Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Staked Out ( in the Marquesas Keys)

Coach Bud Grant's first Tarpon on Fly

excerpts from Star Tribune article by Dennis Anderson

Long before the sun rose from the distant Alantic the morning heat enveloped
the Marquesas. We slept below in the big Tango and the air conditioner ran all night.
But at 4:30 when we came up the temperture already was 90, the air still.....the mangroves
in the near distance outlined only by the light of the moon.
We were fly fishing for Tarpon. The idea of tethering oneself to a fish whose temperment,
once hooked, suggests the sort of creature retribution popularized by "Jurassic Park"
can appear irrational, particularly when the weapon of choice is a fly rod.........

Tango anchored in the Marquesas Keys, North America's true atoll, and ground zero for Tarpon.........long stretches of shallow water flats!

Also along with me in the Marquesas is Bud Grant. Since his retirement as head coach of the Vikings, Bud has been from the planet Traveling Sportsman.
We had seen more tarpon our first day than we have seen ever before, anywhere.

Bud, fishing with Mike hooked a tarpon, his line drawn tight and instantly vectoring into
the blue yonder,in time Bud landed the big tarpon and got a quick photo.

Mike had come to key West in 1968 is one of the few guides from that period, alive and coherent.
Mike said one evening over dinner that Many years ago, after I killed the last Tarpon I ever will, I had a dream,"Mike said. "I dreamed I was swimming with the tarpon and one swam up to me and said, ' If you love me why did you kill me?'

" The dream brought me bolt upright in the night."..................