Monday, March 12, 2012

A sacrifice to the flats...

Editor's note: This was written on Friday, March 9. With Internet restored, more installments from the Bahamas will come. 
At least someone is catching a few fish...

The rum hit the water with a light splash, even as my eyes searched the heavens for a little help. In the distance, Jupiter glowed in the night-time sky, with Venus singing backup. I figured it was time for some cosmic assistance. To the gods, to the sea and to the stars, I offered up a nearly full tumbler of good, aged Bacardi Añejo rum. With ice.

Whatever it takes to catch my first bonefish.

Today started slow but evolved into an epic day on the flats, at least according to the guys who caught fish. For me, as I finally saw bonefish amidst the ebbs and flows of the windy flats, today was cursed. I watched as bonefish followed my fly almost to my feet, only to refuse it.

It’s time for divine intervention. It’s my last day in the tropics … if I don’t catch “da bo-en feesh” now, there’s not telling when I’ll get the chance again.

Help me Obee Wan Kenobee. You’re my only hope. Cue the endless loop.

It shouldn’t be this difficult, but the wind, the rain and … well, the wind have wreaked havoc on the southern Bahamas this week. Steady blows have been punctuated by more impressive gusts, forcing us into the hinterlands of Long Island in search of fish.

And we’ve found fish. Snapper. Barracuda. Baby tarpon. Ladyfish. Today, I caught a jack crevalle in a pothole way out on the flats. I even snagged a needlefish through the dorsal and got bit as a parting “thank you” shortly before I released it.

Not cool.

Today, though, should have been the day. Today, I saw bonefish. I saw “nervous water.” I saw fish follow my fly for 20 feet before veering off and disappearing into the green water forever. I saw tails, for Christ’s sake. I caught nothing.

So tonight, after yet another stellar meal prepared here at the Long Island Bonefishing Lodge, I quietly slipped out onto the deck with my cocktail, stared into the dark sky and offered a little prayer.

“Please,” I said aloud. “Let me catch just one.”

I slowly drizzled the high-brow rum over the lip of the tumbler and into the dark water of the sea. If there’s a higher power that controls these things, I’ve offered up a tipsy enticement. Good rum.

And all I ask for is good weather and calm water.

And a bonefish. Please.


  1. A good rum sacrificed to the gods should do the trick...cheers!

  2. I said similar prayers on Friday to the Steelhead gods. Didn't work out so well for me. Hopefully the mojo went your way.

  3. Keep your chin up, they will come. I left Idaho Falls last week for Turks & Caicos and battled the same weather. Conditions were brutal the first couple of days, then on day 3 everything turned around.

    Pics here -

    I've heard more than one guide say, "bad weather = big bones." Hope the rest of your trip is awesome.

  4. What if God doesn't drink?...;). Good luck, my friend!

  5. Good question, Andy... that may explain a few things!

  6. Do what I never do when I'm not catching...take a crapload of photos. I never have enough when I return and it doesn't do justice to the last few days before I DO start catching (what I want).

    Hang in there.

  7. Grey ghosts are tough! Good luck and great blog.

  8. They are tough, indeed. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Using fly rods on those bone fish? That looks like a blast.