It has been too long. I know it. On this Valentine’s Day I wanted to pen my heartfelt affection for you and to do so out in the open.
It is true you were not my first love. As a kid I had a crush on panfish and steelhead, although they were immature loves. Later, just as I was leaving college I fell in love with fly fishing for trout and I fell hard. First loves are like that. There was one year I was on the water 200 days. It was a feverish thing, frenzied.
Later, a decade on, that is when I met you and despite the fact we came from different worlds, I knew it was going to be special. Since that first day there is hardly a day that goes by I don’t think about you. Our infrequent reunions are full of anticipation and the memories are savored, sustenance for the long stretches I am forced to endure without you.
Today, I love you more than other pursuits. I love you more than trout, which are reasonably near. I love you more than sharks, which are, even now, likely swimming by within a couple hundred feet of me. I love you more than permit, because, let’s face it, permit are assholes. I love you more than steelhead, despite their deep roots of my branching family tree.
They say distance makes the heart grow fonder, but that isn’t true because there is no lessening of my love for bonefishing when I’m there. Indeed, there are few joys, few experiences I’d rather wrap myself up in than when I’m calf-deep on a sandy flat, scanning the water for silent, silver shapes gliding through the thousand shades and shifting lights of the flats.
Bonefishing, know that you are loved. You are forever in my thoughts.