Flats Fishing Graduate School:
Alarm goes off at 5:50. Rush through the hotel lobby into car and to 7-11.
7-11 out of Pop Tarts. Get two Cliff Bars, two liters of water for $2, and a pre-wrapped Cuban sub.
6:45 AM–Meet guide at the launch ramp, proceed to flats with visions of first permit.
8:00 AM–Wind picks up to 15-20 knots, with gusts, guide searches for bonefish by looking for muds.
8:30 AM–We find muds. Bones disperse on first false cast.
9:14 AM–We find more bones. They split town when I point at them. Don’t point at them, don’t even look at them. Pretend they’re not there.
9:30 AM–Second of two Cliff Bars consumed. Thoughts turn to 7-11 Cuban samwich.
10:15 AM–School of six bones present themselves at 12 o’clock downwind. Cast about five feet too short. Bone looks at fly, makes movement, says nice try fucker, school disbands.
10:45–Bones cruise by at 3 o’clock, directly into the wind. Forget Rude Boy/Soft Boy, line collapses in a pile 20-feet too short. I hate buck fever.
11:07 AM–First half of 7-11 Cuban consumed.
11:38 AM–Permit presents itself right in front of the boat. My first cast ever to a permit. My fly lands perfectly; the permit looks, laughs, takes a piss on the fly.
12:13 PM–Second half of 7-11 Cuban consumed.
12:13 PM and 33 seconds–Bonefish show up while my hands are covered in mustard.
12:47 PM–A massive school of fish shows up, not spooking. We pole close. They are bar jacks.
12:48 PM–I want to catch a bar jack. I cast in front of the school.
12:48 PM, and 15 Seconds–There are two bones hanging with the bar jacks. They freak out and blow up the whole flat.
1:15 PM–Bar jacks reassemble. We pole close. Bones alert the school. All is lost.
2:00 PM–Last hour of tide, last flat of the day. School of four BIG bones shows up, plays nice, stops at 1 o’clock to root around. It’s dead into the wind, but this time I get the cast. The fly lands where it should, moves like it should, and the bonefish moves to it. He’s at least eight pounds. He stops, says Just kidding mang, can’t touch this, and we’re done.
2:47 PM–We’re slack, I’m cooked, and I wish I had another day to get after it again.
3:27–Guide hands me my participant ribbon.
3:30 PM to Midnight –Beer.