May 11

Starting Point

We all have a place where we first wet a line in pursuit of bonefish (or at least there is a pretty good chance of that if you are reading a blog called Bonefish on the Brain).  This is where I first saw a bonefish.

There are some bonefish here... the biggest I've ever seen with my own eyes.

It’s a nice place.  It’s very nice.  It’s been a few years since I’ve been here.  I hope to make it back.  Indeed, there is a campground here that is cheap and I often have dirtbag fantasies about spending a week in a tent here living off of slightly cool beer, Ritz crackers and peanut butter.

It will forever be a special place to me even though I didn’t hook a fish there.   I saw them… and they were frigging huge.  Dear god man, they were big.

I want to be there right now.

The flat is pretty big and it bends around a point so you can’t see the whole thing from the far edges.  The bottom is a far cry from white sand.  It is a “rubble” flat comprised of old, dead coral.  The live stuff is still kicking, just further out from the beach than you’d be walking.  The coral and the urchins make your choice in wading boots kind of important (leave those dive type shoes at home, you need more protection out there).

There are deep cuts through the flats and those are useful things if you are a bonefish and want to travel up onto the flat.  Those fish will emerge from and disappear into those channels.

I have heard that there are also sometimes fairly large sharks in those deep cuts.  Keep that in mind.

It would be great if I could tell you what kind of flies to throw… I don’t know.  I didn’t hook a fish and didn’t have a follow (out of the 7 fish I saw).  You do have to keep in mind the coral… and you need to put that into the mental calculus when it comes to tippets and spare fly lines (more than one fly line has been donated to the fishing gods because of that old coral).

I want to make it back there… I need to make it back there… I will make it back there… someday.

Jul 10

Happy 4th – Distant American Bonefish – Palmyra

Happy 4th of July.

During college I spent a year in Paris. Few things will make you more of a flag waver than living in Paris where you are constantly told America doesn’t have a culture or history.  I came to a few conclusions from that year… first, I am American and I like being American and I am understood best by other Americans and understand Americans better than anyone else.  I also realized that no one is as rude as a wealthy American in a foreign city.

On this 4th of July I thought I’d find some unique American Bonefish.  The epicenter of American  Bonefish has to be Florida, by a long way.  We also have bones in good numbers in Hawaii.  San Diego Bay has some bonefish.  Puerto Rico has pseudo-American bones.  There are some more far-flung American bonefish, such as those found on the incorporated atoll of Palmyra.

Palmyra is a long way from anything, but sits roughly south of Hawaii.

The blog Sweaty Waders has a story from 2008 about fishing there for bonefish and GT’s.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service has information about fishing Palmyra as well.

Sounds the opposite of easy to get there, but I wanna go.  I’m not going to, but I want to.

There are semi-American bonefish there.