Jul 15

Again… what being helpful looks like

The Bonefish and Tarpon Trust is an organization I hold in high regard. They are the stewards and watchers on the wall for the species we love and the places they live. They are, as the saying goes, “good people.”

Being that they are good people and they do a lot of work in the Bahamas and have developed many relationships there over the years, I was happy to see their more detailed recommendations for regulations to protect and preserve Bahamian sport-fishing in a sustainable way for the long haul.

In fact, it is so well reasoned and well crafted I am nearly 100% positive that these points of recommendation will be rejected, probably in whole.

Here are the recommendations from BTT. 

The fundamental reason these points will be rejected (or, more likely, just ignored) is that the move to regulate flats fishing has little to nothing to do with conserving the fisheries. Sure, there is a lot of talk about how these regulations are designed to ensure the fishery will be there for future generations, but this appears to mean “it will be here for future generations because we are going to get rid of all the anglers.”

The government has made noise about “consultation,” but they have selected the most radical people to take their advice from and have ignored the input of so many important stakeholders.

The government would do well to listen to this bit of advice from BTT if they want to find a sane way to regulate the industry and preserve the fishery for future generations, as they say they do.

I have no confidence Minister Gray or Prescott Smith will take any of BTT”s suggestions because their true motivations do not appear to align with passing sane regulations.

I’d love to be proven wrong.


Jul 15

The long running argument

Thanks for the pull. Sorry it didn't work out.

Thanks for the pull. Sorry it didn’t work out.

I have friends who love to give me crap about fish feeling pain. They send me stories and pictures about poor fish in pain. I have long countered with my standard line “I can’t tell you fish don’t experience something, but they don’t experience pain like you and I do.”

They have not believed me. Actually, maybe they did, but they just like giving me crap (that sound more probable).

I was glad to see that the argument has been settled WITH SCIENCE! I like science.

“The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.”
― Neil deGrasse Tyson

You can find the story about the science here.

Jun 15

Keys Tarpon Hunt, Day 4 with Davin

Day four saw Davin and I deciding to camp out in Tav and just wait it out. If you are trying to move around to find a fish that moves around, you stand some chance of missing the fish every time. If you wait, so the thinking went, the fish will have to come to you.

It was a good theory.

The weather was grey, the water was hard to see anything in, the wind was up. In short, not ideal.

This proved to be the closest I would get to my oceanside tarpon. Davin, it turns out, sold his soul (at least a part of his soul at any rate) to gypsies in return for super-human vision. He was calling out fish for me on a day when I couldn’t see a damn thing. He must have seen 100 fish that day, I saw about 8. I was making casts to fish I couldn’t see, but Davin and I were working like a team and we were working well.

Three follows. That was the grand tally for the day.

“Tarpon fishing is a game of incremental victories,” said Davin, and that is certainly true. The fish you see. The fish you cast at. The fish that follow. The fish you get to eat. The fish you jump. The fish you land and release. On a bad day you count it all. On a good day? I’ll let you know when I have one.

At one point we got chased off the water by a wall of watery darkness, managing to run under the protection of Nate’s awning just as the squall hit. We went back out, but the tides had changed the fish stopped moving (or moved further out where not even Davin’s gypsy purchased vision could find them).

Davin got to cast for about 5 minutes and had one shot in that time. He let me stand up there for hours, willing me to connect, but the fishing gods had other plans. Either that or this was the fishing gods’ plan and they are a bunch of jerks.

Davin, taking a shot.

Davin, taking a shot.

Another day, another smack down, but a good day on the water. I felt like at least I was in the game and that was more than I had felt the previous few days. Funny how I could feel mostly content on a day when I didn’t touch a single fish, but I did feel content. I took the small victories and was happy with them.

May 15


I just can’t get into tying trout flies anymore. I just can’t do it. The salt stuff is just too much fun. It’s so big and expressive and substantial. I don’t want to tie any more #16’s.

I know which I'd rather tie.

I know which I’d rather tie.

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.
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.
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!

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.

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.



Jun 13



Love it.

Jun 13



Love it.

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.