Sep 13

From the Archives – First Day of Bonefishing for Mrs. BOTB

(Originally posted September 20, 2012)

She’s a sport. This was our honeymoon, after all.  It was also her second day of fly fishing ever. That’s jumping into the deep end, pretty much.  Still, I figured if it was going to happen, it stood a good chance of happening here, out of El Pescador in Belize.

I would routinely say that what I wanted, out of the day on the water, was to share with her what it was that I loved, out there on the flats. It is an obscure concept if you’ve never been out there and maybe the selling of it is a bit challenging.  “Hey, let’s stand on a boat for a few hours, looking for fish that are really hard to see, in the sun without shade. Oh, and you can’t have a beer until you land a fish (OK, that’s really more my rule).”

She was kitted out for success. She came walking up for breakfast like she belonged.

Ready for action

We got out on the water and headed up to the park.  It is a nice ride up there and the day wasn’t too hot while we were running. Soon after we paid our fee at the park we went in search for baby tarpon.  This wasn’t maybe the best first stop. First, it wasn’t going to be something that would put her up on the deck and secondly, back in the mangroves it was stiflingly hot.

I was also having a case of the sucks. I couldn’t seal the deal on the baby poons. I swept the rod on the first fish. I cast on the head of the second. I cast behind the third. The fourth wasn’t interested. All the time it was really, really hot. She suffered through it all though without a complaint, which just goes to show what a trooper she is.

We went out into a slightly bigger lagoon, a place with a bit of a breeze, and I managed to blow one last fish. On this fish I made a good cast, got the take, set the beejeezus out of things and managed to just break the fish off. That was surprising because this same set-up had landed my 85 pounder in Cuba. Same knots, same spools of material. Go figure.

Me, casting.

We then left to find some bones and the Mrs. got up on deck. Cesar, our guide set about helping out with her cast.  This was her second day fishing, period. It is a tough place to start. Cesar got her up and running and put in into position to catch fish.  There is a lot to remember though, and it was tough for her to carry it all in her mind.  There is so much we carry in muscle memory and when you have to pick it all up and have to keep it in the front of your mind, well, things are going to get dropped, and plenty of things got dropped. She was unfazed though, mostly because of her awesomeness.

Mrs. BOTB actually hooked two bonefish, which I thought was simply wonderful. She got to feel the fish a bit, but put too much slack into things and both bones managed to get off. She did, however, manage to get a little snapper, so was not blanked on the day and got to enjoy a Belikin.

Earning the beer.

The day ended with Cesar and I out on foot chasing down several schools of bones. That was a fun time.

Another one in the books.

She got to see what I love out there and she understands me a bit better because of it.  That was the goal, so, mission accomplished. She may need a few more days of trout fishing before we head back to the flats, which I’m happy to provide for her.

She’s game, which is just simply wonderful.

Sep 12

Great Honeymoon or The Greatest Honeymoon?

It has been said before, I’m a lucky guy. I managed to find a smart, beautiful woman who not only would agree to marry me, but would also agree to go to Belize, to El Pescador, for our honeymoon. How awesome is that?

I wanted to share my love of the flats with my new wife, but I also wanted to have other activities to do on our honeymoon (beyond the activities that normally come to mind). El Pescador proved to be exactly what we wanted. Not only did we get some fishing in, but there were other experiences that we both really enjoyed.

We snorkeled with sharks and rays. We saw Mayan ruins. We spent a little time in San Pedro. We walked on the beach. We sat by the pool. We ate. We drank. We read. We pretty much thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

While the new Mrs. got massages, I took a kayak out in the lagoon in back, finding fish each time. I even managed to get a couple of bonefish off the dock, which was a total bonus (there was even feeding of tarpon, which was totally ruling).

Nurse Shark, snorkeling with El Pescador.

My wife wanted me to mention specifically how good the food was. It was pretty good. We even had a private dinner arranged at the end of the dock, and that was a special experience.

Pork, Chicken, Lobster, Beef and various kinds of fish. It was great. All of it. We both ate too much. There was dessert every night.

One sure way I know the honeymoon was a success… she says we can go back for our anniversary (she says 5th, I’m thinking 1/5).

Basically, it was wonderful.

Sep 12

Back to reality

OK all… I’m back after a wonderful week at El Pescador down in Belize for my honeymoon. We had a lot of really great experiences down there and I’ll run though the more fishy of those here over the next week.  I also managed to do a little fishing.  The new Mrs. went out with me one day and we had a good time on the flats, which was kind of a big deal.  Other times she got a massage and I’d go out in the lagoon in back. Hard to complain.

One thing I was really very proud of was that I managed to catch a couple of dock fish.  Dock fish are kind of hard, in my limited experience.  Not big, but a good dock fish.

My first fish of the trip, from the El Pescador dock!



Sep 12

These next few days

I didn’t write a post last night, I was writing my vows for  my upcoming wedding (Sunday). Yes… I actually do mention bonefish in the vows. No, really.

These next few days are likely going to be kind of a whirlwind and I’m betting I won’t have much time to post here on the blog, although I’ll try to post a few little pictures and things like that.

I’m thinking I’ll reply my last trip to El Pescador over the next week, as that is where I’ll be for my honeymoon.  Funny thing is I might actually run into a couple of BOTB readers down there, which should be fun.

So, stay tuned… I’ll be riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight back.


It will be good to be back, especially with the Mrs.



Aug 12

I like blue

Blue is my little girl’s favorite color. Now, just changing the color of some random bit of fly fishing gear does eff-all for how it fishes, but I have to say, I’m kind of intrigued by the Link rod I just got from Redington to demo down in Belize.

At the show I met with Kara who gave me the rundown on all things Redington and she pointed out the Link rods. The Links are a little bit more pricey than Redington gear normally is, and by that I mean it is about half as much as the top rods will run you.

The 9 weight I just got… well… it looks kind of sexy. And, it has some nice blue accents and a really nice look on the blank.

Redington Link

Now, a 9 is a rod with some specific purposes. I’d think baby tarpon, maybe permit and certainly cuda.  The bones in Belize are not 9 wt. fish. While in Belize I doubt there will be much/any permit fishing. I have one day with the new wife and a guide and I think that will be spent looking for little bones, little tarpon and cudas. See, this rod could fit in really, really well.

This rod, cosmetically, hits on the high notes.

Paired with the rod will be a new line from Rio, a 9 wt. Bonefish line, to be exact.

Now, how the rod fishes?  I don’t know yet. I just got it today and I didn’t have time to get a line on the thing and get it out to cast.  I will and I’m looking forward to it.

Now, I didn’t BUY this rod. It is a loaner and I’ll send it back after the trip. That’s the way it goes when I get gear from companies. I don’t get to keep it (although I often wish I could). I feel fortunate to be in a position to demo all this gear and I hope to be a resource for you, the readers, if you have questions about gear or want to know how something fished or how it held up to the elements.



Jun 12

Soon… very soon. El Pescador

Now, the big thing that’s happening is the whole “getting married” bit. I’m pretty excited about that.  How’s the whole daughter-fiance thing going, you ask?  Well…

Last night my 5 year old told me to go down stairs and tie flies so that she could do bath alone with my fiance.

Yeah. It is going well.

So, I went down and tied a #8 with a weed guard.  For me, that means one thing… Belize. More specifically, El Pescador, where we’ll be spending our honeymoon.


Apr 12

My next fishing trip – my honeymoon

So, for those of you keeping track, this last year has been a crazy one for me. I got back from Andros in April of last year to a critically low Domestic Tranquility Index that kept finding new lows, like, Congress Approval Rating kind of lows. That went on for a while until it was clearly not sustainable anymore.

Attorneys, stipulation orders, custody orders, new digs, new furniture, 50/50 split… ya know… just pure joy.

Now that is mostly all water under the bridge (but not like the tides kind of bridge where it flows one way in the morning and the other in the evening, this is permanent kind of flowing under the bridge).  I moved beyond bitter or angry or sad a long time ago and that left me open for something wonderful.

That something wonderful and I are going to get hitched come September.

And… looks like the honeymoon will likely be at El Pescador.  Yeah, I like the direction we are headed in already.

It will be good to be back, especially for the reason why.


Feb 11

Bonefishing Honeymoon

Happy Valentine’s Day.  Trying to play on that theme I found a story about a bonefishing honeymoon.

The Fall issue of the Times of the Island is now available with a great article “If You Love Me, Let Me Fish….A newley wed’s quest for Provo bonefish.”

via Times of the Island Bonefishing Honeymoon « MyTurksAndCaicosBlog.com.

Now, it turns out my first wife and I honeymooned in a location that also has bonefish.  I didn’t know that at the time and bonefish hadn’t camped out in my waking thoughts back then.  I used to be glad that I didn’t know bones back then, but now… I wish I knew. Could have saved some time.

Cool island.

Sep 09

Best Outlook on Worst Trip

Browse the web forums, read the magazines, watch the movies… they are most all variations of stories that end happily ever after.  I got to wondering… while it is easy to find glowing reports, what are the really bad stories?  Looking through several forums and Google searches for “worst trip” I came across the story below.  This is from Flyfishing Forum, although I can’t get a direct link to the post, here is the general site.  The tale of “thing that can go wrong” is from back in 2006.  It is a tale of a honeymoon gone a bit off the rails… however… the author seems made of stern and sunny stuff… the guy has his telescope stuck on the silver lining.  Definitely a half-full guy.  If your next trip starts to go sideways or pear-shaped, just think of this guy and his disposition.

We made it back alive!!! Our 2 1/2 week do it yourself belize adventure went off with many a trill a lot of high water and more than a few good cocktails!
On our first day I had the horse I was riding try to roll over on me and durring my quick exit I managed to break my ring finger on my stripping hand (left)

After cutting my weddung ring off w/ a rusty hack saw I was able to splint it w/ some clothes pins and get it taped up. It made casting difficult especially the double haul by I learned to cope. Then came the rain every river in the country rose and then flooded so my plan for river Tarpon and snook was shot. To add insult to injury as the rivers entered the ocean it created a 200′ line of brackish muddy water along the whole coast (in Hopkins) so my plan to do some wading and kayaking was scuttled.

The second week we headed for Glovers reef w/ the promise of clearer skies and water unfortunately I contracted some wierd flu and spent the first two days w/ a 102 degree fever shivering in bed. Glovers is increadibly beutiful and the snorkeling was out of this world! The flats were a 3 1/2 mile kayak paddle from our island and after making the trip once I must admit I bairly had the energy to fish (damn flu). the last day one of the owners said they would take me out by boat and pick me up at a latter time. Great!, I could fish the rising tide in the morning this would be my shot!! As we headed for the island we ran over a large green piece of tarp which wraped itself around the prop kicked back the motor and broke the linkage. UGH!!!

Ok it’s been a week maybe those rivers on the mainland have gone down and we’ll just go after snook and tarpon. No such luck, we had to doge trees flowing down the swallon river upon our return. I did get out one morning w/ a local guide and fished the barrier reef. I caught a nice Jack and a permit and missed a bone. Then you guessed it …it started to rain and everything just seemed to shut down. We did manage to find a nice school of bones in deeper water but could not get them to hit.

So there it is not what I had imagined but a great trip all the same mostly because of all the great people we met along the way. Oh and let’s not forget those cocktails while discussing the worst rains in 20 years

I’m off to Alaska in three week I hope the report is a little better!!!!

Wow… how many people would call that a great trip?  I don’t know this guy, but I’d buy him a beer for sure.