I love that smell. It’ll never be bottled and hanging out on the top shelf of Victoria's Secret, but the marsh has a distinct aroma that I dig. It’s that smell that first greets and welcomes me to the game.
I love the game. The search for those elusive reds that seem to appear and disappear effortlessly. It’s the ultimate game of hide-n-seek. At times, the sun will have them glowing like fire in the water. Other times, the eyes search so hard they sting from the strain.
I love the eat. That moment in time when cause and effect are perfectly balanced. A romantic vision of tight loops, presenting handsome fly’s, to unsuspecting targets. The tranquil marsh turned into a battle ground of rage and fury as the offering is victimized.
I love the conflict. It’s complete anarchy, a tug-of-war between man and fish at the end of a fly rod. Fly line ripping off the reel one moment. Then the red turns and doubles back. While you struggle to reacquire the lost line, you watch the red dive under your kayak. There’s no tapping out, either clear the bow or watch your fly rod get shattered.
I love the playing field. It’s a place of natural beauty that becomes the ultimate obstacle course. Marsh islands, oyster reefs, pilings and your own kayak are in play. The winner is the one that can negotiate the obstacles the best.
I love the surrender. That moment when the game has been played and the victor chosen. We shake hands and wish each other well because there are no losers today. Watching my opponent swim away is the ultimate sign of respect. The next encounter could go differently.