The Tug - Fly Fishing Forum
Worldwide Flyfishing Discussion Talk flyfishing with members around the world!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-18-2010, 08:12 AM
striblue's Avatar
striblue striblue is offline
President of CAC
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Plymouth and Chatham, MA
Posts: 7,518
The Tug

This is a short story submitted to my Clubs Journal, The Boston Flycasters.



The fisherman rummaged slowly and deliberately though the trunk of his car, collecting all the gear he would need for a morning’s fishing. It was an hour before dawn and as dark as any moonless night could be. He parked at the lighthouse this July morning, hoping to ambush some striped bass. He rigged his rod, finishing by tying on a super hair clouser, a sand eel imitation he’d had success with in these waters. He descended the long metal stairs from the lighthouse, focusing his small headlight on each set of steps until his bare feet touched the sand. The beach, crowded by day, was a solitary fisherman’s paradise by night.
As he walked, he pondered why he did this at all. He could easily have slept in and led a normal life—that day or on the many other days he choose to come to this place in search of fish. He asked himself: “What is it that really brings me here?”
Half a mile’s walk brought him to a sand spit that shoots out into the Atlantic. From the point of the spit, he cast, still blind in the dark, into a weak outgoing current. He knew he would be able to fish that spot later, when he headed back and when the stronger, lower current forced the fish to lay in wait in holes .
He pushed south on the beach, knowing, but not yet seeing its tip and Monomoy Island beyond. He paused and looked at his rod and reel, wondering why he needed gear that cost more than his first car in college. He knew he could fish as well with far less expensive equipment. Again, he asked himself: “Why do I do this? Certainly the equipment was part of it. He loved spotting that fly catalog sitting in a pile of the day’s mail. He loved looking at a striper in his hands in the moment before releasing it—wondering if he would ever see exactly that golden eye, those purples and greens, that barred silver flank again. He loved everything about flyfishing. But there was something more—an essence he just couldn’t identify.
He continued along the beach, expecting maybe to see a fishing buddy there before him. But he saw no one this morning. He sniffed in the false dawn and felt the light southwesterly onshore breeze that would bring in bait, even on the early outgoing tide. A perfect tide and perfect conditions for striped bass. All that was missing was the scent of cucumbers in the air, a sure indicator of feeding stripers. He knew, too, that birds would start to fly as the darkness left and the dawn approached. Soon he saw terns flying and diving here and there along the surf line
After an hour of casting into familiar and usually productive holes along the surf line, he stopped. Not because he wasn’t hooking up, but because he was thinking to much. Too much for fishing anyway. He spotted a natural bench along a high berm created by the outgoing tide. He sat down, lit up a short, fat, maduro cigar, and kept on turning in his mind the “why” of what brought him there. He couldn’t shake the question. It made him stop fishing. Something didn’t add up.
The same questions came to him over and over again, and he tried to find some logical common thread. Was it the equipment he loved? Was it the time he spent? Was it the hooking, fighting, landing, and then releasing the fish? Was it the hunt? Learning new things each time he went out? The perfect cast? The constant search to improve his technique? He loved to walk the beach whether he fished or not. He loved to tie flies, more than he would need in five lifetimes. He loved the heft and craftsmanship of all the rods and reels he owned, even if he didn’t need them all—the Sages, Scotts, Winstons, Abels, Tibors, and Pates. He had them all, an investment worth more than his parents’ first house/a year’s tuition for his daughter. He thought of the sound and feel of the reel zinging into it’s backing and the pull of the fish on the end of the line. Was it stopping? Was it resting? When would it make it’s next long run?
He continued to sit, passing up valuable fishing time as the sun rose though the mild fog that Chatham was famous for in that season. He knew fog meant more productive fishing time, but still he sat, struggling to find the answer, the common denominator that brought it all together for him. The perfect cast was a key thing, he thought, like the perfect drive in golf. But that wasn’t the core of it. It was something else. All of it—the gear, the flies, the friendships, the weather and and water were part of it…but not it. His cigar was good and strong and he wished he had a coffee to go with it. His real cigar and wished-for coffee made him forget his search for a moment . Something began to come to him, however, just slightly, as he puffed on the cigar. He had to bring it back to its most fundamental thing. What was this fundamental thing? He had to finish the thinking, bring it to its conclusion. Why do I do this? Why do I flyfish? Certainly all that he had thought about was part of the whole. But he wanted to find the beginning of the whole. It was coming…slowly but more clearly.
He was thoughtful and reflective by nature, and now he couldn’t let go. He turned over all the elements, reducing each to its essence, until it came to him. “It” was incredibly simple. All the time he’d devoted to his fishing, all the money spent on the equipment, all the trips, all the flytying materials, all the books, all the catalogs…all this was simply secondary to it…to that solitary, unmistakable, indescribable, fleeting rush of adrenalin that came in the instant of time when he felt the first tug.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2  
Old 08-18-2010, 10:14 AM
jimS's Avatar
jimS jimS is offline
obsessive/compulsive
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: salt
Posts: 1,202
Send a message via AIM to jimS
John, nice job! You're spot on, it's the tug. See you in a week or so and I'll check to see when we have a pre-dawn outgoing.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #3  
Old 08-18-2010, 12:49 PM
juro's Avatar
juro juro is offline
Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Steelhead country|striper coast|bonefish belt
Posts: 20,585
John -

That was me pulling on your upturned collar saying "tides changing your Nantucket Reds are going to get wet"

Stay tuned for more about fashion and the good mayor
__________________
IFFF Certified THCI @ 2005
Capeflyfisher Guide Service
Island Hopper, Guitarist, Incurable Dreamer
and Founder, Worldwide Flyfishing Forum
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #4  
Old 08-18-2010, 01:00 PM
striblue's Avatar
striblue striblue is offline
President of CAC
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Plymouth and Chatham, MA
Posts: 7,518
Now, now, Juro you promised about that mums the word on the new career...and to think I even made you look good by buying that basket at the estate sale...and I even heard your blonde friend who was running the sale after I bought it..."Juro, you're the greatest!"
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #5  
Old 08-18-2010, 01:26 PM
juro's Avatar
juro juro is offline
Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Steelhead country|striper coast|bonefish belt
Posts: 20,585
That's because I weaved that basket in basket weaving class and donated it to the cause. You now have one of my original works
__________________
IFFF Certified THCI @ 2005
Capeflyfisher Guide Service
Island Hopper, Guitarist, Incurable Dreamer
and Founder, Worldwide Flyfishing Forum
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #6  
Old 08-18-2010, 02:28 PM
striblue's Avatar
striblue striblue is offline
President of CAC
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Plymouth and Chatham, MA
Posts: 7,518
WHAT!!!???? You hoodwinked me again...btw ..who were those guys in the garage mixing fruit juice and sugar into small cans of something..with a can press...nice label though and I did not get the name.
....you moved me away and said it had something to do with dieting or something and that you and they guys were going to market it....oh, never mind
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #7  
Old 08-18-2010, 02:36 PM
juro's Avatar
juro juro is offline
Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Steelhead country|striper coast|bonefish belt
Posts: 20,585
Don't push me I have pictures of someone in a fez...
__________________
IFFF Certified THCI @ 2005
Capeflyfisher Guide Service
Island Hopper, Guitarist, Incurable Dreamer
and Founder, Worldwide Flyfishing Forum
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #8  
Old 08-18-2010, 02:44 PM
striblue's Avatar
striblue striblue is offline
President of CAC
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Plymouth and Chatham, MA
Posts: 7,518
OK! OK!....I got it!...."Uncle!!!"
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #9  
Old 08-20-2010, 09:48 AM
Dble Haul's Avatar
Dble Haul Dble Haul is offline
Fly chucker
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: New England
Posts: 3,674
An oldie but a goodie, John. Well written.
__________________
Mark
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #10  
Old 08-21-2010, 06:36 AM
bonefishmon's Avatar
bonefishmon bonefishmon is offline
resigned
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Mystic River-Fishers Is. Sound- The Elbow
Posts: 1,368
Good read John. Thanks! Better take Juro's advice and pay more attention to those tides while you're smoking that Cuban Cigar! LOL!!!!!! You could end up being that "Big Striper" from the Gonna need a bigger boat.... thread. "Shark eats The Mayor after closing the beach." Welcome home John. I hope all those stairs in Syracuse didn't tire those iron legs! I'll be back as soon as I can. I hated leaving yesterday.

Phil
__________________
So many places to fish.. friends to make.......so little time.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Fly Fishing Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:59 AM.



Copyright Flyfishingforum.com (All Rights Reserved)