July – The Bittersweet Month — Headed to Port Aransas Texas This Week

| July 5, 2016 | 0 Comments

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND JULY FOURTHS

Fly Fishing on the Texas Gulf CoastTimes like these make me wonder a whole lot of things. July 4, 2015, I was waiting for results of a test for cancer cells in a lymph node. July 7th. the results, delivered by phone while I was in Biloxi, were, for no good reason, positive. July 4, 2016, I sat and wondered … will life ever be as good as it was on those July 4th’s, at the beach house on South Padre Island? Do we all wonder, if the absolute best and purest of good times are long, long gone? It was just so long ago now. July, once one of the sweetest of months in my life, now has been blended with the bitter.

Everyone has their own days, weeks, and months of bitter and sweet memories don’t we? It could be a Red Rider BB-gun Christmas, or some other number on the calendar. Your date(s) to remember could be marked by birth, death or some other cataclysmic event that is so close to your soul that you’ll always remember it. Nowadays, for me the blur of dates of family lost, and etched on granite, seem to be coagulating around this day – mostly for the lack of my ability to remember specific dates.

“The Fourth” was when we were all together, and were alive and vibrant. We got sunburned, stung by man-of-war, caught fish, sunk birdie putts, argued, fought, lit firecrackers, got in trouble, got out of trouble, watched tube TV with aluminum foil on rabbit ears, went to Jeremiah’s River Ride, slathered on aloe vera and did it all again the next day. The arguing and the friction seemed unique to us, like it shouldn’t happen, but now I realize it was all a part of the normal family experience – probably as normal as it gets.

Starting this July, it’s time to reclaim the month for the joys of the past, and to welcome the joys of the future. This week, it’s off to Port Aransas, Texas. It’s a place where I’ve been many times in the past. I visited my grandparents there, in Aransas Pass a number of times over the years, and after they were gone, I have fly fished there in the years since. This time is different.

PORT ARANSAS FLY FISHING

First, I am still alive, and I think that’s a good thing. There’ll be a boat in tow, and that’s a good thing. Family, the new epicenter of family, will be there and that’s a very good thing. Another very good thing is (don’t tell anybody) it’ll be fly fishing on the salt, and that my friends, is a real good thing. Am I up to speed on what the action is like in Port Aransas? Hardly. I’ve been so wrapped up in guiding on Ray Roberts that I will have to cram for the exam this week – in order to have a shot at fish on fly in the Port Aransas area. Keep an eye on the Instagram feed for images of the flies I am putting through the vise, and whatever else I find related to this trip.

I’ll do my best to keep you in the loop, but feel free to keep me in your loop too! I would love to hear how your July on the Fly is going. It’s a long way from here to Port Aransas, and a whole lot of hours will be wasted on the sacrificial highways of Texas. Just preparing for a week of salt takes a full day.

The trip’s not without friction though. I have family concerned about a compromised immune system (doesn’t feel that way to me), and the threat one-in-a-million of being infected with vibrio … which I am listening to, but want to make decisions based on what’s happening there, not the news stories we’re getting here. If forced to drop back and punt, there’s still jetties and maybe a lighted pier somewhere. Thanks as always for reading, and check back in later this week – Friday or Saturday.

Here are a few more stories on Port Aransas, Texas, from the archives.

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Category: Adventure, Complimentary Reading, Culture on the Skids, Fly Fishing for Redfish, Life Observed, Saltwater Fly Fishing Texas

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I write. I photograph. I fish, and I live.

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