It might have been ten minutes or an hour but it didn’t matter and nobody seemed to mind. When the storm came it moved fast and the trio sought refuge on the deck of a fishing shack where they ate lunch and spoke to others and watched one of the men throw a net and pull out horse mullet that flopped around in the rain on the wet boards. The outboard had sucked some seagrass on the way and overheated and they almost hadn’t beat the wall of wind and water but eventually the engine fired and pushed them to shelter where they sat and ate and talked and when there was blue in the sky they climbed back aboard and ran towards the islands.
The sun had past its noon meridian and cooked the damp air pulling sweat from their bodies. The wind remained and the guides pant-legs rattled like shutters as he polled the boat across the flat left and right and forward and north. The storm had stirred up sea grasses that floated around the boat in long thin fingers pointing at Port Mansfield.
One man sat quietly and the angler stood on the platform. His body made slow movements side to side like he was drunk and he looked back and forth across the thin water. His head turned left as baitfish pushed away and right as mullet jumped near the sandy bank then back left again and the guide called a tailing fish at one o’clock. The wind and the guide pushed right and carried by the two the angler dropped his fly from his hand and the golden-blue tail wagged then disappeared into nervous water made gray-white by distant clouds. They all three stood now silent and watched and the guide pointed, “small wake moving left” he said and the angler began to cast sending the blue line from the deck into the air. “More left” the guide said and the casting angler shifted and the man looked from the water to the angler then back again. “Ten feet left and drop it” the guide said and the angler shifted once more then stopped his rod pointing at the horizon and when the remaining line was lifted from the deck and fell to the water he crouched and began stripping. All three were silent and watched the line and the water and waited but nothing happened. The angler stood tall again letting his hands fall to his sides and the guide looked out over the water and said “I lost him.” The angler brought the fly back to his hand and cleaned a few pieces of grass from the hook then turned to face forward. The man sat down again.
It might be ten minutes or an hour till the sitting man takes the platform for his turn to cast at tails and wakes but it doesn’t matter and he doesn’t mind because this is the salt and these are the flats and time moves different in the mother lagoon.
-Alex who thanks Marvin Chapman for always the good fishing and traveling company and to Ben Paschal from Laguna Madre Outfitters for the great times. We will be back.