I love the nostalgia of fishing in brackish water–the semi-salty breeze in your face, the herons and cormorants flying overhead, osprey calling off in the distance, the skunky-sweet smell of a changing tide. I love working the shorelines with colorfully tied clouser minnows–the fierce strike of a hungry striped bass, the celebratory Natty Bohs that were stowed away in the cooler, the smell of your hands after you release the fish.
I love exploring the strange back-coves and ponds of the various rivers that feed our bay–the people who fish from their shorelines and wave as your boat passes by. I love fishing strange places such as behind a hospital or the bustling, busy inner harbor. I even love the anticipation of traveling to far away locations–the long hauls from the boat ramp or marina that most people don’t look forward to making (which thankfully keeps the fishing pristine at those spots).
I especially love my kooky friends who are willing to wake up way too early every morning and join me for an adventure. I love the strange conversations we have on the way to the boat ramp–the stranger conversations that are fabricated through the exhaustion of a long day of fishing (the government conspiracies and the exaggerated fishing stories).
I love the crazy patterns you stumble upon in your buddy’s fly boxes–the streams of creativity captured through an assortment of dyed deer hair, synthetic flashy fibers, and flex-cement. I love the multitude of personal rituals that each and every fly fishermen practices subconsciously–the tips and tricks that tighten your loops and entice more fish.
I love fishing with Jeff because he has a genuine flats boat equipped with a poling platform–it turns heads everywhere we go and allows you to go everywhere the other heads can’t. The zen of poling is some serious stuff–it is unbelievably gratifying to put your friends on to fish by guiding a boat with a giant graphite pole. I also love the idea that there might only be a hand full of these boats north of the Carolinas!