Tag Archives: bonefish

BLOGS: Flats Walker


New blogs pop up every day, but not all of them from Cayman Islands bonefish guides. And so far the posts on Flats Walker look solid.

From an account of his first fly experience:

I’m standing on the northeastern-most tip of the peninsula where I grew up and as I look out over the flats I’m facing north toward Cuba and Key West beyond…

Man, it’s hard to cast when you’re chest deep in water and your line is flowing away in a huge loop. I only hit myself with the fly once (square in the back of the head), and yes, it hurt, but I didn’t hook myself…

From a tarpon account:

This has to be a mistake; you should never have come. These are extra-large fish, rare giants. Any second now you’re partner will say, get your fly out of there, those fish are too big! But the fly lands and you remember not to strip until the fish get close (which is miraculous since you would be hard pressed to remember your name if someone were to pick this particularly unfortunate moment to ask). Then the unbelievable happens: the lead fish puts on the brakes and slowly turns, giving the fly a wide birth. The rest of them follow, scarcely giving your precious fly so much as a glance.

Go check it out.

Bimini Diminished

My buddy Fritz just got back from Bimini and said the Bimini Big Game Club has closed. The island has undergone a lot of change the past few years, and not for the good.

The Compleat Angler burned down a few years ago.
The Compleat Angler burned down a few years ago.
Chalks had a crash and went out of business.
Chalks had a crash and went out of business.
They cut a trench through the bonefish flats for marina access.
They cut a trench through the bonefish flats for marina access.
Now the Big Game Club is closed.
It's enough to drive a man to drink.
It's enough to drive a man to drink.

Save the World Links

Tarbone sends a letter to Florida Fish and Wildlife asking for better bonefish, tarpon, and permit protections.

Capt. Gordon sends word of more news in his battle against Carolina gill nets.

Coastal Voices blog has a link to a map showing the extent of human impact on the oceans.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has a petition to the EPA to keep its promise to clean up the bay by 2010.


“I want ‘em to look in the eye of that fish.”

The moment the first spey cast jumps from the screen in high definition, and the fly line falls over the currents of the Deschutes River, the viewer is hooked. The film’s vibrancy strikes an immediate chord, and it’s easy to settle in thinking Drift will progress as a collection of high quality destination pieces. Not exactly.

The new fly fishing film from Confluence Films takes the viewer to intriguing places, sure, but Drift isn’t really about where to fish, it’s about people and why they fish. The destinations provide the backdrop.

Drift is comprised of five segments that have the feel of magazine profiles brought to life. In Oregon, it focuses on John and Amy Hazel of the Deschutes Angler as they cast for steelhead. When John Hazel says the above highlighted quote  in discussing what he hopes his clients take from every fish, you get that this is more about his passion than it is about the Deschutes or the steelhead. The same holds true as Drift follows Brian O’Keefe down to Turneffe Flats in Belize and then Punta Gorda with the Garbutt Brothers. (Plus, you get a sense of how hard permit fishing is when one of the brothers spots one and says to O’Keefe, “Only 80 feet, moving left.”)

The people do not come through as strongly in the third segment about winter tailwaters, probably because it packs in three locales–the Green, The Frying Pan, and the Bighorn–but you still get a good overall feel for the why of winter fishing. 

Drift hits it perfectly in its profile of Charlie Smith, the Andros Island bonefish legend who invented the Crazy Charlie. It is the strongest piece in the film; it would have been had it not featured a single bonefish and just shown Smith picking the banjo.

Drift closes in Kashmir, where it follows two anglers (Jon Steihl and Travis Smith) who find that the trout fishing is the same but, “The minute you got out of the water…everywhere there were signs you weren’t at home anymore.” 

Find interesting people in interesting places and tell the stories through strong cinematography and narrative, and you get Drift, a fly fishing film that hits its mark.

(Here’s the trailer on Youtube.)

Parrot Cay Bonefishing

A Bonefish Complies

The first one, an eight pounder, broke off my tippet. Or, more accurately, I did on the strip set. We had jumped out of the skiff and started to wade when this single appeared about 20 feet from me. I made the cast and watched it suck in the Gotcha, and I yanked on the line to drive home the hook. The fish and the leader went separate ways. “You don’t do that with bonefish,” said Edward, my guide. I do that with stripers and most of my regular non-trout quarry. But with bonefish, all you need is light pressure and they set themselves upon take-off, one of those 100-mph blasts across the flats.

The second one, I hit on the head. It didn’t like that. At least my casting is accurate.

The third one, I didn’t see. Edward saw it, and told me to place a cast to 40 feet at ten-o’clock. I made the cast. He told me to strip. I stripped. I felt the fish take the fly and this time I applied light pressure. The line slipped back out of my fingers at an increasing pace until the slack disappeared and the reel started humming.

The fourth one, I found on my own. Edward had to get out of the skiff to unstick the aft end from the marl and push the boat through a really shallow stretch. I stood on the bow left to my own devices. I noticed a line of four shadows approaching from 12:30. At 50 feet, I made the cast. I stripped and watched a bone turn in my fly’s direction. My line came taught.

The fifth one, the rules changed. We had poled in close to some mangrove cays to look for bones along the edges. Instead of trying to spot them on light sand, I had to readjust and try to find one against the backdrop of eel grass. Edward saw one first, and I cast on his word. Only then did I pick up the fish. I stripped and let the fly sit, and it sucked the fly off the bottom and ran away. Another singing reel. Five shots, three fish, one satisfied customer.