Wednesday, September 28, 2011


As you might expect, the largest bonefish usually have attendant pilot fish that shadow their every move. Typically small horse-eye jacks, these opportunistic little bastards have carved out a niche by surviving on tiny creatures that a behemoth bonefish's shadow flushes from cover, or the scraps left scattered after a good feed.

Invariably, inevitably and unavoidably these freeloaders rushed in front of their 12lbs+ shadows to eat our flies. The sight of such huge bonefish pushing a bow wave in the direction of your fly is something that you'll just have to experience to understand. The feeling of unexpected lightness, the promise of brutality and speed replaced at the last moment by a frail, pulsating life form, the tingling in your hands and feet from the sudden withdrawal of adrenaline is also something you must experience to understand.

It was frustrating, let me just say that, and it happened repeatedly. I think we caught it on film 3 or 4 times.

So it was, that after 8 days of landing bigger bonefish than anyone can rightfully expect to bring to hand and having monstrous bonefish lost due to what boils down to a goal-tending foul on the part of those damn jacks (we should have counted them, anyway!) that we began to lose our minds a little bit.

Upon reflection, our time in the sand was better than we could have hoped for. We started to get on each other's nerves, but what else would you expect? We drank a fair bit of warmish beer, ate a lot of really unhealthy food, braved the elements and caught some awesome fish. As homage to that time, and in timing with our 100,000 visitor, we bring you "Letdowns."

The video features blown hook sets, goal-tends on big bonefish and some dancing. Enjoy, and thanks.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Atomic Number 47


Not to be outdone by Adam's recent jackpot and the gold rush at Lago X, I checked out some rumors of absurd numbers of tarpon that were gorging on a huge supply of fry that had flooded a local bay. I found the Comstock Load of caribbean silver.

Arriving at 5:30am, the surface of water was just visible as light slowly illuminated the bay. In about two minutes time, all hell broke loose. As the first rays of light hit the water, an uncountable number of tarpon began simultaneously bum-rushing fry. I was standing in knee-deep water only 5ft from shore and there were tarpon breaking the surface on all sides of me, including between myself and the shore. It was surreal.

Over the next hour, I landed one nice fish and broke off two others. 40lb tippet just wasn't cutting it. The tarpon were so keyed in on the fry that they wouldn't even notice most of what was thrown at them. I landed and hooked up on white tarpon bunnies that were skinny enough to mimic the silhouettes of the fry. Toads were ignored, as was most else.

Within an hour and a half, the fish noticeably began to chill out. There was enough food for everyone so they continued a more leisurely feeding method. Instead of hurling their bodies completely out of the water, they began to school up and engulf mouthfuls of fry like whales would. I put down the rod and picked up the camera for the rest of the morning session.

Fish that broke off my white tarpon bunny, still happily feeding hours later.

Short video of the scene that greeted me that morning.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Atomic Number 79


Trying to recall the events of the past few days have been pretty tough. All that comes to mind are blurred memories of screaming reels and backing runs. A busted a knuckle or two and saying hello to my gel-spun for the first time since the Caribbean. Ah yes, I hoisted a lot of gold..and some calico too...

Day one began with Vindication. I dropped Mark off at his house and was no sooner back to do some evening carpin. Only managing one before the sun set. With the taste of gold still fresh I headed out the next day for round two.

Day two was pretty awesome. Amongst the carp I got eats from two of the lakes koi which is quite rare. I managed to connect with only one and brought the calico gem to hand. Day three on the other hand was absolutely ridiculous. I was blessed with an epic day on the water. I brought...a lot...of fish to hand, including fifteen fish in the ten pound range. Day four I gave my forearms a rest.

Sad Fish...Haha!

New Carp Face

Nice & Thick

Friday, September 23, 2011

Airport Run

Time was of the essence. I made my way down the Pennsylvania turnpike on my way to pick up a friend at the Philadelphia airport. I left an hour early, to give myself a chance at a carp, at a newer spot we discovered last summer. It is a creek, and has a good population of smaller carp feeding between large boulders. The best spot required a hike downstream that you can only access by descending a waterfall/dam and hopping your way downstream to the slower water. You could go through the woods but it is a field of poison ivy. Looking down at my shorts, it was the only way to go.

Having only an hour, I realized I would only have about 10-15 minutes of fishing time. I had to make the most of it. I chose a heavier damsel woolly bugger. In the off colored water I strained for any sign of a ghost. Standing perfectly still, a few swam in my general direction but spooked as they came closer. I spotted a decent fish about 10 yards out, meandering a few feet below the surface. I casted well ahead of him and let the damsel sink into the zone before starting a crawling retrieve. The fish turned and took it on the strip. It was on.

By the time I hiked back out to the car, it was time to go. I worked my way back to the turnpike and south. After the turnpike, I immediately hit traffic and ended up being an hour late. The difference being the carp. It was worth it.

Monday, September 19, 2011


"We'll only stop for a little while, just to see what is going on."

Adam laid out the plan as he put the car into park, and stepped into the chilly early morning air. It was nine o'clock but our day started several hours earlier, as we stalked the banks of one of our favorite haunts. Over a mile of water, we only spotted two fish, casting to neither. They were no where to be found. We moved onto plan b, but decided to stop at c, just for a short while. Several hours later, we were still there.  As I made my way to the other side of the water, I stopped and found a sweet spot.

A swarm of tricos danced the tango above the riffle feeding into the lake. Hundreds of them investigated my whereabouts as I made my way over a foot bridge looking for some fish. They moved as a single unit, like a ball of bait evading a predator. Out a ways, dozens of dimples dotted the surface of the water as wild brown and rainbow trout feasted. From the bridge, I had a clear vantage point in the gin clear, fifty degree water. The fish were everywhere. Despite the numbers, I struggled looking for the main prize. My eyes crossed several trophies in the 12-14 inch class that easily could have fallen for some 7x and a tiny nymph, emerger, or dry. With so many fish to choose from, I didn't know where to start.

Suddenly, from the depths, a shadow emerged prowling deep along a sandy bottom. The fish put the others to shame. It had shoulders and yet moved with grace, picking off easy meals courtesy of the current. The other fish scattered, as I reached down and stripped several yards of line off my reel. I had intentions of using the current to drift my offering into the zone, careful to avoid any unnecessary drag. The presentation was perfect, as the fly drifted towards the actively feeding fish. Three feet from the target, the fish suddenly became aware. It turned and darted out of his feeding lane, leaving my fly to drift haplessly through a cloud of debris. So much for easy pickings.

I retreated, intent on wishing, watching, and waiting for another chance. In the distance, Adam worked a ledge, as several fish stuffed their faces yards away. I let him know, that our original plan had been surpassed by some four hours and that we better move on. He simply raised a finger, signaling one more shot. I received the same treatment three other times that day, as one more cast morphed into a few hundred. The fish were pinicky, despite feeding with reckless abandon and creating quite a disturbance all across the lake. 

The fly line laid out upon the water raised suddenly and proceeded to travel out into the lake, as Adam's drag screamed. He was into a nice fish and he let everyone in the immediate vicinity know it. You could have cut the tension with a knife as he deftly maneuvered the large fish on light tippet around the weeds. I was waiting for the tiny hook to bend, as the fish made one last gasp towards deeper water. It never happened. As he reached down into the water, several spectators wondered out loud, what size trout he was about to land. From the water came a slab of "what the hell is that thing," as a realized I was about to answer the usual questions for the umpteenth time . Adam had vindicated the last few hours of fishing and landed a trophy in the 12-14 pound class. 

The trout received a break. 

Friday, September 16, 2011


Twas the last day of the trip as the sun made its descent on the horizon. Hues of color slowly morphed, revealing a full spectrum as the Caribbean sea was left shimmering in between towering islands. I was left reflecting and letting the moment slowly sink in. It was surreal. I can think of no better way to end a day on the water. Cheers to sunsets.