Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Hard Day's Fishing.

I had planned one of our first stops during our stay in the islands to be at one of the most secluded and pristine bays I’ve found during my year here. To protect it’s location we’ve nicknamed it Shark City. It turns out that most of the fish you spot while wading this shallow bay or creeping along the shoreline turn out to be sharks between 1 and 8 feet in length.

Trunk full of money.

It is prime permit habitat. Blue runners and yellow-tail snappers are often found here, as well. Mark seemed to have his buck fever under control as we scoured the flat for signs of life, but Adam’s was on full display. Wire leaders and shark flies were launched at each of the dozens of small sharks that came slinking within casting range. A few hookups but no fish brought to hand later, and I spotted a giant shadow slowly sliding along the flat about 50 yards away. I yelled to Adam that there was a good 7 foot shark moving towards us and at the sound of those words, he began to trot towards the trajectory of the fish in hopes of heading it off with his 7wt.

I think about the time his first cast landed within a few feet of the fish’s nose he realized that he was ridiculously outgunned and wisely pulled his fly out of range, choosing to admire instead of harass a fish that could kick our asses.



Choosing to work the drop-off near the reef instead of the flat, Adam produced a blue runner and an unidentified species of wrasse, which was gorgeous. I landed a small Caribbean reef shark a short time later.

Blue Runner

Mystery Wrasse

As the day wore on the angle of the sun began to produce a troublesome glare. We left the shallow section and chose to scramble along a boulder-strewn shoreline to fish some pocket water.

Between three of the house-sized rocks, Mark produced a blistering charge from a decent barracuda. The fish pulled up before claiming the fly and Mark ripped the Puglisi baitfish out of the strike zone on pure reflex. The fish was still searching for his lost prey when Mark deftly dropped this pattern on the cuda’s head and in an instant he was connected.



We searched the shoreline in vain for some snook and then revisited the flat on our way to the car. It was an awesome day but only reinforced the fact that to be successful fly fishing around these island, you must pay your dues. Hours = Fish.

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