Oct 16

Interview with Camille Egdorf from the film Provicence

The Seychelles are one of those epic destinations most saltwater fly anglers dream of, pirates and all. The Seychelles are back in business and one of the people who got to go there when it re-opened was Camille Egdorf. The story of the Seychelles fishery, the pirates and the re-opening was captured in film format by Confluence Films, the same folks who brought us Waypoints and Rise (among others). This film, called Providence, is visually stunning, with more of a narrative arc than we might have seen before. The film focuses on this one place and it is utterly worth watching.

I got to do an email interview with Camille Egdorf, who works for Yellow Dog Fly Fishing. Here are her answers.


Camille in Christmas Island

Spending so much time in the wilderness in Alaska and then going out to the Seychelles, a different kind of wilderness, what were the similarities and most glaring differences in those two types of wilderness?

I’m no stranger to being in the middle of nowhere and I’m really quite comfortable with it. Being totally immersed in nature is a great way to completely lose your mind and also find your soul. You can find the feeling of solitude, inferiority, adventure and mystery both in Alaska and in the Seychelles. They’re both surrounded by nothing more than what Mother Nature put there eons ago and you’re completely at the mercy of it. It’s humbling.

Of course, there are some major differences between the two. The biggest most obvious difference is you’re surrounded by hundreds of miles of water in the Seychelles. Of all the things that intimidated me, the ocean intimidated me most. I’ve never in my life felt so belittled and insignificant. The fishing there is like fishing on a foreign planet where the various species are colorful, weird, fast, deadly and completely alien to a trout fisherman.

You caught a lot of different species in the Seychelles. Which was your favorite and why?

It’s tough to pick a favorite. As you know, everything in the ocean is bigger, faster, stronger has more teeth, tougher scales and bipolar attitudes. And if they don’t they inevitably get eaten. So everything brought it’s A game and fought harder than anything I had ever tangoed with before and I loved every second. If I had to choose though, I’d say GT’s were the highlight. They’re intense on so many levels and no matter how many you catch, they always leave you either completely demoralized and defeated or triumphant and accomplished. They’re fast, aggressive and are so visual that there truly isn’t anything that can compare.

How do you prepare, gear-wise, for a trip like that where you are going to be fishing for everything from bonefish to GT’s?

Most times it’s organized chaos when trying to compile the right gear for a trip of this magnitude. But I try to keep it simple and avoid bringing copious amounts of rods and reels that I probably won’t even use. I’ve seen anglers pack 10 rods for a week-long trip and to me that’s excessive and just a headache. They’ll pack an 8wt, a 9wt, a 10wt and on and on which will leave them with enough rods to outfit 5 people. For this particular trip I had two 8wt’s and two 12wt’s which kept me fishing all the time and allowed me some insurance if I broke a rod. My best advice is to pick two rods of a different weight that are capable of handling several different species. This will allow you to pack light but also keep you covered for a variety of species and in the unlikely event a rod is busted.

When you are on the water a lot you tend to see things that other people have never seen and would never believe. Is there something like that you’ve seen on your time in the water? 

There are certainly moments that come to mind where I couldn’t believe my eyes. But there is one situation I continuously look back on and laugh. I guided in Alaska for about 7 years at my parents fish camp, Western Alaska Sportfishing, on the upper Nushagak River. It is very remote and the only other fishermen you see on the river are bears. One day I was guiding a couple fishermen through a section of river that was full of salmon. We were having a blast catching fish when we rounded a corner and startled a young grizzly about 30 yards away. It was so surprised by the boat full of yelling fishermen that it got mad and started taking all of its anger out on a small willow tree. The sight of a roaring bear mauling a little tree will stick with me for life. We laughed about that for hours.

What were the rods/reels your brought with you?

For rods I used the Echo 3 Salt the entire time. I mostly stuck to using the 8 and 12wt which I’d swap out when I either saw a bonefish or GT. The 12wt is a great big game rod, mostly because of the added grip above the reel so you can really put some leverage on bigger fish. I put those rods through hell and truthfully, they should have busted but never did.

For reels I used Hatch. I’ve used Hatch Reels before and knew they were nearly bulletproof so I went into this trip knowing I was in good hands. They’re sealed which makes them great for saltwater fishing and keeping salt out of the gears. They’re simple to take apart and if you need to clean any sand or grit out, you can open them up without having to worry about springs or screws flying everywhere.

With a bumpy from the Seychelles

Do you think it makes more sense to spend money on a premium rod or a premium reel for this sort of trip, assuming you could only go one of those directions?

Absolutely. The saltwater environment is a harsh one and not just because everything gets a healthy coating of salt. As I mentioned before, everything in the ocean is bigger, faster and stronger and as a result, will put your gear to the ultimate test. It’s imperative that you bring quality equipment otherwise you’ll be stripped of any dignity you may carry as a fishermen within seconds of hooking your first GT or large bonefish. These fish don’t mess around and neither should you. Even the best equipment in the industry has a tough time holding up to these conditions and fish. In short, you ultimately get what you pay for so it pays to dish out the cash.

What one piece of gear that was totally critical on your Seychelles trip (non-rod/reel)?

There are two actually – sturdy wading boots and sunglasses. Roughly 99% of our days spent on the flats of Providence were on foot and if hadn’t had good footwear, I would have ended the trip with stubs for feet.

Having good eyewear is mandatory if you want to spot fish and keep your eyes from being burned out of your head. I would have been in a world of hurt without my Costa’s.

Where is the next saltwater location you are planning on traveling to?

I don’t have anything planned for saltwater yet but I’m hoping to get down to Belize. I have a serious fascination with Permit and haven’t had the chance to target one. So I’ve got my heart set on that for this winter. Aside from that, my next big trip is to Kamchatka, Russia to host a group of anglers for Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures on the Zhupanova River. Big rainbows dwell in those waters.

Thanks Camille. It looked like a fantastic time out there and glad to see you put the stick to some impressive fish. 

Oct 16

Where I’m at – Season 42

If Louis CK fished and if he had a few million dollars less in his bank account, he and I might be the same person.

He doesn’t fish though, which I hold as his biggest shortcoming.

Still… sometimes he says things that could come straight from my brain.

Here’s a bit about his experience turning 40 (even if I’m 42 now).

This hits me right where I live for a couple reasons.

First, I got to go to the ER on Thursday for a soccer injury. Nothing serious, but I don’t think I would have even thought about needing to go if I were 30. Plus, I have things that just hurt now. I have some arthritis in my hands, which sucks, and my left knee has been bugging me for about 3 months now. I’m just wearing out… it just gets this way now.

Second, at 42, no one is really impressed with anything you do. It is just your job. I make dinner every night, which would be amazing if I were 25, but less so at 42. I have a Director level job, which amazes no one, because, ya know, I’m 42 and maybe I should be Senior Director or Vice President at this age. No one would be blown away if I went to the Seychelles, they’d just think… yeah, he’s 42… that could happen at 42. No one would be totally amazed if I caught a 12 pound bonefish, they’d just think at this point, maybe I had it coming. Accomplishments are just a little less sparkly at 42.

I don’t say any of this for pity, I just find it funny how life changes and evolves and I’ll have to stop typing here soon because my fingers hurt.


I still want to catch a 12 pound bonefish, and if I did that in the Seychelles, all the better. Just say’n.

Oct 16

Providence is mind blowing

I got a chance to get a sneak peak at the new film from Confluence Films, Providence, yesterday.

It ruined me for the rest of the day.

You’ve heard of the Seychelles and maybe about the piracy incident that shut down the fishery in 2009. This movie is the story of the re-opening of the fishery.

The fishing looks just insane. How many species do you want to catch and how big would you like them to be? Cuz, the Seychelles has you covered.

You need to see this.


If this film doesn’t fill you with wanderlust, you may want to check your pulse. Just amazing and so on my bucket list.

Oct 16

Matthew Aftermath

It looks like Matthew was bad, but not as bad as it could have been. Still lots of destruction to go around.

Looking for news about the Bahamas in the US press is kind of useless, but you can go to Bahamian sites to see what the impact of the storm was like.

Here’s Tribune 242’s story about Andros.

And about Grand Bahama.

$400M price tag for recovery.

The news from many of the lodges is good. Abaco Lodge, Bair’s, East End Lodge all report very minor damage. Andros was particularly hard hit and I don’t know how many of the outfits made out.

Could have been worse. Florida was largely spared as well. I heard a little jog to the East may have prevented a 5X multiplier to the damage seen there.

So, bad… but not as bad as it could have been. So, at least there is that.

Oct 16

When the weather tries to kill you

I was just thinking today, out here in the SF Bay Area, that the weather seldom tries to kill you here. Sure, we have earthquakes, but those are sudden and unannounced and it isn’t the weather. Our weather is pretty benign.

Watching Hurricane Matthew proceed to deliberately try to destroy whole countries, and I’m thinking it might just be fine to be so far from bonefish.

Matthew looks as if it might rage through the Bahamas, hit Florida, right around Miami, rake up the East Coast of Florida and then pop out into the Atlantic and then… HEAD SOUTH, back to the Bahamas again to run over Grand Bahama and Abaco not once, not twice, but maybe three times.


We don’t have killer weather here.

In the high country we have dry lightning which starts fires which burn areas larger than some countries and there is certainly damage caused and lives are sometimes lost, but very few, and the forests don’t extend into the major cities. The risks are small, overall.

The Bahamas are flat. The highest point is only 206 feet tall, a hill, really, on Cat Island. There’s nothing much to slow down Matthew, nothing to disrupt his winds. They just have to stay there and take it and watch their livelihoods be washed or blown away.

My thoughts are with all those in the Bahamas and in Florida as Matthew tries his darnedest to destroy places we love.

Oct 16

Matthew looking particularly bad

Matthew is shaping up to be a pretty bad storm. It is about to slam into Haiti (oh good, like everything was going well there to begin with) and will hit Cuba pretty hard, although it looks like it will largely miss the Garden of the Queen, instead hitting the east end of the island.

After hitting Haiti and Cuba the storm should head into the Southern Bahamas and the path that is being predicted could see it really hit most of the Bahamas, although it is predicted to weaken somewhat after it starts to impact the Bahamas. Inagua, Crooked, Acklins, Mayaguana and Turks and Caicos look to get particularly hard hit, but the storm could also bring winds of over 100 mph to Andros, Long Island, Exuma, Eluthera, Nassau, Abaco and Grand Bahama. Basically, there aren’t many folks in the Bahamas that will not be impacted by this storm.

Current Watches/Warnings

Here’s from the Weather channel.


Sep 16

Here we go again… Hurricane Matthew heading for the Bahamas

This one does not look good. This one seems to be opening his arms to give a big, destructive hug to most of the Bahamas. Here’s the link to follow what is happening. 

[Image of 5-day forecast and coastal areas under a warning or a watch]

Sep 16

The Fiberglass Manifesto Catches his First Bonefish

I love first bonefish stories and was happy to see The Fiberglass Manifesto get his first on a (very) recent trip to Blue Horizon down in Belize.


The permit didn’t cooperate (although there were legit shots) because, as you know, permit are jerks, but there were bonefish to be caught and they were.

Check out his post here.

Sep 16

What’s happening in Belize, anyway?

There is a lot going on in Belize… but it might be easy to miss. It doesn’t make the news like… well… none of these places really make the news, but you know what I mean.

A not-small Jack from Belize.

A not-small Jack from Belize.

Leonardo DiCaprio is a dique.

There is a caye not too far from Savannah Caye called Blackadore Caye. Leonardo owns it and he wants to put a super luxury resort there. Now, it is very much not what this area needs. It is pristine and putting a resort there will make it less so. They bought the place legally, so the building they want to do on the island can’t really be stopped… but they aren’t content with building on the island, they want to put some huts out over the water, like you see in French Polynesia. One problem… such structures are illegal, unless you know who to bribe and what wheels to grease. So… basically, Leonardo is a dique. Here is a page put together by Orvis that lays it all out.

Belize netting

Belize has some great C&R legislation, but netting is a whole other issue. Gillnets and fish traps operate all over the country… and that’s not good for a country that depends on tourism for 35% of all jobs. Here’s some info on the netting issue.

Belize is a beautiful place. I honeymooned there back in 2012. I had my first trip in 2010 and ended up lucking into a grand slam. It is a place I think of often. If you’ve been there, you are probably in the same boat as me… hoping it doesn’t get screwed up.


Sep 16

Rethinking Rethinking Belize

I was toying with the idea of taking my daughter on a daddy-daughter trip to Belize for Spring Break to snorkel and fish and to take her somewhere she hasn’t been before.

Then… then we had a horrible weekend with her behavior being so amazingly poor I had to rethink the whole Belize plan.

But now I’m rethinking rethinking the trip. Spring Break is in April, a long time from now, so making a decision based on her behavior now seems pre-mature. Also, she’ll be 10 by then, in the 4th grade, and she won’t be my little girl much longer. The idea of a trip, alone, with her dad, might not sound so good in a few years and this is a great chance to make a life-long memory.

So, the trip is back on.

The plan, for now, is Caye Caulker. A short-ish trip. Arrive Monday, leave Friday. A day of fishing, a day of snorkeling, a day of lounging around and seeing the town.

It gives me something to do some tying for and will almost certainly be my next tropical fly fishing outing (although, it is possible I’ll get some redfish involved in one of my now frequent New Orleans business trips, but I’m not counting that just yet).

They grow up fast. I’m back to thinking I should maximize the memory making while I have a chance.

The girl and her dad

The girl and her dad