07
Mar 17

Awesome in trip form – Openings for Cuba

I was really, really fortunate to get to fish Cuba with Yellow Dog back in 2012 (was it really that long ago?). It was an amazing experience. I caught my first adult tarpon there, jumped and lost others, caught plenty of bones, some nice jacks and cudas and generally had the time of my life.

You want in on this? Well, there is a trip April 22-29 going to the Garden of the Queens with the Fieldworkers Club and they have openings.

Check it out.

How’s that for a trip?

Dr. Jerry Ault is on the trip to lead the science efforts and as one of the world’s foremost experts on tarpon, that should be a pretty educational part of the trip.


05
Mar 17

The right mentality

My trips are almost within sight. April. May. June. Only one of these trips is straight up fishing and I figure there will be 5 days of saltwater fishing in the mix.

Still, I can see myself trying to set the tone for each trip even now.

Belize… a trip with my daughter. I know I won’t get to fish as much or as hard as I’d like. I need to make the trip more about her, keeping her happy, making it a good experience for her and getting her into some fish.

Florida… three days of trying to find an intersection of my physical presence and the migratory tarpon run. There will likely be weather… hard, driving rains, wind, cloudy water. Florida can throw a lot at you when you are trying to find the fish. So, I’m going in with low expectations to match my actual experiences up to now.

Hawaii… I don’t know exactly what day I’ll be fishing on this family trip, but I’m going to grab a day. Still… it is Hawaii and if my previous Hawaii experiences have taught me anything it is that Hawaii doesn’t give up its fish to easily… so… setting expectations accordingly.

I could end up after these three trips not having caught very much of anything. But that’s how it goes and having that knowledge ahead of time could help cushion the blow of getting some skunk on me.

Belize… smallest fish of my 2010 trip.


03
Mar 17

Silver Kings chasing silver kings at El Pescador

I mean… come on. The awesome levels here are off the chart.


02
Mar 17

And… speaking of Belize

Check out this bit of awesome… the folks from Silver Kings join The Fieldworkers Club down at El Pescador (my first Belizian love).

Oh Belize… soon… soon.

The final piece, the tarpon.

 


01
Mar 17

Thinking about Belize

What is Cay Caulker like? Well… here’s an idea of what it is like.

Now, I won’t be doing a ton of fishing on this trip (April), but I’ll have my 10 year old with me for some primo daddy-daughter time, so it will be a good/important trip. Not too expensive to get to and not too expensive when you are there. Hard to beat.

Sea Dreams, which they show in this short video, is where we’ll be staying. You can book this through Yellow Dog.


27
Feb 17

Indifly and Anaa Atoll

I’ve taken a liking to Indifly after hearing about them from a couple different folks. The idea is… well… I’ll leave it up to them to tell you…

Indifly was founded to protect fisheries and provide sustainable livelihoods for indigenous peoples. Our mission is accomplished through the development of community owned fly fishing ecotourism operations that directly benefit from local resource conservation. Once developed, these lodges and guiding operations create environmentally friendly fly fishing destinations that quickly become part of any fly angler’s bucket list. Ultimately, Indifly helps develop a sustainable economy while empowering local inhabitants to conserve the often-imperiled natural resources of many emerging nations.

That sounds… well… awesome. The destination you have probably seen a bit of is Rewa Eco-Lodge in Guyana. You can even book a trip there with Yellow Dog.

While Guyana looks pretty amazing, what caught my eye was work they are doing on Anaa Atoll in French Polynesia.

The projects are not as simple as just finding a place with great fishing and setting up shop. There’s a lot more to it than that… like trying to convince a local population that loves to eat bonefish that maybe bonefish could be a way to bring children back home, to create jobs and chart a sustainable future for the people of Anaa Atoll.

This is a worthwhile project and a nonprofit that hits on all my high points. I’m going to be talking more about them over the coming months.

In the meantime… you can contribute to their success by donating here.

I worked in the nonprofit world for about a decade and it is hard work. You have to recapitalize every year. One of my favorite saying is this… “Ideas are the currency of the nonprofit world… but cash is oxygen.” So… give.

 


25
Feb 17

The show goes on

I always like going to one of the Fly Fishing Shows. Today I managed to steal a couple hours to hit the show in Pleasanton, which I think is the last of the US shows. It is a chance to see some old friends and have some good conversations. I also managed to cast a few new rods.

Not Lefty.

Yellow Dog was there and it’s nice to see those guys out there at these shows. Had some good conversations about the Bahamas with East End Lodge and saw lots of grip-and-grin shots all over the floor from Cuba and Belize and Christmas Island.

Gear makers were there including Redington, Sage, Rio, Galvan, Thomas & Thomas, Hardy, TFO and Patagonia. I grabbed a few new stickers for the car.

I stopped by the Cal Trout booth and renewed my lapsed membership. They do good work.

I got to cast the re-cast Predator rod from Redington, and I have to say… it was pretty sweet. I also cast the X from Sage in a 10 weight and it made me wish I was on a panga with rolling tarpon to cast at. I also cast the new T&T and was surprised to see they were the only rod maker (it seemed) who weren’t cheating a bit by up-lining their demo rods. You over-line and you make novice casters feel like they are 10 feet better than they likely are. Sneaky.

A couple hours of talking fly fishing and drooling over gear… what’s not to love?


23
Feb 17

Unfulfilled Promises

The Bahamas are full of unfulfilled, if not outright broken, promises. An arial view of almost any island will confirm as much. So many folks have blown through and made grand promises of economic security and revolution. Every paved road in a fantasy real estate development tells the tale.

Exuma

Andros

I have to wonder if the International Development Bank sees something similar when it looks at its own investments in the fly fishing community in the Bahamas.

Turns out they invested in a program, to be led by the BFFIA, to “Support the economic empowerment of fly fishing guides.” The project was approved in December of 2014, although very little, if any, of the project seems to have been carried out.

Oddly, this BFFIA project was focused only on Andros, coincidentally the home of BFFIA President and Head Bahamian Snake-Oil Salesman.

Goal:
The general objective of the project is to enhance the skill sets and business acumen of the Andros fly fishing guides and their families while sustaining the island’s natural ecosystem.

There was about $140,000 available for the project and only about $34,500 was reported to be spent.

This project was supposed to include a market survey… ya know… like BTT did, and it appears the BFFIA at least made a go of it, as they inflated the value of the industry from 2x-4x to suit their politics, but the report is not available on the website.

Maybe some of the projects milestones were met, but it sure doesn’t look like it. I don’t have a crystal ball that reveals such details, just the project page, but it sure looks like the IDB’s 2014 investment produced some shite returns in 2017, the year their project was supposed to be wrapped up.

Go to the Bahamas though… just go to one of the places that fought for all anglers.


21
Feb 17

Silver Kings, Season 3, Episode 8, because… Florida.

For your viewing pleasure.

I’d be OK with this.

One of the anglers is Mark Richens. I got to meet him and stayed at his place back on my first FL tarpon trip. His home on Upper Matecumbe Key was once owned by Ted Williams. It is on the market and can be yours for only $4.2M.


20
Feb 17

More on Bill Curtis

The Jackson Hole News and Guide came out with a really great story about long-time/monumental guide Bill Curtis, who passed away last year. Good read.

I never met Bill Curtis. Wish I did. Sounds like he was a really interesting guy.

And… because Florida… someone stole Bill Curtis’s ashes from a pick-up truck.

Oh Florida… you work hard to earn your reputation.