These GEOBASS guys are kind of hardcore. Really, they are the definition of hardcore. They seem to live on the edge a bit, sometimes hanging over it suspended by grit and determination and duct tape.
The latest installment has them going to Papua New Guinea. I fell a bit like an expert about Papua New Guinea as I represented that country at a Model UN conference for a weekend in college, which was mostly an excuse to drink and go to NYC. Beyond that I know they have a lot of different languages, a fair bit of poverty and some fish.
Here in California things are going poorly on the water front. Rivers are getting skinny, or even stopping flowing altogether. Fires are burning all over the place, one near where I used to live.
This is one (of the many) thing I love about bonefishing. The oceans are not drying up. There are a host of things wrong with the oceans… acidification, masses of plastic, over fishing, netting, effluent from the damn golf courses… it is not a short list.
Drought is not on the list.
September is going to be rough in California. Who knows what else will burn down, but the oceans… the oceans are not going to catch fire… probably.
Something new this year will be the Art & Film Festival attached to this event. Now… I KNOW there are some folks who should put something together for this. I’m looking at you Ericand Chris. Art. Videos. Bonefish and Tarpon and Permit?
Hope some of you guys put something together to celebrate the places, people or fish involved.
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While in Montana I broke into an “I’m going fishing dance” before rowing my wife down the Kootenai.
Luckily, this was captured in pictures.
I will likely do a similar dance in Florida in a little under a month.
Fishing still makes me feel like a kid. It makes me happy. It makes my soul content.
If I step back and look at it rationally, it doesn’t make much sense that this activity would give me so much joy. I don’t eat the fish. I don’t get paid to fish. I don’t get any tangible reward from the activity.
And yet… I look forward to every day on the water, be it fishing for sharks off the pier with bait, for 4″ trout with a dry fly on a little creek or a 4 lb. bonefish in a foot of warm and totally transparent saltwater.
I’m even smiling as I think about it.
So, here’s to the irrational joy of fishing. I hope you have it too.
At the end of the month my wife leaves one job and will soon start another. In-between there is a week of down time and that week will largely be spent in the Keys.
The Keys = Beautiful
The point of the get-away is to give my wife some down time between gigs (she’s a pediatric pulmonologist). She works hard, really hard, and she deserves the break.
So, how do I do a trip to the Keys and not have it devolve into a fishing trip, while still managing to do a little fishing?
Failure would be me sneaking off to fish and leaving her with the baby. Failure would also be me not getting any casts in. I am incapable of being near water and not fishing. It is just not an ability I poses.
The balance… weighted towards relaxing vacation for the wife.
After my 7 year old squeezed 20 trout out of a Montana creek it seemed like a great idea to take my wife out to that very same creek to get her some fish as well.
Turns out it was a good idea.
She wanted to get five and she got five. Pretty much the perfect ending to the trip. For the beginning fly fisher, there are few places better than a creek… especially a creek with cutthroat.
Just beautiful (and full of willing fish)
Montana has a similar effect to the Bahamas. I feel very much at home there, even though my life is somewhere else, and I’m happy with my life.
It felt like a very Montana week. I shot some skeet and trap. I floated the Kootenai. I saw a bull moose a couple times and loads of deer. I scooted the girl around on the ATV for a bit. My daughter got 20 trout. A pretty excellent week.
I have fished from an early age. It runs in the family. I started fly fishing when I was 21 and I had my first truly magical day of fly fishing when I was 24. That day I fished the Lower McCloud with Fred Gordon and had 20+ fish for the first time.
Today, my daughter caught, on her own, 20 trout on a little creek near my in-law’s house in Montana. She is 7.5 years old.
The girl with one of many
I’m still shocked by it all. I wanted to find a little creek for her that would be easier to get around in than the main Yaak and we found exactly that. Most of the fish were cutties, one rainbow, one brookie. They all succumbed to the same hopper pattern, now battered and bruised. Battle tested.
She was over the moon and so was I. None of the fish were big, but they were her fish. They were caught on her casts, her drifts and her hook sets. She also unhooked a couple of her own fish today for the first time. Milestones galore.
I told her the problem with catching 20 fish is people won’t believe her. It is something that sounds like it could be made up.
This is a girl who caught her first fish by herself earlier in the summer and now, at the close of the summer, she knocks out TWENTY.
What can I say… I’m one proud dad right now.
A very good day
— the comments appear to be broken right now. I’m trying to figure out what happened.
I do love bonefish, but I have also really grown to love the other things one finds swimming on the flats like cudas and sharks. It is something that happens, I think, when you really start looking around. You start to see the beauty in everything that is there, not just the thing you came there for.
I started this thing five years ago today. Hard to imagine, but true. In that time I’ve seen some pretty fantastic places and shared a lot of stories. I’ve gone on my own physical and metaphorical journeys and I’ve brought you lot along with me. I’ve met a few of you and fished with even fewer, but I feel like I know a great number of you, at least a bit.
It has been fun and I look forward to the fun continuing.
I’m posting a bit less these days, but that’s not because I’m not thinking about it as much, I just have had a harder time finding the time with the new baby in the mix.
I don’t know what the 6th year will bring. I know I’ll be in the Keys here in a couple months, so that’s nice. I’m also hoping to do another hosted trip in 2015, maybe to Andros, maybe to Grand Bahama. It remains to be seen.
I look forward to it all.
Thanks for reading and sharing your own stories as well.
I am a dad, a husband, a blogger, a fly fishing angler, a fly tier and a writer.
My profession involves getting the fastest turnaround times for coagulation lab testing to the hospitals and doctors who need them. I love my work.
I believe life is learning. I laugh. I enjoy the beautiful game and nut brown ales. I love bacon, but not more than is reasonable. I have a passion for fly fishing for bonefish which defies both geography and economics. I have less hair than I used to and more scars. I am a sarcastic optimist.