Archive for May, 2011

Why Bonefish in the Bahamas?

May 31, 2011

A great example comes from a group of ours that just got back from Grey’s Point Bonefish Inn, Acklins Island, Bahamas.  There is something special about Bahamas bonefishing that isn’t found wading a flat or casting to tailing fish.  The charm and arms wide open welcome of the Bahamas is even more apparent in the outer islands, like Acklins.  Group member Alec Kempe was describing a photograph taken after dinner on their last night said, “Shirley gave a speech in which she quoted Shakespeare from Romeo & Juliet “Parting is such sweet sorrow”; Peter baked us a wonderful cake & as a finale, Peter, Lavanda (wonderful singing voice) & Shirley sung to us. What a great show of appreciation & warmth – really a nice family!”

That being said, the other reason to bonefish in the Bahamas is, well, BONEFISH!!!  Here’s a nice “10-pounder” landed by Pierce Walmsely.  Alec Kempe prefaced the image of Pierce’s bonefishng with “Lemon sharks & ‘cudas were all over us that day.  Gator kept Lemons from eating this particular fish with some great pole-on-the-sharks-head work.”

Pierce Walmsely's Acklins bonefish.

The colors are another reason - photo credit Alec Kempe

Grey’s Point Bonefish Inn is one of the unique destinations where almost 100% of the fishing is done wading, unless you choose to fish from the skiff.  Want more information on Grey’s Point or fishing the out islands of the Bahamas – call Angler Adventures at 800-628-1447 (860-434-9624) or drop us an email at info@angleradventures.com.

Advertisements

Bonefish Fly Patterns – preface excerpt

May 24, 2011

The following is from the preface to the second edition of Bonefish Fly Patterns by Dick Brown.  There are some great bonefish flies included in this edition that we’ve been recommending to our clients, specifically the Simram and the Bully Special (by Bully Bevins of North Riding Point Club – one of our favorites).  Check out the image of Trodella’s Ghost, it’s like a modernized version of our favorite skinny water bonefish fly – the Bunny Bone!

 This revised edition of Bonefish Fly Patterns contains forty-seven new flies that were not in the original 1996 edition. Some are recent patterns created by new flats anglers with fresh, inquisitive eyes—like Victor Trodella’s killer Ghost tailing fly and Omeko Glinton’s Meko Special. Others like Eric Peterson’s Spawning Shrimp, Vic Gaspeny’s Threadhead, Rick Simonsen’s Simram, and Patrick Dorsy’s Kwan and Bone Slappa are creations of skilled flats veterans willing to pass along the exact recipes of go-to favorites they’ve relied on for winning tournaments. Still others are well-known classics that I simply could not get into the original book for one reason or another—like the Horror and the Mini-Puff, which have produced on flats around the world for decades. A few new creations, like the Toad and the Slinky Toad, were developed in response to the significant findings of recent bonefish feeding studies that have established the importance of newly discovered prey forms in the diet of Florida and Bahamian bonefish—especially the gulf toadfish. Four—the Bastard Crab, Big Ugly, Merkwan, and Bunny Crab—come from Bonefish & Tarpon Trust’s Aaron Adams, who is both a marine research scientist and an avid angler. Finally, several new entries, like the Skok/Boyle Reverend Laing fly, the Bevin’s Bully Special, and Trodella’s Ghost, were driven by new tying materials and new uses of existing materials, which have enabled tiers to find novel solutions to old bonefish challenges like flash intensity and splash impact.

 Reprinted from Bonefish Fly Patterns, 2nd Edition by Dick Brown, ©2011. Published by Lyons Press an imprint of Globe Pequot Press, Guilford, CT

looks a lot like a Bunny Bone

Trodella’s Ghost Fly Photo: © 2011 Dick Brown

Traveling with Fishing Tackle

May 19, 2011

As a travel agency specializing in international fishing travel, we’re regularly asked how to travel with fishing tackle.  We recommend 100% of the time that traveling anglers pack expensive reels and flies in their carry on luggage to avoid them being delayed, lost or stolen while in route to your fishing destination.  Also, despite not fitting into the airline usual “carry on requirements”, most airlines are allowing small cases of 3, 4 or 5 piece fly rods as carry-ons, as long as they fit in the overhead compartment (please check with your individual airline for their specific policies).  Metal objects (such as pliers, scissors, snips, pocket knives, screwdrivers, etc) that could be considered dangerous, should be packed in your checked luggage to avoid delays and possible confiscation at security checkpoints. 

The Travel Security Administration (TSA), the governmental body providing the manpower and regulations at our airports security checkpoints allow specialty fishing gear (like reels and flies) to be packed in check luggage.  We recommend that anyone traveling with fishing tackle visit the TSA website and carry a printed copy of the document entitled: “Traveling with Special Items – Hunting and Fishing” with their carry luggage / E-Tickets.

Also, we recommend investigating a fishing equipment specific carry on bag, like the Fishpond Dakota Carry On Rod & Reel Case

Bonefish Flies 2.0

May 18, 2011

Saltwater flats fishing authority, Dick Brown, is releasing the second version of his Bonefish Fly Patterns book in June 2011.  Both of Dick’s books are considered must reads for any angler interested in improving his skills and learing more about bonefishing.  Sharing Dick’s passion for the sport, we’re excited to celebrate this all-new second edition by posting exclusive excerpts from Dick’s 2 books (Bonefish Fly Patterns and Fly Fishing for Bonefish) over next few months.  Many of you may have fished with guides mentioned in the book like Meko or Bully, or in locations after which flies are named, such as Mores Island.

Check out the flyer here Bonefish Flies 2.0.

The Vulcan Grilse Grip

May 11, 2011

For those of you planning an Atlantic salmon trip this summer, here’s a tip from Doug Schlink you might enjoy. 

Adult, mutli-sea-winter (MSW) Atlantic salmon fish can be captured by hand tailing.  This is accomplished by wrapping your hand and around the “wrist” of their tail (known as the caudal peduncle), just in front of the tail fin, much as you would grasp your own left wrist with your right hand just in front of your hand.   The tail fin on an MSW fish has developed stiff exterior rays, and prevents the fish from slipping through.  

Atlantic salmon that have only spent one winter at sea before returning to the river to spawn are known as grilse.  Grilse are smaller, usually from 20 – 24 inches in length, and have not yet developed this stiffness in the tail fin’s exterior rays.  A sure way to tell a big grilse from a small salmon is to check the development of the tail fin exterior rays.  If they are stiff, and don’t collapse when you try to squeeze them together, it’s a salmon.  But if they collapse, it’s a grilse. 

Doug Schlink with nice looking MSW Atlantic

Not a Grilse

Because of this lack of development in the exterior caudal fin rays of a grilse, if you try to “tail” a grilse with this conventional method, the tail fin collapses and he’ll squirt right out of your grasp!

But if your guide is not handy with the net when you’re about to land your grilse, you still can hand tail him using the technique I call the “Vulcan Grilse Grip”.    Make a “V” or a “peace sign” by extending your index and middle finger of your dominant hand.  With thumb extended, slide this “V” so one finger is on the top and the other along the bottom of the caudal peduncle.  Now quickly wrap the thumb around and close the rest of your hand as if you’re trying to make a fist.  You should now have a firm grasp on the fish!  I’m not sure why this works, but it does. 

A word of caution, never lift a salmon or a grilse you plan to release clear out of the water by the tail.  This can cause internal damage.  Please use hand tailing only as a means of securing the salmon in the water so you can remove the fly and properly release into the current.  If you want to lift a salmon for a photo, use your other hand to gently support the body of the fish, and lift no more than a few inches from the water and for no more than a few seconds. 

Many thanks to angling great Larry Solomon, co-author of the classic “The Caddis and the Angler”, for showing me this technique over 20 years ago on the Nepisiguit River. 

Tarpon Caye Lodge

May 10, 2011

Belize is a great destination for anglers traveling during the summer months due to its neo to sub-tropical climate, whose daytime temperatures only vary between 10 – 15 degrees over the course of a year.  This consistency makes the fishing in Belize fairly predictable, as well as productive, each month of the year.  The following write up by Doug Schink  (doug@angleradventues.com) on Tarpon Caye Lodge recently appeared in The Angling Report.

Tarpon Caye is a 10-acre private island situated 15 miles east of Placencia, Belize in the area referred to as “Permit Alley”.   The Caye takes its name from its tarpon lagoon that reliably holds a resident population of mid size (30 – 60 lbs.) tarpon.  There are also some fair to good bonefish flats in the area, but permit is the main attraction at Tarpon Caye.  On the top half of the tide, permit predictably flood the dozens of flats found within a 5 – 20 minute run of the Caye.  These are skinny, gin-clear ocean water flats and dorsal as well as caudal fins are frequently out of the water.  While you can skiff fish, it’s often more productive to wade these firm, shallow flats.  It’s not unusual to have 20 or more legitimate shots over a tide. 

Typical Permit from Tarpon Caye Lodge

Love at First Sight

 Tarpon Caye Lodge is owned by “Permit Guru”, Charlie Leslie who has spent over 35 years guiding permit anglers on these flats.   What distinguishes the fishing program from more conventional “8 to 4” lodge programs is that they will fish the tides.   ‘We do fishing here’, is Charlie’s motto, and he means it.  If you are there over a full or new moon, your highest tides occur during the middle of the day and thus the best permit fishing will be during the midday hours.  However if your stay coincides with a quarter moon when low tide typically occurs around midday, Charlie will schedule “split day” fishing.  For example, during these tides, you might fish from first light until the permit leave the flats with the falling tide, say from 5:30 to 8:30 am.  You’ll then return to the lodge for a breakfast/brunch, and a siesta.  Around 2:00 pm, you’ll head back out to meet the permit returning to the flats on the incoming tide, and fish until dark.

Accommodations are in basic but comfortable double occupancy cabañas on stilts, each with full tiled bath with hot and cold water and generated electricity. The clubhouse features the bar and dining room where guests enjoy libations and excellent meals featuring the freshest local seafood.

Tarpon Caye Lodge is competitively priced and is currently offering a special for 7 nights/6-days fishing for $1,999 per person double occupancy.

Permit Alley is a challenging fishery to be sure, but if stalking tailing permit on foot on gin-clear flats appeals to you, you owe it to yourself to take the challenge!

Reservations: Angler Adventures, 800-628-1447; info@angleradventures.com, Additional information on Tarpon Caye Lodge: http://www.angleradventures.com/tarponcaye/

Belize Special Rates

May 6, 2011

We’ve put up a couple of report type posts on the fishing around Turneffe Atoll this week.  Since Belize is a great summer fishing destination and there are some great special fishing rates at 5 of the best fishing operations in Belize, we thought we’d get those special rates all posted in one place. Click on the links below to visit each destinations web page or call (800-628-1447) / email (info@angleradventures.com) for more information or to confirm your reservation.

Permit Belize Style - Photo Credit: Turneffe Flats

You can do this and get a discount!

 Turneffe Flats Resort – June 25 – December 24, 2011
 
The cost for 7-nights/6-days fishing is $2,859.72 per person based on double occupancy accommodations and a shared boat / guide.  The regular rate is $3,384 per person.

Turneffe Island Resort – May 28 – December 16, 2011

The cost for 7-nights/6-days fishing is $2,587.50 per person based on double occupancy accommodations and a shared boat / guide.  The regular rate is $2,868.75 per person.

Belize River Lodge – July 24 – December 18, 2011 (limited space available)

The cost for 7-nights/6-days fishing is $2,412 per person based on double occupancy accommodations and a shared boat / guide.  The regular rate is $3,668 per person.

El Pescador – June 1 – December 15, 2011

The cost for 7-nights/6-days fishing is $2,595 per person based on double occupancy accommodations and a shared boat / guide.  The regular rate is $3,474 per person.

Tarpon Caye Lodge – March 1 – July 31, 2011

The cost for 7-nights/6-days fishing is $1,999 per person based on double occupancy accommodations and a shared boat / guide.  The regular rate is $2,890 per person.

Turneffe Flats Resort – A Tarpon Story

May 5, 2011

The following recap of Angler Adventures owner Chip Bates’ trip to Turneffe Flats Resort appeared as a newsletter in September 2010Kevin Sheehan’s recent report got us excited about the summer tarpon fishing on Turneffe Atoll as the numbers of large, migratory tarpon rapidly increase over the next few months.  Enjoy!

 My son Tyler wanted to catch a big Tarpon on a fly and I wanted to wade flats for Bonefish and Permit in case the Tarpon weren’t “on”. We had a week in August between Tyler’s summer job and school.

The Turneffe Islands have a migratory population of big Tarpon that usually arrive in May and remain through most of October. Bonefish and Permit are year round. On paper, it appeared that that Turneffe Flats Resort had what we were looking for. In reality, it was better than expected.

First, it’s great bonding to travel with your son. Because of his work and college schedule, we hadn’t done this since high school. Secondly, Tyler and I love the fishing lodge schedule: up early, eat, fish, eat, and to bed early. Well, that’s where we differ…at least I was in bed early.

We were assigned Dubs as our guide. Dubs is an upbeat, happy guy who takes his fishing seriously. The only disappointment of the trip was that neither of us landed a Permit. Not for lack of trying. We had multiple, if not dozens, of shots daily. We’ll save the Permit for another trip.

Nice Bonefish from Turneffe Flats Lodge

Chip's 8 lb Belize Bonefish

We warmed up on Bonefish and caught plenty. Turneffe Flats has some of the best wading anywhere, but we also poled some deeper flats for larger fish and caught bones up to 8 lbs. To me this was a delightful way to fill in the gaps between Tarpon and Permit.

One afternoon about 3:00 PM, Dubs suggested the tide was good for Tarpon. We motored back to a large creek, adjacent to the lodge, that connects the ocean to the lagoon. This creek is too deep to pole, but it’s crystal clear. As we approached the creek, Tyler spotted something break the surface at a distance.

We stopped and looked but could confirm nothing. We continued towards Dubs’ favorite Tarpon spot. Dubs dropped anchor and asked Tyler to cast his intermediate line perpendicular to the current, let the fly sink, then swing in the current on the retrieve. While Tyler was straightening his line, Dubs saw activity in the area we’d just come from. Next we saw two 100 lb Tarpon come completely airborne like dolphins at Sea World. Holy #$*@!, we all said in unison. Up came the anchor and we got our butts to that spot in a hurry. For the next 45 minutes it was mayhem. Big Tarpon everywhere around the boat, under the boat, airborne on both sides of the boat, all chasing big needlefish and ballyhoo. It was one of the most incredible sights I’ve seen in lifelong fishing career. 

Bottom line: Tyler jumped 4 tarpon from 80 – 120 lbs. Every fish eventually threw the fly. The frenzy petered out just before dark. Time for dinner. Dubs said the tide would be good again in the morning. He wanted to be on water before sunrise.

Gorgeous 80 lb Turneffe Atoll Tarpon

Tyler, Dubs and a nice Tarpon

We got to Dubs’ favorite spot in the pre-dawn light. It was beautifully quiet and calm, except for the tide. Tyler straightened his line, ready to cast the black and purple Puglisi Tarpon Streamer tied on a circle hook, the same fly the 4 tarpon ate the day before. It wasn’t long before we saw Tarpon roll in the current left of the boat. One cast and Tyler was dancing with a tail walking Tarpon that again spit the fly.

Not being a fan of circle hooks, I suggested to Dubs that we change the fly. We selected the exact same pattern tied on an Owner Aki traditional bend hook. Tarpon remained active around the boat and it wasn’t long before Ty connected again. This time the fly held through the first jump, the second and third jumps. 30 minutes later we landed this gorgeous fish, estimated at 80 lbs.

The Tarpon had stopped rolling. We were back in time for breakfast, ready to sight fish for bones and permit the rest of the day.

April 10th Week at Turneffe Island Resort – Client Report

May 4, 2011

Kevin Sheehan and his fiancée, Brenna Wiberg recently returned from a fabulous trip to Turneffe Island Resort the week of April 9 – 16, 2011.  Kevin fished with veteran Turneffe guide Clinton Wade (a.k.a. KP), and landed 4 out of 6 permit hooked, including the beautiful 30 pounder pictured here! 

Turneffe Island Resort - 30lb Permit

Nice fish Kevin

Despite it still being early for tarpon on the Turneffe Atoll, KP managed to get Kevin into about a half dozen tarpon up to 80 pounds (he landed 3 including one to fill out a Grand Slam!). 

Kevin spent some time chasing the bones, landing a bunch up to around 7 pounds, and devoted time to coaching Brenna (previously a non-fisherperson) into her first bonefish!  (She fishes now!).  AND, Kevin was perhaps most excited about seeing and hooking, not 1, not 2, but 3 of the extremely rare Turneffe Golden Bones (more on these guys in a future post).  Only a handful of these are landed every year, and Kevin has vowed to get one on his next trip (which they’ve already booked – their honeymoon in 2012!).

Turneffe Island Resort is located on the remote Cay Bokel on the southern end of the Turneffe Atoll, which is a 2-hour boat ride from the Belize mainland.  Click here for more information on Turneffe Island Resort. 

Patagonia Backroads – Catch Magazine

May 3, 2011

As we mentioned in our last post, friend / photographer / fly tackle sales rep Jon Covich took a trip to Arroyo Claro Lodge in Argentina in January.  However, Jon wasn’t there solely for the great fishing on the Chubut, Carrilefu, and Rivadavia Rivers.  He was also in Patagonia to take photos – and boy did he capture some exceptional images while staying at Arroyo Claro.  Jon’s photo’s were so good that he was invited to do a photo essay on his trip in Catch Magazine, an online magazine focused on showing the beauty of fly fishing through the finest in fly fishing photography and cinematography.  Catch is a truly unique online publication and we love it here at Angler Adventures.  Click here to access Catch Magazine’s 17th issue, click on contents (lower left) and then ‘Photo Essay – Patagonia Backroads’ under the ‘Unique Essays’ heading to experience the entire essay.  Until then, here’s a small sample:

Fly Fishing the Chubut River, Argentina

The Chubut River

“…Rio Chubut, our longest float trip, will be our first excursion and it will take four days to cover sixty miles.  The river holds the strongest rainbow trout in the country and we catch them all on dries.  The summer weather is very dry, the high desert kind, and at times with a wind that sweeps the barren hills and is, thankfully, partially blocked by the willows that border the river…”


%d bloggers like this: