Flatswalker on the DIY Debate

Yesterday’s post was about the DIY debate from This is Fly. Flatswalker waded (see what I did there?) in with a thoughtful reply.

“If I can slip back into my guide boots for a minute, I can attest that I’ve seen a flat take over 2 weeks to recover after being pounded every day for a week by a single DIY angler.”

Some good stuff there. Go read it (please).


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  1. Because of economic reasons, I have been a DIY guy on both my trips. So you can see my experience is very limited. I’m sure situations vary by destination. But on my trips. It took me a day or two just to figure things out. The best spots, the best tides etc. Plus I only had limited access to a boat which was not really set up for bonefishing. So my overall impact was low. What I saw was that some days the fish are there and some days they are not. I was on Abaco and there was no way anyone is going into the marls without a guide. The marls are huge. There is no way even a fleet of guides could cover it. The guides have knowledge and equipment to get them to places that DIY people just can’t or don’t go. I wish I had had the time and money for a guide to take me to those places. But I did have some good days on the flats near the guest house my wife and I were staying in on Casuarina Point. In the week we were there we saw no other people fishing those spots. If there had been people fishing there, we could have gone to any one of the hundreds of other spots accessible to DIY fishermen on that Island. I think the guides who are advocating that no one should be able to DIY in the Bahamas are being selfish jerks. It would be no different than the guides here in Idaho saying that they wanted the same. No one allowed to fish without a guide. That would just be insane. I do agree that there is always fishing etiquette to be followed by DIY people and guides alike. Don’t be a jerk. Don’t litter, etc.

  2. I’m certainly not advocating banning DIY fishing. Just addressing a point of concern.

  3. Jonathan Winthrop

    For example, Girl Flat at Harbour Island is pounded for sure. Right off town, easily reached – a default DIY option in a very expensive place. There are always anglers there, and very few fish. Those fish you do see are very picky singles. Well educated. On the other hand, from the look of the bottom, its a place the bones love to eat. Getting one to eat your fly is a particular reward.

    DIY is a worthwhile challenge and even without success a satisfying experience, what fly fishing is all about. I appreciate this discussion of the pros and cons.

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