11
Jan 18

Cliche

The Cliche of Gin

The water, most days, in most of the places I love being is gin clear.

It is as clear as water, but you just can’t say that, right? It’s like you aren’t even trying.

It is as clear as stale 7-Up.

It is as clear as simple arithmetic.

It is as clear as a bag of IV solution

which is usually saline, which makes sense.

It is as clear as the nose on my face.

It is at clear as the rumbling, booming Dolby hi-def deafening audio at the movie theatre.

It is as clear as a clear day.

It is as clear as a dive in the box.

It is clear as clear.

That’s how the water is in the places I love on a good day when the wind isn’t up too much and there’s no churn from a cold front.

It is only the part in the middle that is clear.

The surface has ripples and currents and is seldom still.

The bottom is a jumble of refracted light and swaying grasses which confuse and trick the eye.

But the medium in the middle, the domain of the fish, it is clear as gin.

That is a picture to put a smile on your face, isn’t it? (photo by Peter Viau, originally from this post about South Andros). 


09
Jan 18

Possibilities – SUP edition

Increased range… getting in places I couldn’t get in before…

If you had one, where would you take it?

I can think of creeks in the Bahamas that I’d love to have this thing on.

I can think of places south of New Orleans I’d be keen to try this out on.

Where would you take this?


03
Jan 18

G&G with some bonefish fly selection pointers

Hey, you like bonefish? You want to have the right flies? Check out the Gink & Gasoline post about, ya know, stocking your fly box for bonefish.

The only thing I’d add to the list of pointers would be this.

Have some flies without flash. It is another variable to take into consideration. Really, really pressured fish may not like any flash at all. If all your flies have flash, and I have some that are nothing BUT flash, they will high tail it as soon as your sparkle fly hits the water.

A #6 with just the flash for a wing.


01
Jan 18

Your 2018

So… where are you headed this year? Leave your plans in the comments!


28
Dec 17

2018 – A preview

Man… what is 2018 going to throw at me? I have some idea, but I’m sure there will be some surprises in the mix too.

Here’s what I KNOW is happening.

Belize, Caye Caulker, Spring Break. I’m going back to Caye Caulker with my (will be) 11 year old daughter. We liked the trip so much in 2017 we are going back. There will be some dock fishing and there will be at least one day of fly fishing, but there will be other stuff going on as well… more exploring and bonding and whatnot. The whatnot is important for a trip like this.

Hawaii, early summer. We are going back to Oahu and I hope to grab another day on the water with Kenny. That trip last year was just about perfect as well and we are aiming to do an exact repeat of that trip.

Now… beyond that… I’m not too sure.

I have this longing to get back to the Bahamas and may look for some opportunities to do that.

I hope to get a day on the water down in Louisiana again. It would be nice if that were an annual occurrence. I’ll certainly have trips out that way, I just have to figure out how to get the fishing in with the work in a way that doesn’t short-change the work and doesn’t make life any harder for my MD wife than it needs to be, or is fair in the big scheme of things.

I have three conferences in San Diego this next year. I might grab a day to fish down there, although it is pricey to fish solo with a guide, especially if I want to go after the Makos, but, as they say, “we shall see.”

I hope there are more stripers this year and I hope to have a few days of trout-something. I should have two days of camping with my daughter during the summer which should provide a chance to get her on some trout, maybe my son, maybe my wife and who knows what else.

2018 looks to have more business travel than 2017 and I was on the road a fair bit in 2017, but the locations are all North East and Midwest and devoid of bonefish and tarpon targets (sadly).

I love fishing. I love, lovey, love, love fishing, but, I’m also trying to be a good husband and a good father and a good Director of Client Services and maybe a couple other things and so the fishing has to find its place in the mix of all those priorities. It is a struggle to find the right balance. I hope I did a good job of that in 2017 and I strive for in 2018.

Happy New Year to all of you and hope to see you on the water.


22
Dec 17

Imagine the Bahamas without conch

It isn’t hard to imagine. I know I’ve seen conch too small to be legally harvested make their way to the shell piles. Here’s a story about measures being proposed to preserve the conch fishery into the future. There is something here about illegal foreign poachers, but all that damage you’d want done could be done by Bahamians themselves as they respond the a huge demand.

Cracked

China is circling the Bahamas, looking for fresh seafood to feed their billion+ people and I bet they’d like some nice conch fritters.

Florida lost their conch. Will the Bahamas follow them?

I hope not. I really hope not. I hope strong measures are taken (and FOLLOWED) in the Bahamas to keep the conch around for generations.


16
Dec 17

2017 – A review

What an odd year it’s been.

I got out, I went some new places, I had some different experiences, I caught some new species, I met some new people.

It was another year where my days fishing for trout diminished. I think I fished for trout exactly three days… all with my daughter and a bit with my son (who landed his first trout), and for fewer combined hours than I’d normally fish in a single day. It just gets harder and harder to get away and make the drive North or East to find trout water. Kids. Work. Wife. It just isn’t fitting into an increasingly full life. I can’t really even complain about that, it’s just an observation.

I continued to find some time around the edges to get to the Bay and fish for stripers. I didn’t do this as much as I would have liked to, but I caught some, even the odd halibut. I saw plenty of seals and pelicans and very few other anglers.

My first trip of the year was to Ft. Lauderdale/Miami. It is a trip I’ll look back on with sadness, given the later actions of my fishing partner, but the fishing itself was pretty interesting. I caught my first Peacock Bass, which was pretty fun, as well as my first Mayan. I went night tarpon fishing in Biscayne Bay (remember, my son’s middle name is Biscayne) on a night of high winds and low expectations. We didn’t catch anything more than a single jack, but we did have tarpon rolling on the shadow line of the bridge and it is something I really want to do again. I got to fish with David as well, who showed me one of his spots.

Just a fun, fun fish to catch on a fly rod.

A Mayan on David’s water

My second trip of the year was to Belize for Spring Break with my girl. We went to Caye Caulker and stayed at Sea Dreams. It was a pretty awesome trip, full of bonefish caught from the dock and very little time wearing shoes of any kind. The day of fly fishing resulted in one nice snook and a really good soaking from the rain. Lots of great memories from that trip.

My Belize Snook

One of the highlights from Spring Break 2017.

Awesome

Nice cuda.

My third trip of the year was to Oahu for a family vacation. I had a day to fish and I managed to break my O’io curse, landing three, hooking seven and seeing my first adult Giant Trevally and my first ever milkfish. It was a pretty good day on the water… opened my eyes a bit to the Hawaii bonefish game.

My fourth trip was to Mexico, Mahahual, with my dad in July. I think it was maybe a bit too late in the year as it was HOT. This was, in retrospect, not the best trip for my dad. The heat and unsteady footing were not his friends. Still, he caught his first tarpon (baby) and had his first grabs from adult tarpon. I caught some babies, had more than one eat from the big guys and caught my first trigger fish. It was a good trip that would have been made better by maybe 8 degrees less heat.

Nick with my trigger

Dad’s First Sabalito

My fifth trip was down to the marshes of Louisiana, DIY kayaking for redfish with a group largely from Alabama. This was a great experience. I had never fished out of a kayak like that and was a bit shaky, but managed to catch three reds and my first speckled trout. I met James, another blog reader, and enjoyed our day on the water.

My first DIY redfish

Don’t you love the hazey GoPro pictures?

That rounded out my fishing for the year. It is now approaching mid-December and I might, might get another day or two of throwing for stripers in the Bay, but beyond that, my fishing is pretty much wrapped up for 2017.

New species: Peacock Bass, Trigger Fish, Speckled Trout
New guides fished with:
New fishing friends made:

 


12
Dec 17

The BEST looking reel

Right?

Introducing the new Redington I.D. reel. This is probably going to go on my striper rig.

Thanks Redington!


06
Dec 17

In praise of the woman angler

It has been a bit hard to see so many icons fall these last few months. Some were folks that have been important to me (oh Louis…), but my discomfort is more than made up for by women maybe getting out from some of the absolute horse shite they’ve been dealing with for just about forever.

I’ve interviewed many female anglers here on the blog and I very much try to stay away from the “As a woman angler…” questions because they are anglers, not female anglers, they are anglers, most better than me, all more widely traveled, all with more interesting stories. Kind of ridiculous for me to try and put them in some side bucket, as if to say they are the best of that subset, when they are at the top of THE game, not just THEIR game. Ya know?

I was a guide for a very short time many, many years ago. I think I took away more that season than I gave, although I got to put more than a few anglers on their first trout, which is a pretty awesome thing to facilitate.

What I did learn from that one season on the water is that I’d prefer a woman angler over a guy, even if she was a first-timer. The reason for that is simple and known to all guides the world over.

Women listen.

It’s that simple. They listen to the guide. Their ego is set aside so they can learn and they take it in and they internalize it and they use it.

Men are often less easy to inform. They know already, they think. Or, they want to impress the guide with their prowess. It is an odd thing to hire a guide and then try to show off instead of learn, but it is something that happens again and again and again, on waters all over the world.

One thing I said back those years ago and still say, when explaining the right amount of power to put into a cast goes something like this…

I could likely out wrestle Joan Wulff and I could take her in feat of strength, but she can out cast me. It has less to do with power and more to do with technique and applying the right amount of power in the right place.

I think there is something there we can all learn from, although I’m still learning myself.

In this moment, when, hopefully, women get to cast off some of the crap they’ve had to deal with for way too long, I want to say, I see you and value you and hope to meet you on the water.


05
Dec 17

Number 1 thing on my Christmas Wishlist

It is the critical element.

Every trip I’ve ever had, or ever will, will start with this vital component.

It gets harder and harder to find these days.

Work is humming and there are a thousand little things poking up that demand my attention.

There are the kids. They need their watering and care as well if they are to grow big and strong.

There is my wife, who has her own deficit of this magical element,

Who also needs some of my focus,

And the marriage itself also requires maintenance and nurturing.

And friendships and family and things around the house,

My garage could use a good bit of straightening up.

The thing I need,

The prerequisite for any bit of walking flats and finding fish

is

Time.

So precious

Because scarcity creates value,

Basic economics.

Time.

I need a week, or at least five days,

Without commitments already made,

And without anything too vital on either end,

When it works for the kids and the wife and work.

I check the calendar like a racetrack junkie checking the race results.

The square peg of my need to walk in shin deep water looking for contrary shadows

Is confronted by the round holes of modern life.

I need to make this happen.