The Bear blog

Editor's note: Capt. Bryan Holeman is a competitor on the Redfish Cup, and guides out of Key West, Fla. Known affectionately as "Bear," Holeman and his clients enjoy year-round success on the flats surrounding Key West, making his insight to flats fishing invaluable to anglers everywhere. Bear's goal with his blog is to inform, inspire and entertain with weekly updates detailing his activities, be it guiding or tales from the RFC tournament trail.

Well, you've caught me in the middle of a season with this blog, but I suppose it's as good a time as any to get started. That way you can kind of get an idea how I operate. But first, a little introduction.

I was born in Spring, Texas, and grew up bass fishing every day with my brother Travis. The long and short of it is I began fly fishing in high school, and haven't been able to quit.

I didn't know I wanted to do until I went to Boca Grande Pass in Florida a number of years ago and jumped a tarpon. I was sold. Ever since then I've been trying to figure out how to make a living and fish every day.

I took a job there by the Pass and fished on my days off, and as I got better, a friend and I started fishing local events.

That led me to the Redfish Cup, which I fish with my brother, Travis, and ultimately it led to starting a charter business on the side. So far, I think I'm doing fairly well, but as with everybody, it could be better. One thing's for sure though, I love what I do, and I hope that passion shines through in each entry here.

If you're a flats fisherman, I think you'll find your way back here each week as I tell you what is working for me. I stay in tune with what's going on out there. Think of me as a free fishing report. That said, it may be worth what you pay for it.

If you're not a flats guy, I hope I can convert you, or at least convince you to convince the wife to come on down to the Keys for your next vacation. That shouldn't be a hard sell.

Anyhow, there's nothing like trying to hold on to a 120-pound prehistoric fish as it breaches clean through blue water. I'll do my best to keep the blog updated with fresh photos from each week. And if you're steadfast in your ways and the flats can't tempt you, I hope you'll enjoy following along as my brother and I take on the best redfish anglers there are. It's a tall order to be sure, but I'll tell you what, I wouldn't trade a single day for a desk job.

If you do get a chance to come down my way, I'd love to take you fishing. Check out www.holemanbrothers.com for contact info. You might as well check it out, you're already on the computer. If you can't make it all the way down to the Keys, Travis guides out of New Orleans.

What's working where
At the moment, I've wrapped up a week of solid fishing and am heading up to Chalmette, La., for stop three of the 2009 RFC. This past week I caught the tail end of the tarpon push through here, and managed two grand slams (tarpon, permit, bonefish) in one day. My guy was pretty happy about that.

The permit can be a little finicky, but it's nothing a live crab or two won't fix.