Brandon Mecham | Fish Stories

Chasing the Reds

Written by For The Rise and posted on May 18th, 2012 | Comment »

The obsession of wanting to catch Redfish first started when I caught my fist carp on the fly; sight fishing in shallow water in Idaho last year.

I was amazed at the sheer power of the carp and wanted more.

I started researching Louisiana marsh fishing.
I knew I was going to go solo, and researched a lot of different guides, and options. I found Capt Miles Larose with Shallow South, He sounded like a really cool guy on the phone so I booked with him, and then the sleepless nights began.

All I could think about for a solid month was Redfish! I was constantly checking the weather and saw how inconsistent the forecasts were. I knew we needed good sunlight, and light-no winds for sight fishing. My stomach was turning when I saw the forecast was for heavy cloud cover and rain for the days I was scheduled to fish. I came very close to cancelling…

I arrived In New Orleans Friday Night at 5:30 got to my hotel located in the French Quarter 3 blocks from Bourbon Street, I decided to go get a bite and to check out the local scene… WOW! is all I can say, I definitely was not in Happy Valley Utah anymore… Bourbon St. was wall to wall party, music, and gentlemen clubs…

I behaved myself and enjoyed watching the people.

I Grabbed a Dozen on the half shell at Acme Oyster House.

I turned in for the night and barley slept, the next day was on my mind, what was it going to be like?

Miles picked me up at 6:10 we were off to breakfast it was a cool atmosphere mixing with the locals & other fishermen.

We parted ways and wished the other anglers luck. To our surprise the weather was looking pretty good as we made the drive to Hopedale. We rigged up the rods and chose our first flies. Miles said “brown and purple usually smokes ‘em”

This one is called the Louisiana Toad

We were off! I was here I was actually doing it! I started taking it in on our ride out to the marsh.

Miles Suggested for me to make a couple practice shots from the platform. He told me most shots that I will get will be at 1:00 or 3:00 o’clock Yikes I said to myself. Those are hard shots to make! Especially when you want to keep your feet planted to avoid spooking the fish that are very keyed in.

We made our first stop my guts were turning with anxiety, and excitement. Miles started polling us around and we were started seeing “Smoke” from spooked fish right away.
The fish are so keyed in that they often bust when the pole scrapes across an Oyster shell.
The first fish we spotted was a sheepshead, I made a cast to the skittish fish he did not want any part of it and bolted. We continued to scan for our next opportunity.

We pole into a little deeper water right away. We spot a big floating Redfish at 2 o’clock Miles says “start casting” I make 3 false casts and then shoot the line, the fly lands true — right in front of the fish I start stripping, then pause, then strip again. The fish moves in for the take…and busts! This happened a couple times before we connected with a fish (which didn’t stay buttoned).
The wind picked up, and my 7wt wasn’t quite cutting it so I picked up the Hardy Proaxis Sintrix one piece 9′ 10# equipped with a Hatch 9 plus reel, talk about a sweet outfit. The wind was no problem with this stick. I had one more good take, and fought the fish for a good 6 seconds then I lost him! At least I got a good feel of the power from the medium sized Redfish.

The skies started to get really overcast and sight fishing was over for the day so we decided to “make lemonade” as Miles would put it. We made a move and pulled out the light tackle spinning rods. We went top water for some speckled trout for the last few minutes of fishing for the day. Right away me and the Capt. were both hooked up.

The weather was fixin’ to get ugly so we packed up and made a move back to the marina. We made it back just in time before the bottom fell out.
Day one down, I was a little bummed that I didn’t boat a redfish though the day felt like a success.

Night 2 back on the town for some more Oysters, and a Po Boy

More people watching and again I behaved, and retired somewhat early. Every time I closed my eyes all I could see was that huge bull red floating right at me! I was ready for next day my game plan was set. I kept repeating to myself “Don’t move your feet, minimal false casts, if you miss the shot pick up and set it back down on the fish, STRIP SET!!

Upon rising the next day Mother Nature had a different plan than mine. It was an overcast, and windy. The temps were ten degrees cooler than the day before.
We motored out to our first spot, and it was no go for sight fishing, We talked about our options, Miles was happy to know That I am no purist he asked me if was ready to get dirty and tie on a plastic.
I was game. We tied in a big nasty plastic and I was fast to fish, the first 5, or 6 fish were trout then my redfish skunk was washed away when I hooked one of the smallest reds in the marsh.

I was happy to land my fist redfish.

We continued on moving from one spot to the next. No sun most of the day, continuing to catch specks.

The next stop was the spot! The tide was ripping past a bar; I started casting a Purple and  chartreuse jig in the current and started working it back to me–BAM! It got crushed! I was in shock by the explosion on the surface and pull that the fish gave! Eventually I got it to the boat I and was ear to ear grinning this was my first bull Redfish!


The next fish came while working the surface. It was awesome to watch the redfish hit the lure with reckless abandon!

The fish gods smiled upon me and gave me a parting gift .My biggest fish of the tripb — a true toad. Now if only redfish could Jump…
I was satisfied my expectations were met. The food, the music and the feeling of “Nawlins” is like none other that I have experienced. I will make it back!


For The Rise

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One Response on “Chasing the Reds”

  1. Kyle Says:

    Great story Brandon. You really tore up the marsh down there. Still mad I missed this trip. Keep the good stuff coming!

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