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.

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

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