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.

Monday, April 30, 2012

The Dog Ate My Drake

I meant to post this gripe the other week, but I've just had a lot going on.

I subscribed to the Drake when the Borders next to my office closed.  I always enjoy reading the Drake and yes, I keep them in a safe place and guess you could say I collect them.

So when my latest copy showed up in the mail the other week, I was not pleased.

Thanks, Mr. Postman.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Old Man and the Sea

It was Saturday and I had to work. I'm walking down K street in DC when my phone rings. It was my father in law. You could see the grin on his face from the White House.

It seems Capt. Willy set out on his boat, the Sweet Sandra, around 5 AM in search of the big one. In the Chesapeake Bay, that means a rock fish (striped bass everywhere else).

He put out his lines and ran a trolling rig. Not long after getting his lines in the water it was fish on. He cut the engine and fought the fish which turned out to be a beauty. Home by 7:30, it was an epic day for Bill on the Bay.

Capt. Bill and a whopper Rock fish

41 inches and 23 lbs. Not bad, Capt. Bill. Next time we're gonna get a fly rod in your hand!

Apparently he bent the net

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Relax, It's Friday

It's been a long two weeks and I'm tired.  In the last five days I've gone to Oregon and back and Dallas and back and I'm ready for the weekend.  Looks like more work in store, but I'm taking solace in the fact that the boys in Key West are catching Tarpon and my shot at a big poon is right around the corner.

Here's a little end of the week video for you from Bob Marley to help you get the weekend started a little early.  Nothing says summertime better to me than putting the windows down in the truck and turning up the Bob Marley. Sit back, relax and enjoy.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Salty Shores Review of Long Island Bonefish Lodge

My friend Sam Root of the Web site Salty Shores was one of the writers on my Long Island, Bahamas adventure.  He just shared his review of the trip which can be found here.  Sam is a photographer so sit back and enjoy some of the pictures he took.  As you might remember from my report, the weather on this trip kind of stunk, but Sam was still able to make the place look beautiful.

Photo Courtesy of Sam Root and Salty Shores
And speaking of Sam, I happened to notice that there is a story about him and his saltwater fly fishing tournament, the Salty Fly, in the latest copy of Fly Fishing in Saltwater.  Be sure to check it out on page 18.  It's a great story for what really is a neat event.

Check out Sam Root in the latest FFSW and learn about the Salty Fly.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Silver King

I came across this video courtesy of Tosh Brown on twitter.  Later this summer I'm headed to Key West for the tail end of tarpon season.  That's when the big one I'm going to catch will be swimming through.

Seriously, though, I'm getting super excited.  I've read a lot about how tarpon are crazy addictive and can really take your game to a new level. Think about the world famous Andy Mill and Chasing Silver.  Plus, the fact that these fish can get to be 200 lbs., and it's going to be an intense experience.

I've got a feeling this trip is going to be off the hook.

This video is a little long, but it's a really cool history of the silver king in Florida.  Enjoy!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Microskiff Podcast

There is a really great podcast up over on Zach Matthew's site, The Itinerant Angler, where Zach interviews Tom Dyll who runs the Web site Microskiff.com.  It's a great site that has everything you'd ever want to know about small skiffs and then some.  Hopefully at some point there will be a small skiff  in my future and this site gives you a lot of insight into the skiff buying, maintenance, possibilities process.

Courtesy of The Itinerant Angler

The podcast is a fantastic interview and really gets into the nitty gritty of these boats.  Check it out!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Southern Culture on the Fly

Take a moment and imagine what would happen if you combined the southern feel of Garden & Gun Magazine with a mayfly hatch of the Drake...and then stuck it, greasy fingers and all, on your iPad.  This southern fried treat would be Southern Culture on the Fly.  

Most e-zine's lose me because the writing isn't always up to par and the photography can be so-so.  Also, if the articles drone on and on they can get boring.  Not so with SCOF.

As a good southern boy, I appreciate how the focus is on the south and the great fishery we have.   Plenty of pics and enough story to hold my interest throughout the read. 

Louis Cahill is a photographer I really admire and has quite a few pics throughout the issue. In addition, my friend Cameron Mortenson of The Fiberglass Manifesto has a gear review that is well thought out.

Finally, they have some super cool videos.  Check out this one.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bonefish Flat Updates

A few new things to update you on here. A few weeks back I changed the header of the site which I hope everyone likes. That's a bonefish I caught a few years back in the Bahamas.

I've added three new blogs that I really dig to the blog roll/web site roll, now dubbed conch fritters (pretty cute, huh).
is a blog about saltwater fly fishing, carp, and rock and roll...and not necessarily in that order. It's a great read.
Eat More Brook Trout is a very well written blog on trout fishing, but the genuine love of fly fishing for everything, including salty species, really comes through. Chris who writes this was on the Long Island, Bahamas trip with me.
Flatswalker is the real salty deal. Davin Ebanks, a flats guide from Grand Caymen, writes this little gem and it's worth adding to your daily routine.

Finally, I'm really trying to do more with Facebook by pushing out more stuff so if you don't "like" me here, than you're missing out.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Deceiver

I got a Cliff Bugger box for my birthday this year, so it's time to fill it up. Right now I'm tying up a few deceivers. A classic Lefty pattern that I've used with good success in the Chesapeake Bay.

I tied these on 1/0 and 2/0 hooks. The 1/0 is a Mustad 3407. These things are dull out the package so I would not recommend buying these hooks. I'll sharpen them and they'll be ok. The 2/0 is a 34007 and it seems to be a bit better.

Lots of room left so time to get busy.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Week Ahead

Lots going on here at the bonefish flat this week. I'm working on tying up some rockfish flies (don't think I've ever heard that term before). Rockfish here in the mid-Atlantic are striped bass everywhere else, or stri- pahs for my friends in the north east.

Me and a rockfish from two seasons ago.

Pretty simple really, I like a nice deceiver to target these fish or a clouser minnow.

Hopefully I'll get a few tied up tonight. I tried to get out onto my local pond today, but I ended up taking the kids and getting literally a truckload full of dirt. I built a raised garden here at bonefish flat HQ and the tomatoes are in the ground (good southern boys must grow tomatoes, right?).

At any rate, after the dirt got back into the ground, the fish truck needed cleaning so there went my day.

Hope some of you folks got out on the water this weekend.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thank You, Bro

To conclude a week of posts about the Jose Wejebe, all I can really say is thank you, bro.  Thanks for bringing me along on weekend's as you went on salty adventures all over the globe.  Thanks for being my saltwater fix, when I can't get out on the water.  Thanks for showing us all how much fun saltwater fly fishing can be...and thanks for doing it with style and class.  

Thank you.  We'll miss you, bro.

Photo of Flip and Jose by Lefty Kreh.  Jose headed off into the sunset.

I wanted to share a few kind words that others have written about Captain Wejebe.  

Kirk Deeter via Fly Talk.  
Marshall Cutchin via Midcurrent

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Spanish Fly: Keeps Ice longer

Here are a few of my favorite clips from the Spanish Fly.  I'm starting with the Yeti commercial of Jose and Flip.  Two of the greatest.

Here's a clip of a classic Spanish Fly.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Legendary Spanish Fly

In keeping with the Spanish Fly tribute week, I came across this photo today on the twitter feed.  Jose was a spokesman for many products.  Costa, Yeti, Tibor, and Hells Bay Boatworks come to mind.  Another product he used, which is a must have on a flats boat, are Ocean LED lights.  Why are they a must have?  Because they look cool, of course.  And we fly fishermen are a stylish bunch.  When I'm stalking the flats for bonefish, I want to do it with a swagger.

From the OceanLED Web site.  Again, notice the fly rod.
That's how Jose would roll.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spanish Fly: One of the Greats.

Here is information about Jose Wejebe's memorial service posted on his Facebook page:

From the family of Jose Wejebe and Spanish Fly, we are deeply saddened by the tragic event and loss of a father, son, friend, and bro. 

We would like to invite all family and friends to a Celebration of Life in honor of Jose Wejebe, Sunday April 15, 2012 at 1:30 PM at the International Game Fish Association Museum (IGFA) in Dania, Beach Florida. All those who were touched by Jose are welcome to attend.

Further information and updates will be available shortly at www.spanishflytv.com

Flip Pallot posted this picture on his Facebook page in a post so fittingly titled, "So Long, Grasshopper."

The great ones.
I think this pretty much sums up Jose's status as an icon of saltwater fly fishing.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Spanish Fly Tribute Week

It's really hard to believe that Jose Wejebe, the Spanish Fly, passed away last week.  Jose had been an anchor in the weekly fly fishing shows.  The Spanish Fly was one of the best.

This week the Bonefish Flat is dedicated to Captain Wejebe.  It's only fitting that a saltwater fly fishing Web site pay tribute to this fly fishing pioneer.  In addition to being a world class fisherman, Jose was a pilot.  On Friday, his plane crashed in Everglades City, Florida. The details still seem to be coming in, but the latest I can find is here.

Jose Wejebe.  Note the fly rod.
During the last few years I always wished there was more "fly" in the Spanish Fly.  But when you look at the business side of things, it makes sense why Jose used spinning rods, bait casting rods, and so forth.  The market for us fly fishers is small compared to the rest of the fly fishing world.  I have a hunch that when Jose fished on his day off, he was using a fly rod.  Now, he's fishing dry flies in heaven.  

Prayers go out to to Jose's family.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Shad Run, Take Two

Smell that? That's what shad smells like.  I had a chance to go out for a few hours with a friend of mine to the fabled Fletcher's Boat House in pursuit of shad during their annual spawning migration.  I wrote last week how I haven't had much luck with this fish in the past.  Last week you'll recall that we did pretty well.

Today was nothing short of epic.  Armed with sink tip fly lines and a row boat from the boat house, John and I set out.  Within two casts we started hooking up and it didn't let up for a few hours.

Me and a shad.

The Alosa mediocris spends its adult life in the ocean and returns to spawn in rivers along the coast.  The shad aren't feeding when they take a fly, but are more likely just aggravated by your fly being there.  Whatever their deal is, they are a blast on the fly.

John with a nice American Shad

For the most part we caught Hickory shad, but John managed the catch of the day when he landed this big American Shad.  The Alosa sapidissima is a bigger shad and put up a great fight.  This one DID NOT want to come to the boat.

Another shad coming to the boat.

The action today was fantastic.  We caught over 40 between the two of us and that is probably on the low end.  Fishing with John was a blast.  He knew the spots to hit and I learned a lot.

If you haven't been out for shad, be sure to give them a try.  I hope I can get back out one more time to catch these great fish before they head back to the ocean.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Easter Edition: Bonefish Foley Confirmed

It's always an interesting read when you check out a Bahamian newspaper.  So in the spirit of Easter, I came across this article saying that legendary bonefish guide Bonefish Foley of Grand Bahamas got confirmed by the Anglican church at age 91.  Foley, who's name is Israel Rolle, is a legend among Bahamian flats guides and used to fish Grand Bahamas.  I almost fished with his son, Tommy, a few years ago but it didn't work out.

You can spot a good bonefish guide in the Bahamas when they adopt "bonefish" as their moniker.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dig Deep: Two New Things You Gotta Buy

Folks, it's time to dig deep.  But not too deep.  Catch Magazine has moved to a subscriber based service and it's probably the best $12 bucks I've spent in a while.  That works out to be $2 per month, less than a cup of coffee.  Catch is the brainchild of Brian O'Keefe, whom I interviewed here last month, and Todd Moen and features stunning fly fishing photography.

This issue came out with a bang.  Todd Moen who does video's for the online e-zine put together a video from Andros South called Wade Andros.  All I can say is this movie is just beautiful.  I just got a new iPad, and the colors just pop in this movie.  Maybe I'm excited about my new toy, but it's also a great way to view Catch.

Todd filming Wade Andros.  Courtesy of Catch Blog.

The scenery is magnificent. Moen's wife, Kelley, is the featured angler and he gets a  shot of her that is just pure, classic bonefishing.  Kelley is wading and a bone is moving towards her.  A well placed cast, followed by a strip...strip and game on.  It's really well done.

In addition to Wade Andros, there is an awesome spread on the Seychelles and also a piece by Jay Fleming called America's Atlantic Shoreline.  It features snook, redfish, tarpon, and a shot of a bald eagle that is spectacular.  One of the great things about Catch is that it exposes the reader to new photog talent. Let me just say I've glanced at Jay's Web site and his pictures are absolutely off the hook.  Hopefully you will hear and see more from Jay here in the future.

If you haven't signed up yet, go to Catch Magazine and signup today.  It's really well worth it.

The other reason to dig deep is Pulp Fly.  Bonefish Bjorn over at Bonefish on the Brain put together an E-Book available only on the kindle, but coming to iPad and other online book stores soon.  It features an intro from my new friend from writer's week Kirk Deeter and also writing from notables like Bob White, Bruce Smithhammer (a Drake regular) and Davin Ebanks at Flatswalker (I just got added to his blogroll, so check out his site).

There are sure to be some salty tales in this so as soon as I figure out how the kindle app on the iPad works, I'm going to get it.  It's $4.95 so get it while it's hot.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Shad Soup Line

I recently had the opportunity to get together with Chris Hunt of Eat More Brook Trout, to do some shad fishing on the Potomac River. I met Chris during writers week in Long Island, The Bahamas. Chris is a great guy, great writer, and a lot of fun to fish with.

Chris and I hooked up with a "double." Note the chopper in the background.

Shad have been called the "poor man's tarpon" because they put up a good fight, jump when hooked, and I think are in the same family as the historic poon. That's not a bad description because you do feel a bit poor fishing for these fish. You never know what type of flotsam might float down the river and surprise you while fishing in the nation's capital. You also are joined by 20 other row boats in what feels like a soup line to catch these fish. This is an urban fishery.

Me and the poor man's poon.

In the DC area, shad are a big deal. They show up for about three solid weeks and peak when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. Everyone heads to Fletcher's Boat House on the Potomac and rents a row boat to head out into the current and try their hand at the shad.

The Double.

Admittedly I historically haven't had great luck with the shad. They say that when the bite is on, it's fantastic fishing. When it's off...well, it's not so good. I finally had that experience when the bite is on and it was a great time.