Mar 14

Dead Calm

Not a sound.

Not a sound. – PS, do you see the school of bonefish?

On the trip to Long Island to fish with Bonefish Paradise at Greenwich Creek Lodge we got lucky when it came to the weather. There were no whitecaps on the water (which I learned are formed when relative wind speeds reach 14 mph). We might have seen a few minutes of 12 mph wind, but we had many more minutes of dead, flat calm.

It turns out dead calm can make for really tough fishing.

One of the mornings Elvis, Tandy (who was called “Candy” for most of the day) and I went far out on the Ocean-Side flats to a little rock way out all on its own. Once the motor was off and we were out of the boat I experiences near sensory-deprivation level quiet. There just were no sounds, save for the occasional shad or bonefish tailing.

It was spooky quiet.

When there is such an absence of sound every sound that is generated seems like an explosion. Each step sounded like a careless water buffalo walking through a rice paddy. And, as it turned out, every cast with the textured line on the Orvis H2 sounded like a million zippers being zipped all at once.

For the first time I saw bonefish, 50 and 60 feet away, visibly spook at the sound of a false cast. I saw them spook at the sound of a single strip of the fly. I’ve heard this criticism of textured lines before, but I had not experienced it myself. Now, I have.

It was simply too quiet. Too still. The weather too good.

When there is a light wind the fish can’t see you as well. They can’t hear you as well. They don’t bolt at the slightest provocation because those slight offenses are masked and obscured and forgiven by the wind.

So, I will no longer wish for windless days… although, if I can dial it up, I’d say a nice 8 mph wind might just be perfect.

Mar 14

The overview: Long Island 2014

The gang.

The gang.

We were very lucky with the weather. That’s the thing that stands out the most. The week before our trip was windy, rainy and difficult. Today, the day we leave, the wind is back up, whitecaps out on the flat in front of us and lots of clouds in the sky. Our week featured almost no wind and very few clouds. Perfect bonefishing weather.

Wading the ocean side flats.
Wading the ocean side flats.

We had some good fishing and some tough fishing and some fishing in-between. Usually, there was one boat each day that did pretty well and one boat struggled. Success and humility were sprinkled pretty evenly around the group.

We did a lot of walking. We probably fished off the skiffs 10% of the time, although if you needed to fish out of the boat, they can certainly do that, so you shouldn’t let that keep you from coming down.

The group was a good one and we gelled pretty well. Everyone got to fish together and we each fished with all of the guides.


  • An 8 wt. is a good choice. You could go with a 7 wt. for the inside flats, but an 8 is a good all around rod for Long Island.
  • The 10 wt. got used for the cudas and jacks and that was fun.
  • I fished an 11 wt. for tarpon, which we saw, but didn’t catch. I fished for sharks and cudas and jacks with the 11 as well. It was overkill for most of the fish, but if I had connected with one of the tarpon or bigger sharks, it would have been ideal.

Long Island Star Fish


  • Generally, the fish on the ocean-side flats would eat bigger flies and inside flats required smaller flies and lighter presentations. The inside flats often required #8’s or blind flies and longer casts to spooky fish. Simple gotcha’s got fish and more elaborate shrimp patterns worked as well. More than anything, size and weight were the main considerations.


  • Bonefish. This is, first and foremost a bonefish destination. Fish ranged in weight from 1 pound to 7 pounds, with a few larger fish seen and cast at. Average fish was probably 3-3.5 pounds.
  • Barracuda. There are a LOT of cudas around. They are fun, violent and strong. Come prepared to fish for them.
  • Sharks. There are a lot of sharks and a couple were caught this last week.
  • Jacks. A few jacks were caught, both trolling a fly and casting a popper. Jacks are a good time and come prepared to fish for them.
  • Tarpon. There are tarpon here, but very few. You can go throw for them, but it won’t be a focus of your trip and you can skip it.
  • Permit. Very rarely people catch permit. We saw 0 in our week with three boats out every day. I’d not plan on permit.

Greenwich Creek Lodge:

  • The place feels like home. It is a straight forward lodge. The rooms are nice and not fancy. The cooking (by Sam) is good. The guides are competent. There isn’t a lot around, so shopping or sight-seeing is a bit limited, although if you wanted to you could drive out to Dean’s Blue Hole, Max’s Conch Shack or some of the beautiful beaches Long is famous for. We were very happy with the accommodations and staff. You will have to buy your own beer and spirits, but they’ll take you down to the store to do it. Lunches are sandwiches, you get two, and they were great.


We had a great week and it went by too quickly. Some of us will certainly come back, others will probably explore other places. I recommend Greenwich Creek Lodge to anyone who loves the technical side of bonefishing. Skinny water, beautiful setting, good people. The price is certainly right.

Mar 14

Good Things Come

long island no horizon

Today was just about perfect. The weather was outstanding. The company was great and the fishing was wonderful.We started out the day heading far out on the ocean side. There is a small rock way out there and it serves as a magnet for fish. There are sharks, barracuda and a huge number of bones. I managed to catch a bonefish out of a huge group only to sacrifice that fish to the Cuda God. I caught another bonefish out of the group and managed to pull it out of the big school fast enough that the cudas and sharks didn’t see it. I have no pictures of that fish. Pictures were not a priority.

Long Island Lemon SharkIt was a nerve-wracking experience to revive a bonefish in my hands while constantly looking over my shoulder at the lemon sharks 20 feet away.

Next we went back on the inside flats and I got to watch Tandy, my fishing partner for the day, catch a nice 4 pound bonefish which interrupted his lunch rather rudely.


long island tandy fish

long Island Lunch

When I got on deck it didn’t take long for there to be options to cast at. The fish kept coming in and retreating, testing for weaknesses (it seemed). Then, one good cast and the lead fish in a line-up of fish aggressively chased down the fly and ate. It immediately tore off 200 feet of fly line and backing and was a heavy weight moving fast. When I got the fish in it was 26″ to the fork, so over 7 pounds. That’s just about my personal best, although I think tied with a fish I got last year in Grand Bahama.

This is, sadly, the best picture I have of that fish.
This is, sadly, the best picture I have of that fish.

I was pretty much happy after that. I didn’t land another fish and it didn’t matter.

Elvis Tandy Long Island

Long Island has been a lot of fun with a good group of guys. Tomorrow we head home and I know I’ll be thinking often of the good time I had here at Greenwich Creek Lodge.

Mar 14

A Charlie Brown Day

Long Island Star FishWell, today was a day that went off script. I followed up a tough day with a tougher day. Not sure what happened, but the wheels came off.

We found fish, Doug Ellis and guide Champ and me. Doug even got a couple to hand. I struggled and struggled and it just didn’t happen.

An example…

Fishing the ocean side flats I see some tailing fish about 120 yards away. I make may way slowly and stealthily in that direction, careful not to spook the fish. About a minute before I’m in casting range a shark or cuda hits a school of bones 50 yards away and the school I’m focused on panics and splits.

Another example…

Guide Champ tells me to go down one side of a cut and then keep going. What I think he says is to go down the side of the cut and hook around the little sand bar. The bottom on this route is too soft. Almost every step sends me knee deep in mud. I keep going thinking it must get better if this is where Champ sent me, except it wasn’t where we sent me and it didn’t get better. I then realized I had to slog my way BACK OUT!

Last example…

I suggest trolling the cuda popper on the fly rod at the end of the day. Champ agrees. One cuda explodes on the fly and, inexplicably, misses it. Another hits and stays on for about 5 seconds and then comes unbuttoned. Another misses the popper in the last 15 yards of the canal. Zero cudas on the fly today.

That’s just how it goes sometimes. That’s why they play the game.


Good news was conch fritters when we got back to the lodge and a trip to Deans Blue Hole, which was cool to see.

Deans blue hole

My fishing partner was great. Champ worked hard for us today. The fish just didn’t cooperate. I’m hoping for a better day tomorrow, our last full day here on Long Island.

Mar 14

Cuda-rific Day

Long Island Cuda on the fly

Today was not a bonefish day. I only cast at one group of bones. It was just that kind of day. However, there were some real highlights.

I started off the morning casting at some nice sized tarpon. Fish were rolling and I was making casts, but I didn’t get a look. It is exciting to cast at big tarpon.

Tandy and I were out with Elvis and we went way out on the ocean flats in search of bones. What we found were sharks, cudas and a (very) few bones. After getting shut out on getting a cuda on the fly, I grabbed the spinning rod and quickly got a very nice cuda.

Long Island Cuda

I used to fish spinning gear growing up but became a fly fishing purist in my 20’s. Now, approaching my 40’s, I’m starting to see that sometimes it makes sense to bring the spinning gear along. That rod got me into fish (and Tandy into fish) we might not have had otherwise and it made each of us smile in the delight of a hard pulling, acrobatic fish. It was plain and simple fun.

Tandy Long Island

I managed to pick up two cudas on the spinning gear, a nice blue runner on a trolled fly and two more cudas on a popper fly and a nice jack on the popper as well.

Jack Popper Long Island

The big cuda went to feed one of the Knowles and the head is in a pot at the moment where I’m boiling off the meat so I can pick it clean to bring home to my daughter. Should be a fun gift.

It was a good day, even if not a great bonefishing day. The weather was great, as it has been all week, and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.

Luckily, we stocked up on beer for the rest of our stay.


Mar 14

Out with Dwayne on Long Island

Today I got to go out with Dwayne, the head guide at Greenwich Creek Lodge, as well as fishing with Aaron.



The day was good. My fish tally was exactly what it was yesterday and we saw a lot of fish. I probably should have caught more because while I had plenty of eats from bonefish, I managed to only hook a few.

I broke off two today, one in the mangroves.

Long Island continues to impress the group with its beauty and the amazing amount of bonefishing on offer.

We did throw the 11 for a little bit today looking for tarpon, but we only saw one roll and that was it. Might try again before we go.

The trip goes well.


Mar 14

Fish for everyone. Day 2 on Long Island

Everyone caught fish today, which makes it a good day.

Long Island cloud

The weather mostly cooperated, although Mark and I got soaked briefly. These things happen.

You do a lot of wading here and I’ve never cast at fish so shallow as I have here this week. Often times the fish’s back is out of the water. With such skinny water I’m finding my #6’s are not so hot and don’t even try a #4. I’ve been fishing #8’s and that seems to be the ticket. Aaron brought along his tying stuff and I managed to squeak out a few #8 gotchas with my supply dwindling quickly.

Long Island bonefish2

bonefish dark sky long island

Hello Long Island Bonefish

We caught fish. Mostly in the 3 pound range today, although we saw bigger fish, they were not to be ours on the day. Mark and I saw a large number of fish, although the tailers in the AM were particularly difficult. Spooky fish!

Fished with Champ today. Champ is a big man with massive hands and tough feet. He suggested I keep my boots on when out of the flats, while he didn’t wear any. I think he could walk on coral and not get injured.

champ long islandA good day on Long Island here at the Greenwich Creek Lodge.

Mar 14

First Day on Long Island

Today was the first day of fishing here at Greenwich Creek Lodge.

The weather cooperated in what may have been the best day of weather I’ve ever had going bonefishing.

coffee Long Island

Long Island clear day

The fish were hit or miss. Skittish early, the fish did eventually cooperate for the most part. I managed a few to hand and saw a lot of fish. I fished with Doug J. today and guide Elvis. We covered some real estate today.

Mark had his best day of bonefishing to-date, which was good to see.





It really is a beautiful place.

Dinner was lobster, which was pretty good. We are all looking forward to getting after it tomorrow.

Long Island BS

Mar 14

A little Long Island Fishing and the Guys Arrive.

While waiting for the guys to get in I managed to take a kayak out in front of the lodge and play around a bit. The results were encouraging, in that I found fish and hooked fish. The results were also discouraging because I went 0/3 on landing hooked bonefish.

Seems like every trip I start off by missing a bunch of fish. So, I got that out of the way, which is good.

The day started off windy and overcast, but ended very well.

Tomorrow looks promising. We head out with the guides in the morning to see what Long Island has to offer.

resized_IMG_3976 resized_IMG_3973 resized_IMG_3969 resized_DSCN4631 resized_DSCN4620 resized_DSCN4623 resized_DSCN4630


Mar 14

Arrival at Greenwich Creek Lodge

SFO to Ft. Lauderdale to Nassau to Deadman’s Day, Long Island, Bahamas. I arrived here today ahead of the group to get the lay of the land, take some pictures and generally get things sorted out and ready (read get some beers on ice) before the crew gets in. (Mark from Cincinnati, great to meet you at the airport and I hope Andros is kind to you and your group) The lodge is a comfortable fishing lodge, not fancy, but extremely adequate for my needs. I can see the Caribbean from the wrap around decks and dinner was steak and lobster. Tomorrow afternoon the guys get in to replace the group now here, eight guys from New Jersey, many of whom have been coming to Greenwich Creek for years.Long Island Lodging

Long Island View

Long Island View 2

Their fishing week was plagued by winds approaching impossible, but the pendulum appears to be swinging back towards good conditions, which bodes well. A big Long Island bone was landed today which may have pressed into the 10 pound range, bigger than I thought they got here.

The guys who are here speak very highly of GCL. They love the guides, the food and the family feel of the place. It really is a family affair with Dwayne and Samantha (called either Sam or Mom), brother Elvis and cousin Champ being the main guides (and cook) and dad Ivan occasionally playing some accordion music for entertainment (like tonight).

Ivan and his wife.
Ivan and his wife.

Tomorrow I’ll likely get a chance to cast a line at something before the guys get in in the afternoon. The flats are close and there is a kayak. Good times will be had. I’ll continue to post up what I can about our exploits so you can live vicariously through the Hosted Long Island trip.

PS… Hemingway lives.

Seriously... doesn't he look like Hemingway?
Seriously… doesn’t he look like Hemingway?