...After I spent a mostly sleepless night watching the Milky Way we were up at sunrise with a close eye on the day's weather. We had the option to stay until the next morning or catch a ferry later in the day and hurricane remnants were moving in our direction. Winds were up but there hadn't been any rain overnight. We decided to revisit the grass-lined inshore flats first.
Using the last of my stove's fuel, I made coffee in the back of the truck while my brother casually fished one edge of the flat.
After coffee I rigged up and waded, barefoot, into the opposite side of the pool with a small (#4 or 6) olive/white Clouser tied on. I could see crabs in the shallows... skittering sideways as I approached. With my second cast I felt a tug on the line. I calmly set the hook and began playing the fish. In a few moments I could see it, a Flounder! I shouted across the flat to my brother, brought the fish to my feet, slackened the line and it wriggled free. Great start to the day!
We saw a few good-sized fish around and decided to work the flat for a while longer; I managed to catch another Flounder about the same size, this time bringing it to hand just to get a better look. I am not used to catching fish with teeth! My brother caught a hand-sized Pinfish before we decided to take a break and assess the weather situation.
It was about 0900 at this point and we made the call to leave the island that day and head towards home. We booked the 1200 ferry and had another hour or two to fish before we needed to clean up and pack it in.
We went looking for a good spot to try some surf fishing and pulled up to an area that seemed promising... waves were breaking further out and there was a visible pool close to shore. I had never cast into the surf before and quickly learned that if I hoped to keep my fly in position I would have to work on timing my casts with the waves. Between the wind and my inexperience I soon realized that the flat was likely to be a more productive and enjoyable way to spend my last couple of hours on the island.
We returned to the flat (under darker skies) and took up our positions; my brother began working the deeper outside edge and I started wading the pool to his right. Because of his last catch I decided to tie on an EP fiber Pinfish imitation that he had brought along. He went to a Crazy Charlie, tied with some fluff from his overweight Corgi mix for luck. Both flies proved to be good choices... my brother quickly hooked up with a Flounder.
A few minutes later I caught my first ever Speckled Trout
The pattern on its back reminded me of the Brookies back home and its tail looked a lot like a Rainbow's. It wasn't a Mahi or an Albie but I was very please to have caught this fish.
I observed a small Pinfish a little while later, meandering along, quite close to the surface. This made me feel good about my fly selection and gave me ideas as to how to work and present this pattern. As I worked to the edge of the pool I could see that the wind and the outgoing tide were producing a current in the channel leaving the pool. I was able to fish this channel much like a river, casting across and down/across and swinging or retrieving my Pinfish. The flat began to feel familiar and I was full of peace and happiness.
That Speck ended up being my last fish of the trip. My brother landed another Flounder before we decided to pack it up.
We both left the trip with sore legs, some new species on the fly (four for me) and a great appreciation for an abundant and beautiful place within an easy day's drive of our respective homes.
This was the first time in many years that we had spent this much time together. This trip came on the heels of the tenth anniversary of our mother's passing, a point that marked a separation of our family in many ways. I wish everyone could do this with their closest sibling. Thanks, Bob for making it happen.
Thanks also to community members here for their advice and some great used gear that helped make this trip possible. Many asked that I share pictures of my trip and that is what spurred this thread.