Dec 11

Luckily, the trip was about more than just the fish

I’m in a cafe in Hawaii at the moment… I’m all packed up and killing a bit of time before I have to get on the flight back the Bay Area.

The trip was a good one, as long as we don’t look at it strictly in fishing terms.  I had a few reasons to head here and fishing was only one of them.  In many ways this was a trip to bring the last 8 years of my life full circle and I think I accomplished that.  Another reason to come here was this is where I saw my first bonefish, about 4 years ago.  The experience had a bit of an impact on me and I always wanted to come back to have another shot at those fish.

The first couple of days the weather was considerably less than ideal.  High winds, constant cloud cover and a good smattering of rain really put the damper on things… literally and figuratively.

Hard to see the fish with out the lights on.

The weather broke a bit on Saturday and I had a good amount of time with the lights on.  No bones even seen.

Sunday… Sunday was what I was really here for.  I walked out onto the flat and saw what looked like a bonefish feed mark.  I took a picture.  20 seconds later I saw my first bonefish of the trip and 30 seconds later I spooked my first bonefish of the trip.

Much better conditions

I came back to that spot three more times and the next two I found single fish and at each occasion the fish spooked on the cast.  Fly hit the water and the fish bolted.  These fish are SUPER SPOOKY.  They were in deeper water, maybe 3 feet, and I was lucky to see them at all.

Later, at low, low tide, I was walking really far out on a big rubble flat and I saw tails. I don’t even think they were tailing, I think they were swiming in water that was about 5-6″ deep.  I got two casts in before they bolted, never to be seen again.

Sunday was a day of shots.  I had them.  I can’t argue with that.  I didn’t convert any, but I had shots.  I found the fish, on multiple occasions.  Turns out these fish are a bit tougher than I planned on.

I’ll post some more pics and go into things a bit more in the coming days.

Jan 10

Grand Bahama – Day 2 – Captain Perry

Today was a good day.  The weatherman dropped the ball on this one though.  Partly Cloudy would imply some clouds… not all clouds.  That’s what I had today with Captain Perry out of McLeans Town on the East End of Grand Bahama (now guiding out of East End Lodge).

Captain Perry

Captain Perry

Captain Perry was great.  He knew where the fish were, he knew what to throw and how it should be retrieved.  He didn’t get (too) frustrated when I cast on top of the fish for the 6th time or lead the fish by 10′ for the 7th time.

I was/am impressed with Captain Perry’s conservation ethic.  He knows how bad air exposure/handling are for the fish and whenever possible he avoided taking them out of the water or handling them.  He’s a good steward of the natural wonderland that is Grand Bahama.  You should be glad he’s out  there.

That bone is going to be just fine.

That bone is going to be just fine.

Conditions were not ideal.  The clouds made it really tough to spot fish.  Capt. Perry had it dialed though, and was routinely putting me on fish.  I botched a fair number of those opportunities and it took us a while to get the skunk off the boat, but once that happened, the fun began.

Day 2 Skunk Breaker

Day 2 Skunk Breaker

A good time was had, despite the weather.  We used a magic/secret fly that Perry uses to get the skunk off and for the first several fish.  We then switched over  to a pink #4 Gotcha and again, it was money.  I fished almost the entire time with the TFO Clouser 8 wt. and TFO Large Arbor Reel.  I’m in love with both of them.

With Perry you fish hard, 8-3:30.  So, after being dropped back at the dock (he’ll pick you up in Freeport if you want, I wanted to drive out there) I hit a small flat I had remembered from my last trip.  The light was fading when I got there, but there were a few tailing fish.  I spooked a couple, but didn’t rush things.  A while later the tails popped up again.  I made  a good cast and quickly came tight on a bonefish.  Then, as it started it’s run, it just came off.  Bummer.

Still, 12 fish to hand on a cloudy, windy, cool day is good fishing in my book.  I highly recommend Captain Perry.  He’s a good guide and a good guy.

Another Grand Bahama Bone

Another Grand Bahama Bone

A great day.

Being on the water also meant I got to miss continuing coverage of the disaster in Haiti.  The little bit of the news I did catch nearly brought me to tears.  The CNN anchorwoman actually started crying.  Luckily, the answer to global calamities is to go fishing.

A note on fuel… gas was about $4.50 when I was there, meaning a little over $100 of the day’s guide fee went to gas to get us out to the dumb fish.  It was painful for me to pay as much as I did, but the Captain is worth it and, just so you know,  I paid full price for the trip and am not getting anything in return for the positive report.