Archive for the ‘Flats Fishing’ Category

Why Bonefish are Special

June 8, 2011

We think bonefish are special too.  Here’s why Dick Brown thinks so:

“Why bones are special—The bonefish is the nearest thing there is to a perfect gamefish for fly-fishing anglers. A voracious predator, it readily (but warily) takes flies. It accelerates faster and sprints farther than any other fish you take on light tackle. It fights more doggedly than most fish twice its size.

This performance alone would qualify the bonefish as one of the world’s top fly-fishing targets. But what makes this silver phantom of the tropics the ultimate quarry in fly fishing is that you must see it—sometimes from 80 feet away—before you can even cast to it. You stalk it like a predator. You track it down, take your aim, and cast with precision. You must make no mistakes. The ruthless, primitive survival instincts of this skittish creature leave no room for error.”

Reprinted from Fly Fishing for Bonefish, New and Revised by Dick Brown, (copyright 2008). Published by Lyons Press an imprint of Globe Pequot Press, Guilford, CT

It's special, let it go!

Isn't that special?

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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.

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.

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. 

What is a Gyno Crab

December 3, 2010

Dr. Ralph Cifaldi’s Gyno Crab – Tied by Doug Schlink

The Gyno Crab as tied by Doug Schlink

Mid-Morning Permit Snack

Hook: Daiichi X452 or similar in #2 or #4
Thread: Danvilles Flat Wax, Fl. Green
Weight: Lead Eyes – sized to water depth and hook size
Tail: Appx 2 – 2 ½ inches, Polar bear, dyed golden orange (Rit golden yellow dye does it) and barred with a dark brown (*) marking pen
Body: 8 pieces of Tan Aunt Lydia’s Rug Yarn (Antron) figure-eighted in (Merkin fashion) on top of hook shank, and trimmed to appx dime shape.
Legs: 2 (**) Amber/flecked black Sili-Legs, square knotted in (Merkin style), trimmed slightly long (about 1 inch) and set with Krazy Glue (***)

 * I didn’t have a dark brown pen, just dark umber. The barring should be darker – more contrasting.
** While conventional wisdom would dictate 3 legs (per side), Ralph contends permit can’t count, so this is tied true to his original pattern (which worked, so apparently they can’t count).
*** I didn’t have any Krazy Glue handy – just used some head cement. Ralph put drops of Krazy Glue on the legs near the edges of the yarn body (and worked into the yarn slightly) to keep these sticking out at the appropriate angles.

 Angler Adventures 800-628-1447 – 860-434-9624
Fax 860-434-8605
E-Mail:Info@angleradventures.com
PO Box 872, Old Lyme, CT 06371
web site: www.AnglerAdventures.com

Remembering The Gyno Crab

November 26, 2010


NOV 6 – 13, 2004, I was one of a party of 8 very talented flyfishers and great guys who descended on Casa Blanca on Mexico’s Ascension Bay

in quest of permit. The first day out, just a couple were taken, one by first time permit fisher Dr. Ralph Cifaldi. Ralph was using a crab pattern of his own concoction; a variation on the Dorsey Kwan, distinguished by a long tail of amber dyed polar bear barred with a brown marking pen.
  
Taken with a Gyno Crab

"Tara" with a nice Ascension Bay Permit

The second day, there was better success in the group, with Ralph coming in as top rod with a “hat trick” – 3 more permit on this just his second day chasing permit! This piqued our interest a bit more in Ralphy’s unorthodox pattern.

 

The third day, more permit were released by the group, but again the top rod was Doc Ralph, with another hat trick! 3 days into the trip and Ralphy had 7 permit under his belt. The excitement over Ralphy’s fly grew, and being the generous soul that he is, he stayed up late cranking out more of his crab patterns so as to present each one of us with one at breakfast.
 
There was no doubt in my mind what fly to tie on that morning! We ran back into the bay, inside of the tip of Vigia Grande. The wind had slightly clouded the water along the south side of the bay, and my superb guide Manuel (Tarantula) worked the edge between the cloudy and the clear water. Suddenly I spotted a huge permit working up tide toward us. I called to Manuel and he kicked the boat right, and with a couple of strong pushes on the pole put me in position to intercept the fish. I launched Ralph’s fly, it landed perfectly, I made a one-foot long strip and the big fish quivered, lunged forward and ate it. It immediately took off on a searing and what I expected to be a “reel-emptying” run. But about 70 yards out, it just stopped, and slowly pulled. I looked at the bottom and it was moving. Yes, now he was just leisurely towing the boat across the bay! This went on for 42 minutes until finally we got the fish close enough to tail it. But Manuel couldn’t get it over the gunnel! Finally, he went over the side in chest deep water to “wrassle” the beast into submission. We didn’t have a boga grip, but Manuel said his largest “bogaed” fish was 38 pounds, and allowed as how this guy was just about as big! We settled on 35 as an estimate.
  

By the end of the week, our party of 8 had tallied an amazing 35 permit on fly, and quite a few over 20 pounds. And Ralph’s pattern accounted for 17 of these, and the fly didn’t even a name. The last evening, our group sat around the palapa having beers and trying to come up with an appropriate name for Dr. Ralph’s (a gynecologist by the way) remarkable fly. Finally John Canavari burst out, “I’ve got it! The Gyno Crab”. And the name stuck. Google it!
I can’t swear there’s something special about the pattern – maybe it was just a case of a lot of happy permit eating well. But if any fly catches any permit, I want to have it in my arsenal! Hope this works as well for you.

 Angler Adventures

800-628-1447 – 860-434-9624
Fax 860-434-8605
E-Mail:Info@angleradventures.com
PO Box 872, Old Lyme, CT 06371
web site: www.AnglerAdventures.com


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