The fly lands spot on. Sinking where it needs to sink: three feet in front of a tailing permit. The fish moves on. Maybe I should have cast right on top of it. Maybe farther to the right. Maybe it’ll show up farther down the flat. I should have cast a bit further.
The next fish eagerly roots around in the coral debris littering the bottom. A cast right to its nose instantly spooks it. I quickly retrieve for another cast, just as the fish wheels around for another look at the rude intruder into it’s space: too late, it sees the crab hauling out of the water and bolt for places far gone.
The wind dies to nothing, a tail glistens in the sunlight far down the flat. Now we slip over the aquarium this place has become. Every piece of this place seems magnified now in the slick watery lens. We are voyeurs of another world. As we come close, a small school of permit slides onto the flat. Their mere presence, the wakes, the suddenly crowded scape sends every fish bolting in all directions. Fish spook fish as the heat wilts everything that it meets.
Now the wind pulls hard, never letting up, tethered to some rope that tugs waves, water and a fish or two onto the flats. Their sides, the black sweep of their tails, their presence is given away in the trough between waves. Now it might be easy, but they move on, never seeing what I offered, or maybe crabs weren’t expected to rain from the heavens just now.
It’s the first sight, the unmistakable shimmering, sparkling arc of tail into air, into sun, into possibilities. It’s the hope that it all goes right, one chance, maybe two? Be mindful, patient and deliberate. There it is again, easy. The tip, the tail, the wind, the waves, and an enormous slack line that will not come tight before it ends to become yet another replay in a list of how many things are just not quite ….
Onwards, again…. we persist….