Kodi had never done any saltfly fishing , in fact the first time he had been on the ocean was the ferry ride over to Waiheke. When I pulled the boat into the bay below the cottage where he and his Kiwi wife had booked for the night he was busy tasting the salty water. I pulled up on the beach for a few practice casts and he assured me casting was no problem. His short distance whip of the fly from the surface and lay down may have worked in those tiny streams back home in the Ozarks of middle America but you are going to need a double haul buddy!
We spent some time cementing the double haul into some muscle memory while also getting the rod tracking straight to a stop.
It was obvious we would be having a good time on the water as his sense of humour and willingness to learn were strong.
After enough practice we headed down the coast throwing flies into the likely looking holes and edges. The water is only just warming up and Kingfish are not yet our main target, so Snapper in the shallows with the odd Kahawai were our targets.
Kodi had the attitude that being this far from home and on the Ocean was cool enough and assured me catching a fish was not important. I either take my job to seriously or think everybody is a liar, his humour and attitude to learning new casting skills sharpened my desire to connect him with some fish.
We had made a late start to ensure we could fish the late afternoon low tide which I had predicted as our best “bite” time.
We explored many small bays and the lee side of several islands in the shifty winds. Kodi got a lot of casting practice with a couple of knocks on the fly to keep him believing. As the afternoon went on and the tide dropped away I was as excited as he was when the line went tight on the first of several snapper. We had found an area that was producing hits every 50 yards of drift but the fish were soft on the bite. Kodi got to experience some of the things I had talked about, a solid snapper grabbed his fly right at the end of a retrieve as he drew the fly up towards the boat, we both got to see the flash of pink as it hit and the tickling and teasing of his fly as a snapper nipped the tail and eventually biting hard when Kodi let it sit motionless for a few seconds.
Our conversations flowed all day covering his interesting heritage as a Native American, a true money poor childhood that was rich in experience and the outdoors, we laughed at sharing stories about stick fights ,knife throwing ,hut building ,hunting and fishing antics we both shared as youngsters.He also had some fascinating ideas that fused his technology expertise with bio-tech concepts. A self confessed “Geek”is how he described himself , but I would call him a very cool dude that I had the pleasure of spending a day with.