April 13th: 9th Annual Ms. Wheelchair Colorado Pageant & Benefit Car Show
April 13th: Outdoor Buddies Fundraiser Banquet @ the Wildlife Experience
May 10th: Kiowa Creek Sporting Club. Clay shoot for Craig Rehab
June 8th: Get Outdoors Colorado Denver City Park, Colorado
June 8th: Wild on Wheels Lakewood, Colorado
July 18-20th: Barta Boys and Girls Club Billfish Tournament Beaufort, NC
August 8-11th: No Barriers USA Summit in Telluride, Colorado
04/01/12 BROKEBACK FLATS
Before everyone gets their petticoats in a knot, it should be evident that this column is not endorsed by Sport Fishing magazine. These are my words alone.
I’m sitting in bed watching outdoors TV, skipping back and forth between the six networks that carry such great entertainment, when lo and behold, I come across two fly-casting anglers and a flats guide atop a poling platform.
The first pro wears a robin-egg-blue pastel top, skintight spandex bicycle shorts with laser- moon sunglasses and brilliant-white loafers. The second angler is adorned in a tight, pink tank top, thin, sports medical-style gloves, neck gator and topsiders literally made out of lizard skin.
They engage in conversation about the first bonefish sighted, which weighs at least two pounds.
“Hey bro, there’s a tailer,” says one.
“Got you, Davey, bro,” quips the other, with his graphite-boron-glass-wrapped-fiber-coated, spiritual-electrified rod pointed at the great fish.
As these two great anglers interact, I await “Kumbaya” to begin playing, with the anglers embracing in a kiss. But instead, the fly is cast, the mighty fish “attacks with great ferocity,” line peels off the reel, and the three characters suddenly remind me of those lining up for a discotheque in New York City. The hair stands up on my arms, and I suddenly feel dirty, wanting to take a shower.
I love to fly-fish in salt and fresh water, but why does the art of fly-fishing make men act like women? Why is everyone’s name Frankie, Bobby and Terry? Whatever happened to Bob, Frank and Zach? Why does everyone suddenly become every- one’s “brother”? And why do they constantly sit down on the seat and cross their legs as if wearing pantyhose and high heels?
I don’t see this type of behavior on giant-tuna shows, nor do I see it when fishing for blue marlin. And I have never seen it on an African lion or elephant hunt.
On another famous show, hosts are taking actors fly-fishing in an attempt to raise money for charity. Oh, what a great to-do! They have specialized white clothing so the fabric doesn’t touch their bodies, specialized scarves, bandanas, balaclavas and then, of course, wading booties. But, hold your breath, there’s a break in the action — they anchor up on the flats for a bit of lunchy-poo. A great discussion is had over the wine — how it is chilled and how it must breathe — and just when I’m getting ready to throw up, out comes the watercolor easel and a quick brush-on-canvas rendering of the many beautiful colors of the flats, especially the pink pastels.
Finally, the host reaches down to land a 31⁄2-pound bonefish. As he grabs the fish, you can see he flexes his biceps and triceps for the camera — and lifting the great fish out of the great ocean, he says: “Here fishy-fishy; we’re not going to hurt you. We’re going to let you go.”
As the sun sets, there is discussion among all of the fruitful day. Of course, many bananas, apples and mangos have been sucked down. Not pastrami, pepperoni or ham-and-cheese. Oh, no.
And before the great bonefish pole is stowed, we get the hugs, high-fives and discussion about how wonderful it was to be together today, how the interrelationship between man, wind, tide, flats and camaraderie is really what this is all about.
Now, here comes the classical music, Beethoven’s Fourth, as the vessel leaves into the sunset. A great dinner with the boys is discussed for tonight’s entertainment. And, you never know, there might be a bonefish bonfire on the beach — just what I would want after spending the day with two other men on a flats boat.
I am, of course, not picking on any one fly-fishing show, but let me tell you one thing: From the perspective of a man’s-man who has fished blue water his entire life, these shows are becoming a little light in the loafers.
Till next tide,
Capt. Tred Barta