I just said goodbye to Dave McCoy and his lovely family a few days ago. We chased some of these big Hawaiian Bones for a few days and hooked a few brutes. We didn’t land any as Dave did his best “I only hook 12 pound Hawaiian Bonefish near the edge of the flats” imitation. Here’s the deal though: I think a lot of us, in our quest for that next great fish forget the real reasons we do this far too often. I know I catch myself doing it. We need to keep these monster NATIVE fish in perspective. There are no hatcheries involved here, no human polluting of nature’s best efforts. Some of these buggers are 15 years old or older and to just fool one, to make a presentation that tricks the big fella into eating an offering of fur and feathers is a win, a big time win. Landing them is just icing on the cake. If you approach true trophy flyfishing with that mentality, (and believe me I put the head into the hands and whimper oh so lightly to myself when I break one off too!! LOL) the game becomes a bit purer, a bit more about the fish and less about our next photo album entry. It’s about stepping into the world of an animal pure in genetic code for millions of years, “into their kitchen” so to speak and putting that money presentation right into their wheelhouse and saying “That’s right you beautiful spooky, picky, SOB, you want that 1/0 crab fly don’t you?? I tied it last night at 3 in the morning. I woke up thinking about you “Big Fella” I hadn’t met you yet, but I knew I would this morning and I sat at my vice to tie you something special, something to honor you Big Fella!”‘ It’s about believing in yourself, your fly pattern, your casting, your basic instincts, your ability to stalk, to hunt perfection. You hook a few of these monsters, you land even less, but every one of them makes you check yourself, makes you take a spoonful of humble that all anglers need, makes you feel far less important than the nonsense the human race has been pounding in your head since birth. Two days ago I got to play the game with this 11 pound “Big Boy” here on Oahu. I crawled on my hands and knees two different times, and cast to him 4 different times. The stalk lasted almost 10 minutes. And this time the Fish Gods let me win. My Frog Hair Deep Blue held, my Burkheimer 9 weight handled it’s business and my Galvan Torque 10 took this Hawaiian Bone’s very best. This time we won……. They are here, they are big, and they are a bitch to hook. But when you do, and you feel a 35 mile an hour 200 yard uninterrupted run, no matter if you land it or not, all is well in your world and the world around you. You might even have to wipe a tear out of your eye as he swims away. There’s no shame in that, I just let em fall into the water or on my flats shirt. Aint flyfishing grand? Tight lines and hope to put you on a monster Hawaiian Bonefish soon.
Aloha and I hope your next fish is a tippet stretcher. Captain Terry Duffield (Coach Duff)