We're back. Back to the snow (although it looks like this week's gonna warm up nicely) and trout streams of the mountain west. Jamie and I spent the better part of the past two weeks down in the Bahamas, relaxing and fishing. We met up with our great friends, Kurt and Kelly for a reunion trip of sorts, renting a house within walking distance of a big bonefish flat. Naturally we fished a lot with a little snorkeling thrown in for good measure. For sustenance, we ate conch, fish and washed it down with Kalik and rum. Naturally with bonefishing, there were high points and low points, but the high certain outnumbered the lows. It was really great to walk the flats with my friend Kurt, taking turns casting to the grey ghost that seemed to disappear as quickly as they appeared.
Me and Kurt about to walk the beach flat in the morning. Kurt and I have been fishing together for A LONG time and have had many memorable trips together.
On one particular flat we fished, there were lots of these beautiful red/orange starfish amongst the dead coral and turtlegrass.
My most memorable bonefish of the trip. Caught this guy in super skinny water one morning.
Jamie and I did some exploratory snorkeling out in front of where we were staying. There were some cool coral formations to see; lots of colorful tropical fish... Needless to say we needed an underwater portrait to document. In another area we snorkeled, there were several turtles that allowed us to swim with them.
Most days Kurt and I fished this area; White sand flats with BIG bonefish. The fishing is very tide dependent, so we planned our days based around the tide chart. While the fish were big, they were really spooky and required precise casting and properly weighted flies.. We didn't catch many fish each day, but the ones we did get were nice! Also saw 2 big permit one day and got some casts to them. One admired my merkin pattern before winking and slowely moving on....
Here's Kurt with a nice bonefish. We fished this different flat one day and did well. The fish here were much more aggressive, eagerly eating our flies. I think this was due to the rocky/turtlegrass bottom that was teeming with life. Made it harder to spot fish, but when we did, they cooperated.
After dropping Kurt and Kelly off at the airport, Jamie and I headed west and stayed at a nice little place that offered great snorkeling and fine bonefishing on the incoming tide. Unfortunately the weather pattern changed, bringing lots of clouds and rain. It's really hard to spot fish without the sun. That said, I managed a few and truth be told, it was kinda nice to have a rainy day. We layed around reading with cold beer.
This is the last bonefish of the trip. Fished on the incoming tide and despite the clouds, I stumbled upon a small school of hungry fish. Shortly after this guy, I cast to a big barracuda who ate my fly and took off for open ocean. I was undergunned with my 8weight, knowing full well that it was only a matter of time before he broke me off. Sure enough, after battling for a bit, he severed my line. A fun experience.
Jamie and I enjoying a Kalik while looking for bonefish.
So that's a quick summary of our time in the Bahamas. I gotta say, the Bahamian people might be the nicest folks around. Their hospitality and the natural beauty of the islands make me eager to go back. And while the fishing was certainly fun, the best part of the trip was Jamie and I getting to spend time with Kurt and Kelly. It's hard living far away from such good friends, but cool that we're able to rendezvous like this every now and then.
Now that we're back in Wyoming, my attention turns to the upcoming fishing season. Client, both new and returning are starting to fill up my calendar and it won't be long until we're casting to rising trout. I'm headed over to Dubois this week to teach an art project with my friend Matt. While most of our time will be spent in the classroom, I'm sure we'll sneak in a little time on the water.....