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, June 29, 2011

Inside Scott Fly Rods

You may know that I'm a big fan of Scott Fly Rods. They make my favorite rod, currently the S4S, which I don't have, but I do have an S3S which is just a beaut.

The rod's are handmade in America by craftsmen. That fact has really drawn me to the company and this new video from Felt Sole media really ties this fact altogether, to borrow a phrase from "the Dude."


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fly Shops I Dig: Black Fly Outfitters

So I haven't actually been to Blackfly Outfitters located in Jacksonville, FL, but I just got a new t-shirt from here for father's day, and Vaughn Cochran has pretty much everything a salty fly rod thrower could want. Vaughn, who is a former fly fishing guide and also a member of Jimmy Buffets Coral Reefer Band, combines a lot of his Black Fly Artwork into special items like Buff's, belts, and hats that really look great.

Nothing Says Bahamas Bonefishing Like a Cold Kalik

The Blackfly logo really has become synonymous with saltwater fly fishing so of course I had to add a sticker to my kayak.

The Blackfly Sticker Says my Kayak Likes the Saltwater

Blackfly Outfitters has been added to the Fly Shops I dig section. Keep up the good work Vaughn and thanks for all your contributions to the sport of saltwater fly fishing.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Dirtbag Diaries: Penance

I'm a big fan of podcasts. I listen to them on my way to work or at night when I'm winding down. One that I've really started to enjoy is The Dirtbag Diaries by Fitz Cahill. He talks about outdoor stuff and has a pretty good view on life.

From the Dirtbag Diaries

His latest podcast is a short one, just 12 minutes or so long, called Penance. It's a father telling the story of how he was a free spirit when younger and now his son, who has become his best fly fishing bud, is getting ready to leave the nest. I thought it was really brilliant.

If you're a dad, or a son or daughter, you should give it a listen.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bonefish Spawning

I just came across this article where a professor at UMass, Andy Danylchuck, has figured out details about how bonefish spawn. It seems they spawn offshore in deeper water and actually jump out of the water to court. Pretty amazing.

My favorite picture of me and a bone.

There is a lot of work to be done to protect bonefish. To learn more, check out the article or check out Bonefish and Tarpon Trust.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Saint Mary's Kayak Trip Report

So the fishing was good, but the catching was lousy.  Seems to be the running theme here on the flat the last couple of weeks, huh.  The weekend before Memorial Day, I had the chance to take a half day kayak trip from St. Inigoes Maryland to the College of Saint Marys.  This was about a three mile kayak trip and for most the wind was at my back so I had a pretty easy trip.

View from the Yak

I fished a Clouser on a Teeny 350 sink tip and went deep.  The water was 10 to 20 feet deep for the water I was fishing so by my experience, if they were biting I should have landed something.  But it seems it wasn't to be my day.  

The scenery was great though.  I saw a deer feeding on the shore and lots of osprey flying around.  

Can you spot the deer?  It took me too long to get the camera out.  

One thing that made this trip a lot of fun is that I encountered some large bait balls which usually mean that blues or rockfish are nearby.  But these seemed to just be holding together, perhaps they were spawning.  Whatever they were doing, I had a lot of casting into them trying to land something.  The kayak let me get really close to them whatever they were.

Bait ball from my kayak.

If you know what these are or what they doing, then leave a comment.  

Sunday, June 19, 2011


So I found a new Web site that I really like called microskiff.com. They have a great forum that deals with small boats and skiffs.

As you can guess, I really want a boat!!

If you get a chance, check out the site. It's great.

Fathers Day 2011

Loyal BFF readers, I hope all the dad's out there had a great day whether fishing, watching the U.S Open, grilling, or just laying low.  

I had a chance to get out on my local lake and caught two brim.  Most importantly, I was able to get out in the kayak with my dad.  We had a great time and saw some really pretty water.  

Dad and I by my Yak

I can't wait to get my kids out on the water, but they are still a little too young to go out in the kayak with me so we just slipped away for a few hours.  But not to worry, I was home by three and able to do story time with the kids.  

Story time, what makes Father's Day Great!!

I hope dad's hauled in a little something for the day.  My parents gave me a great t-shirt that I spied on my friend Vaughn Cochran's Facebook page available at his Black Fly Outfitters.  If you can't be fishing the flats, at least you can show some Bahamian love.  

New Black Fly Bonefish and Permit T-Shirt

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Outer Banks Trip Report

First the bad news, Peter Puppy Drum lives to fight another day.  But the good news, I had a great time with my dad using my kayak to explore some new water in the Outer Banks, North Carolina.

We arrived on Friday June 9 around lunchtime and we camped right across from Oregon Inlet which is a famous location holding a charter fleet.  North Carolina is close to the Gulf Stream, so big charter boats go out for Marlin, Mahi, and other blue water species.

Yaks Loaded Up on Dads Truck

When we arrived, the wind was blowing about 20 knots and the sun was beating down, so we decided to make camp and get things setup before hitting the water.  Unfortunately because of the wind, setting up camp took much longer than expected.  As we looked at our watches, we realized it was still pretty windy and late in the day so we bagged fishing and instead bought a few steaks and drank a few beers out on the beach which was located right over the dunes from the camp site.  When we first setup camp, I have to confess that I thought the night was going to be miserable.  It was hot out there and who camps on the beach in June?  But as the sun went down it actually got cool and wind from the ocean pleasantly provided a nice, cool breeze all night long.  This also meant no bugs.    

Before dinner, we headed over to Oregon Inlet to look at the charter boats.  The catch was mainly Mahi of the boats that we saw come in, but man do those guys keep everything.  It seems they need a lesson in catch and release.  Or at least take a fish or two home and release the rest.  While walking around, I noticed a large center console called the "Flat Out" that I recognized as the boat of Capt. Brian Horsley who has written several articles in Fly Fishing in Saltwaters Magazine.  He happened to be on the boat and I asked if he was Capt. Horsley, to which he replied, "I am."  I told him I was a fan of his writing and appreciated what he had done for our sport so he was kind enough to share a few kayak friendly spots with us.  He was a really great guy and if you're in the area, you should go fishing with him.
I asked him about the local redfishing (this is the year of the redfish), to which he said, "We haven't had good redfishing here in 5 years."  Not a good sign.

To kick things off on Saturday, we went fishing at New Inlet. We rigged up the yaks and got out on the water.

 My Kayak with a freshly stuck Black Fly's Sticker for some bling.

Pop's Yak.  Yes, the Kitchen Sink is in back.

We fished the morning at New Inlet and the tide was out, so the fishing wasn't much.  The water was beautiful though.  Very fishing looking but a stiff 15 knot wind made it tough to keep a yak in position.  We had some early bites which we figured out were crabs, but at least there was some action.  New Inlet is shallow, so I got out and waded a bit flats style until I ran into a good sized ray I saw hanging on the bottom and figured it best to get back into the boat.  

Looks fishy, Right?
Having no luck, we packed up and grabbed some lunch.  The famous Sam and Omies provided a great meal.  I highly recommend their breakfast specials.  That afternoon, we headed to Bodie Island (pronounce Bo-Dee) to find the reds.  The water there is spectacular.  You have to walk your kayak into the water but it's worth it.  Again, we ran into some tough wind that made keeping the yaks and the fly on a desired path tough.  We fished hard for several hours but we didn't land anything.  I had one good bite, which could have been a crab, but didn't get anything.  

Pop and the Lighthouse.  

Pelicans flying over.  

A bird and some nice water. 

Camp was another good night after a fantastic meal in Nags Head at Sugar Creek of Shrimp and Grits and a Fat Tire, neither of which we have in Virginia.  We got up early Sunday morning, broke camp, and headed home.  Another successful father-son trip.  

Sunrise over Camp.  

The Happy Campers

Friday, June 10, 2011

Gone Fishing

The Bonefish Flat is gone fishing. Trip reports to follow next week.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Killer Kwans & The OBX

If you follow The Bonefish Flat, you know that 2011 is the year of the redfish. We are at the halfway point of 2011 and I still don't have a red drum to hand.

That could all change this weekend. I've got my kayak ready and some killer kwans tied to head down to the outer banks this weekend. My dad and I are going to camp and fish in our yearly fishing trip.

The Killer Kwan

So far I haven't had the best of luck with reds, but I've got my stuff together and we will be fishing a spring tide so hopefully the spotted bass will cooperate.

Fresh Kwans

So why all this talk of Kwans for puppy drum, the fly is a cross-breed of shrimp and crab with an unknown orange thing tied onto the butt. I'm betting that orange thing is what sets the rat reds off.

If the Kwan don't work, maybe the merkin will.

The rest of my flies

Wish me luck boys and girls, it looks like it will be hot and channel bass can be tough to catch, but who knows, maybe I'll finally land a spotted tail. It would be great to post a trip report next week with a picture of me and a bull red!!

So I managed to call the red drum by 9 different names in this post, including rat reds, even though we think big here on the flat!