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.

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.

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