13
Aug 14

Interview with Abaco Guide Thomas Albury

Thomas Albury is a guide working the waters of Abaco. Seems like a pretty nice place to take folks out. He has Ondafly Charters.

Looking for the ghost

Looking for the ghost

You guide out of Marsh Harbour in Abaco. What do you love most about your office?

We live on a small island named Lubbers quarters about 4 miles from MH. I pick up from all over Abaco depending on my customers needs. My office view is always great, a lot better than fighting traffic on any highway.
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When you are out on the water a lot, you see some crazy things, things others just don’t see because they haven’t spent the time out there. What’s something odd, funny or scary you’ve seen out there?
Schooling of fish, rays, sharks, bait, etc.  It always catches my eyes and enjoying watching nature at its finest. Couple years ago on Dec. 22nd I saw a giant school of bait being herded by 2 doz. mutton snappers close to shore and could have easily thrown a fly to them. But as usual, when you see stuff like that you never have a rod near by!! It is always great to see stuff like that!!
It seems no matter how many really sexy flies I tie, when I open my box for a guide he picks either a tan Gotcha or a Peterson’s Spawning Shrimp. Is it that easy? Do you have a favorite fly for bones out there?
I wish it was here!! These fish on the ocean side see people!! So sometimes you need to challenge yourself to a little more variation. Try more crabs!! But I enjoy to use anything that is a little different, that is not seen like the gotchas,  and charlies. I like chili peppers, veverka mantis shrimps,  Blackfly outfitters  has a nice pattern they sell named “sifter shrimp” that turns fish on the east side also. In the marls you can throw spawning shrimps all day long. When they turn you down just try something else. Those fish are a lot easier to please!!
A client and a tagged fish.

A client and a tagged fish.

What is the state of the ecosystem around Marsh Harbour and are there any threats to that ecosystem (netting, illegal fishing, over development)?
At this time our eco system is healthy but always fragile. Unfortunately there is still minimal netting on both sides of Abaco. The over development is also a problem in Abaco as it is very popular site to visit in the Bahamas. Please check out this proposal for our east abaco creeks.
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What’s your favorite bonefish rod and reel at the moment?
Wow that is a good one!! Well most of my customers are shooting with sage and orvis of course. I always like one piece models like gl loomis 9′. While at I cast 2014 I got to play with  a clutch one piece and four piece 9′, nice rods!!  I need to try  the new sage salt!!

Reels Nautilus by far.
Often times we have a fishing mentor, someone who put in the time and really helped us grow as anglers. Is there anyone like that for you?
You know I can’t put just one name down as an answer. There is a lot of good people I’ve met within this industry that have helped myself and other tremendously. I think you should always try to mentor with every situation to grow and learn together. But someone that really touched me would have to be Flip Pallot. Three years ago while at Abaco Lodge my wife and daughters came by the lodge to say hello. Once he saw my girls, he politely excused himself from the group of anglers at the lodge and came and talked to my two girls that were 4 and 6 years old. And to this day my oldest still says daddy there’s “Mr flip” every time she see his face. Now that was cool!! And he is a great teacher too!!
Where’s the best conch fritter in Marsh Harbour?
Honestly I go all over Abaco and the best one I have had lately would be at Pinnaples in Green Turtle Cay.
Why, with all the many options anglers have, should someone consider heading to Marsh Harbour? 
Well if you looking for a lodge option we have that. If your looking for a guys vacation, rent a house, get some independent guides to carry you out for a couple days each, then possibly try a day on your own, we have that!! Our if you are coming with family and need that 1/2 or full day to break up the craziness, we have that too. Plus It is a very friendly, great scenery, great water, great people. You can fish on Abaco for 30 days and never fish the same flat twice!!
Thanks Thomas!

14
Mar 14

H2 Loaner for Long Island

For Long I’ll be throwing a loaner Helios 2 from Orvis. I cast one of these in Cuba back in 2012 and I loved it then. I took it out on the grass yesterday for a spin and I have to say… I kind of love it.

Just a damn fine rod.

It is light. It is powerful. It is accurate (although… is that the caster or the rod?).

I’m looking forward to getting a few more fish on the H2 and I’ll be sad when I have to send the thing back.

It arrived with a Mirage Reel along with the Orvis bonefishishing line, which is a textured line. I know textured lines have had mixed reviews with just about everyone agreeing they let you get a few more feet out of your cast and some (like Flatswalker) finding his textured floating lines incapable of floating. I didn’t have that issue when I fished this same line in 2012 and I will let you know how it goes this time around.


20
Jul 13

Today… back home

I’m up in Dunsmuir today… and there might be a little, tiny bit of fishing. Love this place. This is where I grew up and where my daughter has been for the past week at Grandparent Camp.

Awesome.

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22
Jun 13

Success

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Love it.


22
Jun 13

Success

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Love it.


28
May 13

I’m bringing everything

I’m packing. I leave on Wednesday, from work, which means I need to be all packed by Tuesday night. Better to start a day early so there are fewer (notice I didn’t say “is nothing) left behind.

I need to do a load of laundry too. Need to have the right underwear (not cotton boxers) and I am wearing a tarpon shirt from Skinny Water Culture that would make much more sense in a Florida context.

When I look at what I’m bringing it occurs to be that my packing list looks something like this…

  • Entire Content of Garage

I’m bringing lines for rods we don’t have, just in case. I’m bringing spools of tippet and extra sun gloves and just everything. Better safe than sorry, I’d say. I know it is silly. I’m going to Florida, not Andros. I could probably buy something I forget and there will be extra gear on hand, I’m sure, but I like to be prepared and so I’m going to have to check a bag, me thinks.

Now… I wonder what I’m forgetting…

That's just about it, I think.

That’s just about it, I think.

Another reason tomorrow is a big day is that tomorrow I teach my daughter how to spell “sister.” She has no idea.

Yep, it is going to be a big year.

Yep, it is going to be a big year.

 


16
May 13

Some FL odds and ends

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.

My one previous FL trip

My one previous FL trip

 


12
Apr 13

The Bones of Florida

I’ve hears some talk recently about there being fewer bonefish in Florida these days.

The past is always better, right? But this isn’t 20 years ago past, this is, like, three years ago past.

Back not too long ago things got kind of cold in Florida. Bonefish, tarpon, snook… these fish don’t like cold water. In fact… they die.

The Florida Sportsman recently ran a story about what the guides are seeing on the FL flats.

Captain Lain Goodwin of Key Largo noted that effects of the frontal blasts varied from area to area. “After the cold snaps in 2010 I did notice a major decline,” said Goodwin. “I’d usually see from 20 to even 100 bones on a half-day trip, but now I’m lucky to find 10 to 20 on a good day. And yet on other flats in close proximity to Largo Sound, the bonefish population has remained steady.”

Anyone have first hand experience or insight to share on this?
I’m headed to FL for the first time (since I was 10) at the end of May and I’m very much looking forward to that trip.
Nice fish.

Nice fish.


15
Mar 13

Tying up some meat

In Belize I threw a lot of #6 flies, and even some #8’s. As I look forward to the Florida trip, I’m tying up some meat for any Biscayne Bones we might come across. That means tying up flies up to a size 1/0.

That’s kind of mind boggling.

1/0.

I shudder thinking about the size of a bonefish that would eat a 1/0.

One… frigging… ought.

Big ole flies

Big ole flies

What’s the biggest fly you’ve thrown at a bonefish??


06
Dec 12

The New Fly Fisher at El Pescador

Bonus, Tom Rosenbauer from Orvis is along on the trip as The New Fly Fisher heads to El Pescador in Belize.