ling”, “Big Browns”, or “Cobes”, are an offshore fish that come inshore to spawn from the middle of April until the end of June. Once our water temperatures here in the Low Country get in the prime 67-70 Degree range we will start to see the Cobia venturing inshore. There are a lot of places here in Beaufort that you can target Cobia including the Broad River, Port Royal Sound, St. Helena Sound, and Calibouge Sound. The best part is being able to fish from your flats boat for an offshore fish inshore!

Nice Beaufort Cobia on the Fly! 

     I was fortunate to be born and raised on the Broad River which is one of the best areas to target the Cobia Inshore and has created a personal passion for these fish. The Broad River offers a huge area with tons of bait, big tides, and a spectacular fishery. Starting in Mid April our water temperature warms up and the Broad River seems to almost turn into a miniature Gulf of Mexico with clear blue water, bait thriving, jelly balls floating, and Cobia cruising! This is when we get into Cobia Mode and start throwing 10-12 weight rods, big flashy flies, and heavy duty liters. Its always a good feeling putting the big rods in the boat and hoping for the opportunity to challenge a Cobia with your fly.
Hooked up! 

Capt. Owen Plair with a happy customer! 
      We look for calm winds below 10mph and slow moving tides when sight casting to Cobia. Running the boat around 5mph, standing on the poling platform, and looking for the big brown fish cruising on top. When searching for Cobia we are mainly looking for a push, fins out of the water, bait being busted, or simply the brown object swimming beneath the surface. Clear skies always help but the key is to be able to look outside the box for movement in the water that is irregular from everything else. These fish come to the surface for moments out of the day to swim in the sun which helps digest there food and allows us as anglers to present them with a fly to make our dreams of a big fish bending the rod come true! Positioning the boat parallel to the fish at a distance between 30-80ft is key, which all depends on your ability as a caster, and being able to visually see the fish as its cursing on top. 

Capt. Owen Plair's Jail Bird Cobia Pattern 
Customer with a double hook up on Cobia! 
       The best part about Cobia season is that you can also target redfish in the same outing and literally run a 100 yards from a redfish flat to sight cast to Cobia. Using 10-12 weights rods is preferable with large arbor reels, a tarpon tapered floating line, and 40-80lb liters will do the job. Cobia are bull dawgs and have very aggressive takes but lack in the fighting side of things because they tend to just sound to the bottom which is why big liters help landing fish faster. The flies of choice include the Flash Tail Whistler, Sea Reducer, Purple and Black Plaglesi, or anything else that looks flashy and moves fast! The result from big fish and clear water is an amazing fishery that can challenge even the most experienced angler. Cobia on the fly is an experience I recommend to any fly fisherman here in the Low Country.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Maverick 18 HPX-V 6 Month Review

Sgt. Swire from the Wounded Warrior Project with the first Red on the Fly for my new boat! 
     When I was in the market for a new skiff I can't start to explain how hard it was to find the right boat for the waters here in the Low Country of Beaufort, SC. That all changed after I took the Maverick 18 HPX-V out for a test run. The boat ran smooth in light chop, poled quiet and shallow, was very stable, and most of all solved my issue of looking for the right skiff as a full time guide. I instantly fell in love with the boat and knew it was the number one boat for me simply after a 2 hour test run!
   Maverick has really hit a home run with the 18 HPX-V and I can't say enough about how well the boat performs! This skiff has made me smile everyday the last 6 months I've been running charters on it with 150 hours on the engine so far. It allows me to fish places I could never fish, reach waters faster, offer a smooth ride in rough water, and most of all give me a break on the poling platform with its light weight. After the last 6 months of running the Maverick 18 HPX-V I can honestly say that it has exceeded my expectations as a full time guide by providing the ultimate skiff for my waters here in Beaufort, SC. The only thing I don't like about the boat is how much time I spend washing it after every trip trying to keep her looking new!
My 2013 Maverick 18 HPX-V
Full speed 52mph at 6000rpms with a sweet rooster tail!!
    People ask me all the time "why did you decide on the 18 HPX-V?" Well there were a lot of things that sold me on the 18. I needed a boat that could handle rough open water ways, 3 anglers, pole in 8 inches of water, stable platform, comfortable space, big storage, dry ride, run fast, and also look good for first impressions. The Maverick 18 HPX-V was the only flats boat on the market that truly met all my needs all in one skiff. I run mostly fly fishing trips here in the low country but run a fair amount of 3 person light tackle trips, which started to cause a problem the more days I spent on the water with my old boat.
   I realized after the fly fishing side of my business was the strong point that I need a technical skiff that could allow me to get shallower and pole easier. But after looking at all the technical skiffs I started to realize I'd lose the ability to run 3 person light tackle trips. My first initial thought of the 18 HPX-V was that it was too big to be a "real" technical poling skiff but when I got on the tower with a push pole in hand, that changed my whole thought of the boat! It poled with ease and went shallower than I ever imagined. Not to mention poling completely silent in chop and tracking better than any boat I've ever poled.
Doubled up on the Fly! 
Tailing Redfish on the Fly 
   After receiving my new boat from the factory I really started to understand why the boat performed so well while poling in shallow water. With a bigger platform than most technical skiffs it allows for a lot more weight distribution through out the boat and tracks better with a longer beam. With the Yamaha 115FS, 20 gallons of fuel, myself, 2 anglers, a full cooler, I can draft a TRUE 8 inches of water. It amazed me and my clients everyday how shallow this boat goes for being an 18ft skiff and still a V hull design! Being a Carbon/Kevlar hull is what makes this boat shine in the shallows and the structure of the hull design is genius. I found myself smiling everyday being able to not only get shallower but watch my customers catch fish I was never able to get close enough to target.
   Running this boat taught me what a true technical poling skiff was all about and to hear the surprised reaction from all of my friends and customers who have small technical skiffs is amazing! Not only does this boat perform excellent on the poling platform but handles rough water with ease and keeps you dry. I now can run faster and farther on windy days which has given me a step up as a guide. Its a good feeling knowing I don't have to limit my days to the elements like I used to do because now running a boat that can handle just about anything you throw at it. In reality of the last 6 months the Maverick 18 HPX-V has allowed me to catch more fish not only being able to run farther and faster, but being able to go really shallow to fish areas no one else can fish.
Back creek red on the fly 
Doubled up!
    One of my favorite parts about the 18 HPX-V is the look on my customers face when they first get on the boat and then there response after running to our first spot. The surprise they have in the smooth ride, speed, draft, and look of the boat is always a proud moment for me as a guide. To run a boat that impresses not only the avid angler but beginners to the sport is an amazing feeling and tells you that your in the right skiff. From running this new skiff and the pride I have for the boat brought a real pride to represent Maverick as a company.
      Being able to tell and talk to people about the boat was a ton of fun and I look forward to going to more boat shows in the future because when you tell people about the boat it really sells itself. Not to mention all the new customers and friends I met at both of those boat shows! Also made it down to Miami for the Miami International Boat show and hung out in the Maverick booth which was a lot of fun meeting and talking to Maverick guides and owners from all over the country! 
At the Charleston International Boat Show

At the Savannah International Boat Show 
Gotta love a guy landing his first red on the fly! 
         Another great part about the 18 HPX-V is how many different custom options you can get on the boat to truly make it one of a kind. When I went in to order the boat it honestly took me a few days to decide on what options I wanted because of all the different choices which is nice because you can order exactly what you want.

Below is the list of all the upgrades I ordered for my 2013 Maverick 18 HPX-V and photos to show all the goodies.

Options include:

-Pastel-Green Hull
-Two Tone Pastel-Green Deck
-Yamaha F115 for Shallow draft
-Yamaha Pro Series 21 stainless prop
-35 Gallon Fuel Cell
-Hydraulic Tilt Steering wheel
-Black Out Powder Coat Package
-Advanced Livewell Bubbler System
-Flush Mount Capable Center Console
-3 Optima Blue top 6 pack batteries
-Gel-Coat Matched Cooler Seat
-3 Rack Stainless Steel Rod Holder
-Custom Maverick Ameritrail Trailer
-Aluminium Wheel Upgrade
-Trolling Motor Ready System
-Nautical Wrapped Steering Wheel
-Garmin 740s Touch Screen GPS with in hull inducer
-Minn Kota ST Trolling Motor with Ipilot
-Quick Release Minn Kota Bracket
-Under Gunnel and Storage well LED Lights
-3 Bank 24V Onboard Battery Charger
-Blade 8ft Black Power Pole
-V-Marine Push Pole Holders
-Tibor Push Pole Caddy
-Stiffy Hybrid 21 Push Pole
Pastel Green Hull, Black Powder Coat Package, 8ft Blade Power Pole

Tall Center Counsel, Nautical Wrapped Wheel, Garmin 740s

Two Tone Pastel Green Deck and Back Powder Coat Tower

Two Tone Pastel Green Deck 
Ameri Trail Trailer 

Optima Blue Top Batteries 

V-Marine Push Pole Holders, Stiffy 21ft Hybrid 

35 Gallon Fuel Cell, Optima Blue Top Battery

3 Bank Stainless Rod Holder 

Two Tone Package Lids 



Monday, February 4, 2013

Guiding in Russia

The Ponoi River Company 
    "To dream anything that you want to dream. That's the beauty of the human mind. To do anything you want to do. That is the strength of the human will. To trust yourself to test your limits. That is the courage to succeed." This quote has stuck with me since the very first day that I decided to dedicate my life to fly fishing and becoming a professional fly fishing guide here in the Low Country of Beaufort, SC. The feeling of taking my passion for fishing and watching it evolve into a passion for guiding has become a true reality.
  Being born and raised here in Beaufort is what taught me to love and respect the waters we are surrounded by. Having the history and natural beauty is only a small addition to the incredible fishery we are so very blessed with. The fishery that has not only led to my career starting at 18 years old, but a turning point in my life as a whole. Guiding here has not only become a life style but a true passion for sharing with people from all around how special Beaufort, SC truly is. Being able to guide anglers to a dream fish on the fly is what created this incredible love for sharing the waters I have always called home.
Flood Tide Tailing Redfish 
  Back in September of 2011 I had the opportunity to share this fishery with a very special person by the name of Oliver White. Oliver was a guide for many of years and through out time has progressed to owning his own lodge in the Bahamas called the Abaco Lodge, which is one of the most desirable destinations when it comes to Bonefish! Well I was overly excited to have the opportunity to fish with Oliver because of his background in the industry. The wind was howling which made it impossible to fish from the boat, so I took Oliver to a unique area for tailing redfish on the flood tide that afternoon where we could wade fish and still have a chance of producing his first Beaufort tailing redfish on the fly.
  As we waded through the marsh in search of tailing redfish I was taken away by all of the places Oliver has not only fished, but guided all over the world. It amazed me to hear his stories and experiences of taking his ability as a guide and sharing it with people in other countries. I asked Oliver, "how do you get the opportunity to guide in places like Iceland and Argentina?" Oliver replied, "its all about your ability as a guide and fly fisherman to adapt wherever you are fishing, and being able to provide the best service possible to your clients." Four hours seemed like thirty minutes fishing with Oliver because of all the stories, experiences, and knowledge he shared with me that day.
Tailing Redfish on the Fly 
   Having the opportunity to fish and learn from Oliver White was incredible. It proved to me that even as a fly fishing guide that you can go very far in the industry if you are passionate about what you do, and provide a service like no other. Oliver opened my eyes to a lot of new things and really helped me to understand more about the fly fishing industry that I have not yet experienced myself. It was not only  a great experience being able to guide a person like Oliver but share the fishery we have here with him. A little over a year later I received a message from Oliver White that little did I know would soon take my career to the next level, and provide the opportunity of a lifetime.
   The message was a simple question that asked, "would you be interested in guiding on the Ponoi River in Russia for the summer?" At first I was taken back by the idea so much that I just stared at the computer screen for minutes. The first thing that came to mind was my youngest sister Zelie, who my parents adopted from Kaliningrad, Russia when she was 6 months old. Then the world renowned Atlantic Salmon fishery came to mind very soon after! The opportunity was intriguing even without knowing any details on the idea of guiding in Russia except for the fact that I'd miss out on Cobia season, which is one of the most important seasons here as a guide.
   That night I spent hours researching the Ponoi River and learning more about the fishery. I already knew it was a world renowned Atlantic Salmon fishery but had no idea how truly special this river really is. After hours of research I replied to Oliver and told him that I was more than interested in the opportunity of guiding on the Ponoi River in Russia. After I sent him the message, the idea of leaving my home, family, Bay Street Outfitters, friends, and beloved redfish seemed crazy! At 22 years old my career had been climbing faster than ever with not only charters but a sponsorship with Barrier Island Marine, a new Maverick 18 HPX, and publications including the American Angler Magazine article which was my first national exposure.
The location of The Ponoi River Company
     This new idea of guiding in Russia soon started to take over all my thoughts and completely opened my mind to taking my ability as a fly fishing guide and sharing those skills with people in another country! I passed all my information along to Oliver for him to give to his good friend Matt Breuer who is the manager of operations at the Ponoi River Company. They both recently went to Guyana in search of catching Arapaima on the fly which is the largest fresh water fish, and had never been done! They succeeded and made a film with Costa Del Mar called Jungle Fish.
One of the Arapaima caught on the fly
      A month or so later I received a call from Matt Breuer which led to an hour long conversation about the job opportunity guiding for the Ponoi River Company. Matt is a very experienced angler and has also guided through out the world including Alaska, and Argentina. You could tell by a single phone call that Matt and I had the same passion not only for fly fishing but for guiding. He has dedicated his life to fly fishing which is obvious by his position at the Ponoi River Company and providing his customers with the fullest satisfaction imagined. As our phone conversation came to an end Matt asked for a resume, and the idea of guiding in Russia soon started to become a reality. My first step was to make sure I was not losing what I have created here and after seeing the excitement, and having the full blessings from Tony Royal of Bay Street Outfitters, I then was confident on my decision to guide in Russia.
    Bay Street Outfitters is not only a family to me but my college for fly fishing. I've been on the team at Bay Street for 7 years and became an Orvis Endorsed guide for them at 18 years old. In my years there I learned more than I ever did in actual school! Whether it was all the different fisheries in the world, equipment, understanding of the industry, customer service, teaching casting schools, making friends in the industry, guiding, tying flies, learning knots, return clients, and simply loving where I work. Bay Street was in a lot of ways my home and the place where as a local I could spread the passion for fly fishing. The last 7 years at Bay Street Outfitters created a resume full of professional accomplishments and a list of highly regarded references that were not only customers, but great friends.  After sending Matt my full resume and references, I then waited for his response for the position as an American Guide for the Ponoi River Company.
Matt Breuer on the Ponoi River
The Hover Craft 
      A few weeks later I was at the Charleston Boat Show with Barrier Island Marine and my new Maverick 18 HPX-V when I got the call that would change my life. Matt and I talked for a awhile about things and then I was offered the job as an American Guide for the Ponoi River Company in Russia! It was a feeling I have never felt, a feeling that blows excitement out of the water! Being offered to guide for a world renowned lodge on a world renowned river was not only an honor, but a huge step in my career as a fly fishing guide. I'm currently in the process of getting my Russian work visa completed and many other steps of the process in the next 3 months. I will leave sometime the beginning of May and will be back the beginning of October, just in time for fall fishing here in the low country!
   The Ponoi River is to many the best Atlantic Salmon fishing in the world! Producing not only high numbers of fish but providing a productive fishery through out the 4-5 month season. The Ponoi River Company not only provides a world class fishing experience but also lodging. You fly out of Murmansk, Russia on a two hour helicopter ride to get to the camp which is literally in the middle of an untouched wilderness on the Kola Peninsula. They have everything you could imagine at the camp including full time chefs, kitchen staff, doctor, masseuse, mechanics, electricity, hot water, sauna, gym, Internet, fly shop, and many more necessities when enjoying the ultimate experience while fishing on the Ponoi River.
    The staff of the Ponoi River Company is comprised with highly qualifying people from all over the world that provide and unmatched service. The guide staff also includes some of the most highly qualified guides from all over the world and I'm more than honored to become a part of the unmatched team of staff this season! This experience is something in many ways will not only benefit my career as a guide but will take my life to another level. The excitement I have being able to work, fish, and live with people from all over the world is something that I greatly look forward to. Having the opportunity to learn from the team of guides and share my experience with everyone at the Ponoi River Company is something I can't put to words.
The Ponoi River Company 
      In the last 9 years Russia has been a huge part of my family after adopting my youngest sister and celebrating things like Russian Christmas with my family, and close family friends the Prekops, who also adopted 2 children from Russia. Having a sister from Russia was one of the main things that made me realize how life can work in funny ways. Most people believe in God and some believe in fate, and I can firmly say that I believe in both. My career as a fly fishing guide here in Beaufort, SC for Bay Street Outfitters has led to amazing things and dedicating my life not only to fly fishing, but to sharing that passion with others was my true calling. This new venture to Russia is something I know will create a whole new path in my life and the excitement I have for going down this new path is immense! May can't come fast enough and I look forward to keeping all my family, friends, and co-workers updated on my exciting journey of becoming an American Guide for the Ponoi River Company in Russia.
Atlantic Salmon

Go to the link below to see more about the Ponoi River Company and watch the video on there site to really understand how truly special this place is!