I hear from Troutrageous that people love lists. Here’s a list of things my fishing partners should know about me when I storm into Florida next week.
- I can get a little intense. Not in an angry way, but in a talking-fast, animated kind of way. I was once described as “being like a little puppy,” all yippy and jumpy. There is some truth to that when I get near water. I just love this stuff so much.
- I will let you have some of my flies. I will have 600 or so flies when I head to Florida. I can’t use that many in my whole life. I’m glad to share. I’ll also share leaders and tippet. I will likely share beer too… sometimes.
- I can’t drink as much as I used to. The kid did that. I’m just out of practice and not too interested in getting back into that kind of shape. I’ll throw down some beers, but I’m not doing shots, so let’s just not go there, mkay?
- But beer and fishing go together. You have to catch a fish (or jump a tarpon) before you can have a beer. Any fish will do. You can’t have a beer while you are skunked. That just won’t do. This rule is enforced until I want a beer and haven’t caught a fish, at which time it is no longer in effect.
- I’ll squeeze in as much fishing as possible. Is there a place to fish when we get off the water for the day? If so, I’ll go there. Night fishing? Yup, count me in. Can you hand-line off the dock? I’ll do that. I’m not being anti-social. I just really love this stuff and since I live in California, and not in San Pedro or Islamorada, I have to soak up every minute I can.
May 24, 2013 No Comments
I like the whole idea of Etsy. Real people making real stuff. Some of it sucks, but a lot of it is just fantastic not-from-a-big-box goodness.
I thought I’d highlight a few bonefish related items from Etsy here. Maybe I’ll convert one of two of you into a customer. I have no financial stake, I just like this sort of thing.
A cool bonefish wooden sculpture for $130. Well done, I’d say.
A cool bonefish print called “Off Big Pine” done by Jonathan Marquardt. $60.
A cool Bahamian bonefish coin cut into a necklace. This is only $16.
People making things. I guess they still do it. Not everything comes off an assembly line and not one of these things has been made by a 3-D printer. I like it.
May 22, 2013 1 Comment
Saw this blog recently, Uprising. Brent Wilson, the author, shares a story about day where the weather doesn’t cooperate for poons and snook, but they still find some bones to save the day.
I’ve never actually fished the Caribbean side of Mexico. I’ve fished just south of Mexico. I’ve fished within a cast of Mexico, but not actually in Mexican waters on the East Coast. I’d like to, for sure.
Brent talks about seeing a bunch of tarpon in a cenote and I remember seeing one myself down there on a snorkel trip down a centote south of Cancun. Pretty cool sight.
May 22, 2013 No Comments
I remember the email last year about Top Hooker, the poorly named “reality TV” show which was to be put out by Animal Planet. The idea was to get a bunch of really good anglers together and let them compete to see who could take home the prize of being America’s… ummm… “top hooker.”
Ah… a pun. Those are timeless, no?
Well, the first trailer is out for the new show. Yes, it is as bad as you’d expect it to be. There is bow hunting for fish (because archery is a key part of fishing, as everyone knows), I’d be shocked if there wasn’t noodling in there somewhere, and even zip line fishing, another key skill of the well-rounded angler.
I expect to see lots of dead fish and lots of poor handling and lots of bravado.
I’d love to see a show with real fisherman trying to figure out real situations.
Here’s the show I’d like to see.
- Gather nominated anglers. No one should be able to put their own name in. The best anglers don’t need to tell anyone they are the best. Other people talk about them, knowing they are the best.
- Put them in different situations and see how creative they are, how flexible they are, how well they understand their prey, judge the level of their tactical skill, asses their conservation ethic.
I’d like to see them fish a bait ball, cast a midge on a spring creek, high-stick some pocket water, strip-set a bonefish, chase down a rooster and pop for a LMB. In the end, there has to be some subjectivity to really determine who did better. I know that I could do a crappy job of landing a fish while someone else did much better losing one.
I’d like to watch that.
I’d even bet, if you had the real McCoy’s, that these anglers would help each other, talk though situations, share knowledge and would generally be enjoyable to be around.
I’d like to see that show, but they’d never make it. There is no money to be made on TV when people behave themselves and when failure is more spectacular than skill.
May 21, 2013 2 Comments
Love the stuff coming out of Skinny Water Culture. This sees Chase out in the Bahamas, not in the SWC home waters of Florida, which I’ll be visiting really, really soon, but I love this place too. Hard to argue.
Chase and I do have different musical tastes though.
May 20, 2013 No Comments
I read the Fishing Poet’s recent submission for the 2013 Blogger Tour, and it got me thinking. I thought I’d go a different rout.
You sound really, really awesome. However, you and I aren’t going to meet any time soon. Let me just say, I am sure you are worth it. I’m sure you are spectacular. First off, you are just so massive. There is so much wild and green and mountain and rock, river, lake in you. I love all those things and I’m positive I would be lost in your vastness. I know as big as you are you face some real challenges. You are beset by resource extraction industries that risk extracting the very heart out of Alaska, before moving on to rape and pillage some other place, or, given your size, moving on to destroy some other adjacent bit of Alaska.
Industries which employ the unemployed and also line the pockets of the powerful are difficult forces to combat. The mantra of “progress” is repeated loud and clear in every statehouse around the country and if you can’t get behind “progress” you get branded a hippie, a lefty or a loon (and maybe all three at once).
The truth is, Alaska, I had no idea there was even a place called the Tongass 77 or the Last Salmon Forest. There are probably a hundred other places I haven’t heard of either. You have so much wilderness there it must be impossible to get to know it all.
I’m not ready to try.
My mind is still focused on the flats. The flats are equally wild, just warmer with slightly fewer mosquitoes and an unsurprising lack of moose. You have trout, the flats have bonefish. You have halibut, the flats have tarpon. You have Grizzly Bears and wolves, the flats have Lemon Sharks and barracuda. You have osprey and eagles and the flats have… osprey. You have months of frost-biting cold, the Caribbean has months of sunshine and pleasant temps with a few months where you risk getting blown away by 100 mph winds.
The flats aren’t threatened by people who want to rip their souls out, but more by those who want to smother them with affection. It is over development or agricultural runoff or the odd cruise ship port deepening that really threatens my flats. It’s a different kind of threat, but the flats are still threatened.
It is conceivable that Into the Wild could have taken place in Andros or the Marls of Abaco, although it would be harder to hitch hike to the Islands and white kids running away from things tend to stand out.
In both places there are whole swaths of nature without people. The Alaskan hinterland doesn’t have to deal with all the ocean transported plastic, but the Bahamas doesn’t really have to deal with oil pipelines. Funny that both items are really the same stuff, just in different states of delivery.
Global warming is something impacting both the Alaskan wilds and the reefs and flats of the Caribbean. The polar bears may run out of ice and the corals may be bleached by high ph and warmer temps. So no one wins there.
I’ve been up near Alaska in the middle of BC. It was spectacular. I saw several grizzlies beside the big, broad Babine River. I saw the thick virgin forests and enjoyed both the technological solitude and the company of my fellow anglers. I skated dry flies to feisty steelhead and swung freight trains and felt the tug and heard the reel scream and admired the silver flanks of the hens and the blushing cheeks of the bucks. I know I would love you, Alaska, but I have another mistress at the moment and I can only handle one at a time. I’m not French.
So, for now, I’m going to think about bonefish and tarpon (I’m not even spiritually ready to think about permit), and I’ll put off our meeting until this has run it’s course.
May 17, 2013 1 Comment
In case you didn’t know… mangroves are critical to the health of the fisheries we love.
May 17, 2013 1 Comment
I’m off to Philadelphia today for a few days. In the meantime I thought I’d turn your attention to a few of the folks I’ve interviewed who will play some role in the upcoming trip to Florida in search of the Silver King, the Grey Ghost, the… um… well, we’ll fish for anything really.
My very first interview was with Davin. Davin writes Flatswalker. He’s also an artist.
We’ll be fishing with a whole host of characters, including Derek Rust. Derek is the only person in the group I’ve actually fished with before, even if that was in the California salt. Derek has fallen in with a rough crowd since he moved out to Florida. Mainly, he’s hooked up with the Skinny Water Culture crew and is a regular feature on their blog, which is one of the best blogs by any company or individual on the net.
Bill Horn, as I mentioned yesterday, wrote a book about fishing the Florida Keys, so he’s a guy who knows a thing or two.
Eric Estrada is another guy connected with Skinny Water Culture and he happens to be one hell of an artist.
Who else we meet along the way and the adventures we have, well, we’ll keep you posted on all of that.
Needless to say… I’m all a tingle with anticipation.
May 16, 2013 No Comments
Florida approaches… fast.
Guess who one of the people is we’ll be fishing with. If you guessed Justin Timberlake, you’d be wrong. If you guessed Bill Horn, well, you win.
I’m going to pay special attention to the bit about Spring.
The chapter on spring start off as follows:
The great tarpon bacchanal – a springtime orgy of angling and tarpon reproduction rituals – dominates April, May and June.
Yup… heading there soon.
May 15, 2013 4 Comments
Well… not a place I would have expected for someone to log a Grand Slam, but one lucky angler did just that on Little Cayman.
A guest at the Southern Cross Club guest achieved something many fly fisherman only dream about last month when he landed a Permit, a bonefish and a tarpon within a 24 hour period to complete the Little Cayman Grand Slam. Considered the world championship of saltwater fly-fishing, this is the stuff of lore in the shallow flats and beach bars of the island. “I’m pretty excited,” said Schofield from his home in Traverse City, Michigan, “but I’m more excited about catching the Permit than the Grand Slam because you can go your whole life and not catch a Permit on fly.”
The Grand Slam. Pretty cool when it happens. I understand that a Grand Slam comes down to luck, in the end. Usually, it comes down to “Will the permit eat?” I was lucky enough to get a Grand Slam in Belize in 2010 and I was on the short side of one in Cuba in 2012 when the permit followed, but didn’t take the fly. Timing. Skill. Luck. The three pillars of the Grand Slam.
I may never get another, but if I do, I hope it comes with a bigger permit.
May 14, 2013 5 Comments