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Flying High Fly Fishermen Find Excitement on and Offshore

Roger del Rio is like most fishermen.

He started with small stuff - fish and tackle - and as his desire grew, so did the equipment he used. His tactics grew. His tastes shifted. His fishing intensity was so great that the next step was to fly fishing. He graduated there, too.

"My first goal was to catch a tarpon (on a fly rod), and I hooked one in the Florida Keys one time. Then, I put the big stuff down," del Rio said last week just days after one of the more memorable offshore trips for him and a handful of Red Stick Fly Fishers friends.

"Gary Parrish got me back into it a couple of years ago, and it's been fun," he said.

No more fun than it was on a recent trip with charter skipper Scott Avanzino, who has adapted his offshore excursions out of Venice to include fly anglers.

"We started early, and Scott was chumming up tuna. You could see the water boiling with fish, and Scott said there were a lot of big ones in there. ...That meant there were some hundred pounders," del Rio said. "We hooked several tuna but couldn't catch one, until I got one and finally caught it."

The yellowfin tuna weighed 44 pounds.

He said Avanzino continued the trip to the Midnight Lumps where the party continued to hook and land tackle-straining giants, including Frank Genusa's 25-pound amberjack, David Coignat's threee king mackerel, Parrish's blackfin tuna and del Rio's bonito. He said Chip Metz, another ardent fly angler, added to the catch.

"It was a gerat day," del Rio said. "The action was almost all day long."

Avanzino is among a growing list of charter skippers catering to fly fishermen. In that number are Blaine Townsend in Cocodrie, Rich Whitner at Gulf Coast Outfitters in Baton Rouge, Theophile Bourgeois in Lafitte and Kim Duplantis at Bayou DuLarge.

"This is the best time for someone to pick up a fly rod," long- time RSFF officer Glen "Catch"Cormier said. "We're getting reports from all over the state on bream and bass taking flies and the saltwater action is only going to get better."
 

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My buddy Bill has several line class world-records for tuna in the Atlantic. I'll ask him when his trips are booked and let you know. He's da man, man!!
 

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Capt Block Thanks for the info. Ron
 
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