Deneki Outdoors FIBFest 2011 is officially over. Bye bye bonefish.
Photo courtesy of Cameron Miller
Special thanks go out to everyone that participated, a list of which you can find here. Additionally, grande muchas gracias to Rick Sisler, Trevor Covich, the camp staff, and of course our rockstar host, Mr. Bennett. Meanwhile, some end notes…
- We had difficult conditions on roughly four out of the six fishing days, and yet everyone caught fish. I attribute that success to the professionalism of the Andros South guides, who exercised both patience (with two saltwater newbies in the crew) and an air of competitiveness (they loath the idea of getting skunked).
- I caught bonefish all six fishing days. If I possessed an A-game, and had brought it out every day, I truly believe I would have boated at least a dozen fish on each. Bonefishing isn’t the easiest pursuit on a cloudless, windless day, let alone one where shadows constantly roll by from above and a very stiff breeze is smacking you in face. Yet once again the guides made it happen, despite the angler.
- I learned more about winds, tides, time, and how it effects bonefishing in six days than I could get from six six-hundred page books. Because I asked a lot of questions. When you are running out in the morning a world of complexity awaits, and yet the cumulative experience steering the boat is more than enough to get even this neophyte into fish.
- I watched a sizeable barracuda attack a fly head on and at full steam, not fifteen feet off the port bow. I didn’t bag that fish, mostly because it now has two feet of wire leader down its throat. Yep…it was so hell bent on eating that its choppers were wide open long before it got to the meal. I’ll build my leaders even longer next time.
- I witnessed a truly amazing sight – a bonefish on a death mission. Standing to the left of guide Ellie Rahming, I dropped a fly in front of a fish on the hunt. Strip, strip, and it looked like it might pass up the morsel. When Ellie directed me to pick up and recast, the bonefish went into an absolute frenzy, swimming in tight circles looking for the missed meal. The fly hit the water again, and the fish pounded it even before the rubber legs had cleared the surface. I’ll forever wonder what crossed that fish’s mind the moment I set the hook, but I’ll bet it wasn’t pretty.
- I never had a chance to cast that six-weight Scott S4S, but guide Josie Sands did. While I watched, mouth agape, he hauled the better part of a hundred foot line across a shallow flat, and then declared it felt like an eight-weight. I learned two things there: that I should carry it on future trips, and [damn] I am a shitty caster.
- I gained just shy of seven pounds, in a week, and despite taking it easy on the drink. The food is just too good. The key lime pie definitely didn’t help matters.
There is one element of this grand adventure that I already had a leg up on beforehand though…
I know how to clean gear after a saltwater trip. And, I own a dish rack.
MG signing off (to rinse rods and reels, but not the memories)