Thursday, July 8, 2010
Missing Moments of Chaos
Captain Lee warned us that the day would be “hours of boredom with moments of chaos”. The good captain was half right.
Eight o’clock AM found Pipes, Terry, Fin, Fin Jr, and me 60 miles offshore, having motored out of Wrightsville Beach three hours earlier aboard the forty-eight foot custom sportfishing yacht, Fishin’ Days. The plan was ambitious – sailfish on fly tackle – with a little mahi action on the side
Behind the boat trailed an assortment of teasers – three daisy chains of colorful plastic squid, lines from two rods with brightly skirted baitfish fed through a starboad outrigger, another off the starboard stern, and a final from the center of the stern – at a variety of lengths. Their purpose was simply to attract fish as none carried hooks. Our job was to watch them all for evidence of fish interest, be it sail or mahi, and, when noted, begin the “moments of chaos”.
Standing in buckets, with line pre-stripped and ready for casting, were a pair of Albright XX two-handed fly rods – one 12wt set for sailfish, one 10wt ready for mahi. We would take turns being “up”, being the guy going after the fish. The other’s jobs were to clear the field – drag all the teasers in when a fish was in sight. All, that is, except Cap’n Lee’s teaser – the one that he would try to bring the prey in close enough to be reached with our fly tackle.
Captain Lee Parsons of GottaFly Guide Service had us prepared… intellectually. We’d just have to see how it would go when the moment of truth came. Would we handle the adrenalin? So we waited to find out… and we waited… and we waited.
The sad truth is that our fishing trip turned into a cruise. No sailfish or mahi appeared to test our preparedness and the only excitement came when a barracuda made a split second slash through the teasers. And we were not alone as the radio crackled with the laments of a number of guides as they patrolled the billfish fields. Not much was happening. Ultimately, the day was hours of boredom with, well, more hours of boredom.
But if you’ve got to be bored, I can’t think of many better places to be bored – aboard a beautiful ocean craft, in indigo blue saltwater under bluebird skies, with five fine fishin’ buddies and the ever-present possibility of the arrival of one of the most magnificent sportfish in the world. In the end, we never wet a fly, but I think that each of the five of us would agree that it was still a day well spent.
The occasional nap didn’t hurt.