Travel Log: Andros (Pt. III)
April 29, 2005
Day V. It’s been tough. Weather. We’ve had patchy overcast skies, winds at times pushing 25 knots, but we’ve still caught fish, 5-7 pounders mostly and shots at double-digit trophies. But Dad still hasn’t gotten his ‘big one’. Sure, there’ve been some nice fish, but the mythical double-digit, the ten-pounder has eluded him. And we fly out this afternoon.
Luckily Charlie has a sympathetic streak and has offered to take us out this morning early. Half day trip: in and out on a mission. That morning I stowed my rod in the gun’l knowing I wouldn’t use it until Dad got his fish. Until then it was camera duty for me.
We cross the bite and begin poling with Dad on the bow. Charlie is on today. By 8am we’ve already missed several shots. We’ve been passing on fish in the six pound class, deemed too small by Charlie. The chance of missing a shot at a big fish is too great. Finally I hear Charlie say clearly, Twelve o’clock, 80 feet, two fish.
At 65 out feet we spot them and Dad makes a cast. The fish are big and the pressure’s on. Of course the fly drops way left and short.
Very calmly Charlie says, Cast again… to the fish, man.
This time the fly lands about three feet dead ahead of the fish. Both rushed the fly and the lead fish, the big one, nailed it. In the face of such a clear, deliberate eat Dad lost his nerve. His strip-set would have pull-started a lawnmower.The fly popped out and the second fish darted forward and ate. This time the hook set was smooth, almost gentle. The rod bowed deeply and I heard Charlie’s now excited voice: Set the hook, man!
Half a second later the fish is burning off heavy drag and eating backing from Dad’s reel. It’s a good fish, a solid fish, and when we land it several minutes later Charlie laughs down from the platform: Nice fish. Another 10-pounder.
Then he adds, (rather whistfully, I thought), but if you had hooked that first one…