Apr 14

This guy should be famous

The setting was beautiful. A lone rock far from anything else out on the ocean-side flats of Long Island. The wind was non-existent. To top it all off, there was a school of bonefish that would not be discouraged. The damn things just hung around.

Not a sound.

Not a sound.

I finally made my way over to cast to the school (maybe 400-600 fish) and quickly hooked up and just as quickly lost it. Lost a couple more before I finally managed to get one that didn’t slip off. The forces keeping the bonefish schooled up happened to be sharks and cudas. My little bone didn’t make it. It was eaten by a cuda, despite my trying to give it line and give it a chance.

About this time another boat motored up. It was odd to have another boat come all this way out there when they had to be able to see us there from more than a mile away. The boat pulled up 200 feet away and the lone angler and his guide set up shop.

As they eyed the school I was fishing to I managed to get another bonefish on the line. This one I pulled out of the school quickly and the sharks and cudas didn’t see it. I landed the fish, the smallest bonefish of the trip, maybe a pound, and I managed to not get my hand taken off, which felt like victory.

Seeing me otherwise occupied with landing the fish, and making a sarcastic comment about the fish’s lack of girth, the boat moved in on the school.

You sirs, are douchebags.

You sirs, are douchebags.

Yup… they came in and poached my school. They moved right in on the fish and pushed them beyond me.

I just had to stand and stare in amazement. The total lack of class was stunning.

So, let’s just all agree not to do this, OK? Let’s not do it ourselves and let’s not let a guide we are paying do it. Just don’t.


Good. I’m glad we had this talk.

Aug 12

Things that bum me out… shark killing

I get an email from Field and Stream and the subject includes “587 Pound NY Thresher Shark.”

I like Thresher Sharks. They look kind of cool with the extra long tail. There is even a Thresher Shark Research and Conservation outfit.

I had a feeling I wouldn’t like what I would see, but I open the email anyway and this is what I saw…


I am not a fan of killing sharks just for the sake of killing sharks. In fact, I’m pretty firmly in the “don’t do that shit” camp. Sharks are a pretty key part of the ecosystem out there, top predators usually are, and taking them out of the system just so you can get this picture makes me a bit pissed.  Thresher sharks don’t kill people, although I did read about someone that may have been killed by the tail of one of these sharks as they were pulling it in a boat somewhere.  There was zero cause to kill the thing.

I think most fly fisherman would likely NOT have killed the beast, but the non-fly Field & Stream subscribers likely would and that is why they presented it front and center in the email. I hope more of the C&R ethic can make its way into the bait and kill crowd, but I don’t know how that will happen.

I applaud the Shark-Free Marina effort for trying to get there.

These are American Bison skulls… killed for fun, driving the Bison to the brink of extinction.

Jan 11

Placencia, Belize… the bulldozers and dredgers are there now

So, it seems that over development isn’t just a problem in Ambergris and I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise.  Placencia, a bit further south from Ambergris in Belize, is also going through the throws of major (and horribly ill-conceived) development. At least for once the US isn’t somehow to blame for the problem.  In this case, it is the Italians.

It is going on now… dredging, bull-dozing, leveling… basically screwing up what makes the place special and what makes the place prime permit habitat (with a mix of bones and poons in there as well).

“The Placencia” is one of the key offenders (although not the only douchebags working there by any stretch).  The website photo below has to be the most egregious use of a fly fishing photograph in recent history (not to mention the most egregious casting).  These guys are actually using fly fishing as a hook to get people interested in their development… the development which will (and is) destroy the habitat where the fish live, grow and feed.

I also like the “Eco-Visionaries” label.  How you could be “Eco” anything but Eco-Destroyer while you are bulldozing and dredging.  Of course, this is “green washing” and rather cleverly done at that.  Fly anglers have a reputation for conservation and you put “Eco” on anything and PRESTO, it must be a good thing… right?

The Placencia Citizens for Sustainable Development has some of the info on this particular project and none of it sounds awesome.

Not good.  Not good at all.

Aug 10

South Beach Belize… douchebags.

I enjoyed my recent interview with Lori-Ann Murphy of El Pescador.  After talking with her I did some more poking around on-line to see what I could find out about development or over-development in Ambergris.

The first thing I found was nice little video by Wil Flack, good friend of Lori-Ann and seemingly all around good guy.


South Beach Belize… it sounds pleasant, doesn’t it?  Wouldn’t it be nice to retire down in Belize… grab your rod in the morning after you’ve had your coffee and go and catch a bonefish in out your front door?  It does sound nice.  The downside is that they have to dredge the bejesus out of the flats and bulldoze the hell out of the mangroves to get that front door there.  All those mangroves are where the fish live/grow/hunt.  You nuke the mangroves and you nuke the fishing.

I don’t even know that much about saltwater fishing, but I can understand that pretty well.

This is what greed looks like.

Sounds like these guys have been botching the job since day -1 (and more).

You can seen the construction, right up against a protected area.

It is a little difficult to figure out what exactly is happening on the ground.  I found the website for Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development and their listing of the status of current projects. They seem to think that the project has not been green-lit, although it is easy enough to find folks selling South Beach Belize property.

It sounds like the project is on hold for now.  Before you go and drop some coin on a little bit of raped and pillaged Belize, just think that these guys sold plots for a project that isn’t even in the bag.  That can’t be good.

I have no idea, but I can’t get this video to embed in this post… here’s a link to a video called “How South Beach Belize Will Impact Ambergris.”

Jul 10

Want to fish Bimini?

Well… you might want to do so quickly before every last mangrove in Bimini is taken out, filled in and turned into golf courses and resorts… because the world doesn’t have enough golf courses.

I found this little video of Bonefish Ebbie talking about the Bimini Bay development that is dredging up bonefish habitat to make way for pure and bottled greed.

Read more about the badness that is this Bimini Development.

Bonefish Ebbie can be found here.

Jun 10

Bonefish for Bait

Fresh on the heels of seeing a douchebag bow hunting for bonefish in Bimini, I see this…

One man’s gamefish is another man’s bait! Bonefish are a fantastic bait. Bright, shiny silver, hyperactive on the end of the leader, and tough as nails. We carefully hook ’em through the eye socket and they can take a good hit and still keep on swimming.

I know this sort of thing is subjective… they eat horses in France, other places people eat guinea pigs, people do all sorts crazy things that are morally subjective.

Still… guys talking about using a bonefish as bait… a fish that is so economically important to so many folks… uff da… come on folks.

Yeah... what he said.

Jun 10

WTF?!! Bow hunting bones in Bimini?

I saw this video, which shows a total fuqueing douchebag with a bow trying to kill a bonefish in Bimini.  He missed.  The douchebagocity of this just leaves me speechless.  This guy is mayor of Douchebagville, a town in the country of Douchebagistan.

(looks like the Mayor took his video down… good call)


Seriously… WTF?!

Apr 10

A Special Place in Hell

There is, now, a special place reserved in hell for the total piece of trash that took my chest pack out of my car last night.  I’m a country guy, and didn’t lock my car, so, I guess I was asking for it… but still… I think I have every right to condemn this person to a hot and painful eternity.

The loss is really  confined to the trout/bass/carp side of my fly fishing life, but that means the lion’s share of my flies… I’m guessing somewhere between 200-400 flies…  a bit of everything, softhackles, trico spinners, massive stone fly nymphs, green drake dries, smolt, fox poopahs, elk hair caddis, adams, pink alberts, PT’s, copper johns… everything.

The thought of re-building that arsenal is daunting and not something I look forward to.

Thanks, a-hole.  You are first against the wall when the revolution comes.

When the revolution comes... this is your view, you bastido.

Mar 10

Happy Ending in Vallarta

No, not from a massage parlor… the fishing kind.  Today when the monkey went to sleep I went out for one last round of fishing.  The tide was a little better and the water just looked more… fishy.  I managed my first fish while changing up my retrieve from super fast to super slow… evidently, slow and steady wins more than just the race.  First fish of the day, a Leatherjack, about 12″ or so.  Next, I saw a small log floating 50 feet off shore… fish were attacking it, hitting it over and over again.  I got a cast out, slow retrieve and the smallest fish  of the bunch hammered it… Jack Crevalle, about half a pound, little guy.

So, I stood there, casting, retrieving, casting, retrieving, ya know… “fishing.”  All of a sudden, I saw a tail cut through the murky water in front of me, swimming fast, about 5 feet from where I stood… the forked tail was clearly visible and it was… um… massive… I’d guess 20 pounds… maybe more.  Safe to say my interest was peaked.

Bait were popping, boils were sporadic, butt pretty frequent, but still… cast, retrieve, cast, retrieve.  I was starting to think about heading back, hoping my daughter had slept during her nap and thinking it was a bit of a bummer than my jig clousers had not produced.

Tug, set, bigger tug, line going out, clear the line and it was clear this wasn’t a little guy.  Now, the last nice Jack Crevalle I caught here was on a 7 wt. with a cheap Cabela’s large arbor reel… the reel did not do well (grinding is not a good sound when reeling).  This time I was fishing my TFO Clouser 8 wt., the rod I brought to the Bahamas, and my TFO Large Arbor 357 reel.  This fish didn’t stand a chance.  So nice to have confidence in your gear.

The Jack went about 4 pounds. I kept it, brought it to one of the resort restaurants and it fed 3 adults.  Toro are not known as great eating fish, but this was de-lish.


I release almost all my fish... but a couple become dinner.

Of course, I have no pictures of any of the fish-just-caught, since my waterproof camera took a header yesterday and is not recoverable.

The trip was a good family trip with lots of pool time for the 3 year old.  The fishing mostly s-ucked, but ya know… I didn’t get to fish the best tides, I got to fish the tides when my daughter was sleeping.  The surf was also much rougher this trip than I had seen it before.  As always, I was amazed at how much the river mouth had changed in just a few months.

Now… back to my bonefish fixation.

PS – The “Biggest Doucebag” award goes to the guy I saw this morning walking around in a “The Working Class Can Kiss My Ass” T-Shirt.  If you own one of these you should feel bad about yourself. If you WEAR one of these, you should jump off a really high building.

Mar 10

Development Trumps Bonefish

Saw a story on Moldy Chum about a mangrove-crushing, environment-destroying developments in New Providence.  It isn’t pretty and the good folks at Secret Soul Fly Fishing Adventures (Aaron Bain and Clint Kemp) are pretty pissed about it… and you should be too.

You can read the whole story here from The Tribune.

It seems like over-development is a real emerging issue all throughout the Caribbean.  I would have thought that this little economic blip we are coming out of would have stopped a few thousand bulldozers and chain saws, but it continues.  I’ve read stories about development threatening Bimini and fears about development in Belize.

This makes me grumpy.