Andros South is a lodge you probably have heard of. It is the bonefishy offering of Deneki Outdoors located in some of the most prime bonefish habitat you can find anywhere. Rick Sisler is the manager of Andros South and has been for a number of year. Rick’s got a background as a guide working the waters of Chile and Alaska prior to his Andros gig. Rick agreed to an email interview about his experiences.
Rick, as I understand it, you’ve spent some significant time guiding in Chile and Alaska. Are there similarities between those places and South Andros that might surprise folks?
The shear area we have to fish in each of these areas is probably the biggest similarity. Just endless waterways in all three give you the feeling that you are truly getting away from the hustle and bustle of real life.
What do you find is the most common item that guest leave home that they wish they had once they get to Andros South?
An extra set of polarized glasses. Really you should have a pair for low light and a pair for those super sunny days you normally get here. They can make your day!
What was your first impression of the landscape when you got down there and how has that view changed over time?
I grew up on the west coast (Oregon) and have lived in Alaska, when not guiding in some far off place, for almost 20 years now. So I am used to the mountains, The Bahamas has nothing I would call a hill, let alone a mountain!! I am still not used to that. The coconut trees are probably my favorite visual here along with the mangroves, because they shout Bahamas and Bonefish!
Do you have a favorite bonefishing rod/reel?
Probably a 7wt Sage Xi2, just because they are tough, can huck big flies without too much effort and they handle the environment well compared to other rods I have seen. The salt is very tough on all parts of the rod and the more salt worthy the better!
Bonefishing and wind seem to go hand in hand. How constant a companion is the wind at Andros South and do you have any tips on dealing with the wind?
Wind is a constant in almost every fishery on the planet at some time or another. Its probably the number one issue most people have with fishing. Don’t believe that you must fish a 10′-14′ leader for bonefish, at least in the Bahamas. if you can get away with a shorter leader and tippet then do it. It will make a huge difference in getting the fly to turn over and lay out cleanly. Plus when you get a close fish you can work the fly much closer to you before you run out of line to strip.
Do you have a favorite bonefish? A fish that stands out from all the others?
My wife’s 10+ lb bonefish! Her first trip to Andros South, she was 6 months pregnant with our first child, and she had already landed 13 fish that day. The 14th fish that came along was a giant. She spotted it, the guide called it a shark, then a cuda, then big Bone Mon!! She made a perfect 50″ foot cast and the fish ate it on the run. Epic battle ensued and the guide could have been heard in South Florida he was so jacked up. I landed 1 fish that day! And I had my chances!
As the manager of the Lodge you must see a lot of people come through, year after year. People come with different expectations, experience levels and objectives. Do you have any clients that stand out as having a particularly memorable trip?
One very recent trip with a father and son team. The kid had a great attitude, his dad was super laid back and just wanted the kid to have fun. He did and then some! he was able to land a bunch of fish that week with one being around 8lbs. Not bad for his first time!
Thanks Rick. Hope to see you in person, in Andros, one of these days!
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Tags: Andros South, Bahamas, bonefish, bonefishing, Deneki Outdoors, flyfishing, Rick Sisler, Wind
Sweet! Really wanna visit now. Been to North Andros, but never south. Gotta do it.
One note though: (depending on how you have your leader attached to the fly line), there should be no such thing as running out of line to strip. I’ve had guest catch bonefish with LITERALLY less than 2 feet of leader (just the tippet) out the rod tip. In my personal list of fly fishing rules that’s #2: NEVER stop fishing.
(Rules #1 & #3 are pretty much variations on that theme: Always be ready with line out. Never reel up until you’re headed home for the day… basically, never stop fishing.)
First bonefish I ever saw in Kauai, I had reeled up my line and had stopped fishing. Some good advice there.