Jun 10

Brian O’Keefe goes to Guadeloupe

In Issue #11 of Catch Magazine, photographer Brian O’Keefe put together a slide show of his trip to Guadeloupe.

The photos, as you might expect, are wonderful and it makes you want to go there… like… now.

I thought I might try to put a little bit more out there about Guadeloupe, just in case you, ya know… wanted to go.

First off, if you call your thin, fried potatoes “Freedom Fries,” this place isn’t for you.  It may be in the eastern Caribbean, but it is a part of France.  Yes, that France.  That would work well for me, as I spent a year in Paris drinking wine and chasing les femme studying and learning a lot.

As crazy as it sounds to me, you can fly there DIRECT FROM ATLANTA.  That’s what I read… and if I read it, it has to be true… right?  Funny thing though… I can’t find that flight at Delta.com… can’t even find the airport in their Global Places We Fly Huge PDF.  That Leaves American, via San Juan, PR.  The flight ain’t budget friendly (about $900 from what I can see), again straining the often  uneasy relationship between Cheap and Bonefish.

It seems a bit daunting… there are several islands, the language is French, the travel seems less than straightforward.

It wont’ be on my list for the time being… although I’d be able to rock my French, which I usually reserve for cursing at people these days.

Of course, if you aren’t up for navigating the whole shebang on your own, you could always get help… like from Alexis Decros. A day on the water is about $400… which is damn reasonable.

Alexis could guide you to some Frenchie bones.

So many places to fish… so little time (and money).

May 10

North Andros via Chris Santella

Chris Santella put together that book “50 Places  to Fly Fish Before You Kick the Bucket

Every once in a while he puts out some bonefishy goodness and I spotted this post about North Andros.

The rich lore of bonefishing on North Andros pulls almost as powerfully as the present possibilities of the island’s endless flats.  North Andros served as an incubator for nascent grey ghost fly fishing efforts half a century ago, and was home to the Bang Bang Club and the Lighthouse Club – two of the earliest bonefish lodges.  Wall Street Brahmin sailed south on their yachts to hire Bahamians to help them hunt elusive bones, and the angling literati of the day – Lee Wulff, Joe Brooks and the like – followed closely on their heels.  The fishery has stood the test of time.

Yeah, that is a pretty picture... Brian O'Keefe snapped it.

Wanna go?

Me too.

Mar 10

Brian O’Keefe – An Interview

Brian O’Keefe is a name you have probably seen often if you like looking at well taken photographs of wondrous landscapes and the fish living there. Brian is one of the photographers behind the e-zine Catch Magazine and continues to be one of the preeminent fly fishing photographers clicking a shutter today.

I'm thinking that's a self-portrait

It has been said that the fish that gets away stays much longer and clearer in the memory of the angler than all the fish landed.  Along those lines, is there a bonefish that you didn’t land or connect to that you still think about?

Yes.  I was fishing in the Berry Islands in the Bahamas and a friend wanted to cast my rod and made a dozen long casts to check out the action, line, etc.  Well, my first cast afterward was to a huge tailer.  The fish ate and off it went across the flat. Then, the leader broke with very little pressure. On inspection of my leader, there were several wind/casting knots in the leader…

Is there a picture of something on the flats that you didn’t get that you still think about?

Yes.  I was wading a flat in Bonaire when I saw an adult couple wading in the shallow water.  From a distance it looked like they had on matching red swimsuits. When I got closer I noticed the red was sunburn. I had waded into a nudist resort!!!

We often picture bonefishing as happening on clear, sunny days. However, things don’t always shape out that way… what are the worst conditions you’ve ever caught a bonefish in?

In the Seychelles a storm blew in. A typhoon, actually. We were sitting in the water as the storm raged overhead. The bonefish still took the fly. Only 10 feet away. Our sailboat was blown off anchor and drifted far, far away. We were barely able to find it with our little zodiac. That was a close one. Several people died in the storm on nearby islands.

Is there a place you haven’t been yet for bonefish that you’d like to get to?

I would like to fish the new destination – St. Brandon in the Indian Ocean.

Do you have a go-to fly pattern, and if so, do you think it is really the fly or the confidence you have in it that matters?

I have found the fly to be important several times. Saying that, I should also emphasize that size, weight and presentation are all important at the same time. An orange colored fly has been super hot a couple of times in the Caribbean when there were very selective, spooky fish.

Do you have a tip for aspiring photographers for getting a good shot out on the flats?

A polarizing filter can help on bright sunny days. It makes skies more blue and reduces glare on bright fish.

Thanks Brian. We are all looking forward to watching your adventures appear on pages and screens for years to come.