Tarpon Idyll

As my friends are well aware, I fish less than I would like to. Many of us can — and do — probably say the same thing, but it has been one of my greater personal challenges to move from a life of fishing 300 days a year to “the great alternative:” raising kids, taking care of parents, and working for The Man.
That’s why when I wake up early enough to finish the daily news by 5 AM and get to the boat ramp in time to be on my way long before sunup, the air smells a bit sweeter. Yesterday I ran 20 minutees into my local waters, shut down the engine, poled 200 feet, and was surrounded by 100-pound tarpon lolly-gagging and slurping threadfin herring and pinfish. There were so many fish that I expected the next roller to hit the bottom of the skiff as he came up for air. Fish that would become tentative as the sky brightened ate the fly well. Frantic, it was.
An hour later the guides and the rest of the solo artists showed up with their electric motors a’hummin’. The fish fell silent. I poled upwind for a couple of hundred yards, idled out and went home.

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