Aug 13


The blog is 4 years old today. What a ride. Here’s to “Four More Years!”

Right now that is 1,537 posts. That’s a whole lot of bonefish right there.

Do you have a favorite post? Do you even remember individual posts?

It would be great to have a conversation here in the comments (which you do at the top of the post, not at the bottom) about what you like, what you don’t like, what you’d like to see more of, etc..

Thanks for reading.



Jan 13

No Expert

Fishing is good.

Fishing is good.

I was reflecting recently on the label I sometimes am given… that of “expert.” I’m not. I try to be pretty clear about that. I am just profoundly interested in the subject, which does not make me an expert anymore than being a die-hard fan of American Idol would make someone a singer. I thought I’d list the reasons why I’m not an expert, just so everyone is on the same page.

1. Any bonefishing guide knows 100x more than what I know. When you are on the water a lot, and I mean daily/weekly, you have an understanding  of a species, a place, a mindset that cannot be replicated by those who are not there. I saw this even on my own rivers in Nor Cal. I only guided a single season on the trout streams of Northern California, but for that season I had the pulse of my rivers. I knew what was happening and what was about to happen. I had fish that I knew I could count on.

I don’t have the pulse of any flat. I don’t have a handle on the tides anywhere. I don’t know where the fish are going to be. Simple as that.

2. I’m not a FFF certified casting instructor. I have not won a shootout of any kind or even entered a distance casting competition. I have personally fished with several people who could out cast me pretty much any day of the week and twice on Sunday. My casting has improved a lot since I started chasing bonefish. A lot. I still have some rough edges.

3. I’m not an outfitter. I have heard about a lot of places and almost every single one of those places is a place I have not been myself. People ask me about flats in Abaco or Exuma or Honolulu or Placencia or wherever and every single one of those places I could find on a map and tell you there are fish there and the conversation would pretty much stop there. I have no experiences to share from those places because I have not fished them. I know of them. I do not know them.

There are a lot of experts out there. I know some of them and I look to learn from others. Every trip has something to teach, most anglers have something to share. That’s why I like this whole blog thing.

Nov 12

Sage, Deadman’s Cay and the Future of Blogging

I saw this come through my twitter stream yesterday… a story on the Sage Blog about bonefishing in the Bahamas (that’s kind of my bag).

Now, I pretty much love seeing this sort of thing and as I was reading this I had a question.

Will the multitude of independent fly fishing blogs ever be superseded by industry blogs?

The industry has been a bit slow to pick up the value and/or importance of having blogs to tell their stories. There are a few who do this well (The Headhunter Fly Shop is crushing it, Costa has done well, Orvis has been a trend setter), but most of the industry has yet to embrace the blog format and no one in the industry is really playing on the same level as the indie blogs out there.

That’s now, but the whole “now” thing has a way of changing. There could come a time when the indie blogs are dwarfed by the output and readership of the industry players. It makes sense in a lot of ways since the industry has access to the content and blogs pretty much live on a steady stream of content.

There are a few blogs with such a unique perspective that I don’t think they’ll ever go away… TFM comes to mind, or something like Mysteries Internal with such a dedication to narrative and writing. I don’t think they are going away, but the few dozen of new blogs established each year that are playing around the margins… I think those could really go away. The age of “everyone has a voice” might be replaced by “everyone who has access to the mountain of content and a marketing budget has a voice.”

What do you think?  Where do you think things are headed.

PS – remiss in not mentioning the Deneki blog, which is a collection of awesomeness.

Feb 11

Going to Andros

Yeah… I’m not ready for Hollywood, but these little videos are fun.


Jan 11

New Players, New Approaches

There are a lot of players in the fly fishing marketplace.  Really… a lot.  There are the folks that everyone knows… Sage, Ross, Tibor, Orvis, St. Croix, Patagonia and a whole lot of other gear makers.  Given how crowded the field is, you’d think there wouldn’t be room for new gear makers, but there are new gear makers emerging.  One thing I think is notable is how these new gear makers are engaging with potential consumers.  They are embracing social media in a way that most of the big players just aren’t.

Maybe they are more nimble or maybe it has to do with not having the cash to run spots in all the fly fishing periodicals.  Who knows how they’ll end up doing… I’d imagine it is a tough marketplace out there… crowded, low margins, small and shrinking market… we’ll have to see.

Rise Fishing Co.

These guys generated a huge buzz before they had even shipped their first rod and it was almost entirely due to social media.  The newest business endeavor of the bunch, Rise is focused on rods and conservation (which is kind of cool). They are rocking a blog, a Facebook profile (879 thus far) and twitter.  Basically, they are all over.  This is a buy-direct endeavor.  You want one of these rods, you’ll be buying one on-line.

There they be... Rise Rods

Allen & Co. Fly Fishing

Maybe they Allen & Co. have been around for a while, but I had certainly never heard of them until a few months back.  Today, they are running banner ads on The Trout Underground, they have a profile on Facebook with 4,371 “friends,” they just launched a blog and are even tweeting (although, with 4 tweets thus far, I’d say twitter is not a big push).  Now, I think it is pretty clear that not all of their 4,371 “friends” has bought a piece of Allen gear… they’d hardly be bit players if that were the case.  Still… it is pretty cool that 4,731 people have taken the time to friend them… that’s gotta turn into at least a couple sales.  Allen is bypassing the shop route… you by direct.  They sell a LOT of different items… from reels to lines to hooks and very, very soon they’ll be selling rods as well.  Who knew?

That there's an Allen Reel

That's on the TU... the world's most popular fishing blog.

Red Truck Fly Fishing

This is the gear arm of Leland Fly Fishing Outfitters (or somehow connected and/or related to them), Red Truck started offering their own brand of fishing rods in 2010 and they have fully engaged the Social Media universe with a blog, a ton of YouTube content, and Leland has the Facebook profile (1,013 followers at this point).  I’ve yet to see one of these rods, but since they are a hop-skip-jump from where I live, it is entirely possible I will in the not too distant future.  Since they are a fly shop, you don’t bypass the fly shop altogether, you just can only get it from one fly shop, or on-line… at least as I understand it.

One thing that seems clear is that all of these newer companies are really driven by one or two individuals, so the social media-izing is really up to them… there is no stable of marketing guys/gals to implement a big campaign.  That should probably make the big players a little concerned that folks with little or no market share seem to be getting some real traction with potential consumers and they are doing so with marketing tools the big players have basically forsaken/overlooked/ignored.

A look at some of the big player websites and what that tells us about their use of social media…

Sage – no facebook link, no blog, no twitter. They do HAVE a Facebook page, but they don’t link to it from their website, at least not clearly (2,192 followers).

G. Loomis – no facebook or twitter link, no blog. Again, they HAVE a Facebook page with 2,535 friends, but no link from the website.

Scott Rods – well… look at that… they actually link to their FB Page… amazing. They count 2,177 FBers as followers and posted on FB 10 hours ago. Still, no blog, no twitter, although they do have a newsletter (that I’m now signed up for).

We’ll see where this all goes… if the new players are able to establish themselves and if the old guard can maintain their market share in a world where there will be fewer fly anglers next year than there are this year.  Should be interesting to watch and read about for sure.

Jun 10

New Bonefishy Blog from BVI

Don’t know how I missed it, Google Alerts and all, but a new flats/bonefish blog has popped up, Thoughts From the Flats, out of the British Virgin Islands.


The British Virgin Islands have plenty of the Gray Ghosts as opposed to the non-British Virgin Islands, which mostly don’t (or at least not in numbers that merit going there and targeting them exclusively… from what I’ve been told by folks that would know).

Here’s the most recent story out of BVI.

Alexander Davidson is the author and the blog has been up since February.

BVI Bone

May 10

FIBFest Closes

It has been fun to watch what’s come out of FIBFest 2010 down at Andros South.  The week has come to an end, sadly, and now it is all  but memories.  Looks like some pretty good ones were made.

Here’s a stellar wrap up by Michael Gracie akin to an Oscar acceptance speech.

Fishing Jones had a rather literary take on things.

This whole thing was put together by Andrew from Deneki Outdoors.  The idea, of course, was to stir up interest in bonefishing and in Andros South.  I think that has been accomplished.

The hunting grounds of Andros South.

May 10

Deneki on the Wind

Deneki Outdoors puts out some really good, quality blog posts in addition to running one of the best lodges out there, Andros South.

This post talks about the wind and how ya need a little of the gusty stuff for the best fishing.  Calm is nice to look at, but tough to fish.

Of course… ya don’t want too much, which is usually the case in the places where bonefish live.

As I said, Deneki also runs Andros South.  There will be a collection of bloggers headed to South Andros in a few days to fish and write/share their experiences.  I was invited to go, but between selling one house, moving and getting ready to sell a second, I just couldn’t make it work.  I will be following the festivities and probably sinking into a deep and troubling depression.

Here’s the line-up from the Deneki website:

Should be  fun to see what  comes out of the week.

Apr 10

Trout Underground Turns Older

The Trout Underground (the world’s most popular fishing blog), is written by Tom and Tom turns, well, older, today.

Happy birthday Tom.

Now, go plow some snow!

That's Tom, taken by Wayne Eng

The Trout Underground inspired me to start this little labor of love, although the rivers that Tom mostly writes about are 1) a hellofa lot closer than I am to any bonefish, and 2) the rivers of my youth.

Keep up the good  work there Tom and Happy Birthday.