Tag: Andros South

Size doesn’t always matter, but pose for the hero shot anyway

You visit Andros South to catch big bonefish

Well, don’t you?

Ooh Barracuda

Photo by Andrew Bennett

If you are competing in the Inaugural Chickcharney Invitational, however, it’s a no-holes-barred multi-species grudge match. So anything goes, but size doesn’t necessarily matter.

MG signing off (because the competition was supremely tough, and he has to go pay up to the winners)

Mr. Bonefish meets Spooner’s Pink Kitten

Mr. Bonefish saw Spooner’s Pink Kitten, then rushed it like he hadn’t eaten in a week.

What Mr. Bonefish did not know was that the Pink Kitten was wrapped around a #4 Gamakatsu and secured to one of the angler’s hand-tied leaders, which in turn was attached to an Airflo Ridge Bonefish WF8-F.

Spooner's Pink Kitten

Photo by Dustin Carlson

Mr. Bonefish went home with a sore lip. Sucks to be him.

MG signing off (because it doesn’t suck to be here, even if we did pull out early due to rain)

Bonefish. By the masses, for the masses.

Snatched from the clutches of Deneki Outdoors:

“The bottom line is…I just love this game.” – Torrie Bevans, Andros South Lodge

MG signing off (me too Torrie…me too)

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)

Bye bye bonefish

Deneki Outdoors FIBFest 2011 is officially over. Bye bye bonefish.

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…

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The bone in bonefish

It’s been said that bonefish get their name because they are very boney, and that’s supposedly the reason people don’t eat them. The reality is something quite different…

bonefish

Photo courtesy of Cameron Miller

Bonefish have a clear exoskeleton covering their head. It’s Mother Nature’s way of protecting their eyes from wayward anglers (and allowing them clear vision when digging around the bottom for shrimp and crabs). They are disregarded as table fare because they are worth a heck of a lot more swimming the flats than sitting on some human’s dinner plate.

This educational message brought to you by the fine folks at Andros South, where it isn’t just about fishing the finest flats with the finest guides and then returning to a cooler full of the finest Bahamian beer. Although that’s the excuse they’re pitching.

MG signing off (to fail miserably in my never-ending quest to poke a bonefish in the eye)

The FIBFest epilogue I wish I didn’t have to write

FIBFest has come to its conclusion. The standard response to this would say something like we caught a bunch of fish, drank too much beer, had a lot of fun, the trip back was long and tiring, and that Deneki Outdoors’ Andros South Lodge is so awesome that I can’t wait to go bonefishing there again.

While that may all be true, I woke this morning thinking just one thing: I already miss the people I met there. I now find it necessary to kiss a big pile of ass thank them, as I know for certain that if I never picked up a fly rod again I’d still feel my life in fishing was made complete. They are THE reason.

First and foremost, the management team at Andros South

  • Andrew Bennett – You picked a damn fine crowd, and run a damn fine operation. I wish you much continued success – if any group has 1/10th the fun we had, you’d still be the best gig in any town.
  • Rick Sisler – Your family rocks, your attitude rocks, and your management style rocks. Me thinks you’ve got all the bases covered, and I am jealous. Have a great time in Alaska!
  • Matt Hynes – You are a gentleman and a scholar. Thanks for putting up with my gear repair requests (and calling that pair of kings you didn’t know I had). Best wishes to you and your gal in Alaska!
  • The guest new friends list

  • Dick Pitini – Your one liners are so grand you should pick up a retirement gig as a stand-up comic.
  • Mike White – Thanks for not calling my all-in on that flush draw. I’ll show you the cards next time too, but only if you fish with me first.
  • Bruce Smithhammer – I am so grateful to have shared that outrageous day far down south with you. The memory of the shark attack, the bonefish rodeo, and the skies that broke over that sandbar as we hooked yet another triple will remain etched in my mind for eternity.
  • Kirk Deeter – Flyfishing is metal, baby. I’ve got a lot more to say, but…I’ll see you next week!
  • Johnny Spillane – Keep on fishing, and keep on skiing. You do many very proud, but some of us have seen and heard your bongo drum play, and think that’s even better!
  • Sam Spillane – See you on the Yampa, my good man. Sam Spillane dot com awaits the world!
  • Pete McDonald – I sleep more soundly now that I know Fishing Jones is so much more than a mere online identity. Hope our next outing is lengthier, and please remember…the stingray is your friend!
  • Louis Cahill – A little air was released from our bubbles the moment you disappeared. Hope to see you again, and soon!
  • The guides who put up with my inability to change casting direction on split second notice

  • Torrie Bevans – Everyone should fish with you their first day out. Gotta get the skunk off early, don’t ya’ know!
  • Norman Rolle – We ripped plenty of lips even when I unraveled. Best wishes with the club!
  • Freddy Dames – You should be the sidekick in Dick Pitini’s comedy troupe (when you’re not being such an incredible guide)!
  • Josie Sands – I’ll listen to you anytime. Anywhere. And every time!
  • The lovely ladies in the dining hall

    I fished all day, everyday, and still managed to gain eight pounds! I wish I could cook half as good as you all.

    About that schwag

  • Smith Optics – a pair of Backdrops in black Polarchromic Copper Mirror did not leave my face all week. With good reason.
  • Sage – 790-4 Xi3/6080 – I caught fish on this rig despite myself. Review to follow once my notes dry out.
  • Rio Products – The Tropical Clouser WF8-F never tangled on deck, and made it through plenty of mangroves without a scratch. Can you say love?
  • Steamboat Flyfisher – The site of every local in a South Andros Island night club with logo’ed regalia on was all the image I needed.
  • And finally…

    Short, simple thank yous go to Scott Fly Rods (S4S rods in 8 and 10), Waterworks-Lamson (Litespeed reels in 3.5X and 4.0), Simms (shade hat and wading boots), Rio (for the flouro stuff), P-Line (Adaro pliers), and Buffs (how did anyone ever do without). Additional thanks go to Trout’s Fly Fishing, Orvis and Discount Fishing Tackle (for fly tying materials) – with the exception of a single weighted crab pattern which I used on the West side on the last day out, I cast my own flies all week (and caught an awful lot of fish). I lost count on the third day, where doubles and triples became the norm, but I’m certain the totals were more than anyone could ask for in a single trip.

    Finally (finally), special thanks go out to my next door neighbor, who took me to the airport even though his family was in town when I left, and the two young ladies who took care of my collie dog while I was gone.


    I ain’t going to miss you FIBFesters one bit. And damn my lip hurts!

    The story ended way too soon. But it was a heck of a good one just the same.

    MG signing off (to get back to work…ugh)

    UPDATE: A few more folks that deserve thanks: LaVado McPhee, Camp Hand/Maintenance; Ethlyn Smith, Kitchen/Housekeeping Manager; Tiffany Johnson and Joanne Gibson in housekeeping; and more thanks for putting the pounds on me with that outstanding chow go to the kitchen staff…Essie Holbert, Gloria Brown, Karen Rolle, and Maggie Rodgers.

    Listening on the Reunion Tour

    Kirk Deeter and I were paired up again today. The Rolling Stone is a colossally fine angler, and I’m just a fair listener. In other words, we had a hell of a time. I know, I just lost you.

    Our guide Josie Sands noted early on that the conditions were the most difficult a bonefish-chasing fly angler might ever face in his or her life. The water was so skinny that Vanity Fair wouldn’t bother photoshopping it; the light so flat that Hugh Hefner would have taken a pass too. All you get are tails, and they often disappear in the blink of an eye.

    So listen to your mentor-for-a-day, and listen well. If he says start false casting and don’t drop the fly until he gives the ok, don’t ask any questions. The guides at Andros South know precisely what they are doing, so you do as you are told. And for goodness sakes, don’t blink!

    You might get fair to midland results from this advice…

    MG signing off (to listen to another, as the stakes just went up)

    Two men enter. Three men leave.

    Losing count of the number of fish you caught is usually a sign that things are going pretty well. Forgetting how many double hookups you had means it probably got downright silly.

    With almost two hours remaining until lunch, Bruce Smithhammer and I debated pulling out the Sage Xi3 7 wt/6080 reel combo we’d carried along to test. Then we just handed it to the guide.

    All we know for certain is that by day’s end we wound up with eight TRIPLES – even more ridiculous because we chased barracuda almost exclusively between noon and three.

    And nabbed one of those too!

    Deneki FIBFest host Andrew Bennett, along with his right hand men Rick Sisler and Matt Hynes, said South Andros Island bonefish weren’t too particular about their food. But heck, they’re even eating my flies! And so darn frequently that I’m starting to run out.

    The MG Cudaceivers I tied are another matter – they were specifically designed for single use.

    MG signing off (to scrounge up a tying vise)