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Archive for August 2008


 1)  Shuffle your feet so you don’t step on top of an unsuspecting ray and have it’s barbed tail pierce your foot or most of the way, (if not all) through your calf.

  2)  Watch out for the small jellyfish that can cause a slow intense burn.

  3)  Watch out for the LARGE jellyfish because their sting is intense and prolonged.

Of course Ben forgot to mention number four as he shuffled off in to the distance leaving me practically quaking in my tennies. p81000121It’s probably better that he didn’t include it, because instead of spending a LONG 10 minutes sitting there on the boat before scooting in the water i most likely would have stayed in the boat all day. Had he included it, it probably would have come out as so “Four…there are sharks in the water.” 

Once past the initial fear of all things swimming around my lower regions i was able to make slow progress from the boat to one of the grassy shorelines a 100 yards from the boat. It was extra tough fishing with a fly rod that day. The wind was howling from the south and all i had was an 8 weight which would barely be enough for a calm day in the bay. My casting options were pretty much limited to a 30 degree area that was downwind. The few upwind casts that i attempted pretty much ended up in my face or skin as the wind rejected them. 

After wasting about three hours on the wrong fish in the wrong place i ended up running into Ben. He wanted to show me the way to read the water and the fish, i couldn’t have been happier. Up until this point i had felt lost and useless out there in that water.p81000132Ben showed me how to read the subtle variations in the water and what to look for. After chasing red fish for a good hour Ben ended up with a Sea Trout tugging at his line. It circled him time and time again before finding a way to work itself free of it’s barbed nemesis. Suddenly i saw Ben jab his rod into the water repeatedly not 30 feet from me. Before i could blurt out “What the hell are you doing….” Ben was shouting “SSHHHAAARRRKKK!” and tracing the B-line that the shark was making for me with his animated, outstretched hand. Now i’m not one for overreaction, but as someone who spent time on the Oregon coast surfing and having had the odd run in with a Great White, when i hear the word “SHARK” i pretty much soil my shorts and then run, paddle, haul ass for safety. And there was no reason that this day should be any different. I found myself running towards Ben, safety in numbers i guess. Then the thought of Sting Rays piercing my skin rushed into my head, it was then that i broke into a sort of run/shuffle for survival while questioning what sort of mess i had gotten myself into.

I didn’t catch anything the rest of the day. i was just to unprepared for the wilds and the wind. But i learned what coastal fishing was that day, and i learned that it held a special place in my heart. p81000171On a river/creek you pretty much know you WILL NOT catch anything over 20”. But here in this untamed land it could be anything, from a 1lb fish to a 40lb fish, easy! That and all the odd dangers lurking under foot seemed to magnify the thrill of every cast. Maybe, just maybe this cast will end up in a monster that will wreak havoc on my psyche and cause me to spin among the various dangers and poisons. Life unsure and unsafe for sure, but life that is truly living. 

I will return soon, and all gifts for the foreseeable future should be 10WT.