Yesterday I fished with John O’Hearn and David Dalu. We left at 6:30 and immediately found a few tarpon rolling around, though only managed to feed the fly to two. In retrospect, we all felt as though we should have put a few more in the air, but the conditions were such that the tarpon didn’t group up in a way that presented a solid shot. We were left throwing at rolling fish that seemed to change direction before they began their descent; given this, we were only able to feed two.
After some discussion and a “five-minute” clock that went through daylight savings time, we left the tarpon to find some bonefish and/or permit. I caught a bonefish, David caught one, I dropped one, David dropped one; good fun, and we left the bonefish to find a permit. David waded after a few schools of tailers, and had a few fish turn on the fly but sadly did not connect.
Following that we ran to the ocean, where immediately upon our arrival we saw a group of tarpon laid up on the ocean sand. A quick cast and we had one in the air. At the time, it seemed like we’d found their line and we might find some fish swimming on the ocean; sadly, this was not the case. After an hour and change we left after not seeing a single additional tarpon, and tried our luck once more on permit. I had a shot that landed “right”–a few feet in front of the fish and falling over his nose. A few tail kicks, John uttered “He ate it. He ate it again.”; I didn’t come tight. Did he eat it? I think not….though I am far from sure. Thanks to a similar quote that Capt. Thomas Rapone texted to me prior to the Del Brown when I broke off a nice permit, I am reminded of a line from American Psycho:
“But even after admitting this, there is no catharsis; my punishment continues to elude me, and I gain no deeper knowledge of myself. No new knowledge can be extracted from my telling. This confession has meant nothing.”
So there’s that. Plus, Thomas just passed the bar, so there’s that.
After that, we began to catch bonefish. David caught three in a row before I got up for a few reasons: one was the incredible number of bonefish that we came across thanks to John’s skills. Repect. Two was my decision to let David catch two before I picked up the rod. And finally, it was my bonefish releasing ninja skills that allowed him to catch the third before I could hop up on the bow when a school showed up 15 feet off the bow. I caught one and then David caught another, and we were done.
All in all, a phenomenal day on the water, and one that reiterates my conviction that a good guide can make all the difference. It helps when you’re fishing with an angler of David’s caliber also; I was impressed with his angling skills (time for me to hit the fishing gym!) and look forward to spending some more time on the water with him.