Welcome to The Bonefish Flat

There's a stiff wind in your face as you squint in the sun trying to see what the guide sees. "Bonefish at 12 o'clock about 90 feet, do you see it, mon?" You don't and keep squinting, your hat pulled low to keep the sun out of your eyes. "Bonefish at 11 o'clock 70 feet out. Come on man, do you see it?" As the guide is calmly shifting the skiff into position, this time you spot the fish, "I got, it," you reply.

"OK, Mon, Bonefish 50 feet at 10 o'clock. Cast when you're ready."

Cast when you're ready. And with that you drop your fly, roll out a cast, false cast once, and then...

Welcome to the bonefish flat.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Costa Employees Walking the Walk

It's always good to hear when companies that have great products also do things to give back in the community. Costa Del Mar is a great example of this.

I heard recently from Costa that their employees helped deploy oyster mats into the Atlantic Ocean in conjunction with the Marine Discovery Center in New Smyrna Beach, Fla. The oyster shells were collected from oysters eaten at the Halifax Oyster Festival held this past March in Daytona Beach.

Costa employees work alongside a local Eagle Scout troop and to deploy oyster mats off the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in Florida recently. Company representatives worked to string together empty oyster shells produced from the first annual Halifax Oyster Festival held in Daytona Beach in March. The oyster mats, once deployed, serve as the ocean’s natural filtration system to clean pollutants from the water.

What a GREAT way to recycle!!

Thanks folks!

So a big thank you to the good folks at Costa Del Mar. Not only do they make the world's best shades, but they step it up when it comes to corporate responsibility.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas List 2010

I'm here at the keyboard and man it feels good to be back.  The new Bonefish Flat HQ is just about complete out in Ashburn, VA.  Moving is an all consuming process, but I'm in the home stretch now so hopefully i'll be moved in another month and half.

So what's been going on?  It's Christmas, and for the ladies that read the Flat and are looking to buy a great Christmas gift, I'm going to give you my top 8 list of things to give the numba one angla in your life.  And guys, if your lady friend throws a mean line, we don't discriminate here, so feel free to get her one of these gifts too.

Here we go:
1. Costa Del Mar 580s-You gotta see the fish to catch the fish, and Costa 580's are the cats meow of shades.  I honestly would wear nothing else on the flats.  Check out the Zanes in a 580, or the new 580p lens.  Amber or green mirror work best on the flats.

2. Scott S4S- You want to throw a mean loop on the flats, right?  Then you're gonna want a stiff rod (ha) to to get the job done.  The S4S is as good as it gets and Scott is the preferred rod of the Bonefish flat.

3. Simms Flats Pack- Anything from Simms rules, and these packs are a great gift.

4. Simms Wading Boots- Planning a trip to the Bahamas this Spring?  You're gonna need a pair of boots to wade.  While I confess I don't have these boots, I saw a pair today while doing some Christmas shopping and they are the real deal.

5. Tibor Everglades- The reel has it all.  Cork drag, which is highly endorsed here at the Flat, and it plays that sweet Tibor song to boot when that bonefish is screaming line off your reel.  Plus, they put your name on it which adds a bit of class to it.  To full out bonefish bling this thing up, add a bonefish engraving.

6. Hell's Bay Marquesa- This one is a longshot, but if you've been good this year, maybe you'll stumble out on one of these babies in your garage on Christmas morn.  My fingers are crossed, but I'm about as optimistic as a democrat on election day (OK, so I keep this non-political, but that's a fair analogy, right??)  Tell your wife that you've got to have a boat to catch fish, and if you buy this one you'll never need another boat.  If you're single, then just go buy it already.  

Stocking Stuffers:
7. Uptown Angler T-Shirt- This one is on my list.  It features a bad to the bone original drawing by world famous artist Tim Borski.  Buy this shirt and you're sure to look like you know what you're doing.  And, it can remind you of your summer in New Orleans.  Who Dat!!

8. Scott Digi Camo Hat- Don't have the coin for a new S4S?  That's OK, get a Scott camo hat and they won't see you coming anyway.  

So that's what I got for the Flat Fanatics today.  Hope you get some cool stuff for Christmas, but if you don't, that's OK, too.  Just remember the reason for the season. 

Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sorry For the Lack of Posts

Hey folks, sorry that the posts have been so slow in coming. I have had a long 6 months with work being slammed and the wife and I buying a new house and trying to sell the old one. To be honest, about the only fishing I've been able to do consists of watching reruns of Pirates of the Flats on the DVR.

But fear not, as with all things in life things will settle down and the bonefish flat will see a rising tide very soon.

If anyone has any good stories or pictures to share, feel free to pass them along to me at bonefishflat@gmail.com.

I'm going to try and pick things up a bit so hang with me if you're a fan.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The New Drake

I finally got my new copy of the latest Drake Magazine. If you don't read the Drake, it really is the best fly fishing magazine out there. The writing is superb and it's the focus of the magazine rather than how to/where to magazines which are so popular today.

I have a ritual where I always get my copy from Borders on 17th Street in D.C. Why, I don't know?

What's your Drake ritual?

Monday, September 27, 2010

New Logo Design

Big shout out going to my man Roque for the new logo that you see on the site.  It's been a long time coming, but The Bonefish Flat is starting to come together.

I'm going to start working on some t-shirts and stickers so keep an eye out for those.  In the meantime, here's a bonefish pic to get you through Tuesday.

I'll have some pictures of t-shirts coming along in the coming weeks for folks who want to "stunt"in a bonefish flat t-shirt or a sticker for their ride.  

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

New stuff on the way

Here's a preview of the new logo for the bonefish flat. Sorry folks that new posts have been so slow. The day job has been a killer and this week's not looking much better.

But, look for new content to start flowing here in about a week when hopefully I can start focusing on the flat again.

I hope everyone else is fishing.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fishy Kid Summer Contest Wrapping Up

It's up to us to make sure that the next generation of kids grows up with a love of the outdoors and a respect for the planet.  What better way to get kids hooked on the outdoors than fishing.  

Fishy Kid has a great outdoor contest that has been going called the "Three Months of Summer" contest and it will be wrapping up at the end of the month.  There are prizes for four categories including saltwater which I know everyone here on the flat will want to take part in.  

I know I'm looking forward to getting my kids out on the water for some quality time.  The guys over at Fishy Kid really have done a great job putting together a fantastic Web site that everyone should use as a resource to engaging young people to develop a love for all things fishy. 


Be sure to submit your photo for a chance to win a great prize from one of these great sponsors.  

Mountain Khakis
Osprey Packs
Hook & Hackle
Montana Fly Company
Scientific Anglers
Backwater Paddle Company
Fishpond USA
Rainys Flies
Temple Fork Outfitters
Finactic Designs
Charleston Angler
Idylwilde Flies
Cliff Outdoors
William Joseph
South Fork Rod Company

Friday, August 20, 2010

Grab Your 9 weight, I'm Headed Up Yonder

The car is just about packed and the outlook for fishing doesn't look good.  There's a 99.9% chance I won't get to go fishing this weekend.

So you're telling me I've got a chance, I say to myself!!! (Dumb and Dumber for those loyal readers who don't memorize movie lines like I do)

I'm headed north to a coming home party for my wife's cousin who just returned home from a tour in Iraq.  Lot's of driving, but well worth the effort.  We're headed to Long Island (not the island in the Bahamas, unfortunately) and are staying near Rocky Point so I've decided to bring my 9 wt, a floater and a sinker, and a box of Clousers.  I'm ready for anything.

Again, apologies for a lack of postings.  I hit my stride but now I'm finding it tough to keep up with life and the flat, but not to worry.  Brighter days are just around the corner.  

If you're going fishing this weekend and have a report you'd like to share, please feel free to drop me a line at bonefishflat@gmail.com.  

Also, I'm are 3 fans away from hitting 30 on Facebook so please sign up and follow the Flat there if you haven't already.  We are also on Twitter, which originally I thought was the dumbest thing ever, but now I kinda like it.  Follow the Flat there as well for some tweets.  

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Tibor Signature

File this under I gotta get one of these.  Tibor has announced a new fly reel called Tibor Signature.

The most important feature of Tibors has always been the drag.  They use cork which is the best material out there for stopping big runs.  The start up when a fish begins the pull is smoother this way and less chance of breaking a tippet.  

The new signature seems like it won't disappoint. It features a new sealed cork drag system that is sealed requiring minimal maintenance.  Just wash it off in fresh water after use.  

The signature comes in two sizes which are 7-8 and 9-10.  The 7-8 holds 200 yards of backing for a 7 or 8 weight rod.  This should pretty much cover the big 3 on the flats or a big bull red in New Orleans.  

The 7-8 weighs 8.5 ounces and the 9-10 weighs 9.5 ounces. 

The new reels are available on December 1 just in time for Christmas.  I'm guessing guys who are headed to the International Fly Tackle Dealer's Show will get a chance to check these out.  Maybe our friend Cam over at The Fiberglass Manifesto will give us a full report.  

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Uptown Angler New Orleans

I'm going to start a new series on The Bonefish Flat called "Fly Shops I Dig."  Most fly shops are geared toward fresh water fishing because most fly fishing is done on the trout streams.  There is nothing wrong with that.  In fact, I love drifting a dry fly to a sipping trout or swinging a nymph to a big brown, but for us salty fanatics, we sometimes have "special needs."

Enter the Uptown Angler in downtown New Orleans.  They're geared toward fishing the bayou's of New Orleans or chasing poon's on the gulf coast.  They had the latest and greatest in flats gear.  They also had the new freedom hawk kayaks which are designed for standing up so you can sight-cast to fish.

Most importantly, they have a great group of guides who will take you out fishing for a monster red.  I highly recommend Greg so if you give them a call, be sure to tell him J.T. sent you.

To top it all off, they have a kick ass logo designed by Tim Borski.

New sticker for the fish truck.

The Uptown Angler also had tons of books and DVD's on saltwater flyfishing.  The selection of fly tying materials for the salt is unmatched.  They had a super cool set of "designer" spoon flies complete with the Saints logo to commemorate the Who Dat Super Bowl victory.  If your in New Orleans, be sure to stop in and say hello.  If you need to pick up some gear, or you need a cool hat or cool t-shirt, check out their web site here or give them a call at 504-529-3597.  

Of course I had to score a hat. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bonefish Flat is Back

Hey folks, I'm back from New Orleans and unfortunately, the fishing trip fell through but I did have a chance to check out the city which maybe should be the priority anyway before hitting the water.  What a great city.  Music, food, and drinks.  What more can we really ask for.  (Ok, how about redfish, but all in good time)

I'm working on a modified trip report (modified b/c trip reports here are usually fishing reports) and I'll have that to folks this week.  I'll also download a few pics and get them up as well.

I'm also working on some new content ideas so you can expect a few new things coming on the flat.

Hope everyone's week has started off well.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

N'Owleans Here I Come

It's been a fun week here at the beach but an ocean without fish may be the ultimate tease. For one, I'm on kid duty 24/7 and two, there isn't much running this time of year in the Deleware beaches.

Good scenery though.

The good news is that after my family vacation, I need a vacation!

I'm headed out for work to New Orleans and if I'm lucky I'll get in a little red fishing. Apparently the waters are open so I'm going to try and go.

I've looked forward to this trip for a while and when the whole BP debacle hit, it was a real bummer on lots of levels.

Now, things seem to be improving so everyone keep their fingers crossed for me.

Monday, August 2, 2010

View From the Beach

On family vacation this week and here's the morning view.

Not much fishing going on, just lots of play time with the kiddies.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bimini Big Game Club is Back

A couple updates today. I've seen that the Bimini Big Game Club is back and better than ever. This is the club made famous back in the day by the likes of Hemingway and Zane Gray. I'm sure there are other famous folks who fished there, but I'm a huge Hemingway fan and have read stories of Papa taking court at the bar of the club. It was Bimini where he set Islands in the Stream and Thomas Hudson as a painter and antisubmariner in the Gulf. It really is a great book.

Unfortunately, the original club burned down a few years ago and has been closed ever since.

Papa and his Marlin at the Club

Guy Harvey is the new owner of the club and has reopened the joint and apparently it is better than ever. By the way, Bimini is a world renowned location for catching BIG bonefish so if you want to try a new place, give this place a go and let me know what you think.

I also just got a new pair of the Costa 580P's in the new Jose style and man am I excited. They are super light, look good, and of course come with Costa's 580 lenses which are the best polarized sunglasses for flats fishing. Period.

Look for an update here soon.

Friday, July 23, 2010

New Lenses from Costa Del Mar

I've said before I wouldn't be caught on the flat's without my Costa 580's. Now Costa has found a way to make the lenses even better. The new Costa 580P's are plastic lens meaning they are lighter and more impact resistant.

Look for a review in the near future on the new shades. In the meantime, here is Costa's release on the 580P.


Feather Light, Impact Resistant Costa 580P™ Lens Lands in July
Costa’s Color Enhancing Lens Now Available in Polycarbonate as well as Glass

Daytona Beach, Fla. – July 15, 2010 – It’s rare for lightening to strike twice. But Costa Sunglasses has done it again with the introduction of its new Costa 580P™ lens: a super lightweight, impact resistant injected polycarbonate alternative to Costa’s existing 580 glass lens.

All of the patented Costa 580 lenses block yellow light at 580 nanometers on the light spectrum. The result for consumers is unparalleled visual clarity, the highest levels of polarization efficiency and razor sharp color enhancement.

Until now, the Costa 580 lens has only been available in glass. While glass is the most optically correct and most scratch resistant material, it is not as impact resistant and lightweight as polycarbonate or other plastic lenses on the market.

Costa developed C SHELL, a highly specialized, oleophobic and hydrophobic coating on the new 580P lens to make it as virtually scratch resistant as glass, while also repelling water, oil and dust. Consumers will now have an extremely lightweight, impact resistant Costa 580P option available with the same visual clarity and durability of glass.

“Many of our customers requested a more lightweight, impact resistant Costa 580 lens for use during fast-paced, aerobic activities,” said Chas MacDonald, Costa Sunglasses president. “The challenge was to develop a polycarbonate lens that lived up to Costa 580’s high standards for visual clarity and durability, and that’s what we’ve done. Now, there’s a Costa 580 lens for everyone.”

Costa’s 580P lenses are available in gray, copper or amber, and initially will be available in 18 of the “forget-they’re-on” comfortable frame styles, including the popular Fisch, Blackfin, Zane and Corbina. Prices range from $159 to $199, depending on frame choice, and will be available in retail outlets and online in July.

About Costa™
As the leading manufacturer of the world’s clearest polarized performance sunglasses, Costa offers superior lens technology and unparalleled fit and durability. Still handcrafted today in Florida, Costa creates what has been referred to as the highest quality, best performing sunglasses on the planet for outdoor enthusiasts.

For Costa, conservation is all about sustainable fishing. Many fisheries that should be vibrant and healthy are all but devoid of native fish because they have fallen victim to poor fishing practices, unregulated development, lack of watershed protection or all of the above. Costa works with partners around the world to help increase awareness and influence policy so that both the fish and fishermen of tomorrow will have healthy waters to enjoy. Costa encourages others to help in any way they can.

For more information, contact 1-800-447-3700 or visit the company’s web site at www.costadelmar.com, or join in the conversation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/costadelmar.com or Twitter @CostaSunglasses.

Media contact
Liza Jones, 864.672.9615 (office), 864.270.0722 (cell)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sup With the Flat

Sorry it has been so slow getting out new posts. Lots going on in the real world continuing to take my mind off fly fishing. In some good news, the new Bonefish Flat logo is on the way and a preview is up as the profile pic on the Facebook page.

If you don't "Like" me on Facebook, then what's the matter with you? Be sure to check out the fan page here. This also means that as soon as it's ready, I'll have some t-shirts made so you can be "stuntin" the Bonefish Flat, to use the parlance of our times. Or maybe I should say you would be a Bonefish Flat "stunna."

At any rate, look for some cool bonefish flat schwag soon.

In the meantime, here's a pic I like.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Shout Out to The Fiberglass Manifesto

I want to give some props to my friend Cameron for his podcast on The Fish Explorer. He talks about his blog, The Fiberglass Manifesto and about his other project, Fishy Kid.org. These are both great sites that you should check out.

I'd also like to say thanks for Fishy Kid. As anglers and fly anglers, we need to make sure the next generation is interested in fishing and protecting our outdoors. Fishy Kid is a new and innovative way to try and help us get um' out there.

Be sure to check out the podcast and to check out T.F.M. It's a great thing.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Couple of New Links

I want to give props to two sites that I really like. The first is to Key West on Fly which is a group of fishing guides in the Keys. I've fished with Drew Delashmit and truly think he's one of the finest guides I've ever fished with. If you're in the keys, there is no one else I would book.

Me, Drew, and my Permit, Nuff said

The second site is my friend Rob Snowhite. Rob teaches casting lessons, ties flies, and will take you fishing. He's an all around good guy and I highly recommend checking out his Web site.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Dude Without a License

I meant to post this story the other week. Apparently there was a guy fishing a marlin tournament in the Outer Banks, NC, and caught a whopper weighing in at almost 1,000 lbs. Only problem is that everyone on the boat needed a license to fish and this guy didn't have one, sooo, he lost $1 million.

So my thought is that this one is the Captain's fault. I would assume on a big charter boat like that that the boat provided the license. Plus, when there is that much on the line, the Captain needs to double check that everyone is playing by the rules.

Easy come, easy go. Man, i think Papa would have been proud of that fish.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Bonefish Flat is Back

Sorry I haven't had any new posts up on the flat. Lot's going on here in the real world which unfortunately doesn't include fishing. Yes, my mind is still often making a cast to bonefish as I wade a flat in the Bahamas. And no, I'm not anywhere close these days except to wade through the masses in the city.

I have been doing quite a bit of thinking about my next trip. I may hit Florida next year as its been a while and Mr. Tarpon is calling my name. I'd also like to nail a Key's bonefish and a Permit wouldn't be bad either. Doesn't that sound like every guides nightmare!! I'm sure my favorite Florida guide Drew Delashmit can hook me up with a slam no problem :) If you are going fishing in the Keys, check him out. Just don't steal my date, which I haven't set yet but is in my head.

I was supposed to fish New Orleans for some reds next month, but thanks to our friends at BP, that's now a bust. August now looks busy with lots of work travel, none to particularly fishy places but we'll see. Maybe I can wet a line somewhere.

Here's a picture to start off the work week. Hope everyone had a great July 4th Holiday.

Don't I look happy!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

New Tarpon and Roosterfish Record

The other night I had a dream about tarpon. I was fishing from a skiff and the big tarpon was jumping out of the water like only these fish do. I think the subconscious is telling me something. Namely, Florida Keys for next year.

Check out this article and pictures of a possible new world record tarpon. I'm curious as to what bonefish flat readers think, but there has to be some way to record these fish and not kill them. I'm good with catching a fish and then eating it, but the only thing you would do with that tarpon, after weighing it, is toss it.

Leave a comment or drop me a line at bonefishflat@gmail.com.

There is also a new pending record on a 48 lbs roosterfish. That is one species that is on my list. I went stealhead fishing on the Sandy River outside Portland a few years ago with a guy named Jad Donaldson who was a FANTASTIC guide. He also does trips to Christmas Island for bonefish and Baja for roosters. The roosterfish trip is definitely in my future at some point. What a cool looking fish.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Steve Huff Into the IGFA Hall of Fame

Steve Huff is getting inducted into the IGFA hall of fame. Steve is a revolutionary guide who fished with the great Del Brown and named the Merkin fly. He also continues to guide and is an instructor at Sandy Moret's Florida Keys Outfitters Fly Fishing School which is like a fantasy camp for people like us who like to fly fish in the salt.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Andy Mill on Tarpon Fishing

I listened to a FANTASTIC podcast featuring 5 time Tarpon Gold Cup Champion Andy Mill. Andy is a former Olympic downhill skier turned saltwater fly fishing guru who knows his stuff. If you've read much about tarpon fishing, then you've read about Andy. He has his own style of fishing which is a version of the "down and dirty."

The podcast is great and Andy really tells some of his secrets. He fishes with his son quite a bit when he is on the platform and his rule is that if his son doesn't land the fish in 5 minutes, he's got to hand over the rod. His techniques have really changed the sport of tarpon fishing.

The other thing I really admire about Andy is just that he lives my kind of lifestyle. A house in Aspen and a house in Boca Raton. He gets to fish with a guide 30 days per year and that's pretty darn cool. "I don't know about you but I take comfort in that. It's good knowin' he's out there. The Dude. Takin' 'er easy for all us sinners." Okay, that's a Lebowski quote but it just seems to fit.

Thinking about Andy and his accomplishments also makes me think about all the other greats of saltwater fly fishing. Ted Williams, Lefty, Flip, Steve Huff, Chico Fernandez, Sandy Moret, Stu Apte, Del Brown and the list goes on and on.

Who am I missing? Send me an email at bonefishflat@gmail.com and let me know.

These guys were real pioneers doing things with fly rods that were supposed to be impossible. Amazing that we can land a 200 lbs tarpon with a fly rod. I think I want to catch a tarpon now. Maybe it's time to book a trip to the keys.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Could the BP Gulf Oil Spill Put Tarpon on the Endangered Species List?

Could the BP Gulf Oil Spill Put Tarpon on the Endangered Species List?

Here's an article from the Examiner talking about the potential effects of the oil spill on Tarpon. This is so frustrating, why can't they plug a damn hole. As we think about fathers day, I sure hope this spill doesn't mean I can't take my son tarpon fishing. Apparently the location's where Tarpon spawn are the same area's where the oil slick is hanging underwater.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday's Flat Rant: What up With Fly Fishing and Golf?

It's 8:30 p.m. and I finally sat down from work, kids, a little picking up the house and I just want to relax so I've turned on the U.S. Open which for people who don't care is being played this week at Pebble Beach. This has me thinking, why do you read of so many comparison's between golf and fly fishing?

Full disclosure here, I used to play a lot of golf and could hold my own on the links. Because of time, work, life I really don't get to play much anymore and since I can't play competitively, I've sort of lost interest. I love fly fishing because it gets me outdoors and you can really clear your head and focus on you vs. fish. Man, I'm really starting to want to go fishing right now.

Jack Nicklaus, the greatest golfer of all time, loves to fly fish. In fact, he was an honorary chairman of the Federation of Fly Fishers. I've also read that Tiger Woods likes to fly fish too (I was going to make a joke here, but really, why bother). I don't picture the Angling Exploration Group playing golf...at least not seriously.

If you read a lot about fly fishing, you'll see a lot of comparisons to golf.

For starters, you can do both in some pretty average places and some really beautiful places. For us saltwater fly fisherman, fishing the Seychelles would be the equivalent to playing Pebble Beach. Fishing the old pond behind the barn? You're playing the public course in the city (think Hain's Point if you've ever been to DC).

I think too that these two sports are similar because they are both highly individual. In the end, its you and the golf ball or you and the fish. What about a guide, you might say? Ever heard of a caddy? Same difference, you see.

Both sports are also really gear-centric. You really don't need that new driver to shave a few strokes off your game. And you really don't need another 8 wt to replace the other fast action stick you bought 2 years ago. But both groups want them, and in fact may "have" to have them. I really have to have a new S4S 8 wt, but my old T3 will really do just fine. New fly line, what about new golf balls or a new bag?

Probably the best comparison is both sports take practice. You wouldn't play Pebble Beach without bringing your "A" game. I wouldn't go to the Seychelles, Florida Keys, or Belize unless you been practicing, too.

So there you go, fly fishing and golf have a lot in common.

Happy fathers day to all the dads out there. And dad, since you're one of the millions of bonefish flat fanatics, happy fathers day.

Mothers and kids, your father probably wants a new S4S 8 wt for all he does for you every day. But what he really needs is just for you to take him fishing.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Watery Rave

Check out the new blog, The Watery Rave, from the good folks at Costa. It is now an official place that The Bonefish Flat hangs out when not fishing. They cover a lot of topics that we all love, namely saltwater and protecting our fisheries.

They also have a great logo for the site, some cool videos, and a great picture gallery.

They even gave a shout out to my review of their shades. As I've said before, you won't catch me on the water without my Costa's.

Friday, June 11, 2010

WORLDAngling's Will Benson on The Spanish Fly

I know it aired a month ago or so, but my DVR and the episode of the Spanish Fly with Captain Will Benson never really jived. So the DVR finally got it right, and I had a few minutes to watch Capt. Benson guide Jose Wejebe to several bonefish and a permit on the flats of Key West.

Lots of interesting things you pick up on this episode if you watch closely. I like Will's line about why he likes fly fishing. He says, "You never can master it. You learn something new every day."

This is how I feel about fly fishing, too. It's always something new and its a challenge. Me against the fish...or the wind...or whatever.

Here's my reel, a conch, and a bonefish flat.

Here's a picture from my last trip that I like. I hope everyone has a great Friday and a fish filled weekend. Don't forget, if you have a fishing report you'd like to share, please send it along to me, JT, at bonefishflat@gmail.com.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Bonefish Flat Review: North Riding Point

For two years in a row, I’ve fished with guides out of North Riding Point Club.  I’ve been very impressed both years. 

North Riding Point has a BEAUTIFUL piece of property on the ocean about 20 miles east of Freeport.  The landscape is meticulously manicured and, while I haven’t stayed at the club, I will go out on a limb and say that the club would provide first class accommodations and meals.  The club provides lunch while on the water and it’s outstanding.  Be sure to get the conch salad.  They do an excellent job with it.
North Riding Point Club
Tim and Mercedes Comstock run the place, and they do a great job.  They are responsive in getting your guide setup and they picked us up from our hotel in Lucaya.  In short, they take care of you.  If you’re putting your trip together yourself, I can’t emphasize enough how important the “responsiveness” is.  The last thing you want is to travel to a destination and not have a guide show up, or to have messages crossed as can certainly be the case. 

Driveway Leading up to the Club

A big advantage to fishing with North Riding guides is they trailer their boats to locations that they feel will provide the best action for they day.  I’m not going to give away where we went, but our days were extremely windy, and our guide took us to a location to help get us out of the wind. 

The club fishes out of Dolphin skiffs which are comfortable and provide a dry ride.  The skiff we fished out of was well maintained and clean.    
Here's where they keep and maintain the skiffs

In 2009, I spent a day on the water with Captain Bully.  Bully is a quiet guide who can find the fish.  When he speaks, you can bet it is to call out a bonefish.  We had a great day with Bully.    
My Dad With Captain Bully

This year, I fished with North Riding’s head guide, Stanley “Stan the Man” Clinton.  On the way to the flat, Stanley told us that his boat has a penalty box for anglers who don’t listen or who blow their shots.  While I blew a few shots, I was fortunate enough not to land in the box. 

Stan the Man likes to wade for bones and that is a good thing in the wind.  It lets you get into water that is very skinny which I found helped me to see the fish a bit easier.  It’s also nice when you’re fishing with a partner as you get to fish the whole time. 
Dad and Stanley Stalking Bones

We caught some really nice sized bones with Stanley and he is a great guide.  He can spot a fish a mile away and has a great sense of humor. 
Me, Stan "the man", and Dad

If you’re going to Grand Bahamas and want first class accommodations, then I highly recommend North Riding Point Club.  If you just need a guide for a day or two, then email Tim and Mercedes and they will take care of you, too.   

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Bonefish Flat Week Ahead

I just got back from a work trip so I'm trying to dig myself out hence the no post yesterday. I'm working to try and update content Monday through Friday so I'll keep it coming. In the meantime, if you like the site be sure to visit our facebook page and give us the thumbs up.

If anyone out there want's to contribute a saltwater fly fishing report, or you have any thoughts on the Web site, drop me a line at bonefishflat@gmail.com

This week I have a review coming up on North Riding Point which I hope you like.

Don't forget Father's Day is coming up and if you need a gift, Abel Reels has some new T-Shirts out. If you follow the flat, you'll know that Abel's are T.B.F. approved gear. I love my Abel #3 with a Super 8 spool. The Tarpon shirt is pretty cool if you dad likes to slay big poons in the salt.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Bonefish Flat Gear Review: Costa Del Mar Zane

When fly fishing in saltwater, we can have an endless debate about what is the most important piece of equipment an angler needs. Fly rods, fly reels, fly lines. Don’t forget the right fly. But if you’re sight fishing, or even just reading the water, polarized glasses are mandatory.

There are a whole host of polarized glasses on the market, but in my mind, Costa Del Mar’s with 580 lenses stands out above the rest.
Me and the Zanes landing a bonefish
A few years ago, Costa introduced the revolutionary 580 lenses. According to Costa, the 580's "Use patented technology to cut down on the yellow light, allowing the eye to see more red, blue and green. Simply put, they're the most advanced glare-beating polarized sun lenses on the planet, and they'll change the way you see, period."

I’ve had a chance to test Costa’s Zane model with silver mirror lenses now for a few months and have really been pleased with the results. The silver mirror is actually a copper shade which is very similar to the green mirror that Costa makes. I have a pair of green mirrors, too, which are amber based and the difference is very subtle. I found that the silver lenses let in just a tad more light making the flats a bit brighter. This is perfect for early morning before you have full sun. During the day, I found that I still got enough shade from the sun as typically we’re fishing with broad brimmed hats, anyway.

While bonefishing in the Bahamas, I wore these shades exclusively and found that I had no trouble spotting fish (if you discount for the wind, which when Costa finds a way to see through the chop, that will truly be a miracle). In fact, there was a few times I even spotted fish before my guide.

The lenses just create a contrast that is highly conducive to spotting fish.

Over Memorial Day, I had an opportunity to fish the Chesapeake Bay with the Zane’s and was equally impressed in this situation. While you can’t see more than two or three feet into the Bay’s waters, the 580 lenses really give you a leg up in reading the water. In fact, I was able to spot two big rays that were chasing a school of bait fish.
My Zanes and Sharky
When you think about it, unless you’re a guide or extremely fortunate and get to fish every day, you end up wearing your shades off the water more than on. The silver mirror 580’s are a great lens for driving blocking enough sunlight to keep you comfortable while making your surroundings look like a picture on your high definition T.V.

My advice for buying a new pair of polarized glasses is simple. Get yourself a pair of Costa’s with 580 lenses. The Zane is made for a bigger noggin, and they fit me perfect. The shades come in different sizes so make sure to pick one that fits your face size. Costa Zane’s are comfortable to wear and provide a lot of lens area to really cover your eyes. Costa offers a limited lifetime warranty and they stand behind their product. In short, I wouldn’t be caught on any saltwater flat without mine.

Before you buy, be sure to visit Costa’s Web site to check out frame sizes, styles, and more information on specific lenses.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Middle Chesapeake Bay Trip Report

I’m almost strictly a catch and release angler.  But there is one thing I’m happy to keep from the water. 
 Crabs right out the trap
The trip began with a heaping pot of Chesapeake Bay blue crabs done right with a healthy dose of Old Bay seasoning.  Fresh crabs out of the bay are one of my favorite things to eat and fortunately for me the crabs are here.
 Straight to the table
On Saturday afternoon, I headed out with my father in-law and uncle in search of breaking fish in the bay.  Specifically, we were hoping to find rockfish (striped bass everywhere else but Maryland & Virginia) chasing schools of baitfish.  The drill is to run the boat until you see water “boiling” or a big flock of birds hovering over the water.  It’s a little more difficult to find fish this way, but when you do, they make for great sport with an eight weight and a clouser. 

We didn’t find any this day but I did manage a few casts with a sink tip line in a place that looked fishy, but no luck here, either. 

Sunday night I had a few casts off the dock with a popper hoping to entice something as the sun set.  Nothing doing, but I did get some good casting practice in. 

Monday morning I had a chance to get out my kayak.  I use a Wilderness Ride that has a few rod holders on it along with my Scotty fly rod holder.  When I was looking for a kayak a few years ago, I wanted to buy the most stable one I could find.  When you’re fly casting and fishing, you tend to move around a lot on the boat and I wanted something that wouldn’t flip and cost me a ton of gear.  The Ride has a pontoon style hull that is perfect for what I do.
 My kayak, the Wilderness Ride
I took the Ride out into a creek off the Saint Mary’s River which feeds into the bay and had a great early morning paddle.  Unfortunately again, I didn’t get into any fish but that’s OK.  The scenery was fantastic and the kayak really lets you enjoy some peace and quiet. 

The Ride and some local scenery.  Looks fishy anyway, right?

On Sunday afternoon, the whole family went out for a boat ride and I was smart enough to sneak my fly rod on board.  We ran into a school of breaking fish which is a really exciting thing.  After several casts into the school of fish, I saw that the fish were being chased by two huge rays and not the coveted Chesapeake Rockfish that I was hoping for. 
 Me shooting some line to a school of fish.  No dice, but check out the boil in the water. 

All in all a great trip hanging out with family and you can’t go wrong with Chesapeake Bay blue crabs.  The fish on this trip just weren’t biting and I didn’t quite get as much on the water time as I had hoped.  That’s not always a bad thing.  I did get a lot of quality dad time which is important especially around the water.  If the kids don’t like the water when they’re young, the probably won’t like it when they’re older either.  And we all want our Fishy Kids to grow up and share our love of the water. 

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

North Andros by Chris Santella

What a weekend.  It was tiring, but I had an opportunity to spend time with the kids and to do a little fishing in the Chesapeake Bay.

I wish I could say that the fishing was great, but then again, that's why they call it fishing.  I'm working up a trip report that I should have up tomorrow or Thursday.  I'm also working up a review of Costa Del Mar's Zane Sunglasses which I've been testing for a while now so that should be ready for Friday.

In the meantime, I wanted to pass along this story by Chris Santella.  Chris wrote 50 Places to Fly Fish Before You Die and North Andros is one of the places on this list.  I got the book as a gift a few years ago and I think I've hit roughly 5 of the places.  I need to go back and review where I'm at, but it's a great read and lays out some benchmarks as to where to fish.  Pick up a copy if you haven't already. 

I haven't hit North Andros but it may have just vaulted to the top of my list.  The recommendation is from one of my personal fly fishing hero's, Brian O'Keefe of Catch Magazine fame.

Here is a pic from the Chris's Web site and is one of Brian's.  You can check out more of his pictures here.  

Friday, May 28, 2010

Weekend Flies, Why Don't the Weeks

I spent last night tying flies for the weekend. I'm switching gears from the bonefish flats of the Bahamas to the saltwater spray of the Chesapeake. I'm hoping to land a few Rockfish (Stripers for everyone outside Maryland and Virginia) on the fly.

I've got a few fresh Clousers for the weekend, which is really all you need...for just about anywhere. The Rockfish love the Clousers and I've had success before. Hopefully we'll discover some breaking fish, but if not I'll throw on the sink tip and go deep and try that way.

Here's a few pictures of the new flies. I made another tying video and will get that up for next week. Clousers are a great fly to learn to tie on.

Here's a picture of my fly box for the weekend. Clousers, Deceivers, and Poppers along with a Sea Ducer.

The plan also involves me getting the kayak out and doing some kayak fly fishing. I'll be sure to put together some information for everyone on that, too, but I use a Wilderness Ride and really like it. Hopefully this year I can get it out more.

Happy Memorial Day to the Bonefish Flat Fanatics. Thanks for reading

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Hey Bonefish Flat Fanatics (BFF's??). Thanks for reading this site and being a fan. If your on Facebook, be sure to give T.B.F. the thumbs up.

I thought I would pull out a few pics from the Bahamas that I really enjoy. I hope you do too.

Also I want to give a big shout out to my friend Cameron at The Fiberglass Manifesto. I'll be sporting my new T.F.M. shirt around the Nation's Capital. Be sure to check out his site. He writes about fiberglass fly rods which I'm sure must be killer on South Carolina Redfish. Cameron is also the newest member of the William Joseph Pro Staff.

Back in the day the old salts in Florida used glass to land those 150 lbs Tarpon. Those guys were truly pioneers of saltwater fly fishing.

Also, T.B.F. is now on Twitter and I have no idea what I'm doing, but sign up and follow the site there.

If I won the lottery, I'd buy a big boat to carry around my little one :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Shark Catch & Release Tournament

I ran across this article last week in The Washington Post about shark tournaments. For some reason, I've never really been that interested in fishing for sharks. I look at sharks as one of us. They're out there looking for fish too, so I just can't get jazzed about fishing for them.

Here's a shark I saw on the flat in the Bahamas.

You may remember a few years back there was a shark tournament of TV. It was on Versus or ESPN2, and it was just disgusting. Guys would "catch" sharks and then hall them in and kill them in order to be weighed in. That's just ridiculous.

It looks like Guy Harvey has put together a catch and release shark tournament that will give anglers a chance to go after sharks and then let them go.

Hopefully this will lead to an increased awareness about shark finning and by-catch issues with sharks.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

FIB Fest

Wow. What a cool event. Deneki Outdoors, which has fishing destinations around the world, including South Andros, got a group of Fishing Industry Bloggers (hence the FIB) to do some bonefishing in South Andros.

Looks like a really cool event and I'm sure a lot of great fish stories were made.

Deneki also has a great blog they update daily giving trip reports, gear reviews, you get the picture.

Check out their site, or one of their sites. Either way, you'll have fun.