Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The Last Day and Redemption by Jeff Rodenberg

This is the follow-up day to Jeff Rodenberg's "Day of Learning". Jeff makes one hell of a recovery and hopefully the previous day was one of the reason's why. I suggest reading the story of how previous day first then read this story.
Author Jeff Rodenberg
John Riggs
April 13, 2018... The last ¾ day of fishing

Please let me set the stage....
Having been “Schooled” (read that taken it up the keester) by the permit, tarpon, Scott and Coky the previous day, and very deservedly so, my last day draw was with fishing partner John Riggs and guide Rigo. 



Now you have to understand something about John and I...we are sympatico, we are brothers from another mother, and from the moment I met him and wife Anna in Seoul, Korea many years ago on our way to Mongolia, we have been in what his wife Anna refers to as a “bro-mance”...And hey, I’m proud of that, but I digress...
With some “constructive criticism” (heh...heh...heh...) fresh on my mind from the day before, and on this last day of the trip, John, Rigo and I made a 45 minutes or so run down to the “flat for the day”. Rigo was confident the tarpon would show up, and therefore I was confident the tarpon would show up. We waited, and after 45 minutes or so of standing on deck, I asked John if he would like to step up...
He looked at me like I was a freak and said “does it look like there are any tarpon here? Why would I want to stand around looking like an idiot on the deck?”
...And this is why we are sympatico, because I would have said the exact same thing!! John went back to writing or reading his journal. Watching all of this, Rigo told me I could “rest”. So I napped on the deck for 30 minutes or so.
I awoke, and stood up. 10 minutes later, Rigo called out “tarpon coming from 12 o’clock!”
Given my “schooling” from the previous day, I fired a 60-70-footer with a level of intensity and crispiness that I was sure would not just fully meet the approval of Scott and Coky, but gain an admiring nod. Within 3 strips, rod tip LOW, controlling the line tight to the fly, the fish was on and I landed same, fighting it deftly, bowing to the king at just the right times, yada, yada, yada. In other words, I got lucky...
“It’s just that simple”, I said to John, “you’re up, and I don’t give a damn what time it is, now I am having a Cristal”.
SOOOOO...Now it is me staring at John’s ass on deck instead of the other way around. He pulls line and does what we all do, make a cast so that he can judge distance and the line is appropriately configured on deck. As he strips the line back in, the wind catches his fly which lodges right forward of his intragluteal cleft (ass-crack for those of you in Rio Linda, California) and just astern of his perinanal scrotum (ball-sac for those of you originally from Brooklyn, NY)...



*Note: this is Jay’s ass, but arrow designates where fly was lodged in John’s pants, an area very difficult for a man to reach. Also note that John did not have a jumping tarpon on as Jay did in this image....
John is fumbling back between his legs to clear the offense, but I can clearly see that if he continues to blindly gamble on said path, he could conceivably drive the hook further, past the barb, into his pants such that to remove the hook would require removal of his pants, showing his man-junk, and if he happened to be underwear-free, well...let’s just not go there. This might (almost surely) would be a good thing if he were fishing with Anna, but dude, we’re in fishing partner rotation! Get your head in the game!
So now I have a terrible, terrible conundrum. Do I let him continue fumbling and thereby risk him driving the hook home further per above, or, as his bro-mantic partner, do I tell him to “FREEZE” and volunteer to assist for very quick, delicate, “without touching anything” removal assistance.
Ok, call me whatever you want, I chose the latter. I chose to help my amigo...thus probably cementing Anna’s assessment of bro-mance...but to hell with anyone if they want to make fun of us ...and with trembling fingers and a potential load of vomit in my mouth, I reached far further forward between John’s legs than I would have ever thought possible, and deftly (at least I think I was deft, you’d have to ask John how I fared in that regard...) removed the offending hook from his pants before further damage was done to either his pants or man parts. (NO!!! We have no photos of this part of the story!!).
I politely requested Senor Juan be more careful going forward, “John, I don’t often give advice to my fishing partners, but I’ll make an exception here, KEEP THE FLY OUT OF YOUR ASS-CRACK!”. 
He went on to take a shot at the only other tarpon we saw, we had lunch with the iguanas and the Ellis boys, and all too quickly, just as all the other days, it was game over.

You know, one can brag all they want about the fish they caught, but damn, sometimes one just has to brag about how they handle the day. Yeah, man, give me grief about whether or not my line was tight enough on the cast and how the permit would have eaten if I had done something different yesterday, blah, blah, blah...but on the last day, I got her done....a tarpon to the boat in expert fashion, a celebratory Cristal passed my lips, and my buddy arrived safely back at the dock with no more holes in his body than what he started the day with for the long sad journey back to Estados Unidos. That my friends, is what I consider a banner day and resounding success! As were all days on the Tortuga...One of my favorite trips ever....

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