Jun 12

Learn something new day… the Panga

Fishing Jones had a story about the ubiquitous Panga style boat.  It is worth a read.

The only place I’ve been on a Panga was Belize and in about 80-some days I’ll be there again, down at El Pescador. Kind of very much looking forward to it.

Everywhere else I’ve fished I’ve been on more modern flats boats, so the Panga was a change of pace.  I was surprised by the size of those boats. They really are pretty large.  For being so large I was also surprised how shallow the draft was.  We got into some pretty skinny water in those things.  I have some great memories on pangas and I look forward to making more.

On the deck of a Belizian Panga.

Mar 12

Fishing Jones interviews Mr. Deneki

His name actually is Andrew Bennett, but he’s the guy behind Deneki Outdoor. Here’s a cool interview that Fishing Jones did.

Here’s a sample question asked…

You’re Ivy League; shouldn’t you be launching a tech start-up or bundling subprime mortgages?

Check out the interview to see the answer.

Fishing Jones, is, of course, Pete McDonald, who is part of the Pulp Fly writing project. A great number of the writers for the project came out of FIBFest (Bruce Smithhammer, Pete McDonald, Michael Gracie and myself). A lot of good things have happened there at Andros South. Good job Andrew.


Oct 11

Fishing Jones and good words.

Nothing brings insecurities to fore like standing on the bow of a flats skiff, especially with a head made weak from dehydration. Bonefish T found a school and turned his skiff and called out instruction. I lay down a cast and missed and awaited castigation.

A piece over at Fishing Jones, which is always a good read, even when he’s going after fish that I don’t target in places I’ll probably never fish.

Go… read it.  Enjoy.

Aug 11

Fishing Jones and the Keys

I made a few blind casts and hooked a nine-inch barracuda. I pulled it in by hand and green shards of bucktail from the abused clouser stuck to its skin and my fingers.

Isn’t that a great image.  Don’t you just see that when you read those words.  Yeah… I do too.

Read this great little piece by Fishing Jones.

Fishing Jones was one of the earliest fishing blogs.  An east coaster with a penchant for stripers and a way with the written word, his is the kind of blog that you wish were updated every day, just so you could have something quality to look forward to.

I feel much the same way about Flatswalker, who also really has the ability to turn a phrase and put you there, out on the water in the middle of no where with a rod in your hand, even when you are stuck in the largely (although not totally) bonefish devoid state of California.

If you like Pete’s writing and want to see more of it… you can check out The Blitz (via Moldy Chum).


Nov 10

The Math of Sucking

I too, read Alex C‘s bit on why you suck at fly fishing, and then I read Pete’s counter and MG‘s announcement… and it got me to thinking… how do I feel about sucking? (A Perfect Fish got in on the discussion too)

I like Pete’s “Don’t be an asshole” rule.  I think I can pretty much live by that one.  I’ve had a few things said about me over the years and I’ll generally admit to being a bit naive, but certainly well intentioned.  I’m maybe a bit too quick to get defensive and a little slow to let an insult go, but I’m working on both of those things.  Don’t say I’m not, damnit!  Well… more work to do, I guess.

There are a lot of really good anglers out there and there are a lot of really sucky anglers out there and I’d bet the a-hole split is fairly even between the two groups.  However, there is something particularly egregious about the guy who is an a-hole about being a good angler.  I kind of hate those guys.  There seems to be something about this sport/hobby/pastime that generates the “I’ve been there, done that, and probably better than you did/will/can.”

These guys are first against the wall when the revolution comes. Just say’n.

We all start somewhere and usually, almost always, suck at the beginning.  Some kids get lucky and fish from birth.  I took up fly fishing when I was 20 or 21 despite living in trout country and gear fishing from an early age.  Others come to it later…. sometimes not until middle age or retirement.  When you start and how much time you put into it determines a lot.  For most folks, sucking isn’t a way of life, it is merely the scenic route to becoming a better angler.

I’m not good at math, but I think you could nearly come up with an equation to determine flyfishing suckiness… I’ll call it the Fly Fishing Suckiness Index (FFSI).

TW (Time on the Water – 1-10) x HLP (Amount and quality of help you have received – 1-8) x A (Athleticism – 1-2) x AG (Age you picked up fly fishing – 1 older, 2 young man, 3 birth) x FND (How fishy your group of friends is – 3-very, 1-not at all) x AW (Awareness – 1-2) x FS (Quality of your local fly shop – 1-2) x FT (Fly Tier 1 = no, 1.5 = yes) x JOB (Job, is it your job? 1 = no, 3 = yes) = FFSI

Nowhere in the equation is there mention of how expensive your gear is or how many miles you’ve traveled after fish.  Those things don’t make the angler, really.  One key factor is the help your receive along the way.  Guides, friends, parents… there is a world of advice and knowledge and if you ask, you will generally receive… if you do, remember to give it back to some other sucky angler at some point down the road.

There are exceptions… there are people born to fish, just like there are people born to paint or sculpt.  The engineers I know seem fairly unable/unwilling/uninterested to do anything else.  I heard one computer/electrical engineer explaining how a quantum computer would work (which blew my mind) and it was not lost on me that this same person has sever phobias involving toothpicks, needles, contractors, ticks and many, many other things that makes it nearly impossible to operate in the world.  He was born with numbers in his head and some people are born with fish floating in theirs.

There are probably also people who cannot overcome their own ineptness, but who love it anyway.  If it doesn’t bother them, I ask that it not bother you either and we should all get along famously.

PS – I’m still, pretty much, a sucky saltwater angler… but I’m working on it.

Oct 10

Chittum Skiffs Islamorada 18 | features.boats.com

a good read about an awesome looking flats boat… although I won’t be buying one… probably not great for the SF Bay… despite the bonefish caught there in 1914.

The cult of flats fishing has many commandments, two of the most important being “float shallow” and “don’t spook the fish.” The Chittum Islamorada 18 looks to do that like no other skiff around.

via Chittum Skiffs Islamorada 18 | features.boats.com.

This story was authored by Pete McDonald, who also  happens to write the Fishing Jones blog.

Sep 10

Parrot Cay Bonefish by the Numbers | Blood Knot Magazine

Courtesy of Blood Knot Magazine and Fishing Jones… a little recap.

The first one, an eight pounder, broke off my tippet. Or, more accurately, I did on the strip set.

via Parrot Cay Bonefish by the Numbers | Blood Knot Magazine.

Sep 10

Saturday Grab Bag

First, I thought the blog post by Fishing Jones about his most recent foray into the land of bonefish.  As Michael Gracie says in the comments… this is the standard by which future fishing reports will be judged.

We’re the People’s Front of Bud’s Lounge.

It is a great report and I like the Life of Brian reference.  I had an indoor soccer team at one point named The People’s Front of Judea.

On another front, I’ve been sitting down to tie again with Belize on my mind… 55 days, I believe at this point.  I got some advice to tie up some Legless Merkins… I like the look of these guys… wish my Un-Legless Merkins looked as good.

Sans Legs, the Merk looks yummy.

I dug the most recent Deneki post about Andros South that highlighted some local color of a Junkanoo band.  When I was in Grand Bahama last, someone mentioned that the traffic was for a Junkanoo festival and they nearly fell down when I told them I didn’t know what that was.

Sep 10

Deneki post by Fishing Jones

A great guest post on the Deneki blog by FIBFester Pete McDonald, who writes the Fishing Jones blog.

The drink is called sky juice and it’s a mixture of condensed milk, coconut rum, gin, and whatever other bottles are open at the time. Torrie Bevans mixed it up at the Slack Tide on what happened to be my last night at Andros South and it made the start proper.

via Lessons Learned on South Andros by Pete McDonald.

May 10

Thoughts on FIBFest

Thanks go to Deneki Outdoors for putting on FIBFest 2010. There was a lovely flow of bonefishy goodness riding the tide from Andros South.

Michael Gracie took pity on me for my inability to escape the gravitational pull of domestic bliss (really a move, house sale and all that goes with it) and sent me an Andros South hat.

My life in a picture... fantasy and reality all there together.

Between all the great writing emanating from Andros South, Michael’s hat charity and my flies keeping Fishing Jones company, FIBFest was a blast, even from the stands.

Thanks Deneki!