Fishing Carolina in my mind …

When I think of redfishing, I think of the big bulls of fall in Louisiana. I think of fishiing the Louisianna bayou and eating some of the best delta oysters in the world buying them by the bag off the oyster boats.  I think of beignets and great restaurants.  I think of Mardi Gras,  Trombone Shorty,  great jazz  and the French quarter.  Fishing for Reds in New Orleans for many years, I could not have imagine fishing anywhere else. till this past week.

charlestonsingleIt’s been 3 months since my daughter moved to Charleston for a one year nutrition internship at the Medical University of South Carolina.   In that short time, she has made quite a local mark. The week we were there, she had a guest appearance on “Carolina Today”, the local CBS affiliate. Also, as her Instagram following has exceeded 21 thousand, she was invited to blog and write for the Charleston Grit, a prestigious blogging society in Charleston. I  didn’t know much about Charleston till Mia moved there.  I knew the Civil War started at Fort Sumpter.  I new that SC was the first state to succeed from the union at the beginning of the civil war.  And, I knew that there was some sort of low country delta system.   Last week, my daughter’s neighborhood experienced a 1000 year flood as hurricane Joaquin brushed by its coast.  Two weeks ago, a church was shot up by a crazy man two blocks away and after much attention,  the Confederate Flag was lowered forever over the state capital.

A week in Charleston changes you. The people of Charleston among the nicest people Ive ever met. The town is young,, with the College of Charleston (a liberal arts college not to be confused with Charleston College in West Virginia) know for its southern charm. old architecture and party mesosphere is centered down town a block from Mia’s Apartment.  It feels like a college town at times. Mia works at MUSC  (The Medical College of South Carolina), a teaching hospital and one of the top Clinical Nutrition Internships in the country.    My daughter is living in a great place this year.  Last week we spent 4 days in Charleston-two nights at my daughters apartment and two at the Zero George Hotel.  Charleston  is steeped in US history. The architecture in the city personifies the south.  It seems that almost every house looks like plantation.  Charleston is a foodies paradise,   We ate at some great restaurants and we stayed a few nights at the Zero George Hotel rated one of the top hotels in the world by Condi Nast.  My daughter has been living downtown two blocks from King Street for only the last couple months so I decided to fix her apartment up a bit, Gina and I spent some time getting her some more furniture for her,  fixing her computers,  servicing her car and doing some handyman stuff around her 100 year old apartment.   Most of the architecture in Charleston is really old.  For a city of 120,000 people, it is amazingly modern and sophisticated and yet it  has streets that were named before the revolutionary war.  Every where you turn there is a historical sites from the revolutionary war and the civil war.

We toured Fort Sumpter on afternoon and checked out some of the civil war museums.  I understand how the history of South Carolina makes it such a unique place in the world.  If you love civil war history,  South Carolina is a great place to start. Even the revolutionary war history is fascinating.  At one time, Charleston was the richest city in the north continent and was the hub of civilization in early America.

There are three fly shops and over 20 offshore fishing store in town. They take there flyfishing pretty serious in Charleston.   My visits to the fly shops were great.  One shop–the Low Country Fly Shop–had a Seamster fly reel for sale and also specialized in making custom  bamboo Redfishing rods.   I even got to cast a one piece 9 foot bamboo rod.   You don’t see that everyday.  King street, the main drag, looks like Rodeo Drive . Flyfishing for redfish is a unique game in SC.   The low country  consist of flooded grassland and has some of the most unique redfishing environments I have I  experienced.  The flood tides push the reds deep into the grasslands and they feed in the grass in very shallow water.   Its unnerving to watch a big redfish cruising around in grass watching the grass part as the fish swims.  You almost don’t have to see the fish to know its there.  As the tides go out,  the fish go back to the deeper water or get trapped in the myriad of creeks that still have water when all the grasslands are above water    I  booked two days with Jeremy Mehlhaff ,of Charleston Shallows Charters. Or best day was fishing the small narrow creeks at low tide.  Very much like selective trout, these shallow water fish were hard to catch,   Jeremy called them “mad” vs feeding as they would school up, push wakes, and churn up the water like they were chasing bait or spwaning.   Still with fish behavior like that,  it took accurate casting and patience to get them to bite.  A delicately placed fly  in front of a fish  was not automatic.  Unlike the fish in NOLA, these fish were nearly uncatchable if they got less than 20 feet from the boat. They spooked easily and longer leaders and smaller weedless flies were the norm for those conditions.  The second day was pretty blown out and the tides were effected by the NE wind swings which can drop or raise a tide 6 inches or more which can turn on or off fishing. I only got one good day but I’m hooked on the unique flyfishing in the area.  Ill be back and prepared.

A week in Charleston changes you. The people of Charleston among the nicest people Ive ever met.   My daughter is living in a great place this year.   Charleston is a foodies paradise,   We ate at some great restaurants and we stayed a few nights at the Zero George Hotel rated on of the top hotels in the world by Condi Nast.  My daughter has been living downtown two blocks from King Street for only the last couple months so I decided to fix her apartment up a bit, Gina and I spent some time getting her some more furniture for her,  fixing her computers,  servicing her car and doing some handyman stuff around her 100 year old apartment.   Most of the architecture in Charleston is really old.  For a city of 120,000 people, it is amazingly modern and sophisticated.

 


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