Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What makes a perfect day?

The End of a Perfect Day?

What makes a perfect day? For fly anglers it starts by being on the water.  From there it may include catching a fish, catching a lot of fish, catching a big fish, or catching a lot of big fish.  Of course, at this point in my fly fishing career, there is more than fish catching involved to make a perfect day.  For me a perfect day is rooted in my genes, my heritage.  My grandmother, may she rest in peace, probably encapsulated it best when she said, “The men in our family are only interested in the three F’s…food, fishin’ and, …well, um…hmmm…let’s just say the love of a Fine woman.”

Over the years I’ve modified that credo a bit.  For instance, fishin’ includes fly fishing with good fly fishing buddies.  Food definitely includes a good beer.  The last “F” does include a fine woman, my wife.  She and I are really best friends and we both enjoy…
live music (c’mon now get your mind out of the gutter…at least for now!).  Watching my sweetie shake her booty to a good band definitely helps to make a perfect day.
Yes…my grandmother’s statement about the men in our family is a great barometer of what makes a perfect day.  On a recent trip to Beaufort, I think we may have busted that barometer.

It started early where I met my buddies Fin and Woody.  Fin is a long-time fly fishing friend and Woody is our little skiff.  It’s a sea worthy craft, as long as you pick the right day.  Today was that day…light wind and calm seas meant we would have no trouble getting out of Beaufort Inlet and into the false albacore.  It’s a good thing it was calm too…we ended up several miles off shore before we found the fish.

False albacore are one of those bucket list fish for fly fisherman.  Birds, bait showers, and busting fish don’t even come close to describing how exhilarating this kind of fly fishing can be, especially when you spend so much time looking rather than fishing.  It took us most of the morning to finally find the fish.  When we did it was truly gang busters for awhile.  On the horizon we saw birds…working birds.  Bait was balled up tight and the tell tale bait showers…small baitfish simultaneously jumping out of the water…was more than a good sign, the feeding frenzy had begun.

Fin had a pretty good day, but was it perfect?

There were actually three in our boat, me, Fin and John.  Two anglers would go at a time while the other played captain.  I was very proud of myself as I put both buddies in perfect position to catch fish.  Of course with albies it takes a “few” minutes to reel in a 10 pound “little tunny” that just ripped 200 yards of fly line and backing from your reel.  That doesn’t lend itself to putting big numbers in the boat, but for me that’s not the game.  The game is finding a pod of busting fish, putting the boat into position and someone getting a hook-up.  We all did.  In fact at one point Fin and I doubled up…as the two fish headed to the other side of the pond, they crossed paths…at least three times.  Fin and I spent several frantic minutes passing our fly rods back and forth until we got the lines separated…and both fish landed!

Back at the boat ramp, we cleaned up the gear and I headed back to my room where my sweetie was ready to go…

To go eat (dang…get your head out of the gutter…for now!).  Beaufort is a great little historic North Carolina town blessed with some nice eateries.  We walked down to the Blue Moon CafĂ© where we shared some wine, great conversation and a terrific meal.  From there we headed over to the Back Street Pub for a beer and some live music.  They had Shiner Octoberfest on draft…a dang good Marzen brew.  The music was great too.  The band was called “The Morning After” and they were sort of a blue grass rock and funk band.  Check them out some time…really cool music.

After my sweetie got her dance on…we headed back to the room.  There was a barometer on the wall…it read “perfect.”