Mar 17

Six Years Ago – Andros

South Andros Bonefish. Photo by Andrew Bennett

Six years ago I got invited to Andros South for a week of fishing and blogging, something called FIB FEST 2011. This was back when maybe blogs were a bit more relevant and before the age of… well, whatever this is the age of.

The trip was great and the people I met were awesome and when I got back, after being in bonefish heaven for a week, I found out my marriage was pretty much over.

Photo by Cameron Miller down at Andros South.

So, Andros serves as a kind of line of demarcation between the life I had before Andros and the life I had post-Andros. I still feel profoundly grateful to have had such an amazing experience be the buffer between those two periods of my life.

Fishing trips are kind of like that. I think back to important times in my life and I tend to think “Now, that was just before Cuba” or “That was just after my 2010 Belize trip.” The trips serve as milestones in so many ways. They are a map to my past.

Andros South in the morning.

Thank You Andros (and Andrew).

Mar 15


Gink and Gasoline ran a story recently that featured Andros South guide Freddy (or Freddie, not sure which is right).

This made me happy because it made me think of my own trip to Andros South and my day with Freddy on the water.

This guy is fun to fish with.

This guy is fun to fish with.

Freddy was the biggest man with the smallest boat and was by far the most enjoyable guide I had that whole week. Freddy was just plain fun. He sang from the poling platform and joked and laughed and did all this while managing to put us on fish.

We ran into a bit of engine trouble that day while out on the West Side. That’s a long trip back with an engine that can’t get up on a plain, but Freddy was calm and smooth about even this. He suggested it was a good opportunity to troll for cudas, which we did and I picked up my first decent sized cuda.

The day was awesome and it does reinforce the idea that attitude matters… your attitude and that of your guide.

Thanks Freddy.

Feb 14

Good Content

Deneki is the content king when it comes to bonefishing. They just put out a mountain of good information. With that in mind, you might want to check out the list of their top ten bonefishing related posts.


Andros South… I have some very fond memories of that place.

Nice bone, tagged and ready to go. Photo by Cameron Miller.

Nice bone, tagged and ready to go. Photo by Cameron Miller.

Nov 13

Gink and Gasoline Goodness

This is just good stuff from Gink and Gasoline.

“You picked a fine time to leave me Lucille,” Freddy bursts into song as Kent hooks up and is instantly deep into his backing. “Four hungry children and a wife in the fields,” this is hysterical in a Bahamian accent. Kent now has to stifle a fit of laughter while having his ass handed to him. As the fish turns sharply back towards the mangroves Freddy starts in on a chorus of “Baby Please Don’t Go.” It’s not yet 10 a.m. And this is already one of my most memorable days of fishing.

I have to say, Freddy was my favorite. The guy found the fish alright, but he was just fun and funny and easy going all day long when I fished with him back in 2011. Many Bahamian guides tend toward stoic. Freddy is charismatic. Love reading a story that involved Freddy in one of my favorite places, Andros South.

This guy is fun to fish with.

This guy is fun to fish with.


Aug 13

From the Archives – FIBFest Day 1, the rest of the story

(Originally posted in 2011)

I said more details would come out about Day 1 from FIBFest, but I never really put them out there… the Outdooress beat me to it, putting up her version of that first day of fishing… you can read it through the link below, and I’ll give my own account below that.

One single cast, a few panicked strips of my line, one marginal strip set and BAM….I caught a bonefish on my first try. As my line peeled away I distinctly remember Bjorn behind me saying, “clear your line!” followed quickly with, “beginners luck!”

via And Sometimes, A Fly Fisher Must Self Time Out..while Bonefishing | The Outdooress.

On day 1 of FIBFest I was paired with Rebecca (aka the Outdooress). Rebecca had never been saltwater fly fishing before.  It is safe to say that she had some anxiety about the whole business.  I tried (for a solid 20 seconds or so) to give her the deck first, but she insisted she needed a little time to calm her nerves.

Her nerves were not promptly calmed when we stopped the boat only to see a 5 foot lemon shark (she’s not totally on board with the whole “sharks are cool” thing).  I got up on deck, took line off and stood in the place I most enjoy in the world… the bow of a flats boat.  Ahhhhhhh…

My favorite place

Soon, our guide, Ellie, had spotted the first fish.  I got a follow and an eat and missed the fish.  I missed the second fish.  I missed the third fish.  I was apologizing to Ellie a lot at this point.  Number 4 and I missed it.  I think I hooked a couple of these fish, briefly.  My strip set had about 20% tout set in it and it was just enough to botch the job.

Number FIVE stayed on.  I was on the board, the boat had the skunk off it and we were in business.

Staying on… first fish in of the trip.

It was Rebecca’s turn.  She got up and started getting some line out and doing a little practice casting.  It was not going well… I couldn’t tell what exactly wasn’t going well, but it, in general, wasn’t going well. I could see Rebecca getting really frustrated.  After a few minutes she realized that the help she had received the night before from someone around the Slack Tide Bar in setting up her rig had backfired.  In a Kalik haze, someone had missed one of the guides.  Rebecca was going to have to re-rig.  I was up again.

It didn’t take me that long on the second fish, as I recall, but soon, Rebecca was up on deck again.  I told her that I was sure she was going to stick the very first fish she cast to.  That’s the way these things work.  Beginners Luck is real and I was sure she was going to be dipped in that magical pixie dust to get her first bonefish.

Oddly, I was pretty much spot on.  The first fish she had to cast to she stuck.  That was a very nice thing.


I was back up and whacked #3 and it was Rebecca’s turn again.  This is where things started to kind of come unraveled a bit for the Outdooress.  There was some wind and when it came time to make that 40′ cast into the wind the Outdooress hit a wall of frustration and I could see the downward spiral that would take her off the casting deck and install me back up there.  Now, it should be noted that I tried to have her keep the deck, to get through it and stick with it, but it was clear to both of us she really needed a little breather to get her head right.

I’m a pretty good cheerleader and reminded her this was her first day in the salt, that casting like this is not a skill set that most trout anglers can really claim and that it takes time and that she needed to be more gentle with herself.  Bits and pieces of this made it through, but she was having a tough time.

Confidence is a tricky thing.  We build our confidence as anglers by putting in the time and and seeing results.  Most of us do that on rivers and lakes before we try to take it to the salt and when we get there, we often find our skills are related, but not totally what is called for.  We have defined ourselves as anglers and here is something we can’t do.  It is a real “wtf” moment.

The day progressed… Rebecca started cutting herself a little slack and spent more time up on the deck.  She landed three bonefish on her first day fishing in the salt.  I’d call that a good day.

I managed to get some good follows from some lemon sharks on a gurgler, but no eats.  The fish would accelerate on the fly, raise their nose right to it and by that time they would be about 15 feet from the boat and they’d peel off.

One unlucky bonefish became a snack for some of the lemons post release.  Poor bastard.  We were shadowed by lemons with three sharks visible at one time on occasion.

I had one fly we named the 50/50.  I’d cast to one little pod of fish and they’d follow and then bolt.  Ellie would say “Maybe we should change that fly… wait… bonefish, 11:00, 40′!”  I’d cast and this other group of fish would crush the fly.  The fish either loved it or hated it in equal measure. Go figure.

The 50/50, retired.

So… that’s the tale of the first day of FIBFest.

Aug 13

Andros South, how I do miss thee

Some photos from Peter Viau taken while fishing out of Andros South.

Great pics Peter.

That is a picture to put a smile on your face, isn't it?

That is a picture to put a smile on your face, isn’t it?


I'm ready for my close-up

I’m ready for my close-up


Looks like pretty good light

Looks like pretty good light



Aug 13

Advice for first timers

Deneki has a great post up about advice for first timers.

Maybe, since you are at Bonefish on the Brain, you are already into bonefish. Maybe you are here because you aspire to get after bones. If the latter is the case, check out that post from Deneki.

Fishing for bones is just different than fishing for freshwater species. It just is. Some of your skills will translate, some won’t and there will be new skills and concepts you’ll need to get the hang of. None of those skills is an insurmountable barrier.

Get after it.

South Andros Bonefish. Photo by Andrew Bennett

South Andros Bonefish. Photo by Andrew Bennett


Mar 13

Fish with Andrew

I’ve done it and I enjoyed the experience. You can do it to.

I’m talking about fishing with Andrew Bennett, owner of Deneki Outdoors. He is going to be down there at Andros South and you can head down to be there, in that special place, along with Andrew.

I got to do this very thing, and it was a great day with two perfect moments.

One thing that will be special about this trip is that they are going to do some Permit Recon work. Permit are in the Bahamas, as I heard and saw from Prescott Smith. But if you are looking for bonefish, you go to flats with bonefish and most Androsian (and Bahamian guides) are looking for bonefish. It will be very interesting to see if Andros South can crack the Permit riddle down there.

Andros is a trip of a lifetime, FYI. If you are on the fence, you should get off the fence, and on a plane to Andros to fish with Andrew.

South Andros Bonefish. Photo by Andrew Bennett

South Andros Bonefish. Photo by Andrew Bennett


Jan 13

Cast Again

A good little pearl of wisdom from Norman, an Andros South guide.  Basically, cast again after you blow a shot. Read the article here.

I know this to be true. On my first real bonefishing trip I was out with my dad.  My dad has been conditioned over 60+ years to trout set and trout set he did. One TWO occasions he trout set on a fish, missed the fish and in a wave of frustration waved his rod in the air. That motion actually RECAST the fly, where it was promptly eaten by a bonefish, which ended up getting landed.

True story.


So, I agree with Norman. Cast again.

I fished with Norman down in Andros and I was a little worried before our trip. He was “serious,” they told me.  Turns out, he’s a great guide and a nice guy on top of it.


Norman tagging a bonefish for BTT

Norman tagging a bonefish for BTT

Dec 12

Just a blowing (off) in the wind

Ever lost your had on a boat ride out to a flat?

I have. Kind of humiliating and funny at the same time.

Deneki had a funny post about this very subject.

If you’re running in a boat and your hat gets blown off, upon retrieval of said hat, you need to scoop water with it and put it immediately back on your head.  This is your penalty for not keeping track of your hat.

I think this blew off once in Andros, actually.

I think this blew off once in Andros, actually.