“One legged oystercatchers limping along a mirrored strand take off and land again and little waders run quickly in groups backwards and forwards reflected in the shallow waters. The curlews sudden startled cry, a fright, as you walk back a late October estuary the sky already darkening.
All these things bred into your skin into your person into to what you are, into what you have become over years – north winds, south winds, east winds, sunshine, frost, blue skies, rain, salt and sand. The shape, the colour and the sound of the sea the waves that break on the shore into white bass water where you know it will happen, you can sense it, and you know it instinctively.
All these things have built in me over many years – from these countless repeated and yet different experiences and messages I have a sense of where I am – I am home.
And into this you must add the fishing, what you know is what you know because it has been forged in this instinct and experience. You see the gulls struggle against a grey drizzly sky and you get the heavy rod, the #ten, and your heart is racing because its happening and you can be in the middle of it and you move so quickly you hardly remember getting there and you almost run to the location to get a cast off. This is where I am most happy, this is what I understand, have understood for a long time now.
The fishing and the fishing and the fishing. You wait for spring to come and you see the way the winter waves have bent the sand and the sandbars, the new entrances the new exits the different flow and where it was once safe is now dangerous or is now a new fish holding spot. Maybe this year the fish move differently into different places at different times, maybe not and the familiar anxiety and excitement around the arrival of a new season begins again”.
For more about what it means to be a saltwater guide working in Ireland go here