One of the most noble things about flyfishing is its effortless ability to crush expectations. This is, perhaps, our sport’s most redeeming quality.
As anglers, we are forced to confront “now” at all times, regardless of whether “now” makes us completely happy or not. Long odds, bad weather and snapped tippets force us to face the cold hard facts of reality; the damn fish ain’t there, it’s too damn windy, it’s my fault — shoulda checked the damn leader.
On the bright side, flyfishing challenges us to fully engage our resources. You wanna catch some fish? Improvise. Be patient. Take a breath and figure out some way — any way — to make it happen.
If you can somehow abandon expectations — or at least hold them at bay — success can seem more successful; good luck becomes a windfall; a small triumph can can transform a day that could be ordinary into one that’s epic.
Weather in the Bahamas this week has been — to be charitable — mixed. While tropical storm/tropical depression/maybe-I-wannabe-a-hurricane Debbie has stalled in the neighborhood, clouds have scrapped past overhead ruining visibility on the flats, winds have been gusty making casting brutal and rain has splattered casting decks with an irregular regularity.
This morning’s 6 a.m. wakeup saw howling winds outside Abaco Lodge. It was spitting rain. It was dark. It was Seattle in November. “There is no way…,” I thought.
An hour later we were on the flats and the winds were calming. The seas began to settle. Our guide began to spot things — a shark swimming off in the distance, mangrove perch, crabs scuttling across the bottom. Unexpectedly, things were looking up.
And then the sun came out…