Another push with the pole. I was now standing on the bow of the flats boat ten feet away from the hole, starting to look down into it. Details of the bottom were becoming apparent. But no movement, no fish.
“Sir, do you see the tarpon now?”
A final, definitive shove of the pole. The bow of the boat was now actually pushing into the outermost branches and, touching my ankles, I had to lift the loose fly line to keep it clear. I was standing above the hole, looking right down into that small patch of water. Nothing there.
“Do you see the tarpon now?”
“No!” I said with emphasis. Was this really going to happen?
Stomp! Riega planted his foot with acoustic emphasis on the poling platform. Once.
“Do you see the tarpon now?” I could feel Riega’s triumphant smile and inner laughter on the back of my neck, but I was too busy counting the gathering round of noses as seven tarpon snouts and eyes eased into the sunlight patch, looking up at me with curiosity. And one large mangrove snapper.
“Do you see the tarpon now?”.
But the question was superfluous as I was laughing. It was truly ridiculous. I looked down at them and they looked up at me. Even Riega was laughing.
I eyeballed the distance, under my ferrule
“Riega, sir, .....should I cast now?”

March 1992
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