• Matt Smythe

THE TARPON AND THE DAMAGE DONE

Updated: Jul 10

6:30 a.m. skiff running wide open and silent but for the already warm racing wind sun starting its upward creep steady growing fire and orange reflection til it’s suddenly high and baking baking baking we’re on the hunt for birds in their wheeling fleet focus hunting backcountry shrimp hunting for the surface while tarpon give themselves away in glorious porpoise rolls wide-mawed cruising circling breathing eating the day before we ran from Big Pine through the same backcountry maze scouting settling a one-off shot or two at one-off fish on the run again and again the day before that spent oceanside patrolling open sand grass breaks on the rising tide looking for northbound bodies prehistoric strings following the coastal contour shots looks turns follows snubs spooks at noon eleven o’clock right here at nine or three shit where’d they come from some riding high most low and cruising discerning their attitude their presence immense in this immense space but this morning birds and tarpon raiding the calm surface as I let go of forty fifty thirty feet of line with my rookie and un-aggressive double haul lay it down now stripstripnowbumpbumpbumpbump everything halts my heart my breath my eyesight all hope for another day on this planet my mind empty but for the noise of adrenaline car battery and cables jumpstart arc between my ears suddenly airborne airborne airborne reeling off yards everything un-halted multiplied the silver exponent I’m not ruined but I’m damn close.


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© 2017 By Matt Smythe