|They say that experience is what you get when you don't get what you want.|
Four days after flying from Oregon to NO for my first experience with the NO and delta redfish fishery, I am a LOT smarter. Also significantly less flush.
To cut to the chase....so to speak....the short video sums it up well.
That was the last MARGINAL fishing day in the short 4 day forcast....and we had four more days booked.
Mistake #1: While there IS an excellent if not fabulous year round fishery, that fishery for fly fishing is essentially 100% weather dependent because.... blind casting is really not an option unless the fish are very concentrated. They do not move to the fly, you must put it right in front of their faces...blindly. If you can see them....then cast....fine. Water turbidity (wind determined) and to a lesser extent clear skies determines everything. Cold weather fronts also put the fish down and they stay in deeper water.
We booked the trip...back in the summer....not realizing Feb thru April is the windy season...stirs up the mud. The guides had free dates then....for a reason!
Mistake #2: Not asking or realizing that out there, with fly rods...there is no plan B!! When we go to cape Cod for stripers, if we have a wind day and can't get out with the guides, we have a 360 degree environment where we can get in the lee and shore fish and still do reasonably well. Out there, when the forcast is 100% rain, thunderstorms, and 20-35 wind...there is no plan B. And even had the front passed and the weather cleared...the guide said it would take 2-3 days for the water to clear. Given local knowledge inland we might have eventually been able to come up with something, but not spur of the moment.
Mistake #3: getting a rental car with pre-paid booking such as Priceline. NO REFUNDS once booked. We booked seven days, used three, and now musy fight and probably lose to get any refund.
Mistake #4: A compliation of putting oneself into that position in the first place, the current airline policies re: re-booking are frankly confiscatory. When we realized we were screwed....had four days to stay in a yawn motel, didn't/couldn't spend more days touring New Orleans (long reason for that) it immediately became obvious that the best/cheapest thing was to bail and return as quickly as possible. Short story..it cost us an ADDITIONAL $520 just for the next day return flight....on another airline altogether....and some of the quotes for flights in the next few days were on the order of $1200....and all we will get back for the not-used original return flight is...minus the $100 "re-booking fee" is dollar credit to be used before the original booking date in the coming year.
All done, two travel days, about $1500 for 6 hours of fishing, 1 fish. Apiece.
There are some what I call "locals fisheries" in that they are so weather and water condition dependent that one has to live close enough so that, when the ducks line up, you can pull the trigger and hit it....and have a world class day. From my experience, NPO redfish in the Feb-Mar-April wind and weather pattern is one of these.
Others might have alternate ideas...such as trip insurance...which, if allowing only for weather issues...would be a good idea HERE!
I am re-planning and re-booking for the BEST season...even if it means much further into the future....the guides are booked for the fall season WAY in advance.