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See them coming, swimming toward you like ducks across the sky at dawn. It's hard for a Northern Rockies trout chaser to fathom: no hatch to match, no current seam to aim for, just you and a couple dozen bonefish headed your direction. Throw it too late and you'll spook 'em. Too early and your fly sinks to the bottom. But time it right and suddenly there you are-light breeze, palm trees and a fish heading straight for Honduras.

Standing thigh-high in the waters of Belize will teach a dedicated western river angler more about our sport's diversity than a thousand bonefish books could ever hope to accomplish. Because the tropics are so not Montana in November. Because a place like Turneffe Flats or Glovers Reef is everything steelhead fishing in springtime isn't. You're warm. You're comfortable. You're wearing shorts. And for once you can leave the "Nobility in Suffering School of Flyfishing" packed away at home with your leech patterns and neoprenes. It's doubtful bonefish will ever replace brown trout on the unspoken scale of our piscatorial caste system. Still, a day on the flats leaves your head as clear as the surrounding sea and you never have to worry about hooking your backcast in the willows.

Sitting up in the pilot house, we could see with our own eyes that a serious storm was coming. The Weatherfax hadn't shown a good picture of it the day before, but you could see it on the radar, streaming through above Cuba, across Grand Bahama, and now it was on top of us. Chris went forward to the windlass while Phil laid down another hundred feet of chain between us and the anchor. The slight shifts in the boat's position were revealed in the apparent movement of the sandy bottom under deep, clear, pale-green tropical water. We were on good holding ground. There wasn't really much to worry about though it couldn't help the fishing. And there were the compensations of a tropical squall: the supercharged atmosphere of deep, humid wind, the unpredictable tide slipping through the roots of heaving mangroves. It was interesting weather.

The game, it seems, is to see who can use the smallest boat to catch the biggest fish. And Adam Kimmerly is getting good at it. Kimmerly discovered sit-on-top kayak fishing a little more than a year ago, not long after moving to San Diego. Now it's his passion.

You're a cab driver in New York City in 1971, trying to make a right hand turn at a busy Manhattan intersection but there's some cocky bike messenger in your way and he won't move. So you nudge him. Not hard, just enough to let him know that you're in a cab and he's on a bike and if he doesn't move and soon you might run his ass over. But the bike messenger does a strange thing. He doesn't move out of your way. He gets off his bike, walks to the front of your cab, and swiftly kicks your headlight in. Then he invites you to step outside and discuss the matter further. You, as the cab driver, make a wise choice and roll up the window instead. Because you've just met John Gierach on a bad day and getting out of your car would only make it worse.

The sound builds slowly in early afternoon, decibel levels rising and fading in a never-ending sequence you recognize as cicadas. They emerge every 13 or 17 years, depending on species. It's very predictable and natural, like the moon and tides, but hatches some years are more epic than others and when the cycles overlap, the trees can be crawling with them. Birds, small mammals, snakes, and fish all benefit from the abundant prey. I had a female tabby that thought of them as a delicacy.