Mar 12

25 Things to Make You a Better Angler – F&S

Field and Stream  and Kirk Deeter had a piece recently on 25 things to make you a better angler.  A good read with lots of suggestions.

Things like…

1. Do it all. Bait fish, spin fish, fly fish… The more you are on the water, the smarter you get for all types of fishing.

2. Find the exotic, wherever you go. You don’t have to go to the end of the world to find adventure. Make something exciting happen on local water.

3. Keep everything in perspective. Fly fishing is only an “extreme” sport on television shows. It’s really a tradition. Respect that tradition.

The list is hit and miss with me.  I do some of it, I don’t others.  I haven’t really done spin fishing for ages.  I don’t use bait and I can see how that could hurt me understanding some species of fish. I still have trouble feeding big fish the fly. Ya know… I’m not perfect (by any stretch).

I have a few things to add to the list though.  So, here are 7 tips from BOTB for becoming a better angler:

  1. Learn more knots. Not every situation calls for a clinch knot. Knowing those other knots helps when you run into something “different.”
  2. Learn to Double-Haul. You don’t need it most of the time while trout fishing, but you need it almost every cast for flats fishing and once you know how to do it, it becomes just a part of your casting stroke.
  3. Learn to Spey-Cast. While most people think of spey-casting 14 foot long rods for steelhead, you can also single hand spey a 9 foot rod for trout and that skill can REALLY help you out.  Your traditional rollcast will go out the window.  It is a really, really good skill to have on pretty much any river or stream… even the little ones.
  4. Fish with people who are better than you and watch them fish, be open to advice. Fishing with my friends Shane and Drew have proven critical to my development as an angler. Playing with people above your level can be really helpful, if you aren’t busy trying to impress them.
  5. Share information when it won’t screw up something environmentally sensitive. Some streams or flats can’t handle the pressure, but most can.  If you share, others will share with you. Don’t give away a buddy’s secret place, but when you can help someone out, do so.
  6. Learn to tie.  Tying flies teaches you a lot about materials and fly mechanics and makes you a more rounded angler.
  7. When you can, get a guide and listen to them. Kind of like fishing with your buddies, sometimes guys want to impress the guide.  Don’t. Be humble and ask for advice and help where you need it. Guides know a lot and can shave years off your development as an angler, if you are able to take the lessons.

Those are a few keys I have tucked away in the back of my mind.  Do you have any keys you’d be willing to share?

Mar 11

Bonefishing with a Living Legend | Field & Stream

Sometimes things fall through the cracks… not sure how I missed this video up at Field and Stream, but there it is… Check it.

Last Friday marked the 40th anniversary of the day Ansil Saunders led a client to the 16-pound bonefish in Bimini, Bahamas, that still stands as the all tackle world record. As luck would have it, my good friend and editor of Fly Fishing In Salt Waters John Frazier and I were chosen from a group of writers to fish with Ansil on the anniversary.

via Bonefishing with a Living Legend | Field & Stream.


Sep 10

Bahamas Bonefish Video: Andros Island – RA Baettie and Mike Mazur

Oh my goodness… this should get you going… a nice bit by RA Beattie via Field & Stream (and Fly  Fishing in Salt Waters).  They are out in Andros at Tiamo.  Along with RA Beattie is Mike Mazur from Fly Fishing in Salt Waters (a magazine I subscribe to).

RA Beattie’s new short with Mike Mazur from Fly Fishing in Saltwaters should cure what ails you.

via (Go to this link to see the clip) More Bahamas Bonefish Video: Andros Island | Field & Stream.

Nice x100

Aug 10

Cermele: The Sexiest Fly in the Bahamas

Some goodness from Field and Stream… a place I’m learning to find some really good content.

Today’s fish were spooky, snobby, finicky, and loved to tease. They tracked my flies all day, turning away at the last second. But all that changed when guide Rick Sawyer broke out the sexiest bonefish fly I’ve ever seen.

via Cermele: The Sexiest Fly in the Bahamas | Field & Stream.

I wonder what's behind that...

Any guesses?

Jul 10

Bonefish Tattoo

Bonefish Tatoo

tails up.

Best Hunting or Fishing Tattoo Contest | Field & Stream.

You knew there had to be at least one out there.

Not mine, I  have a natural covering of polka dots that really wouldn’t jive with ink.

May 10

Andros via Field and Stream

I thought I’d talk a little bit about Andros here before the guys from FIBFest start relating their own  stories about fishing for bonefish at Andros South.

First let me tell you everything I know about South Andros, all my fishing stories from my time in South Andros and share some pictures of fish I’ve caught on South Andros.

OK, now that we have that out of the way, I can relate to you the experiences of folks that have actually been there, fished and caught some of those Andros bones… folks like John Merwin, writing for Field and Stream back in 2005.

You are standing on the flat front deck of a bonefish skiff, hoping to see a fish, while a guide slowly poles over white sand shallows that stretch into forever. Enough fly line for a long cast lies at your feet. A long winter’s worth of anticipation knots the small of your back. The warm sun and soft lapping of water against the hull are hypnotic, leading your mind to wander across the intense pastels of the Bahamian landscape.

Yes… I  want to be there… so… badly.

Now, you don’t have  to stay at a lodge… there are DIY/self-guided options.  I’ve even had one such trip suggested to me.  However, it doesn’t sound easy and the guy that recommended the Andros DIY had a really bad trip down there a couple months ago.

If you have the scratch, a lodge/guide is a good deal.

Dec 09

Field and Stream's 2010 Predictions

Field and Stream is all of a sudden relevant to me.  I had no idea.

In their 2010 Fly Fishing Predictions they make a couple of bonefishy calls.  Here’s one.

I predict that two major world record marks for fly-caught fish will fall in 2010–redfish, (the fish will be caught in February, in Louisiana), and bonefish, which will be caught off Oahu this summer.  I predict that I will also hear about at least 40 obscure “line class” records, e.g. “alligator gar, on the fly, on 4-pound test,” and that I will not stroke the egos of the people who set those silly records by writing about them.

Hawaii certainly does have that potential.   That would be exciting.

Here are a few Bonefish on the Brain 2010 Predictions:

  • As soon as I get back from my January trip to the Bahamas I will begin fantasizing about my next trip.
  • I will tie at least 600 bonefish flies in 2010.  I will be lucky to use 10.
  • The Bonefish and Tarpon Trust will have a banner year in large part due to the utter and total rulingness of the Pirates of the Flats tv program on ESPN.
  • My trout fishing days will dwarf my bonefishing days.
  • I will dream about bonefish at least 3 times.
  • I will bore at least 40 people to tears with talk of bonefish.

2010 should be an interesting year for sure.

(Field and Stream quote with permission from Field and Stream)

Dec 09

Bonefish True or False

I found this Bonefish quiz on Field and Stream.com.  Kind of a fun little bit that includes…

2. Bonefish offspring/juveniles have been located as far north as (or farther than) Long Island, New York…

5. Bonefish can live at least 20 years…

6. A bonefish’s diet changes as it grows; under 16″ fish primarily eat worms and clams; over 16″ fish eat shrimp and crabs; over 24″ fish eat other fish, like toadfish and gobies (choose your fly accordingly!)…

The link at the top will take you to the rest of the quiz.

I kind of forget about Field and Stream since I’m not too interested in the “Field” part of the magazine.  I recall my dad subscribing during my childhood (100% for anything about steelhead).

A search for “bonefish” turns up 210 entries at F&S… whoa.  Who knew.  Might be mining some more gems from them down the road.

Other Updates:

  • I now have water again at the Sierra Bonefish Headquaters and have used that water to wash myself in all the important places (and unimportant ones)…
  • I discovered that I cannot make it up my street in 4×4 High, but can in Low…
  • This guy went to GBI just recently and caught some fish… promising, since I’m going to GBI in just over a month…
  • Coach Duff sent a couple pics of a NOICE bonefish (11.5 pounder) caught by client Luke on Coach’s 1/0 “Plate Lunch” crab pattern… one of those pics is below.
That is some nice HI bonefish that in no way would make a good fish cake

That is some nice HI bonefish that in no way would make a good fish cake

Also, I’ve just hit 7,000 views on this little endeavor of mine (up since August).  Thanks for reading, thanks for sharing and I hope we meet on the water some day (unless you are a total a-hole).

(Field and Stream quote used with permission from F&S)