Fly Fishing for Bonefish

Fly Fishing for BonefishIt’s been a year now since I went Fly Fishing for Bonefish on Andros South, which means I can officially swing into a nostalgic frame of mind.

When I started down memory lane, I started going through my photos from the trip.

Then I started watching the videos I took during the trip.

Then I started thinking about my year in fly fishing after I left the Bahama region.

And I realized something.

A trip bonefishing like the one I took via Deneki Lodge can seriously screw up any fly fishing trips you take after you are forced to return home.

Before I left for the Bahamas, I did my research, what to expect when bonefishing and all that jazz, but no where on the Deneki website did I read about the potential side effects and issues such a trip could have on my home water fly fishing.

So I wrote Deneki: A complaint letter

Go read it and then I’ll feel like I’ve done my duty, stood by the code of fly fishing and warned everyone of the hazards you may unwittingly return home with after such a trip.

A video to feed my nostalgia:

May you all suffer the tortures I’ve had to endure over the last year…

Rebecca

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Flub #1 ~ I caught this fish when technically I was trying for a different one that I missed.

Flub #2 ~ My pronunciation of Tom Larimers last name.

Flub #3 ~ Try to act all smart and cool-mo-dee when trying to hold a slippery (little suckers) bonefish. As you’ll see in the video, the fish taught me….

(Please excuse the couple of times the wind sounds so loud. If I knew how to edit video, I would, but I don’t. So this is as good as it gets….)

My thanks to Tom Larimer who not only took this video, but spent not one, but two days fishing with me.

Additional Flub Admissions:

Flub#4 ~ I had no idea who Tom was (a fly fishing rockstar) the first day I fished with him which is basically the equivalent of sitting next to Brad Pitt on a 10 hour flight and asking him halfway through the trip….”So, what it is that you do?” (Which again proves how out of the loop I am when it comes to the who’s who of fly fishing)

Flub#5 ~ On the second day I fished with Tom (after someone else had explained to me in great detail who Tom was) he was standing right behind me when I did a rather hard strip set. My fist went flying back and felt like it hit a zone where no female fist should connect with at a high rate of speed. Although I did hook that bonefish and my line was screaming one direction, I turned around and my only concern was, “OH MY GOD, Did I just incapacitate thee Tom Larimer of Fly Fishing for Steelhead??”

The Flub conversation went like this:
Our guide Charlie was yelling and pointing at the fish, “REBECCA! You have FISH ON!”
I was yelling back and pointing at Tom, “I KNOW! But…but…the jewels!”
And Tom was yelling and pointing at the fish, “YOU MISSED ME, get the fish”

I lost the fish.
And was traumatized for a good hour over the incident.

Tom and I

Oh, and I had an incredible, amazing time fishing with Tom. I learned a lot, laughed a lot, caught fish, got casting pointers and can’t wait to Fly Fish with him again.

You can check out Tom’s world here:
Larimer Outfitters
Oregon Fly Fishing Report (blog)

You can check out Deneki Fly Fishing Lodges here:
Deneki
Deneki FIBFest

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Day 1: Deneki FIBFest, Guide Ellie– fishing partner Bjorn of Bonefish on the Brain...

When my red toenails stepped up to the deck of the boat for the first time,
Bjorn said, “Watch, you’ll catch a bonefish on your first try. Beginners luck is on your side..

Red and a bit of Beginners Luck

One single cast, a few panicked strips of my line, one marginal strip set and BAM….I caught a bonefish on my first try. As my line peeled away I distinctly remember Bjorn behind me saying, “clear your line!” followed quickly with, “beginners luck!”

Bonefish...accomplished

As I reeled in that first bonefish my thoughts jumped between thank you bonefish gawds...to...well hot damn, that wasn’t so hard.

I had accomplished what I came to do with one cast. Clearly a successful fly fishing adventure. A breeze. No problem. All that worry for nothing…

In hindsight, if I had just sat out for the rest of the day things would have looked pretty nice from my view. I could have sat back, sipped on diet cokes from the cooler, managed Bjorns fly line and observed his magnificence while basking in my personal glory. I had caught a bonefish after all. Life was good.

That is, until Bjorn caught another bonefish and it was my turn for the deck again.

So there was this wind thing going on. Not hurricane standards by any means, but enough that casting distance into it proved problematic–for me. This was largely due to the fact I quickly discovered my double haul was a quadruple failure. Bonefish were swimming by at rapid speed that my untrained eyes couldn’t zero in on or cast too. So basically, our guide Ellie was calling prime shot opportunities that I blew over and over for what felt like hours. (Was it like 45 minutes from glory to meltdown Bjorn?) What followed will go down as my #1 Fly Fishing Angler Meltdown of all time.

I may have displayed a few un-lady like behaviors. Maybe some stomping of the red toenails and such before I took that final plunge into the depths of my meltdown. My uncontrollable fly line basically secured the anchor around my confidence and pretty soon the whole party (mine) floated out to sea. I became one of those cluster..umm…messes. So it was either swan dive off the front of the boat to cool off or put myself in angler time-out. There was 3 or 4 sharks circling the boat and although I deserved a good mauling by them,  I opted to pull my buff up over my ashamed head and sat down in angler time-out.

Dr. Bonefish Shrink ~ aka Bjorn

Dr. Bonefish Shrink ~ aka Bjorn

Thankfully Bjorn said he would take one for the team and fish until I was ready to try again. I could tell this extra fishing time would be a burden for him, but like a good fishing buddy, he sucked it up (tried to hide his excitement) and took the deck. He had bonefish on the brain after all….

I have to say, Bjorn was a wonderful first day fishing companion. For one, his excitement to be out bonefishing was something to behold. It made me grin just being near his happiness. And two, while fishing double shifts, he took the time between fish catching to provide some much needed encouragement to me. Miss Meltdown. As he reminded me over and over, I had caught a bonefish on my first day out. Ever.

He became my Dr. Bonefish Shrink and eventually when I had my mind back to a calmer level, I decided to try it again.

I won’t say things went great, but they were better. I did manage to catch two more bonefish and as the day went on I started to get the hang of things.  Ellie was a fantastic guide, patient with me and even had a chance to catch a bonefish himself. By the end of the day I was excited to try again the next day. I have no doubt my self imposed time out was needed and I don’t think Bjorn minded the extra deck time…that much.

Photos courtesy of myself and Bjorn

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Photo by Cameron Miller

I’m home now from the Deneki FIBFest.

Someone please pass me a box of tissue because I’m not entirely happy about that fact.

It’s not often that a one week trip will give me enough blog fodder to keep this site in business for months.

I have pages and pages of notes, I have 19 videos and at the moment I feel a little overwhelmed as to where I’d even start with all the goodies I have swirling around in my mind.

So how about, first and foremost…
I had an amazing time

A huge shout out and thank you goes to Andrew Bennett who invited me along for this once in a lifetime experience. I highly doubt I can convey my gratitude for the opportunity I experienced in simple words, but going with the basics here….thank you Andrew, my world of fly fishing has been expanded on so many levels.

If you aren’t familiar with Andrew’s Deneki website and four world class Fly Fishing Lodges, I’d suggest you get on over there now, sign up for the newsletter and discover what you’ve been missing out on. I had the privilege of getting to know and fishing with Andrew last week and can tell you, he’s down to earth, funny and a fly fisherman just like the rest of us.

Now I need to organize my experience a bit, go through my notes, edit some videos and get to sharing the fun on this site. Until then, I give you a small photo slideshow of what I was doing last week.

All photos in this sideshow were taken by the amazing photographer Cameron Miller.

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Day 2: Bonefish are not a WhiteFish!

March 29, 2011

Enough said…right? Deneki Andros South FIBFest is a little slice of heaven. Please accept my following apology. I’d write more, but I must go fly fishing right now. WOOOHHOOOO

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Fly Fishing for Bonefish is definitely not Trout Fishing…

Thumbnail image for Fly Fishing for Bonefish is definitely not Trout Fishing… March 27, 2011

I made it through my first day of Fly Fishing for Bonefish here at the Deneki FIBFest. (without shark attacks–didn’t get lost in the mangroves) I caught a Bonefish on my very first cast…ROCKSTAR status… (or so I thought for a Milli-Second until the humility smack down began) But then…the Trout Fisherman in me reared it’s ugly habits [...]

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Deneki FIBFest in Andros South On NOW

March 25, 2011

First order of business ~ The Winner of my 100th Post Thank You Gift has been chosen by the Mighty RNG. Comment #35 turned out to be Shoreman (Mark) of the always interesting blog Northern California Trout. I already gave Mark the good news and he has gone off to A Year On the Fly [...]

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An Impromptu Saltwater Fly Fishing Class…

March 23, 2011

Ok, ready now. Deneki FIBFest, Here I Come! This week I had an impromptu, pretend I was fly fishing on saltwater class, from a legit—knows what he’s doing and how to teach it, casting instructor— Michael Bantam of DreamcastIdaho. Basically, I tried to pretend the weather was 80 degrees, the water was blazing blue and there [...]

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I forecast a High of 80 degrees and a chance of Bonefish

March 16, 2011

It’s probably a good thing I’ve been busy from sun up to sun down lately and just noticed this morning that it’s March 16th. As in…Holy Bonefish…I leave for the Deneki FIBFest,  Andros South, in exactly 9 days! This may or may not be a good time for random admissions. It might be more prudent of [...]

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