Spring time in North Carolina is gut check time. It’s a time when mother nature and old man winter are in negotiations as to when to push out the cold and bring in the warm. It’s a time when you sit at work day dreaming of that perfect slick calm spring morning when the prevailing winds cut you a break. A time when you’re not sure how the fly fishing is going to be but instead of being the guy reading a fishing report you’re reporting one. For the past three months I have been checking all my favorite sites in hopes of catching that one report that forces you to get the boat off the yard and into the water. It came last January when Kary Via (aka. Natural Fly, Capt. Chaos, Shad Daddy) and I left early one morning for a three hour run to Virginia Beach. We had a great trip. Banged out 9 fish over 30″ and one over 40″. Probably one of my greatest trips ever. The winter doldrum was over. Or was it?After catching the tail end of the striper run the days got long. The fishing was poor and my mood became poorer. I’m not known to have much patience. Waiting for the next run gets me all worked up. Tying flies helps. Talking fish to buddies gets ne by, barely. So when that time comes and it seems like the fish gods are finally throwing you a bone, you’ve got to take advantage of it. Nine weeks later. Looking at the weather everything looked great. Variable 5-10 knot winds out of the north. Nice. I met Kary and his boat the “Natural Fly” in Morehead City, NC at 7am. We were on the water at 7:30 and out of Beaufort inlet 10 minutes later. We ran along Atlantic Beach in search of birds or breaking fish. It brought back fond memories of last fall when RA Beattie and I chased pods of breaking albies and capturing the first of many film sequences for a Northeast saltwater fly fishing film that Jeremy, RA and I are putting together throughout the 2007 Northeast fly fishing season. The three of us are amped up to do a lot of saltwater fly fishing this year together in places likeNewport, Rhode Island, Marthas Vineyard, Montauk and down here in my home waters of North Carolina. We are all going to be fly fishing and working together to try to capture the essence of Northeast saltwater fly fishing from Maine to North Carolina. It’s going to be killer! We already have a lot of great content and 2007 will hopefully produce some more Bluefin, Albies, Bonito, Skip Jacks, Stripers, Sharks and more. Anyway, back to this springs Albie trip. As we scouted the North Carolina coastline, I could not wait to feel that pull again. There is nothing like the pull of an Albacore! We zipped across the shipping channel to Shackleford. Nothing. We then worked our way to the Cape Lookout shoals. Kary weaved his boat, “The Natural Fly” across the dangerous shoals toward the Cape Lookout light house. Once we crossed the shoals the water was slick calm and perfect for spotting Albies. But, were there any around? Slick calm conditions and not another boat in sight. We feathered our way east when I saw a fish break. Kary whipped the boat around. He asked what I saw. I told him I saw an Albie. We saw it again, and I started second guessing myself. The fish were surfacing more like dolphin, very slow and methodical. Nothing like the albacore we saw last November, slicing through bait like lightning bolts. These fish were moving very slow. We worked up to them while peeling fly line off of the reel. First shot was a no go. Kary maneuvered the boat perfectly on the next pod of fish as we wondered if these fish were keyed in on something in particular. It was not the case, I tossed my clouser immitation amongst the herd. Two strips later my T3 10 wt fly rod was bucking and my Mach 6 reel was screaming. After a long pull the hard tale of 2007 was on deck. What a great feeling. Pulling five more Albies in between Kary and I was like winning the Stanley Cup. These fish were eating everything in there path. Kary’s fish was even kind enough to throw up on him while I was getting the camera. A nice way to match the hatch. That fish threw up a handful of tiny micro baitfish about an inch long. My next fish left us a nice 3″ silverside in the boat. As long as you could get your fly in front of them I believe they would have eaten it. We chased a few more pods down the beach before the sun pushed the fish down. The wind started to crank up so we headed in. We stopped on the way to the ramp picked up a burger and a few beers. The trip was a success. Another sweet adventure leaving a lasting memory I will never forget. Just a little food for thought. Three years ago a good friend of mine in Colorado found a tumor in his brain. After many surgeries and countless amounts of chemotherapy and radiation, fighting everyday, Rich became blind and half his body was paralyzed. We are talking about a 36 year old guy like you and I who absolutely loved fly fishing and bird hunting. Anyway, Rich died last week on his twin boys second birthday. A lesson for all of us just how precious our lives are. Take advantage of every opportunity you have. Don’t just live your life through posts. Get out there and make your own!