‘Twas the day before Christmas, when all through the bay
Not a creature was stirring, not even a ray.
The rods were all strung up and rigged up with care
In the hopes that a bonefish, soon would be there.
The crabs were all nestled all snug in their holes
And the flat was empty, devoid of other souls.
My girl in her flats shirt and I in my buff
Were searching for fish and finding it tough.
When out of a trough I caught just a faint notion
Of some movement, so subtle, just a little slight motion.
I peered and I gazed and I strained just to see
If it might be a bonefish, coming toward me.
The sun shone brightly way up in the sky
The clouds had moved on, it was perfect, I can’t lie.
The flat was all white, no rubble or grass,
Not a twig was around to snare my back cast.
Sixty feet from the bow I saw, without fail,
The flashing and waving of a bonefish tail.
Then another and another and before I could say,
I noticed at least sixty bones in the bay.
“Sixty feet at eleven” My guide, he did say
And he pivoted the boat, to give me the cast right away.
“Now lead the fish gently and let your fly drop
And don’t let your gotcha land with a plop.”
I let lose the fly I had been holding by hand
And so my casting and hauling began.
Back cast and forward, my line it did zip
And then shooting forward, the fly landed with barely a blip.
The guide pleaded to let the fly sit
And I did, not moving it even a bit.
The fish, they slowly approached toward my fly
And I knew that pandemonium soon would be nigh.
“Strip” said the guide and that’s what I did
And my fly darted from where it was hid
And I saw a bone notice and it started to chase
And my body got tense as I started to brace.
The bone tilted down and I knew that he ate,
He just couldn’t resist that gotcha on his plate.
I strip set without missing a beat
And I looked to make sure I had no line under my feet.
I felt the weight of the fish on the line
And I knew in an instant that this fish was mine.
The bone also had this figured out
But he wanted to put the issue in doubt.
Off it did race, pulling hard and swimming fast
It exploded the water and took off in a blast.
My reel was singing as the fish swam a mile
I stood there so happy, on my face was a smile.
After a first long run the bone made another,
My knuckle hit the handle and I cursed at its mother,
But soon it had used all the gas in its tank
And when I first saw it, the fishing gods I did thank.
He was chubby and plump, a right hefty old bone,
And I laughed when I saw him, as if I were alone;
So black was his eye and so deep there within.
The clearness of the water, it was like my friend, gin.
He slid to the side of the flats boat with ease
And the guide went to work as fast as you please,
Unhooking the bone and holding it with care
Of its beauty and grace I became quite aware.
The silver, so silver and the dark bands of green
And its lines were so sleek, its form was so clean.
There was a blue flash from the edge of its tail
There was a substance about it, against which other fish fail.
Then with a swish the mighty bone sped
Out of the hands of the guide and away the bone fled
And I watched it speed off until if faded away
And I knew at my core, it was a very good day.