I have been chasing a lot of tails lately, bonefish tails mostly. Using my new light tackle reel and rod I have been spending a lot of time refining my flats fishing technique and the current evolution has proven effective. I have managed to catch nearly all of the reef fish species that hunt on the flats, though my last four bonefish have come infuriatingly un-hooked (there is no consistency in these loses so at this point I am chocking them up to bad luck). I have also had some pretty epic wildlife sightings – after twice spotting a big shark cruising the flats, I had a close encounter with a Hawaiian monk seal. I have seen monk seals hauled out and sleeping on land but have never spotted one swimming in the wild. This one was swimming slowly in about four feet of water, well inside the surf zone, and was close enough that I could make out it’s whiskers when it poked it’s nose up for a fresh breath of air. It may have been hunting, reef critters like octopus and lobster are among their primary prey. From the size (big!) I suspect it was a male. According to the Waikiki Aquarium website there are only about 153 of these endemic and endangered mammals in the main Hawaiian Islands so I feel extremely lucky each time I encounter one.