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On watch - March 2014

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Capt. Bill Pike kayaking

“Yup, they’re here—I can feel it,” said Executive Editor Capt. Bill Pike at the start of his recent paddle-powered recon of the Aucilla River, a gin-clear wilderness stream that passes through the Big Bend area of Northern Florida. Pike was checking for sea trout, which were supposed to be schooling at considerable depths. Unfortunately the trouty denizens of the Aucilla—if there were indeed any of the little devils on hand—did not subsequently manifest when tempted with an 8-weight Sage fly rod, a weight-forward floating line (rendered considerably less buoyant with split shot), and a colorful Shrimp Clouser fly. The St. Marks River, a darker stream not too far distant, though? Now that was a different story.