Conejo

by Scott Sadil
Summer Catalog 2005

You always worry about the road. How nasty was the last chubasco? And the wind. Nobody needs to come this far to have his heart broken. Or discover a circus of kites, trailing plastic against the sky.

Old guys just want to trim. Or something wild to grab their flies.

Conejo. You wouldn’t do it – the time, the miles, the dust and bunch of nothing – for the waves. You wouldn’t do it for the fish. You certainly wouldn’t do it for the bristled wind and insulting fog and goat-eaten texture of the land.

But, Conejo: a quirky wind-raked left-hander dangling into the Pacific, stubbed out at the end of the road in the middle of… somewhere between Todos Santos and Mag Bay. Of course nowhere’s a secret anymore – except this: those half-dozen osprey drifting over the shallows, collapsing beyond the oysters one-by-one, pelting the half-submerged shelf half-exposed by spring tides… and we with our dinner raw with lemon y tequilla… waiting for the evening glass-off, when there… right there!… an acre… an effing acre… of arm-long jacks corralled inside the break by a dozen marauding dolphin and splintered wolf-packs of God-knows-what kind of feeding beast.

Conejo: Isn’t the trick in all of this to take what comes your way? Panicked toros leap from the face of shorebreak, those mystery predators throwing wakes, body-surfing on the feed behind them. Roosters? Dorado? The fabled Pacific permit? The beasts that emptied Big Bob’s spool? Those lurking, preying fish the girl from out of the blue claimed had spooked her boyfriend so badly he paddled in out of the surf? Could have been… anything… we remind ourselves again… while we sit three more days, rods re-cased for protection against hurtling sand, reading Gierach and waiting out the new chubasco, now parked 200 miles offshore, pumping unrideable storm surf into our grimy laps.

Conejo: Nothing points to the voodoo of sport more directly than the need to grasp, in our own silly ways, the very motions of the earth beneath our feet.

Conejo.

About the Author

Scott Sadil is the author of Angling Baja and Cast from the Edge. He writes and teaches in Hood River, Oregon.