Exuma Bahamas

My family and I snuck away for a long weekend to the Exumas a few weeks back. We were
going to be seeing the sights and enjoying time with friends, so I didn’t contact any guides
before we left. My two buddies who are brothers (Cam is the owner of Farther Expeditions)
and I were all pretty solid fisherman, so it was to be a pure “Do-It- Yourself when time allowed”
kinda trip. We landed in Georgetown on a Thursday and first thing Friday began the journey up
to Staniel Cay, where we had planned to spend most of our time on this particular trip. Like
most of our family trips, this was to be one that I was scoping the area for future hosted trips
through the shop. It was about Friday morning when I realized that I had left one particular,
very important bag behind….my sling-pack with ALL of the flies I tied for the trip. (Some of you
that know me are reading this and are laughing right now I know!) I not only left all my flies,
but also all the flies I was bringing to my buddies. You know… the perks of owning a fly shop.
Back to Friday morning, I found myself in the Parlor of the boat for the entire 3 hour trip in 4
foot swells just to tie enough flies for a couple of days fishing. Needless to say, I will not make
that mistake again! We arrived in Staniel, picked up our 15 ft rental boat took the families on a
snorkeling adventure, all while keeping a keen eye out for fishable flats. We had obviously
done our homework on the area before we left by reading blog posts and studying Google
Maps, but we took the opportunity to poll the locals on good spots to find bonefish on the flats
that most people don’t go to. Friday night was spent vetting out our options and we decided to
leave at daybreak the next morning and check out location X. Saturday morning didn’t come
fast enough, and we arrived to the flats just before daybreak. It was a huge flat and we spread
out and started walking. I had just caught and released a small shark and was tying on another
fly, when I noticed about 30 bonefish tailing about 100yds away. Of course, as soon as I saw
them they started swimming right towards me. I barely had time to get the fly on my leader,
made a quick false cast and made a pretty good presentation. It was a larger group, and I was
able to convince the lead fish to turn on and quickly eat the fly! I was On!......and then I was off.
Fresh off of man-handling the shark I had forgotten one of the main rules of bone-fishing. I will
let your imagination run with that. Two hours later there were no fish caught and we decided it
was time to try location Y. As soon as we jumped on the second flat it was game on! We ran
up on a half dozen schools in a rather small spot, and at one point the three of us had
surrounded two schools and were picking them off one after another. Everyone caught fish,
and to make it even sweeter they were all caught on my flies. We visited location Y the
following two days, and every day was the same as the first. About an hour left on the last day
we ventured deeper in the mangroves than previous days. We found school after school of
juveniles that darted in and out of the mangroves. It was quite challenging for sure, but
absolutely worth the sweat. If you would like to know more about the Bahamas please stop by
the shop and we would love to fill you in on the rest of the story. Pictured above was the star
of the trip….a sparsely tied tan gotcha size 8.

 

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