Interview with Mike Davis

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to strike out on your own as a booking agent for fly fishing destinations?  Well, Michael Davis is finding out.  Mike has the blog False Echos and recently launched a booking company called Life on the Fly Outfitters.

Belize Bone

Belize Bonefish - Life on the Fly

Mike, you recently started a booking company. It seems a tough business to get into. What made you jump in?

Well, actually is was part of a bigger plan, I’ve been writing the blog False Echoes for a few years, updating fly anglers about my personal trips & thoughts and used the tag line “life on the fly”. (I thought that was clever) I decided to build on that brand and incorporate the name. Life On The Fly Outfitters. I’m a business man at heart and I have a unprecedented passion for this sport.

I wanted to travel and do what I love, that is fish, I just saw it fit within a business plan.

As far as tough to get into, Bjorn you don’t know the half of it, I prepared for a year to launch this company and have had some great feedback and responses from within the industry. Part of my business plan was to design and create my own flyers, for each destination. Lodge owners really like the personal touch, as well as, the customers.

You’ve fished down in Belize a bit. Where would you recommend a hungry/thirsty angler head at the end of the day to grab a beer or a bite to eat?

Ambergris Caye, which is a little island off the mainland coast, is special to me and my family and its culture is unique in many ways. From the food to fishing it offers variety for the angler on the fly. This past march I stayed with El Pescador (which I represent) and enjoyed my stay very much. However, I had to get into the town of San Pedro and visit some old haunts. My favorite place, after a long day on the flats, is Lilly’s Treasure Chest. The service is on island time, but hands down the best Conch Ceviche on the island and the Belikin’s are always cold.

My Second, favorite place is a tiny restaurant called My Secret Deli, which is close to the lagoon side, and serves a different local meal each day, the day I was there it was Conch Chowder in Coconut Milk & Stewed Chicken. Best meal I had the whole trip. Man it makes me want to book a trip right now.

Some good grub in Ambergris

What rod/reel do you use for your bonefish?

Currently I use a Sage Fli 9ft 8wt Rod, Lamson Lightspeed 3.5 Reel & a SA Sharkskin WF-8-Floating Line. Things change and so do my preferences, I’m in love with the Scott S4S 8wt & the Hatch Monsoon 7 Plus. Next time I’m in the salt this is the rig I will be bringing for Bones.

What’s the next place you are going to cast to bonefish?

Bjorn your list might be longer then mine, but a I would like to visit the destinations that I represent: I work with Big Charlie’s Lodge in South Andros, Pesca Maya in Mexico & Avalon’s Programs in Cuba. I had a chance to visit Cuba a few years back, didn’t have time to fish but what a beautiful country, I may try to get there again once the regime changes hands.

What’s the best bit of advice you ever got about pursuing bonefish?

Make your casts count & know your ability. The crossover anglers who come from Fresh to Salt are prime examples. Salt is a different game. It is a more intense, quicker draw, casts need to be precise and flawless. A tailing Permit will teach you this lesson as well.

El Pescador... soon, Michael and I will have both fished there.

We have all seen the “bonefishing uniform.” What parts of that traditional uniform do you think are essential and what parts do you think we can leave behind?

If your fair skinned like me Sun Block , Sun Block & more Sun Block. Seriously, I won’t go on the flats without long pants & long sleeve shirts. Nothing could make up for the 7 days of blisters on the back of your legs, then being completely covered. I also don’t go anywhere without a second pair of sunglasses.

Thanks Michael.  Good luck to you!

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  1. BUFF beats suntan lotion hands down, err, away from your eyes. I lost half a day with lotion eye burn at Anegada. Try making a delicate presentation to a bonefish with one eye closed.

  2. Good post and good luck Michael. Regarding details, I was particularly interested in the “uniform” topic. I’m working on clothing and accessories specific to tropical conditions and would be very interested in hearing more about angler’s likes, dislikes and desires when it comes to “the uniform” for the sun. If inclined, please share your thoughts here – Thanx.

  3. I’m a huge fan of the Buff, but I’ve discovered a bit of sun screen is needed too… That little area below the hat on the side of my face… I’ve burnt that more than once. Still… Love the buff.

  4. I love quick dry long sleved “fishing” shirts with flat, snag free pockets. I also like a pocket I can put a Cliff Bugger Barn fly box in. I love my Patagonia quick dry pants. Those things are bomb proof. Love the buff style products. I am not sold on the gloves just yet… Too easy to lose between trips. I love my Patagonia wading boots, but remember fondly a guide in Kauai wearing crocs to Wade on the old coral flat.

    Love your blog Steve.

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