Strange Weather: Adventures in DIY Fly Fishing (Part III)

DIY reward: a fat little bonefish. (photo: Eric Brantseg)

Eleuthera, Bahamas May 2004


Our final day: we bid farewell to Aaron (who had an early flight to catch) and went fishing. In keeping with the cosmic laws that govern such things, this day dawned with perfect weather — just as the angler who needed it most was flying out. Winds were light and variable and the sky was crystal clear. In celebration of the perfect visibility we headed north to explore the area call Lower Bogue on the northwestern coast. Again the beaches were stunning, as was the panorama from the fabled Glass Window Bridge. However, we saw no bones, just sharks and cudas. That’s the problem with only visiting a place once: I still can’t figure if we were there on the wrong tide or those bare sand flats just don’t hold fish [7]. I would love to talk with anyone who has actually fished that area successfully. I mean, we had be best conditions for spotting fish ever; they simply weren’t there.

So, we headed back southward to good old Boxfish Bay to catch the falling tide. It was awesome, exactly what you hope for after paying your dues with a week of schlepping it out on blown out flats where you can actually see the shadows of the wind-blown foam lines on the bottom. During the last hour of our last tide we saw fish everywhere. The water was oil-calm and you could spot tails a hundred yards away. All you had to do was wade into range, make an accurate cast, strip once and the fish was on. Dad and I both caught several fish and I had the pleasure of watching a particularly big bone wallow over a shallow bank with its back out of the water to chase my shrimp fly. That’s a sight I won’t forget in a hurry, and a perfect way to end our trip.

Aaron, my friend, you should have been there.

7 Which logically makes no sense, right? I mean, all those predators — the cuda and sharks — must be there for something. I still like to think that we just hit it wrong and if we’d had better luck in our timing we’d have found bonefish (which would have made those beaches more than just pretty stretches of sand and turquoise water, it would have made them perfect). [back]

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  • Flygal

    I always loved reading your stories. You’ll have to catch up with my red, flounder, seatrout and bass stories sometime in this life.
    Great blog and God bless,

  • Reply

    I would imagine there’d be bones wherever the water was shallow enough. I found lots of tailers over the grass oceanside of Ambergrise Caye a few years back. It was a little windy but good fishing. The bones were aggressive and eager for small pink flies. So, if that’s all grass oceanside there I’d think you’d find bones there.

  • Randy

    Loved the story in a lot of ways! Oh I am getitng the flats fever now! Anyway, I’m going to Belize in Aug. and plan to do some DIY fishing myself. We’ll be on this tiny caye St. Georges. I’ve fished the flats a few times in Belize and Bahamas so I’ve got limitied experience, but confident I can spot/catch fish.

    I doubt there will fish right off our caye but I will have a kayak so I figure I’ve got a few miles I can navigate. Here’s my location,-88.071985&spn=0.031505,0.087547&z=14

    Since I’ve mostly fished with guides, except a prior caye in Belize in Glover’s Reef that had schools of bones frequenting the island, can I use Google maps to pick my fishing spots? Where and what would you look for? Any books on DIY flats fishing? When I’ve had a guide I never paid to much attention where we were going, it’s like when somone else is driving you don’t pay much attention to the road signs. And while kayaking about looking for fish all day is not the worse thing I could do with my days I’d like to think I was at least heading in the right direction in my search/hunt. Hell, I’m pretty sure the resort even has sail boats so my range could be even further if i take to the high seas! Just gotta remember how to tack so I can make it home upwind.

    Any advice would be helpful and thanks for the great blog 🙂

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