Some nights–okay–a lot of nights, the fishing would be slow and we’d take a break from casting.  The conversation would wander to solving the world’s problems or staring at the stars and the expanse of the ocean and wondering about nature.  There we were, a few 19 or 20 year-olds talking about other beings, other dimensions, or who else may be out there that we can’t see. 

The short nights of summer pass by quickly, and It’s hard to tell when morning is about to come.  If you pay attention, you can tell the approximate time by who happens to be out on the beach with you.  It’s early in the night when you see couples walking on the beach or sitting on the benches near the parking lot.  You know it’s getting later when the couples leave, replaced by the drunks and the revelers who don’t want their night to end. 

After that, it can get interesting.  Some people on the beach are there because it’s late and they want to be alone or maybe don’t want to be seen.  Some are insomniacs, some are antisocial, some are wondering what the hell you’re doing out there so late (or early). If you want to meet some interesting people, hang around a beach at 3:30am on a summer weekend  Stay out even longer and you start to see the early risers. 

We were fishing at a state park.  At night, you could park at the front entrance gate, then walk down a road, through some fields, and to the shore.  Three of us were out there, sitting on the beach with our fishing rods pushed deep into the sand to hold them upright.  We were out on the beach for a long time having given up fishing after the tide went out too far to bother trying anymore.  We were rambling on and started talking about how someone could be here watching us and we would never know.  As if on cue, a dark figure approaches us from the wooden walkway, barely visible against the early morning sky.  None of us said anything as he approached us.   

He asked us if we caught anything—and as he came closer, we noticed the thin fly rod he was carrying.

We collectively breathed a sigh of relief, and knew it was time to go.  It would be morning soon.