We tested a new fly rod out of Canada, G and L Fly
Craft - the rod was the Bow River Series, 9ft. 8
weight - not a saltwater rod as such, but it performed
like it had been designed just for the fishery we had.
The guys have been doing the Canadian Shows - so keep
an eye out for them.
We also obtained, on loan which they call a "Traveler",
a new reel from Old Florida. This one was the Nautilus,
and what a treat. Either you are into reels or not - but
this is so outstanding I have to comment. I really get
into a rush with a nice bonefish taking off for parts
unknown. I had one on, and the Nautilus reel was on
the rod. Instead of being excited about the fish - I
said to Castwell, "Wow! This reel is absolutely smooth!"
And it is. You'll hear more about it.
Okay, so about the fish. The ugly face you saw on the
front page is a Barracuda. Big Barracuda. And JC's
first ever, on anything. We weren't targeting them,
but we did have a second rod in the boat with one of
those braided long flies which are supposed to
represent a needlefish. JC did have a hit on one,
but there wasn't a stinger hook at the tail and the
fish got a couple of inches of the fly - no hook up.
One evening we were tackle tinkering (yes, we do that
too) and I came across an odd fly Pete Parker had tied
for us. About 2 inches long, round like a popper,
covered with a green mylar tubing and red cactus
flash at the eye and end. Strange. And it worked.
We were eating lunch, anchored out in about 3 feet
of water, waiting for the tide to drop. Our guide,
Stanley (Jolly Boy) Forbes spotted a 'cudda' about
40 feet away, just hanging out. He asked JC if he'd
like to take a shot at it, and JC, eating a sandwich
at the time declined. A few minutes later Stanley
said, "He's still there, are you sure?" I handed JC
the cudda rod, (we mostly used the Sage Xi2s), and he
made a nice cast about 4 feet in front of the fish and
stripped the fly as fast as he could.
It was amazing! We didn't see the fish move. There
was a huge explosion of water and fish out of the
water - bent rod and fish running! As the fish
was making the first run, JC turned to Stanley and
asked, "About how long is this likely to take?"
Stanley didn't miss a beat, "Not more than two hours."
They had been kidding back and forth all day, the
truth is it took about 15 minutes. The fish was
about 25 pounds.
We both took bonefish - JC had the largest, 10 pounds,
my biggest about 5. We were 'head-hunting' because we
wanted some photos of big bonefish. The number of bad
shots I made at very big bonefish is reassuring. Yes,
I get excited and blow casts too! We probably saw 40
or more fish well over 10 pounds. I lost one - make
We fished with Gary Francis and Jason Duncombe again,
both very nice - and good guides. We spent a little time
at lunch working on Gary's double haul, getting the timing
down where he could throw the whole line. This was the first
time we fished with Stanley. He is a older and wiser guide.
We noted some really interesting differences in how the
guides work the flats, watch for more on that soon.
You can reach any of those guides through Bendan Foulkes
at Emerald Palms. Any
of them will do a good job! Jason did manage to find a
momma and baby dolphin for me again. He says it's a good
sign to see them, it means there are bonefish in the area.
It is their main food.
One of the highlights of this trip was a 22 mile run in
a flats skiff to the west side. This area is as it was
500 years ago. No development, no people, just the ocean,
flats, mangroves and Australian pine. We are told there
are still parts of Andros and S. Andros which simply have
not been explored. There are several freshwater lakes!
What a boon that would have been to stranded sailors.
We also had a tour of 3 other Bonefish Lodges on S. Andros,
watch for a report on those to come as well.
All of our bags arrived at the right place at the
right time - we flew on American Airlines (and the
extra leg room was a treat). I did have an
exploding container of blueberry yogurt, but
I'm not going there. No sunburns (BullFrog),
the worse problem was JC passport disappeared
going through security in Nassau - but we got
home without it and it's been reported. He will
have to get a new one however. That is a reminder
to get a photocopy of both passports again...we
had the copies of the old ones, and knew the number
on his. Someone told us years ago to get several
copies and put one in each bag just in case.
Our sincere thanks to all our friends on S.
Andros - especially Brendan and his staff - and
we hope to renew some new acquaintances we met this time.
Patsy and Billy from Charlotte, Virginia were delightful,
as were the folks at Bair's Lodge, Neville's and the
"new" Bonefish Bay Club. Thanks John for the chocolate!
I can still see the schools of little tropical fish
in their Sunday best swimming by. The turquoise
waters fading off to royal blue at the drop offs
and the surf breaking on the bar. Maybe that's
why we keep going back. ~ The LadyFisher
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