Ask any avid fly fishermen about bonefishing in the Bahamas and they’ll likely say one of two things: It’s their favorite fishing trip they’ve been on or it's first trip on their bucket list.
In my opinion Bonefish are one of the best game fish to go after on the fly, and chasing them in crystal clear, shin deep water is even better. For starters, bonefish can be found in fairly healthy numbers, they aren’t too picky and will generally eat a fly if you can cast it in front of them, but best of all, they pull hard, very hard.
So don’t let their size fool you. They are pound for pound one of the hardest fighting fish out there, essentially a mini torpedo.
Though going out with a guide and getting poled around a sand flat is wonderful, for me it is much more intimate and exciting to go after them on foot.
On a recent trip to Bair’s lodge in South Andros, Bahamas that's exactly what we did. Our good friend just became the new manager there, so naturally we had to come check in on him. The great aspect of this trip was going with a few friends and with very few work related tasks requiring any attention. For the most part this was a fun trip.
With 4 nice weather days lined up and no pressure to deliver anything to any clients we were free to explore and enjoy as we felt fit. While we did catch some solid fish from the skiffs, we took every opportunity we could to hop out and stalk them on foot.
When wading a flat on foot you can get 5x closer to an unsuspecting fish. No shadow, noise, or wake from a boat to suddenly spook one off. The added stealth creates way more exciting moments when you can hunt a fish only a few yards away.
My favorite memory was on this one particular flat where we had the whole crew, 3 different boats, all hop out and wade a sand flat with the Bahamian guides. It was a pretty rad sightseeing us all spread out in a line across the sand like soldiers marching into battle.
Having the guide at my side (obviously spotting fish a good 5-10 seconds before I did) and them telling you exactly where to put the cast was an experience I won’t soon forget, and getting to see all your buddies catch fish 20 yards away made it even sweeter. The best way to cap it all off? Ice cold Kalik’s back at the lodge.
- Marty Gallipeau + Dylan Smitz of Badfish