It was December, Grand Bahama, East end of the island. We were floating in maybe 2 feet of crystal clear water, turtle grass gently swaying in the current below us as we rode silently on the tide. This was my first time in a flats boat on my first Bahamas trip. My dad was in the boat, the guide was on the poling platform and I was up. My rod was poised, the fly was between my fingers, I had line out and ready and my eyes were scanning the water in front of us behind my polarized lenses. I was ready to make this happen.
The guide suddenly speaks, “Bones, sixty feet, do you see dem?” he asks, pointing in the general direction.
“No” I say… I see nothing… just the uneven patchwork of the bottom… I see nothing.
“Right der,” says the guide, “moving left to right, twenty fish.”
“I don’t see them” I say… again… nothing. I’m starting to feel equal parts nervous and stupid.
Then… the guide says it… maybe the best line to a rookie bonefish angler in the history of bonefishing.
“Ray Charles could see that school mon!”
Suddenly, I see the fish… all of them. How did I not see them before?
The cast is made, the bone is on the fly, the fight is on and the fish is landed.
That Ray Charles line still cracks me up. The main issue for me continues to be just seeing the fish. I can make the cast, I have confidence in the tackle, but if you don’t have a target, you are just standing there with a stick in your hand.