now that's a hawaii bonefish toad...
that's the biggest bonefish i've seen in a while around these parts... way to go bro! good times. looking forward to your turd tying instructions, the public's gonna want to know!
in between days... the bonefish sixth sense
e.t. had to work today so surfa boy craig and i decided to go out to hi kai for a little afternoon session with the switch rods. craig had stuff to do in the morning and i always have work to catch up on so we didnít get on the water until about two or so. when we rolled up i realized that i had forgotten my tabis (hawaiian style flats boots) at home. pretty much a deal breaker around here, i thought that i would be doomed to an afternoon of casting practice from the beach. not that a few hours of casting practice is all that bad or unnecessary for me. soon after i noticed that my tabis were not there, craig digs around under his seat and produces a pair of bodyglove reef shoes. sweet... the situation reinforced an ancient hawaiian bonefish fly fishing lesson, ďbra, no foget yo tabisĒ.
i fished a beulah 6/7 switch rod with matching elixir line and craig fished the same setup in the 7/8 size (www.beulahflyrods.com). as we were slowly making our way out i saw that asa was already out fishing and there were also a couple of other fly guys as well along with the usual weekend mix of pbsskdjsb (paddle boarders swimmers surfers kayakers divers jet skiers boaters) all having fun doing their thang.
i watched asa cast at a few fish and i think the other guys did too. i also saw some fish and a couple tails here and there. i didnít cast to them because i was just chilliní and didnít even have a fly tied on yet. i like to get out on the water and just soak in the vibe of whatís going on before i actually get into fishing. i really believe in the sixth sense or the subconscious mind when it comes to fishing and try to heighten mine everytime out (sean and i have discussed this many times, i donít think he believes in that).
the fish i saw had that air of wariness about them. i donít know how to describe it except for that. the way those fish looked and acted was almost like they were in that first stage of spook all the time. i think this is fairly common on tides like the one today when there is lots of activity on the water. the fish are able to stay up on the flat the whole time and they know it, so they will feed at a more casual pace erring on the side of caution. think about it, if you knew you had all day to eat and there were aliens and bears and lions and lightning and thunder all around you, wouldnít you kind of eat a little more slowly and carefully, paying more attention to the potential dangers around you. on the other hand if you hadnít eaten all day and you showed up at the buffet five minutes before it closed, youíd probably be ravishing it and... what bears?
anyway, enough rambling from the old man bonefish idiot. i rolled up to asa and greeted him in the traditional way we greet all our friends on the water, ďeh, beat it! go fish over there!Ē i found out that asa had been on the water since five thirty in the morning... crazy. i chatted with him for a bit and confirmed the feeling that i had. the fish were around but not very agressive. asa said there were six other guys out in the morning but he didnít see anyone hook anything except for the dunkers (bait guys). i left asa the shallower part of the flat and craig and i waded out to deeper water, to see if maybe we could find one that let down itís guard just enough to get us bit.
i fished the original clay mantis. i developed this fly around 1995 or so (itís all pretty foggy now) and it kind of fell into the annals (funny word) of obscurity over the years. some of my early clients may remember it. sean had been telling me that i should resurrect the pattern from the grave. so i tied a couple today... but thatís a blog for another day. i got into my rhythm of casting the switch rod. overhead, single hand, switch, overhead, single hand, switch. before long i felt the subtle weight of the wary bone bite. i set up on it and the race was on. the fish felt pretty good as i couldnít get control of the situation as quickly as i like to do when there is danger around. it was fast heading for fly line wasteland so i made the executive decision to save my brand new fly line and put the clamps on the fish which quickly popped the fifteen pound tippet.
we fished hard a bit more with no success and i began to think that i may have busted off my only ďblogĒ fish. i knew they were around but i also knew the mood they were in would make it tough. we moved back in as the place we were fishing was getting a bit gnarly and sketch. more nothing.< i tried a bunch of different flies, retrieves, tippet changes, short casts, long casts etc. and as afternoon turned to evening i had just about run through my extensive ďbag of tricksĒ. then i remembered a blog that i once read (or wrote, i canít remember, it was yesterday). the blog was about orange bombing peppers and big bright flies... some kind of bullshit like that. i looked in my fly box and hey! i had one.
so i tied it on and went back to casting. i was no longer consciously thinking about fishing or anything. that wasnít working. i was just out there being one with the sea. singing songs to myself out loud. i do that a lot. iím like my own ipod. i was letting my subconscious mind take over and assess the situation. maybe i was just enjoying living and entertaining myself, which iím quite good at. whatever it was i hooked another fish and it turned out to be a pretty good one at least for this summer season.
after landing that fish i looked around the area and at the spot where i casted. i couldnít think of any reason why i would have casted there. i also had to try and remember how i was stripping the fly. i canít even remember now what kind of cast i made. all i remember was that i was singing ďin between daysĒ by the cure.< still, <i hooked the fish. luck? the magic fly? the bombing odds? the good spot? maybe, but keep in mind that we only use a small fraction of our brains (some of us even less than others). yet, our subconscious is always taking in information like smells, temperature, wind, sounds, minute magnetic fields and other mystical cues that we are not even aware of or can even comprehend. unlike our conscious mind i donít think the subconscious ever forgets . so i do believe that having spent a lifetime around, on, and in the water on oahu and hardcore bonefishing here in hawaii for the last fifteen years, my subconscious may have picked up a trick or two that i donít even know about that helps me get through the tough days... if let it.
i probably lost half of my blog readers around the first mention of the subconscious mind. that would make like what... two or three guys left. thatís cool. well to the two or three of you who stuck it out, iím not saying that you gotta do what i do or think like i think. i certainly donít have all the answers. thatís the game. but is it possible that maybe thereís much more to this fly fishing stuff than just spots, tides, making casts and fly color?
iím just saying... maybe itís a good idea to learn the words to ďin between daysĒ by the cure.