Funny Fishing Story by Mark Sanders
This past week was so windy, that I tied kite string to my toupee; and all I really wanted to do, was let my hair down! Fly casting was nearly as difficult as trying to throw your used dental floss into that little bathroom garbage can. When the bonefishing is that slow, at least you can talk to bikinis along the way. They don't call it "Babes Honda" for nothing. Then the clouds came on Thursday (I found an area with bonefish; but the cloud-glare let me see them, after they saw me, which set me up with a plan for Friday morning.), limiting my visibility; and you usually don't see bikinis when it is cloudy, unless a new Victoria's Secret came in the mail that day.
When wading the flats solo, there is nobody to blame for mistakes but yourself, as it is you against the machine called the bonefish (and sometimes bikinis). This one on one relationship is intimidating, intense, and intimate, once you cast while standing in their territory. So, if you don't hook-up this time, remember, that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, until you are facing into rejection. That's right, sometimes nothing bites but you. (I think we are still talking about
It is a sunny Friday morning; and after the past few days of "scouting" (Meaning that I didn't catch anything in tough weather.), I am feeling quite confident, about the how this day of bonefishing will progress. I see 2 bones right away, before I am ready; and botch the cast, only to spook them. It happens again; so I downsize to a #2 pink and tan fly with less "hair" and weight. I move down the shoreline about a couple hundred yards to increase my visibility range to watch for approaching bonefish, which sometimes may seem like waiting for your ex-girlfriend to call you. But, I am feeling the mojo of my efforts.
About 80 yards from me appears a school of nine bonefish, heading my way at a fair speed. My knees start to shake, as I am now more nervous than saying,"Will you marry me?" I wait to start the cast until they are about 120 feet out; so by the time I get through the false casts and fly hits the water and sinks, it should land 15 feet ahead of them. I do a couple of quick strips and stop, to give the fly some motion to get their attention. The bonefish see it, breaking their Geese-in-Flight formation, and slowing down into a spreading pattern of sniffing beagles. I can only guess at the location of the fly, by looking at the floating line and the reactions of the fish. I keep slack out of the line, and ever so slowly pull in with my fingertips to feel any resistance, while watching their behavior. Bump, then a slight strip back and it is off to the races. Fish On!
The excess line in my hand is flapping and slipping out so fast, that it reminded me of safety issues from the Industrial Revolution. I make sure to watch the line, not the bonefish, as it can wrap around the reel or butt of the pole if not controlled properly before the fish is pulling off the reel. I can slightly relax, as the hardest part is over now; and the reel is screaming like a heavy metal band. I see backing; and there is no stopping until they are tired of their first run. As usual there will be a few more shorter, yet long, runs that remind me of getting up in the middle of the night to use the
restroom. I hang on, hoping the leader knots were tied with "surgical" precision and the recently-learned loop knot holds. It's like the feeling of wearing tight pants that seem to split open, only when you are in a public place. The leader is in; and the Beagle has landed! Nice bonefish!
Sure, one might think that wading the flats on a regular basis gives the impression that you are lonelier than Jim Rockford walking the shoreline after his girlfriend went missing; but as soon as you experience "fish on" and the first 100yds of line screaming off the reel, you can't even remember her name. Bonefishing is the best "Single-Again Support Group" there is! And, if you are married, flats fishing can become such an addiction, that it is probably legal grounds for divorce. A vicious cycle it is.
All in all, I caught 3 bones on Friday (Hence, threebone.com), and 1 on Saturday with about 7 hours of wading each day. It was sunny and beautiful; and just a great place to be. Good luck out there and enjoy, flats fishing for bonefish and the scenery of the Florida Keys.
Great story / report, 3bone.