Three thousand kilometers from tidewater, a porpoise surfaces. Then a foot-long skinny slasher of a fish grabs the streamer fly you strip through water the color of Lapsong tea and shreds it. Sweat runs down your nose. The February sun blazes.
Think you’ve caught some spirited fish before? Think again. Consider the Pacific sailfish. On a fly. Not a real fly, of course–or more precisely, a whimsy of fluff on a hook posing as a natural insect–but rather a 10-inch-long gob of chicken feathers dyed hot pink and lashed to a miniature harpoon. Behind the eye of the hook and in front of the fluttering hackles is a chunk of foam stuck with a pair of comical-looking cartoon rattle eyes.