It’s a cold post-frontal January morning in east Central Florida. While launching my skiff in predawn darkness I can barely see the end my trailer as a heavy fog bank has settled in. Luckily, I know this part of the Saint Johns River like the back of my hand, so finding my intended fishing spot in zero visibility goes according to plan. Heavy fog of this nature is uncommon on the Saint John River basin, requiring a precise mixture of warm river water, cold winter air and dead calm conditions to occur. Idling slowly through the impenetrable fog to position my skiff, and I can hardly bare the anticipation of my first cast and the impending solid pull of an American shad on my 5-weight fly rod. As I lay out my first cast and my fly settles in a shad takes and the battle is on. On the first hard run this hearty fish takes me into my backing, jumps sever times and starts doing laps around my boat. As the battle wains and my excitement peaks, my mind drifts back some 50 years to my very first shad fishing trip with my Uncle Joe.