Mar 14

The bags are packed

Just counting down the hours until I head off to SFO for my redeye tonight.

In my mind I can feel the wind, hear it flapping my shirt, hear it whistle through the mangroves. I can see shapes, dark and uncertain, off in the distance. I can feel the focus creep up within me. The sense of recognition.

The fly in the hand drops to the water, the arm starts to move.

Can’t you feel it?

I’ll post up what I can while I’m out there.

Mar 14

Evoking Motive

I have another couple loaners along on the Long Island trip. I got my hands on the new Sage Evoke Reel and the new Sage Motive Rod. The rod is an 11 wt., just in case we manage to track down some tarpon in the cuts, as I hope we do. Could be a cuda rod as well.

The Evoke Reel is a break with the current fascination with lighter gear. It is built like a tank. I think I could drop this thing from 10,000 feet and keep fishing with it. Everything about this reel screams “SOLID!” Yes… in all caps.

The Evoke

The Evoke

When I got backing put on it the guy at the counter put it well. “Whoa.”

I’m really, really hoping this reel gets a work out on the trip.

The Rod is the Motive. It is a beautiful blue color, winning some style points right out of the case. I got to cast the 11 wt. at the Fly Fishing Show West in Pleasanton and found it very cannon-like. You need to pound a cast out there, this is certainly poundable.

The Sage Motive Saltwater Stick

The Sage Motive Saltwater Stick

So, two new Sage bits of fantasy equipment to ply Bahamian waters with. Should be fun.

Mar 14

H2 Loaner for Long Island

For Long I’ll be throwing a loaner Helios 2 from Orvis. I cast one of these in Cuba back in 2012 and I loved it then. I took it out on the grass yesterday for a spin and I have to say… I kind of love it.

Just a damn fine rod.

It is light. It is powerful. It is accurate (although… is that the caster or the rod?).

I’m looking forward to getting a few more fish on the H2 and I’ll be sad when I have to send the thing back.

It arrived with a Mirage Reel along with the Orvis bonefishishing line, which is a textured line. I know textured lines have had mixed reviews with just about everyone agreeing they let you get a few more feet out of your cast and some (like Flatswalker) finding his textured floating lines incapable of floating. I didn’t have that issue when I fished this same line in 2012 and I will let you know how it goes this time around.

Mar 14

Can I get a disable sticker for this?

It sure feels like something is wrong with my mental state.

That's a lot of fur and thread.
That’s a lot of fur and thread.

These are the flies I’m bringing to Long Island, but I can’t help but feel like I should be tying more. I feel like I might be missing something here and I’ll end up on a flat with an 8 pound bonefish (unlikely on Long, but it’s my fantasy, so I’m just going to roll with it) cruising up ahead and the guide is going to ask for the one fly I don’t have.

The shot will be lost.

I’ll probably cry a little bit. Not a lot and mostly on the inside.

The funny thing is I think I usually end up using 12-14 flies in a week of bonefishing. It usually doesn’t matter that much what you are throwing as long as it is about the right size and isn’t in some crazy color. It is more HOW you fish something, and yet I am still filled with a degree of anxiety.

Maybe I should get back to the vice…


Mar 14

Be careful out there

I got this email from one of the Long Island fishing crew. It made me laugh. It seems like for most of my big trips in recent years I have come down with some sort of bug just prior to leaving. I think I’m good this year, but there is always a chance for things to go horribly wrong before a big trip. Here’s the list of things to watch out for.

Good advice, y'all.
Good advice, y’all.

Just a reminder that for the next week or so you might want to avoid:

– Moving furniture around

– Making that “one last run” down the double black diamond Widow Maker run

– Can lids, knives, glass, razor blades, other sharp objects

– Ladders

– Electricity, lightning and hail larger than a pea

– Proving the steroid-fueled, tattooed gym rats that you can lift anything they can lift (it’s nothing personal if any of you happen to be a steroid-fueled, tattooed gym rat)

– Feeding or taking food away from large carnivorous animals, small carnivorous animals, angry birds, essentially anything meaner than an earthworm

– Bicycling on roads that are still covered in traction gravel, ice or snow

– Trying that new (fill in the blank) ________ restaurant for which you got a coupon from that strange little man with the dreadlocks who was standing outside the pet store

– Large groups of elementary school aged kids

– Un-ergonomically correct body positions and movement while (a) getting your empty bag down from the storage shelf in the garage; (b) lifting and putting the soon to be filled bag which weighs 50 lbs or less into the boot of your ute; and (c) bending over and reaching for anything, even that pencil that rolled off the table, it can stay there until after our trip

Stay safe out there folks!

Mar 14

I can see Long Island from my window

Mentally, I can see Long Island. I can see it coming into view.

This has been a harder trip to get my head around. My dad won’t be on the trip because my mom is at home with terminal cancer. That’s kind of a big thing. One of the biggest.

I also just added a son to the family. Oliver is now 2.5 months old and, by present indications, he is going to be a big, big kid. I never thought I’d have a second child. I never thought I’d have a son. Now, I do.

Amidst all this, the Bahamas is coming into sight. The island, the people, the fish, the experience of standing shin deep in the water with hope.

Normally, I think going fishing when you have things on your mind is a bad idea. You have to leave it all at the dock if you are going to have a good trip. You have to be able to let it all go and be totally in the moment. That may be harder to do on this trip, but it is worth a shot.

On my mind.

On my mind.

The group I’ll be fishing with seems like a lot of fun. The weather is supposed to be windy, but sunny (wind, in the Bahamas, who knew?).

Looking forward to seeing my first grey ghost of 2014.

Mar 14

Long is Ready

A Long Island Bonefish from a previous Angling Destinations trip.

A Long Island Bonefish from a previous Angling Destinations trip.

We have our crew for Long Island. I’ll be walking the flats of Long Island with Mark, Aaron, Doug, Doug and Tandy. Should be a good crew.

The day of departure is quickly approaching and I am starting to think beyond the fly swap toward making sure I have what I need for the flats.

Mostly, I do.

At this point I have maybe 3 sets of sun gloves and well over a half-dozen sun masks. I have the pants I need and more flats shirts than I could wear in a week. There are a few consumables I need to replenish.

  • White Socks. I buy a new pack of white socks for every trip, wear one pair a day with my wading boots and then leave the socks wherever it was I fished.
  • Sun Screen. I am so white I could serve as a beacon to warn sailors of dangerous shoals. Sun Screen, and a lot of it, is critical.
  • Barrier Cream. Nothing ruins a trip like a rash on your inner thighs. Something like Desitin works really well. Luckily, I have a 2 month old and have plenty of that floating around the house.
  • Wire bite guards. Cudas are a fish I intent to catch and I want to keep them on the line. Bite guards don’t tend to stick around.

Everything else tends to still be in the garage, just waiting for the journey. Glad we have our crew together.

Now I just need the next two weeks to melt away and let me have my escape to the Bahamas.


Mar 14

Last Ditch for Long Island

We are a man down for Long Island. He’s all paid up, the full payment has already been made to the lodge to cover everything, but going with 5 is not as good as going with 6. We need to even things out. To do that, we just need someone to commit to the trip, to book their airfare and to pay for their trip.

At this point, I’m willing to offer the trip at $500 off so our reluctant departing angler (also known as my dad) can get most of his money back, if not all of it.

So… $1,495, for a week of guided bonefishing on Long Island, March 18-25.

It is the kind of deal you aren’t likely to see again.

If you want to go, it is a first-to-book scenario.

This is where we'll be going... looks kind of nice.

This is where we’ll be going… looks kind of nice.

Feb 14

One Long Island Spot Open – March 18-25

The Long Island trip has one spot open now. We were full, and now we are not and we are looking for one fun soul to join our merry group.

This is where we'll be going... looks kind of nice.

This is where we’ll be going… looks kind of nice.

Price is $1,995, which is pretty hard to beat for a week of guided fly fishing. We have a good group going already and hope we can fill that last slot with someone who will appreciate the trip.

Get in touch at bjorn@anglingdestinations dot com if you are interested.

The reason we have a slot open hits way too close to home. My dad won’t be joining us in Long Island so he can spend time with my mom who just got diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer is almost never discovered early and by the time it is found it is almost always far too late in the game to mount a defense. So it is with my mom, who agreed to marry my dad 47 years ago today.

It is a very sobering thing. This is stage four. There is no surgery. There is no chemo.

I’ve never felt so grown up as I have these past few days, realizing I’ll lose my mother soon.

I’ll be needing a little time on the flats soon, for sure.

Jan 14

Countdown to Long Island

This is where we'll be going... looks kind of nice.

This is where we’ll be going… looks kind of nice.

The trip to Long Island is full. That’s nice, eh? This is the Greenwich Creek Lodge, fully guided, all the good stuff but the booze included.

The days are now obstacles to be overcome. I have a trip on the books. Is there anything sweeter than the anticipation of a trip?