A LOVE STORY- A Tribute to Jah Foon
She is intimidating. And as we wade cautiously and vigilantly in her shallow waters, we know she will not be easy. It’s not even like she is playing hard to get at this point, she’s just eluding us entirely.
A day shy of a week wondering around the white clay flats of Long Island, Bahamas, for bonefish and nothing to show. The arrogance and hype surrounding the boys quickly turned into discouragement and embarrassment as we have been unable to land the infamous fish. We were getting our asses kicked, and are so madly searching for a needle in a haystack, only this needle is perfectly camouflaged and disappears as soon as it feels the vibrations from your footsteps. Shit, we have maybe seen 5 all week. But Foon got us up today and said we were pussies if we slept in on our last day to fish for bonefish. So we’re here, and at least the sand is soft.
Foon in the front, and the whistle blowers in the back as we gently walk over the flats, desperately looking for moving water, tails, or some sign that were not all crazy. Eyes play tricks, and soon every shadow or piece of coral becomes what you are looking for. It is all too familiar, but as the lucky man becomes a light colored spec on the horizon we hear the cry of someone who has fulfilled a dream, a man in love.
We get to Foon as the fight is still on, and to the fish peeling out line. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ! We see the fish as it darts back and forth across the clear water, flashing like a shimmering chandelier. The boys are loud. He gets the fish to hand and we gaze into a glowing bonefish. Angels sing as she is lifted above the water, and silence as she’s lowered below the surface to revive. We did it. I mean Foon did it. We all did it.
And as he holds his trophy, an arm-length tank of a bonefish, with dark stripes and a piercingly white and silver belly, in all its glory, I am once again stuck on something. Fish Gods. I mean the odds of landing this fish on the last day, at the last possible tide shift. Come on…
This past week consisted of countless dry bottles that lead to difficult and unfocused mornings wading the flats. But not Foon. He was set on one thing only. As we were getting our buzz on the Bahamian way, he would rack up early, with dreams of tailing bonefish. He has also been waking us up every morning with breakfast cooking.
It goes without saying who deserves this bonefish, and to be a part of a moment like this is the reason I am here. As she steadily swims away, I look to the boys and we celebrate. She was not easy on us, and for this we are grateful. We all worked hard for this fish, but Foon the hardest.
Now he drinks and we sent it to Nassau and celebrated so hard that one of us didn’t make our flight back to the States in the morning. We may not be masters of bonefish, but you can be assured that we partied like we were.
After a trip like this it is clear to me that you can’t flyfish if you aren’t patiently determined. Most of the time, the more you want a fish, the harder it seems you are tested before deemed worthy by the fish gods. This leaves us anglers with just one thing we can do - just keep on fishing.
Tight lines, and stay core.