I manned the Redfish Lodge exhibit booth at the Dallas Safari Club show in January, and noticed that all would-be lodge guests bombarded me with the same set of questions. In an effort to shed some light on the answers, I figured there would be no better forum than the Redfish Lodge Newsletter. After all, where better to get questions answered than in a newsletter!
Visitors who stopped by the show booth having been a guest at Redfish Lodge in the past all asked one question: “How was the fishing this year?” To that I responded truthfully: “It was the best fishing season in recent memory, both for reds and certainly black drum. Trout fishing took a big upswing from 2009, but the reds definitely stole the show.” My lousy memory notwithstanding, it really was the most consistently good year from beginning to end in a long time. It may have been a product of the plentiful and well-timed rain, and unusually cool summer, an overwhelming baitfish population, or a decrease in the number of boats on the water. It may have been a perfect combination of some or all of these factors. But the fact remains, 2010 was a banner year for fish catching. I am not in the business of prognostication (or maybe some would say I am) but the high note that ended in 2010 shows no sign of dropping off in 2011.
Visitors who have never been to Redfish Lodge but were pondering a trip had a different question altogether. “How is the food?” was the first thought on their minds. Again I confidently proclaimed “you will not find better food anywhere in Texas, especially at a fishing lodge!” If a group of once and future guests was within earshot when this question was asked, a barrage of “amen” and “darn tootin” quickly followed my response. Sometimes my answer was met with a suspicious glare, but I remained confident when I described the braised duck, roasted pork chops, rack of lamb, grilled tenderloin, and just as they started to drool I hit them with the seafood menu! It’s hard to beat fresh speckled trout and redfish that the guests themselves caught just a few hours earlier. “Maybe I’ll take one of these brochures” was the most common response after my food rant.
The ladies who stopped by the booth had still another question for me to answer. “How are your rooms?” topped their list of concerns. “Clean and well-appointed with a/c, heat, ensuite baths, fridges, and satellite TV” was my unwavering response. I would then show them pictures of some of the rooms, and they all seemed both delighted and surprised. Then another question would follow immediately and almost without fail … ”Do you have bathrooms on the boats?” My eyes would drop and my enthusiasm would wane only slightly when I replied “No but we’ll bring you back to the restroom any time you want.”
The way I see it, three out of four ain’t bad. Come and see for yourself if I answered the questions honestly and to the best of my ability. Maybe next year at the show you will be nearby when a potential guest asks one of these questions and your testimony will result in a new booking. Hope to see you in 2011.
Published in 2011 Redfish Lodge Newsletter