- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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"I don't see anything." The customer is staring rather than scanning the water as he should. He checks his fly line to make sure that the wind hasn't whipped it around the motor or the console.
"They're turning toward us." The guide gives several hard pushes on the pole. "Get ready."
The customer begins to false-cast, ready to throw to the fish. He sees only waves and their small darkened troughs. "I don't see anything."
"You're not looking. Coming at us a hundred feet. Ten tarpon. Shoot off the lead fish."
"I still don't see them."
The customer casts and begins stripping his line. He thinks he has seen a shadow or at least a movement.
"You spooked them," Sexton says. "You dropped your line on the lead fish and they spooked."
The customer slumps in his seat. First day blues. A few hundred yards away Cal Cochran, another guide, is pointing out something to his customer, Mead Johnson. Johnson casts and is on to a 50-pounder. The first day blues deepen.
Sexton decides to make the four-mile run over to Big Spanish Key, where we will have a slight lee from the wind. He is being sweet and generous, assuring that though the cast was good it was in the wrong direction. But Big Spanish only extends the comic possibilities of the day. The customer strikes a fish so hard with his brand-new Great Equalizer, the largest tarpon fly rod available, that the tip touches the reel seat. The leader snaps. "You really crossed his eyes," Sexton says, starting the motor.