Thursday, May 3, 2018

We've All Been There...

This vignette from our April trip to Cuba comes to us from Jay Hillerson. On our trip, two of the younger guides could be a bit "heavy-handed" in the form of barking orders and impatience with angler's mistakes. Chalked this up to excitement and passion, but I must admit, I came close to "setting the record straight" a couple times with the guide who is involved in the incident below. This guide is very good: great eyes, good instructions etc. He just fell down when things didn't exactly go as he planned. Here is a good example:


Author Jay Hillerson

It was the last of six days fishing just off the south coast of Cuba in the Jardines de la Reina. Most of the group had jumped a number of tarpon, tagged plenty of bonefish and three really big permit had been caught.

My friend and fishing partner for the day had just one chance at a tarpon all week. Two young guides had “chewed him out” the last couple of days and he was frustrated.

Today, I hoped his luck would change. Our guide staked out a favorite spot well away from any other boat. As the sun rose the tarpon followed. Did I tell you my buddy was very “hard of hearing”?

He took the platform. The guide said "11:00" – he heard 9 and cast there. The guide screamed "11:00". My friend turned towards the guide with fire in his eyes and threw his rod and reel on the deck saying something about yelling. I stood up to intervene, but he was already apologizing, as was the guide. Each felt awful. I said from now on I would restate the guides directions to my friend. 

For a moment there was awkward silence. Then the guide, much subdued and almost sheepishly, turned to me and said, “Sir, could you tell your friend there is a tarpon at the end of his flyline”?

My partner picked up his rod and reel, stripped once, the fish ate, jumped and was gone. 

We all had to laugh. Any previous issues were gone. It was the start of another great day of fishing and catching in Cuba.

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