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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Bahamas 2015

It's been little over a week since Erik, Mike and I returned from our trip to the Bahamas and I still find myself thinking back to the sights, sounds, fish and the memories of what we found ourselves getting into.  Nine days in total, fishing on 8-1/2 of them.  We wasted no time in pursuit of bonefish, tarpon and the ever present barracuda.
No matter what Erik tells you, this was my fish.  I "let" him hold it so I could photograph.

Bonefish. Built for Speed
Paradise?
What made this trip intriguing and exciting for me was that we planned to do this a bit "rougher" than most folks do when going to the Bahamas.  Cheap stays, camping and exploration were high on this trip.  One of those trips where the getting there, the doing, and oh, the fishing all sum it up into the motives of the experience.  It certainly was all about the fishing, but it would not have been without the sums of its parts.

The other part of this trip that was exciting was that we had a new enabling factor to some of the fishing and places we experienced-  We each had traveled with the Boardworks Surf Badfisher SUP.  The idea was to use the stand up paddle board as a primary and secondary means of getting to flats otherwise inaccessible to us, and allow us to cover enormous amounts of water in search of schools of bonefish.  YES.  And it worked.
Setting up for day one

We loaded out decks daily with enough food, water and gear for each day and set about to explore new areas, areas that Erik pounded up on Google Earth and stories we heard word-of-mouth.  The SUP was an excellent way to do this, with minor challenges.  Trying to keep camera gear dry, not break spare rods, and dealing with the ever present 20-25mph "breeze" was definitely a challenge. There are accessories to manage this stuff available, but we didn't have them on this trip.  We will next time.  We all have stronger backs and tighter abs for it!  Small challenges for what we got to experience.

Ask Erik about the fishing and it was "definitely the top 20% of the WORST numbers we have seen."  Haha.  Yeah, we earned every fish.  Some days we saw schools of hundreds that simply would swim over a fly and not eat, other days we saw only singles and doubles of decent fish that would ponce on a fly poorly casted 20 feet away.  For me, it was good enough.  Sum of parts, remember?

The bonefish were there.  When they'd eat, you'd catch them. period.  There were always enough cudas around.

A key highlight that I believe we all agree upon is the opportunity we seized to explore a rumored "tarpon spot."   Pretty amazing non-tidal location said to be full of nothing but stunted growth tarpon.

I'm IN!

It was a huck and a half to get there.  We went. We saw. We caught.
Tarpon from "Juvie Hall"
The beer of the Bahamas. Koozies courtesy of The Fiberglass Manifesto
It was a great trip. Erik and Mike were a great couple of guys to do this with.  Special cred goes out to Erik who pretty much masterminded our logistics and where and what we'd be doing day to day. We're already kicking the sand on the next adventure.
Salt water toothies have no freshwater equivalent.
More pics on my flickr page HERE
Instagram: DOWN_HOME_FLYFISHING
-thehappytrout




Sunday, February 8, 2015

Warmer Pastures

Getting ready for another trip to the Bahamas with two friends.  Making lists and checking them 10 times.  Scouring GoogleEarth.  Tying flies, leaders and all that goes with it.  But my mind keeps going back to last year and some awesome places I was able to get into on my inflatable paddleboard that were previously inaccessible due to muddy, mucky bottoms or were across channels too deep to wade.

Here's a short basic edit from one afternoon:



Bonefish In The Mangroves from Yeahboiy! Video on Vimeo.



And another quickie clip of a game I played, trying to see how close I could get to the fish and what they'd do once they saw me on the board.



Bonefish I from Yeahboiy! Video on Vimeo.

Won't be long.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Fly Fishing Film Tour



In my other life I'm active with the Northwest PA Chapter of Trout Unlimited and we are sponsoring the f3t Fly Fishing Film Tour on Saturday March 21st at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center at Presque Isle.  If you're interested, please click on the above link for more information and to purchase tickets.  Should be a pretty fun evening.