GUANAJA DAY 6
Waking up depressed. It’s our last day on the Island. The morning vibes were a little more somber, a little less rowdy in anticipation for the day. We eat the usual bean, rice, and egg combo for breakfast. The Big One decides to hijack Grit’s boots and hike around the mountains on the island. We had been sticking pretty close to the coast for the majority of the trip, and he decided he wanted to get into the jungle and bush-wack for the day. The rest of the boys decided to enjoy the last day fishing, no surprises there…
The morning fish proved uneventful, maybe a few small fish here or there, nothing special. We decide to stroll into town to get some lunch from a local burger shop. We post up inside, gear draped along the fenced outside, and watched as little kids came to touch our reels and rods. They were drawn in like a magnet. The shiny finish on our Orvis reels were too alien for these kids to not come check them out. Kids didn’t see people like us in town very much.
After lunch we were walking out of Mangrove Bight when we saw a little soccer game going on beside a house. These kids really got after each other. Little girls barefoot, using their legs as sledgehammers, hacking the ball carriers legs with hers. We had to get involved. Grit and J hopped on one team, me on the other. Game on.
In the midst of the commotion I soon found that my only teammates were three little girls, definitely the youngest players on the field. With Grit in goal and J playing a strong center mid, we had our work cut out for us. The kids laughed when I yelled “Kick him in the juevos!” when one of my fellow Rogue Boys had the ball. I thought I was saying “kick him in the balls”, but I was really saying “kick him in the eggs”… Oops. The parents looked over and laughed when there kids called the goofy Americans “Gringo, Gringo!” when they were open. One of the best moments of the trip. An instant connection with these young kids, just by showing interest in what they were doing. We treated them like teammates and opponents, and they thought we were professionals. I wasn’t going to tell them otherwise. Despite what J and Grit might have to say about the resulting events of this international friendly match, my team came out victorious.
We head back to the beach only to find The Big One as sweaty from his adventures as we were from ours. Tales of a distant farm, where he met a mountain guide who gave him water in trade for fish. His sightings of the wild inhabitants of the Island. The Big One found a new friend on the way somewhere. This dog followed him for miles apparently. A true companion. Big One said he wished he brought food for him while they hiked.
Grit and I travel towards the dock of Hermit, where I had seen the sun set the previous night. I had been fishing a crab fly all afternoon and had been catching fish with it. I had the strip speed dialed; letting it sink to the bottom of the flat, and crawling it along the bottom slowly. As I wade, barefoot in the flats I hook into two big Jack, my two best fish of the trip. One breaks me off, of course it was the bigger of the two. The fish I land was given to a local spectator, he watched the fight, and smiled when I handed the fish over.
While we were wading in the flats, I see a big dark fin shadow five feet in front of me. Permit. I knew we were in the right spot, at the right time. This was a huge fish. The permit drifted away from me when he realized I was in his path. I knew he was going to head down the beach still, so that’s where I began casting my crab imitation. Three casts later, doing my slow crawl retrieve I hook into a fish. I set the hook and get ready for the line to go. But with one turn of the fish head, the line snaps, and tensions gone. I want to believe it was a permit, but who knows. Definitely a big fish though.
The rest of the crew meets up with us and we decide to hike down the beach and climb the waterfall in the jungle. I didn’t have shoes, so I decided to try this two mile hike barefoot. Seeing as how I got a crazy foot infection the next day, probably not the best choice, but it happened and was worth it. The waterfall was epic, 3 big falls that went to the top of the mountain. Unfortunately there was no cliff jumping pools.
Before we head back to the beach I am able to catch two more reef snappers, which we cleaned on the beach and made fresh fish tacos for dinner. The last day proved my most productive fishing day. We sat around the dinner table plotting ways of how we can get back to Guanaja. We were just getting the place dialed too.