When time forgot about us
I remember walking a flat to my self with little snake island to my left and Saudi Arabia across the way and I was humming some old coutry tune over and over again. For some reason I kept repeating one verse in my head that went “O come angel band, come around me stand, bare me away on your snow white wings to my immortal home,” and thats not even how that song goes, but for some reason I felt like singing it that way. This trip was fucking epic. It was Sharia law, it was the fucking unbearable heat, it was the Middle East. It was the gangsters of the flats, it was that one monster bonefish that had not a care in the world, it was that enourmous titan triggerfish that gave me the fin while I reeled in a mangled fly. It was our boat crew and how I could not get past a few social barriers with them so instead I would just sit and share a cigarette, it was the Sudanese flat breads and delicious goat cheeses, it was about being able to share a meal with Sudanese locals. It was Oman, it was Dubai and it was Sudan. It was my silly little identity, my own personal barriers, my knowledge about the world and my pre conceived notions about the world, it was about me challenging those things. It was about challenging my own skills as an angler, my flats craft, sharp casting and eyesight. It was that feeling I felt when I was a kid, stepping into virgin water where time would stop with anticipation. It was all these thing and more. I guess it was written that travelers don’t know where they are going, but tourists don’t know where they have been. And like my little brother says, one day we will be old.
We fished hard that day. It was a shorter day then the others as we had to sail back to port before sundown and the wind was terrible. While I walked that flat for the final day I made deliberate and concious footsteps. I wanted to see everything on the flat and I didn’t want to spook anything. And like all the rest I felt like a wolf hunting the prairie that day. I remember walking a tiny little island with a few specks of dust and a mound of plastic bottles where a few local fisherman were moored up. They were living on these cool little wooden boats obviously taking a break from the heat while I walked by. They didn’t understand me and quite frankly I don’t understand me either but for that moment it didn’t matter. We were all fisherman on the Red Sea and afterall there is only one race. I felt like running over to them and hugging all of them and sharing fishing stories but instead I just waved, gave them a nod and thought, what will become of us?
The next day we made a run for the airport. We drove throught the most insane sandstorm it was hilarious. We had to take a pee break so bad but it was literally sideways wind and sand outside of the van. Eventually we had to go for it though and held our breaths as we lined up and took a piss. We were a little delirous as we arrived at the airport. We weren’t getting on that plane without our passports which had been in the posession of Chico, our Sudanese sponsor for the last week. Sure as shit there he was waiting at the airport with his plastic grocery bag with six passports in it. I crashed during our 6 hour flight back to Dubai. Upon arrival I was already late for my next flight due to an extended layover in Khartoum Sudan so I had to give the boys a quick goodbye and ran for my gate. So began the 48 hour trip to Jackson Wyoming.
I would like to thank Russ Schnitzer for the use of all of his amazing photos! I would like to also thank Tourette Fishing – Try fight it in Africa, and Nick Bowles of Ocean Active for putting together the logistics for such an amazing trip!
Thanks Josh for a great read. You really made me feel like I was there. You’re both a talented fisherman and writer.