Tread Lightly Redux

First there was cramming a week’s worth of gear into 2,600 cubic inches. It worked for a while (even on a six-weight).

Later the goal became staying safe and sound; the load increased by roughly 30 liters and [at least] five pounds, dirtbag style. There was big payoff (with moments wishing for a nine).

But alas reversion to the mean is the natural order. Further, if you know that in route to your final destination you’re going to spend a night in an airport, the last thing you want to do is to check a pile of baggage; either it’ll disappear, or you’ll wind up on the wrong side of security when the man heads home for the evening.

The solution this latest go ’round came in the form of fifty featherlight liters of Osprey Atmos backpack, packed to barely 3/4 capacity. Along with a couple of epoxy-reinforced cardboard tubes.

traveling light

That’s all folks

Rolled 22″ X 14″ X 9″, and nary a gate attendant disagreed. And while forgetfulness can rear its ugly head during packing, the only thing left behind on this latest trip was the A-game. In the moments following a popped leader that will haunt for many years to come, the temptation to throw an eight-weight overboard did the wink and nod; then I remembered that everyone blow shots. Still, I’ll suppress the nightmares by counting sheep rainbows.

rainbow over the flats

MG signing off (because a wise man said less is more, but yours truly just needed room for souvenir snow globes)

Busting Bonefish Bull

Deneki Outdoors bonefishingEach time I’ve visited Deneki’s Andros South lodge, I’ve come back clear of a few more misconceptions about bonefishing. And in the interest of making sure everyone else understands how much bull floats around regarding rigs, casting, flies, and guides – in other words, how painstakingly difficult bonefishing is supposed to be – I’ve spewed mythbusting royale over at the Deneki site. You can find my slapdowns here and here.

Want to know more? Then get yourself the definitive guide, Bonefishing 101, compiled by the lodge proprietor himself, Andrew “Flyfishing Is My Work, Which Really Doesn’t Suck” Bennett.

MG signing off (because fly-fishing is all bull, so why not bust it?)

I’m not the only one who packed light for Deneki’s FIBFest

Deneki Outdoors Andros SouthI’ll admit I possess the originality of a Xerox, but I truly thought the concept of traveling thousands of miles to go bonefishing with just a carry-on bag was a first. Little did I know that Andros South customers were already doing it.

Paul Milne, proprietor of The Oaks Waterfront Inn & Events in Royal Oak, MD is one of those people that gets a little unexpected free time now and then. When his establishment isn’t hosting a spectacular wedding, he goes fishing. And Andros Island is one of his favorite destinations. It’s not a bad problem to have – in fact, the only bother for Mr. Milne has been finding a place that doesn’t mind him popping in for just a few days.

While I was at FIBFest, the entire staff went on an all night bender, and somewhere in the middle of it decided to assemble the boat assignments for the following day. And while none of the previous statement is even remotely true, it’s the only reasonable explanation I could expect readers to accept for the Deneki Outdoors peeps pairing me with a bonafide paying client, and one that only had three days to enjoy himself. Needless to say, Mr. Milne and I had a grand time.

How did Paul wind up there in the first place? Well, as he told me in between basking in the rays and hooking a few bonefish…

I had a few days off, and made a few calls. Nobody seemed all that interested in taking on an angler for less than a week. Then I found Andros South, via an internet search. They were quick to respond back, seemed happy to accommodate me, and made it clear there wouldn’t be a surcharge for the stub visit either.

Little did he know I was already hell bent on proving a point – that you don’t need a ton of gear or preparation to go fishing at the lodge. I just got beat to the punch, and now have to find yet another schtick – sandbagging AND minimalism are now both toast.

MG signing off (since those Deneki patrons took the last beer too, as they should)