The sun was starting to inch over the horizon when we approached the transcendent stretch of the Brewster Flats. A sense of mad anticipation swirled through my gut as I acknowledged the huge lunar landscape of declining tidepools and exposed sandbars that extended into the range, drawing anglers into its hallucinogenic trap.
My psychopathic partner, the Swede, lagged the wheel, eyes narrowed, with a smile that extended throughout his face like a razor. We ‘d come packed with a cooler, graphite rods, reels, fly boxes filled with crabs, Clouser Minnows, and a bag of unidentifiable compounds waiting to move us into that disquieting measurement in between peace of mind and incoherent ramblings about the fish we will capture.
The striped bass: a smooth monster of a fish, a siren of the sea, beckoned us to wade waist-deep into the Atlantic at the ungodly hours, equipped just with our fishing pole and a mixed drink of chemicals for guts. This was not a video game for the faint of heart. This was fishing on the edge, a hallucinogenic mission in the misleading serenity of Cape Cod Bay.
The flats were empty, the just other living animals being the low-lying gulls and the worried crabs that skittered far from our stumbling advance. The sun started its climb, turning the sky a mix of purples and pinks, a psychedelic dawn.
Already, the Swede had begun on his stash, “See that?” He ‘d state, pointing at a ripple in the water that might also have actually been a beast from the deep or an invention of his boosted creativity. We cast our lines, the balanced swoosh of our fishing pole slicing through the cool early morning air. The gulls shouted, the waves crashed, and our flies danced on the water’s surface area, mimicing life, mimicing bait. With the audacity of a bird solidified by numerous a storm, a seagull tried to nab the Swede’s green and white Clouser mid-cast. “Withdraw, you feathered satanic force!” he groaned, shaking his rod with defiance.
I didn’t state anything, selecting rather to lose myself in the routine of the cast, the recover, the incorrect pledge of a bass on the line. The world around me appeared to blur, leaving just the swath of sand, the hypnotic rhythm of the sea, and the sharp tang of adrenaline and insanity in the air.
In The Middle Of this, there was an abrupt and disconcerting yank on my line. My line snapped tight, rod flexing under the weight of a hidden water monster. A swirl of water and flash of silver … the bass was on. My heart pounded with the rhythm of an acid-rock band as the reel shouted in demonstration. We fought, that striped leviathan and I, as the sun increased above and the waves brought whispers of previous voyagers.
When I lastly beached the monster, the Swede dropped his fishing pole and discharge a victorious wail, echoing over the flats and triggering a couple of seagulls to spread in fear. He was up to his knees next to the bass, his hands shaking as he got rid of the hook. That lovely production of Nature lay there in the damp sand, sides heaving, stripes sparkling in the light. I launched her back into the water, the sea swallowing her up as though she had actually never ever existed, totally free to live another day, therefore was I.
The remainder of the day passed in a daze of schoolies, laughter, and sunburn, and as the tide started to sneak back in, we discovered ourselves sitting atop our cooler, sharing a bottle of bourbon, gazing out over the battleground that was the Brewster Flats.
” Worry and loathing,” the Swede stated, raising the bottle towards the darkening horizon, “That’s what this all is.” I nodded, my look repaired on the inbound tide. “And striped bass,” I included. He laughed, taking a long swig, “And striped bass.”