A Moment In Water – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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A Moment In Water

I looked to the west, staring at white caps while my sun hoody flapped wildly across my face and searching for silver rolling under a gray sky. The rain was coming from the south in a wall of blackness

I looked to the west, staring at white caps while my sun hoody flapped wildly across my face and searching for silver rolling under a gray sky. The rain was coming from the south in a wall of blackness that hid the land and the path back to what seemed like home – for a few days anyway.

I thought to myself - at that moment – that all was as it is supposed to be and that it was pretty awesome to know that if there were Tarpon there that day, I would know. The alternative would be to be sitting in a bar, wondering if the Tarpon were rolling today.

In the rage of mother nature bearing down on us just off the coast of Florida, everything was just right and what a feeling of exhilaration it was to just be – for a few minutes. No anxiety about Coronavirus, no worries about refunding guide trip deposits, no fear of what might come – just the simple sanity of being present in the moment while savoring the freedom that only comes from being immersed in the angling life aquatic.

The guide said, “there’s fish.” I saw the calm slick in the chaos about 80’ out in the growing chop and swells. A head, an eye, a back, and a tail now only 60’ out moving from 12-6 at my 11 was what I heard. The fly dropped, a false cast was made – again the head, an eye, a back, and a tail – tracking the same but now only 40’ out and at my 9. The cast was remarkably perfect and extraordinarily lucky – the only skill involved was appreciating the good fortune of karma finally coming right.

Strip, slow-strip, “he ate it”. Strip, Strip, tight. Explosion of silver and water with the backdrop of that black wall of weather back to the East. The fish and my line quickly go from 40’ at 9 to 150’ at my 3. More jumping, more screaming, and more exhilaration. One more jump and the line goes limp - I couldn’t have been happier.

We buttoned it up and headed for the safety of home while appreciating the magic of the moment that we shared in the chaos.

Life has been rife with terrifying uncertainty the last couple of months. Those precious moments on and around the water are more powerful than ever these days. I don’t know that I could truly be happy without them.

To share that moment on the bow of a skiff in the raging wind and chaos with my 21-year old son at my side – given everything he and I have been through the last 7 years – made the while journey worth the ride.

There just isn’t anything better than fishing.