Cast, strip…strip…wait…he’s on it…no he’s not…he’s headed to some other island, most likely due you your fly. Or, he’s on and running and then pop, the line goes slack. Traveled all the way here, and blow it on this. I can’t believe it. Even though you miss a lot more than you catch, you continue to pole, walk and cast again to fish. Eventually everything comes together the hook up, blazing run with the singing reel, you take up all the backing and line and the fish pulls it back out, repeat this dance a few times and then you bring this magnificent product of evolution next to you, look it in the eye, say thanks if you are nice, and let the grey fox loose to carry on its life. And then you set up and do it again. Pole, look, cast, miss, miss, miss, maybe catch, release and cast again. On the flats, you can’t catch bones if your fly isn’t in the water so you need to make another cast. Life is the same way, you are going to have setbacks and disappointments, but you still need to get out and cast again. A key to remember is always make another cast, always get up and get back at it, never quit. If you don’t get your fly in the water, you’ll never catch anything. I recently had a pretty big setback in my professional life. I missed out on a big promotion, worse 70% of my peers got picked. I’ve got to say, I thought about packing it in, walking off the flat, busting my rod and throwing out my flies. That’s when,( I’d like to say came to me in a dream, but that’s too Arizona sweat lodge like) the voice of the bonefish said, remember trying to catch me the first time, took you over a year, but you kept at it. Remember your goal and keep plugging away, you’ll catch fish. Another voice came to mind as well, Luciano, the guide who led me to my first permit in Mexico. His words still ring in my head. “Cast again”.
He probably said this phrase 10,000 times during the trip. But he was right and if I didn’t cast again I’d have never landed some of my most memorable fish. So I take a look at my career, re-tie what knots I need, check my fly and start stalking the flat again. The end of story isn’t clear, but I know that as I stalk the flats of life, no matter how many shots I blow, fish I spook, or leaders I break I’m going to cast again and try to enjoy the trip.