When engaged in fly-fishing travel off the beaten path, it is important to follow a rigorously tested set of guidelines, thereby ensuring a prosperous expedition. Thankfully, yours truly is a bonafide hack certified beta tester for adventure travel policies and procedures, and since I got stiffed on my retainer didn’t request compensation for the latest excursion, I am going to outline a few of the more important points fearing no copyright, trademark or other infringement …
- When your mothership runs a hundred-fifty nautical miles of ten-foot seas on one screw, the outfitter may proffer a liter of tequila as compensation for the suffering [of those who didn’t discover the magic of Sea-Bands when they were six years old]. When this happens, be sure to consume the entire bottle within a few short hours, then strategically place the empty bottle in a plainly visible location. This sends a clear message: you are tougher than nails and cannot be beat want more tequila. Lots more. An alternative approach is to get yourself some Sea-Bands, sell them to another in the group that is seasick, and then you will have money to buy more tequila for yourself.
- If you are sharing an island with roughly 10 … 10,000 … 10,000,000 migratory fowl that squawk in unison all hours of the day and night, carry earplugs (which just so happen to be equally effective on the wood-cutting noise that emanates from sleeping anglers). Further, if you are hunkering down in a partially blown out storm shelter, be sure to note the vertical height of crumbling plaster on the interior walls a.k.a. the flood line. If said measure exceeds two feet, as it did in this test case, sleep on an air mattress; if a hurricane sweeps through you can float to safety. Lastly, do not under any circumstances leave whatever windows that remain in this habitat open – at least half of those previously mentioned birds will swoop through and subsequently crash into a wall at breakneck speed. They usually recover, but it is nevertheless not a pretty sight to watch.
- If it rains, and the wind blows heavily, while you are wading waist deep in what seems like shark-infested waters miles from any dry land, you will see at least as many permit tails as you saw birds back at the dock. Permits are smart critters, and can outrun most sharks in the 40 yard dash. You however are really dumb and really slow, and the fish know this. They will harass and harangue you by popping their pointy tails up just out of casting range (and of course upwind from you), in a not so futile attempt to send you packing for the tequila bottle. As a fly fisher you can however gain an ever so slight advantage over the other anglers in your group by yelling “SHARK!” every time one of those m….. f…… (!!!!!) forks appears. It’s a dirty tactic that will not result in any additional permit hookups, but the look on your fellow anglers’ faces will make up for it.
- When the conditions are less than optimal, remind your friends and colleagues that the sun is trying hard to peek out and that the weather is a temporary phenomena sure to take a turn for the better any moment. They will endeavor to agree, and this joint dreaming (at the time seemingly comparable to hitting the Powerball Lottery at a cool half billion) will keep everybody’s spirits high. When the trip has ended, be sure to thank everyone for a job well done (which is certain to be the case if you have people even half as fun to be around as those who joined yours truly on this test run).
- Finally, if a guy named Scott Spooner (of Taylor Creek Outfitters) took some outlandish specifications from you and turned them into truly magical flies nearly two years ago, hold onto them. You never know if one of those flies might eventually fool what is labeled by your compadres back at camp one evening a …
Bonefish of a lifetime.
MG signing off (advice provided at no cost; the rest is up to you)
Editor’s note: Spooner’s Sorry Charlie bagged the above-referenced fish.