Flats Fishing Story Writer Fly Fishing  Mark Sanders Author of Machismos Creed Best Book of Humor
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This past week was so windy, that I tied kite string to my
toupee'; 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 fishing is
that slow, at least you can talk to beached bikinis along the way.  
Then the clouds came on Thursday (I found an area with which
set me up with a plan for Friday morning.), limiting my visibility;
you usually don't see bikinis when it is cloudy, unless a new
Victoria's Secret came in the mail that day.

When wading solo, there is nobody to blame for mistakes but
yourself, as it is you against the universal 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 bonefish here.)

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
fishing will progress.  I see 2 bones right away, before I am
ready; I 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 fish, 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, 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; 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.  They 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 fish, 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; 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; the Beagle
has landed!

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 your
ex-girlfriend's name.  Flats fishing 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, and 1 on Saturday with
about 7 hours of effort each day.  It was sunny, beautiful, and
just a great place to be.  Good luck out there and enjoy, your
stalk on the Flats.

Weather or not,

Mark  Sanders
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