Yes, We Have No Bananas

Blue Bastard

That evening at dinner I brought up the notion of fishing superstitions.  To a man, all of the writers claimed they’d have none of it, that they didn’t believe there was anything to the matter of what hat you wore, the color of your Crocs, a favorite belt, a lucky charm in your pocket—and certainly not what kind of fruit or other food was or wasn’t aboard your boat.

The world is rational.  Everything happens for explicable, cause-and-effect reasons.


Banana Boat

The next day, on the water, the writer I was fishing with, whose name is not important to this story, failed to get a cast off when the dorado finally arrived.  I placed my Crease Fly where it needed to be, and when the dorado took off, serenaded by the song of my screaming reel, my companion at the other end of the panga begin to grouse and whine.

“It always happens,” he said.  “As soon as I go to change my fly, the fish show up.”

You mean to tell me, the fish see you changing flies and then start swimming by?

And you claim you’re not superstitious in any way?

Albany Island Lodge

All I know is, I’m the last guy to do anything that messes with the juju of my guide.  That evening, after I pulled the Banana Boat sunscreen out of my pack, Brad told a long story about a guy with a new boat, how the boat broke down, then disappeared before a tow boat could come get it, and a series of other mishaps before, upon final recovery, somebody opened the cooler—or Esky as the Aussies call them—and there, lo and behold, were the offending bananas.

Finishing the tale—better, perhaps, called a parable?—Brad raised both hands, palms turned upwards, and tilted his head just so, as if to say, “Can’t help you there, mate.”

The next day, a blue bastard finally on the end of my line, tearing off toward a cluster of toothy rocks, I raised my rod tip toward the heavens and thanked my lucky stars, refusing to let on to Brad that I had lathered up with sunscreen, out of my Banana Boat tube, sometime just before dawn.

While preparing for photos with my second blue bastard, I somehow broke the end of my favorite ten-weight rod. 

For reasons that have nothing to do with style, Gray’s angling editor Scott Sadil keeps track of every piece of apparel he slips into before going fishing.