Water Moccasins

An approaching storm was battering the coastline and the Fog was getting worse. Having returned to the shop from the morning guide trip, a Gentleman off a cruise ship was “all ears” as my first light client was sharing an adrenalized tale of great fish caught. He too wanted to experience flyfishing in the white water and there is usually a safe place to launch and fish in most conditions- so I agreed.

We launched at third beach without the engine on and quietly edged through the fog towards Sachuest Point. Enlisting one of my old windsurfing Masts as a push pole was very handy until it became stuck and I had to let go. Knowing it wasn’t going anywhere I left it waving back and forth. As it was waving goodbye I told it not to worry and that I would pick it up after the drift. (Note: More on the effects of sleep deprivation later.)

We rounded the northern tip of the wildlife refuge and worked our way to a previously productive spot. A rock shaped as an Anvil pointed conveniently at our target waterfall. Casting a fly into the waterfall would typically deliver a nice Striped Bass.

Bad Monster Dog was positioned correctly for a right-handed angler to cast his fly across the bow and into the waterfall near the base of the rock. This guy could cast. “Excellent shot. That one will do it.” Other than positive encouragement, checking for oncoming waves, safety is the number one job. The fog gave us about ninety-nine feet of visibility and kept closing in. On one of my glances behind us I spotted a pair of Indian Moccasins tied together by their laces and floating casually towards us. After twisting my head, and squinting for accuracy, I decided second trips of the day had  to have an occasional hallucination and most are dismissed. This was unique as a thousand pairs suddenly emerged out the fog and completely surrounded us.

I mentioned quickly to my guest not to fall in as we had recently been experiencing a really bad Water Moccasin problem. As he began explaining why Water Moccasins and saltwater don’t typically mix, he stopped casting, turned around, and clearly saw the same hallucination I did. For once, someone else saw what I did! 

He made cast after cast in search of his shoe size, and my entire family’s. A ten weight was best suited for the lifting power. They did not put up much of a fight, but definitely noteworthy, we left for home with our daily quota of soggy saltwater shoes.

A passing ship had lost a number of containers in the storm and each container unloaded itself. We had VCRs, and a variety of offshore goods. Once the fog lifted the eastern shore of the Sakonnet River was covered in white Reebok Sneakers that made it look like winter. To this day Tiverton, Rhode Island locals are wearing their “gifts of the ocean” on the soles of their feet.