Mar 14

Fish for everyone. Day 2 on Long Island

Everyone caught fish today, which makes it a good day.

Long Island cloud

The weather mostly cooperated, although Mark and I got soaked briefly. These things happen.

You do a lot of wading here and I’ve never cast at fish so shallow as I have here this week. Often times the fish’s back is out of the water. With such skinny water I’m finding my #6’s are not so hot and don’t even try a #4. I’ve been fishing #8’s and that seems to be the ticket. Aaron brought along his tying stuff and I managed to squeak out a few #8 gotchas with my supply dwindling quickly.

Long Island bonefish2

bonefish dark sky long island

Hello Long Island Bonefish

We caught fish. Mostly in the 3 pound range today, although we saw bigger fish, they were not to be ours on the day. Mark and I saw a large number of fish, although the tailers in the AM were particularly difficult. Spooky fish!

Fished with Champ today. Champ is a big man with massive hands and tough feet. He suggested I keep my boots on when out of the flats, while he didn’t wear any. I think he could walk on coral and not get injured.

champ long islandA good day on Long Island here at the Greenwich Creek Lodge.

Mar 14

First Day on Long Island

Today was the first day of fishing here at Greenwich Creek Lodge.

The weather cooperated in what may have been the best day of weather I’ve ever had going bonefishing.

coffee Long Island

Long Island clear day

The fish were hit or miss. Skittish early, the fish did eventually cooperate for the most part. I managed a few to hand and saw a lot of fish. I fished with Doug J. today and guide Elvis. We covered some real estate today.

Mark had his best day of bonefishing to-date, which was good to see.





It really is a beautiful place.

Dinner was lobster, which was pretty good. We are all looking forward to getting after it tomorrow.

Long Island BS

Mar 14

A little Long Island Fishing and the Guys Arrive.

While waiting for the guys to get in I managed to take a kayak out in front of the lodge and play around a bit. The results were encouraging, in that I found fish and hooked fish. The results were also discouraging because I went 0/3 on landing hooked bonefish.

Seems like every trip I start off by missing a bunch of fish. So, I got that out of the way, which is good.

The day started off windy and overcast, but ended very well.

Tomorrow looks promising. We head out with the guides in the morning to see what Long Island has to offer.

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Mar 14

Long is Ready

A Long Island Bonefish from a previous Angling Destinations trip.

A Long Island Bonefish from a previous Angling Destinations trip.

We have our crew for Long Island. I’ll be walking the flats of Long Island with Mark, Aaron, Doug, Doug and Tandy. Should be a good crew.

The day of departure is quickly approaching and I am starting to think beyond the fly swap toward making sure I have what I need for the flats.

Mostly, I do.

At this point I have maybe 3 sets of sun gloves and well over a half-dozen sun masks. I have the pants I need and more flats shirts than I could wear in a week. There are a few consumables I need to replenish.

  • White Socks. I buy a new pack of white socks for every trip, wear one pair a day with my wading boots and then leave the socks wherever it was I fished.
  • Sun Screen. I am so white I could serve as a beacon to warn sailors of dangerous shoals. Sun Screen, and a lot of it, is critical.
  • Barrier Cream. Nothing ruins a trip like a rash on your inner thighs. Something like Desitin works really well. Luckily, I have a 2 month old and have plenty of that floating around the house.
  • Wire bite guards. Cudas are a fish I intent to catch and I want to keep them on the line. Bite guards don’t tend to stick around.

Everything else tends to still be in the garage, just waiting for the journey. Glad we have our crew together.

Now I just need the next two weeks to melt away and let me have my escape to the Bahamas.


Jan 14

To Long Island!

I really did want to go to Ragged Island, and may at some point in the future, but it won’t be this spring. For some reason, the substantial interest in the location didn’t translate into people actually committing to go. So, a change in plans.

March 18-25 I’ll be hosting a trip to Long Island. Long is a much easier place to get to since it has regular air service. The island is home to about 3,000 Bahamians, instead of the 68 on Ragged, so there are more services and infrastructure, but still no Starbucks.

The guides will also be more qualified, which is a substantial bonus. This lodge is run by the Knowles brothers, another fine Bahamian fishing family in the long tradition of Bahamian families who keep bonefishing a family affair.

At this point, I think we only have one more slot open, so please get in touch quickly if you are interested. The cost is $1,995 per person, so this is one of the best deals out there for a week of guided bonefishing.

Sep 13

2014 should kind of rock

There should be some pretty good stuff coming up in 2014. All of this is through my budding partnership with Angling Destinations. I’ll be doing some work with and for AD and that may include some hosted trips to some pretty awesome places.

One of the things I’ll be doing is putting together a newsletter for Angling Destinations. If you’d like to sign up for the newsletter you’ll get news not only about my trips, but about the people, places and stories AD encounters around the world of fly fishing.

I’m very much looking forward to 2014. It should be a very good time.


There will be more of this.

There will be more of this.

Jun 13

A riff on luck

Scott had an interesting post recently about luck. Some guys seem to have it and some seem to make their own.

I’ve been there on days when nothing seems to be happening and on those days it is hard to keep looking, to keep your head in the game. On the flats you can stare at the water for hours and hours and after a bit, you start to lose the belief anything is there.

On the days when the fishing is good it seems like they come out of the woodwork (or mangroves). You see fish and you anticipate seeing fish. Luck is maybe the same as Belief. I mean, have you ever seen Luck and Belief in the same room at the same time?

It works the same on the river. You sometimes just seem to know the fish is there and that feeling impacts how you approach the run, it influences that first cast (which is the most important and the most likely to be successful). When you are having a tough day you can stop believing and it can seep into the physical act, lessening the effort.

Keep your eyes open. Keep the belief. With belief you can get lucky. Without it, you are condemned to plod on toward the inevitable self-fulfilled conclusion.


Looking for fish

Looking for fish

Apr 13

Ahoy Matey

Captain Morgan used to lurk in the waters of the Caribbean, but those days have long since passed and the main piracy threat today is off the horn of Africa. So, it is probably a very safe thing to go on a live-aboard trip to the Bahamas, which is just what Scott Heywood with Angling Destinations just did. There were no reports of piracy (I went to a 6 year old’s pirate birthday party today, so maybe that’s why I’m thinking of pirates) and from what I hear, the trip was a good one.

When in Cuba we stayed on a stationary barge, so it didn’t feel like a Mother Ship trip, although it certainly was free floating. Beyond that, I haven’t been on a live-aboard type of operation, but I can understand the appeal. You are where the fish are (or damn close) and if the fishing tanks, you can kind of pick up your lodging and follow the fish. Sounds good, no?

On the trip, Doug Jeffries, frequent commenter here on the blog.

On the trip, Doug Jeffries, frequent commenter here on the blog.

I have to say… I am intrigued.

The Sea Hunter... looks big enough to live on.

The Sea Hunter… looks big enough to live on.

Have you fished a mother ship trip? If so, how was it?

Apr 13

Water Cay Lodge and the Girl Gets Some Fish

I can see why people come back to Water Cay Lodge. Talking to Sidney, the head guide and owner of Water Cay Lodge, he says 90% of his guest are return visitors. You get the feeling of one of the “Family Islands,” but you get the convenience of flying into Freeport.

Sindey and his wife met us in Freeport and we followed them out to the boat launch. He was ferrying supplies out to the lodge in preparation for some guest who were arriving that day. My daughter Anna and I got on the skiff and headed out in some wildly blowing winds. We may have actually hit a shark on the way out. With the visibility poor from the wind Sidney couldn’t avoid it in time. We didn’t see it, but we did feel it.

The ride isn’t long, but you do feel like you are out in the bights of Andros or some other remote Bahamian place. There just isn’t much out there. I don’t think we encountered water deeper than 3 feet the whole run to the lodge, which may have been 20-30 minutes.

A good sign.

A good sign.

Simple comfort for people who come to fish.

Simple comfort for people who come to fish.


Once there Anna and I got to poke around a bit while Sidney unloaded supplies and then we headed back out. The Lodge only fishes 6 people at a time, so it is a rather intimate kind of place. There are only 25 people living on Water Cay, so you won’t run into any Spring Breakers on the flats although there are other outfits that put in on the North Side and fish those same waters.

In terms of what the day was from a fishing perspective, Sidney fished us a little bit on his way back to pick up guests, so there wasn’t much fishing. It was more an adventure with my girl, and it felt like an adventure. When we left the lodge to go find some fish, it was my daughter who was up first.  We headed to a blue-hole about 300 yards from the lodge and got my daughter into some jacks, quickly. First cast, first fish. That was pretty much the highlight of the short trip.

Anna 2nd fish on WCL

The spinning rig was a really good call and the little Albright travel rod I picked up just before we left has left a favorable impression on me thus far.

After three fish from the bluehole we headed back towards the boat launch with the idea being we would look for some fish on the way in.

Did I mention how windy it was? It was howling. The wind was pushing the water off the flats and at one point Sidney had to get down and push the boat. We were scraping.

Sidney saw one bone about 15 feet from the boat. I never saw it. later, while he was out pushing we both saw a bone about 50 feet away pop a tail up, but it seemed to see us at the moment and took off before a cast was made.

There just wasn’t time to really get after the bones as we could see the clients waiting to be picked up. I reeled in and we went back to the launch. It was really good to see WCL and I really hope to get back out there. Out Island remoteness, Grand Bahama convenience. I can understand why people who go there, go back. I don’t know if my next trip there would count as return business or not, but Water Cay Lodge is on my list of places I’d like to spend some time.

And all is well with the world.

And all is well with the world.

Dinner was in Lucaya with my folks, wife, daughter and brother. I was happy to have my first (and second) Kaliks of the trip.


Mar 13

Water Cay Lodge, added to the mix

I leave tonight… a red-eye to Grand Bahama with the family.

Thanks to Scott at Angling Destinations I’ll get to check out a fairly new operation on Grand Bahama I’ve been wanting to get a look at. Water Cay Lodge. WCL is located on the sparsely populated North side of GBI.

If you’ve flown into Grand Bahama, you’ve likely noticed the juicy looking water on the North side of the island. Truth it, it doesn’t get fished too often because it is a little harder to get at and if you are fishing out of the West End or McCleans Town, other waters make more sense to fish.

Water Cay Lodge

I’m going to get a little tour and a little fishing there on Monday. Very exciting stuff.

Head guide is Sidney Thomas and Scott assures me he is one of the best in the whole of the Bahamas, and that’s saying something.