(Originally posted September 20, 2012)
She’s a sport. This was our honeymoon, after all. It was also her second day of fly fishing ever. That’s jumping into the deep end, pretty much. Still, I figured if it was going to happen, it stood a good chance of happening here, out of El Pescador in Belize.
I would routinely say that what I wanted, out of the day on the water, was to share with her what it was that I loved, out there on the flats. It is an obscure concept if you’ve never been out there and maybe the selling of it is a bit challenging. “Hey, let’s stand on a boat for a few hours, looking for fish that are really hard to see, in the sun without shade. Oh, and you can’t have a beer until you land a fish (OK, that’s really more my rule).”
She was kitted out for success. She came walking up for breakfast like she belonged.
We got out on the water and headed up to the park. It is a nice ride up there and the day wasn’t too hot while we were running. Soon after we paid our fee at the park we went in search for baby tarpon. This wasn’t maybe the best first stop. First, it wasn’t going to be something that would put her up on the deck and secondly, back in the mangroves it was stiflingly hot.
I was also having a case of the sucks. I couldn’t seal the deal on the baby poons. I swept the rod on the first fish. I cast on the head of the second. I cast behind the third. The fourth wasn’t interested. All the time it was really, really hot. She suffered through it all though without a complaint, which just goes to show what a trooper she is.
We went out into a slightly bigger lagoon, a place with a bit of a breeze, and I managed to blow one last fish. On this fish I made a good cast, got the take, set the beejeezus out of things and managed to just break the fish off. That was surprising because this same set-up had landed my 85 pounder in Cuba. Same knots, same spools of material. Go figure.
We then left to find some bones and the Mrs. got up on deck. Cesar, our guide set about helping out with her cast. This was her second day fishing, period. It is a tough place to start. Cesar got her up and running and put in into position to catch fish. There is a lot to remember though, and it was tough for her to carry it all in her mind. There is so much we carry in muscle memory and when you have to pick it all up and have to keep it in the front of your mind, well, things are going to get dropped, and plenty of things got dropped. She was unfazed though, mostly because of her awesomeness.
Mrs. BOTB actually hooked two bonefish, which I thought was simply wonderful. She got to feel the fish a bit, but put too much slack into things and both bones managed to get off. She did, however, manage to get a little snapper, so was not blanked on the day and got to enjoy a Belikin.
The day ended with Cesar and I out on foot chasing down several schools of bones. That was a fun time.
She got to see what I love out there and she understands me a bit better because of it. That was the goal, so, mission accomplished. She may need a few more days of trout fishing before we head back to the flats, which I’m happy to provide for her.
She’s game, which is just simply wonderful.