Saltwater Fly Fishing Guide Funnies

I fished with Captain Bob Branham in Biscayne Bay this weekend. Bob has been guiding on the flats east and south of Miami, Florida for almost 30 years. Something funny always happens when guides get together to fish — this time courtesy of MidCurrent reader Chris Miller — and Saturday was no exception. By 7:45 AM my finger was bleeding (sliced unhooking a jack), my nose was bleeding (hooked on a bad cast), and I was wet from the waist down (retrieving fly from sharp coral).
But the funnies didn’t really begin until we all got comfortable and the stories started flying. The best of the day was Bob’s tale about tournament fishing, which we both agree is one of the more painful obligations of being a guide, if only because it tends to bring out the worst in people. As Bob told it, one year he was stuck fishing a particularly loutish angler — demanding, whiney, and virtually blind. At 3:00 every day, the fishing ended, and for the purpose of ensuring that he stayed within the rules, he carried a wind-up alarm clock on board. Every day of the tournament, the sound of the alarm brought the enormous, visceral relief that only abused guides seem to truly know. So when the tournament was finally over, Bob decided to leave the alarm set to go off at 3:00 PM, and when he wasn’t fishing he enjoyed the shiver of excitement and pleasure the ringing bell sent up his spine. The tournament had been in June. It wasn’t until February that the sweet sound of the bell ceased to make the hair on the back of his neck stand up.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot: the fishing Saturday was really good.
You can reach Capt. Bob Branham at 954-370-1999.

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