Friday, April 6, 2012

Flat as Glass

The pounding surf subsided into an erie twilight calm. Stars ignited in the purpling sky. A favorable tide made up my mind for the coming morning.


I know that there won't be many more mornings like this. In three years, I've only seen it this calm at this particular stretch of beach, with bluebird skies, once before. On that morning there were bonefish. More than enough to go around. I hoped for the same today.

It was high tide so I made my first 3\4 mile lap looking for cruising permit. There was no sign of them, but I did see two large bonefish meander across a sandbar, 30 ft out. I switch to a small baitfish looking thing to imitate one of the billion or so naturals schooled along the shoreline.

Small predatory fish could not resist and I surfed a few jacks and pompano onto the sand before unhooking and releasing them.

I spotted the light green of a bonefish sauntering down the shoreline and lead it by 10 ft with a cast that landed hard. The fish burst forward and inhaled the fly.

I am convinced bonefish cannot feel pain in their soft lips or crusher. Making a living by eating sharp urchins and crabs that fight back cause you to not notice the point of a steel hook. They swim around confused for a few seconds, trying to shake the fly out, until bolting for the safety of deeper water.

In a short time I had the fish beached on the sand, unhooked and released. It was a below average fish, but still a good-sized.

Shortly thereafter I waded out onto the sandbar to get a better angle on any cruisers. In the distance, I spotted a baitball corralled in the shallows and made my way towards it.
There were negative spaces moving through the middle that I knew to be fish, and a herd of about 20 bonefish slowly making their way towards the ball, moving away from me.
They started to rush the bait just as my fly hit the water. In a second, I was hooked up again and brought a larger fish onto the sand before releasing her.

Prior commitments prevented me from spending the rest of the day there. I was content with two bones in an hour and a half's effort. The sea and the sun and the sky and the fish made it one to be thankful for.

1 comment:

Gregg said...

Nice photos as always and great journal.