Complaint Letter

Rebecca Garlock Complaint
Sorry, Rebecca!

It’s not often that we receive complaints from our guests, so we thought we’d share this scathing letter we recently received from Rebecca Garlock.

My Official Deneki Complaint Letter

It’s been exactly one year since I came home from a week of fly fishing for bonefish at Andros South and I have a couple of bones to pick over the following issues I experienced (suffered) as a direct result of a week at Deneki Fly Fishing paradise.

In No Particular Order

1) When I arrived home I was so high on fly fishing adrenaline that I promptly headed to the nearest Idaho river to keep the fly fishing mojo cranked up. My newly acquired tan was hidden (wasted) under thermal underwear and waders. What a shock to my Bahama climatized system that turned out to be! The Idaho cold never bothered me before Andros, so thanks for the location smackdown.

2) I discovered an injustice in setting the hook after my trip. In Andros, if you trout set you simply miss your bonefish. However, if you strip set on a trout, steelhead or salmon, you just break off a perfectly good fly. Way to foul up my hook set for the season.

3) Every fly fishing trip since returning from the Bahamas I’ve had a strong desire to cap the day off with a Kalik beer. However, there seems to be a shortage of Kalik Gold in Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Washington so in other words, you ruined beer time for me.

4) Not once have I returned from a fly fishing trip during the last year and been served a 5 course dinner where fabulous Bahamian cooks are heaping another serving on my plate and telling me I need to fatten up. Visions of that savory heaven spring up every time I’m trying to choke down my late night convenience store dinner. Pre-Andros Fly Fishing Food Staples: Ruined.

5) Not once have I gone into my backing since I left Andros South. Not once have I heard that glorious unstoppable peeling of line off my reel and I’ve hooked some nice enough fish over the last year. It’s made all fish since Andros seem wimpy and lacking in a certain fish bravado I experienced at your lodge. The thrill of “Fish ON” has been seriously diminished for me and I blame your legions of bonefish for putting a brown shadow over what was once ‘fantastic fishing’ on my home waters.

I could keep going on my list, but I think you’ll get the point I’m trying to make. All I ask is that you take responsibility for these Post-Andros residual issues I unknowingly brought home with me.

I imagine if I checked around with other anglers that have visited your lodge they would agree with me on many, if not all of my points.

In order to protect future innocent fly fishermen that are thinking about visiting your establishment, I strongly suggest you add a disclosure to your advertising. Something along the lines of:

Warning: Bonefishing at Andros South may cause a serious,
even permanent shadow over your regular fly fishing routine.
Known Side effects include: Daydreaming of bonefish and saving for an quick trip back.

Sincerely,
Rebecca Garlock

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Lessons Learned

Relaxing in the Bahamas
Don't forget to relax.

A couple of weeks ago we ran an entertaining article by Kyle Perkins about his experiences getting ready for and joining us at our Andros South FIBFest last year.  Today Kyle is back with some very practical lessons learned.

Lessons Learned at Andros South

There’s no better place to go stalk bonefish than Deneki Outdoors’ Andros South Lodge. Here’s a few things I learned as a beginner, that I’ll never forget.

  • Limit Cotton. Yeah, I had too many cotton pants, socks, shirts, and underwear. While most of my stuff was quick-drying, I found myself sitting in a sand hole with cotton underwear early one day. To say the least, I was uncomfortable most of the day. Don’t forget those silk underoos.
  • Limit Zippers.  I realized after my first salt experience that you really need to rinse everything when coming back to a dry climate. Those zippers were a bitch. I lost a few things, but most were saved by the great advice to soak and rinse all your gear in the bathtub once you’re home.
  • Rinse those reels and rods.  Props given to the staff at Andros South for having a plan to rinse all rods and reels every day. If I didn’t see them doing it, I wouldn’t have thought about it. When you arrive home, take off the lines and rinse everything again.
  • Pack less. While most think you need everything for a week that you would need on a resort in Mexico sipping cocktails with your wife, you can usually wear the same gear a few times. Don’t go overboard, and only pack essentials – you’ll need the room after you buy your family goodies from the ‘shell man’.
  • Drink your water.  Important: Drink all the water you can during your fishing trips. You might not notice because of the beautiful sun soaked weather and breezy conditions, but you’re sweating. Stay hydrated, because after the day is done, Andros South provides the beer while you share your experiences at the Slack Tide.

More Tips for Andros South

All the Important Questions

Kyle at Andros South
He loosened up eventually. Photo: Cameron Miller

Kyle Perkins was one of our attendees at FIBFest at Andros South last spring.

That trip was Kyle’s first experience on the saltwater flats, and he put together today’s really insightful article about getting ready and making the trip.  We think you’re going to like it – especially the end.

Thanks, Kyle!

All the Important Questions

You’re a month away from your first bonefishing experience, let alone your first salt fishing trip. While you grew up on small streams in the Rockies stalking pocket water for pigs as you slowly hike through brush or snow, you know this is going to be different – but how different, exactly?

The first thing you do before a trip to South Andros and Deneki Outdoors’ Andros South Lodge is talk to people who have been to flats in search of bonefish before. Luckily, a few close friends plan yearly trips, so you’re in good hands.

Key points of advice are to practice casting longer distances (with wind if possible) and remember to strip-set instead of the usual trout-set. After a few lessons, the results are something like, “Nope, you need to double-haul that cast”, or “Nope, too many false casts.” As you can imagine, anxiety rears its ugly head.

As time passes, your anxiety about failing increases. It seems the only thing you can do right is tie up Gotcha patterns. Finding a suitable way to create the salt flat experience in a high- altitude, snowy climate just isn’t working.

So the time comes to catch the first red-eye, then another flight in the morning, and finally a short hop over to the island of South Andros. Beautiful skies, sand filled beaches, and of course Kalik await. You hang out your first night at the Slack Tide, tie a few flies, and discuss the possible destinations for the next morning.

With a loud 6 am wake-up call, you jump out of bed and feel the lump in your throat almost growing by the minute – it’s time. After a great breakfast and full spread of lunch items (in which you only make peanut butter and bacon sandwiches, of course), you set off to the launching dock. You’re met by your first guide of the day, and the announcement that you’re heading to the West Side more than excites your comrade and boat buddy for the day.

The run is about 30 minutes, and then it’s time to grab a rod and get up on the bow. You wait, nervous, as your guide slowly poles a flat. Small lessons are already being learned: pull enough line off your reel, leave enough leader, and line off the end of your rod. Don’t forget to hold that fly loosely in your left hand. It’s silent, only wind and small waves making subtle sounds.

Then, it happens – you hear, “30 feet, 11 o’clock.” Your bare feet shuffle, you cast and just about pop that fish on the head with your fly. Nothing more to say other than that fish is long gone. You knew it, knew you were going to fail.

While searching more flats, your guide is very instructional in an almost comedic way, as your fishing mate sits back and laughs quietly at your attempts – almost assuming you’re getting skunked your first day.

On the bow again, your guide spots a large school of bonefish. While you can’t see a thing, you trust his instincts and just start launching flies into the area – “50 feet, 9 o’clock!” Strip, strip, strip, “fish on!” your guide yells. First thing you do is try to trout set.  Then you reach for the reel, “No, let him run, mon.” After about 20 minutes of your heart racing, the fish making runs, and all the while your buddy in the chair laughing, you have almost got the fish to the boat. Everything has seemed minimal before this – you’ve landed your first bonefish on your first day ever saltwater fishing.

Everyone is ecstatic, and you have your first bonefish in your hands. The camera flashes, but one question you forgot to ask was how to handle these fine fish…

Kyle Hero Shot

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FIBFest is Going Strong

FIBFest Report
Bloggers hard at work. Photo: Cameron Miller

We’re nearing the end of Andros FIBFest 2011 – a gathering of fly fishing bloggers at Andros South in the Bahamas.

Good times are being had!  A couple of folks caught their first bonefish ever (on day 1, of course).  A couple of folks produced a truly hilarious photo (don’t forget to weigh in on our caption contest).  Fishing has been great, socializing has been fantastic, and the time in the sun been much needed by all.

Our attendees have written a whole bunch online about the trip already, and we’ve got lots more to come.  Click here to check out the running list of posts on FIBFest.

Thanks for tuning in this week, and thanks to Rebecca Garlock, Michael Gracie, Tom Larimer, Cameron Miller, Kyle PerkinsEric Rathbun, and Bjorn Stromsness for making the event such a success.

More on Fly Fishing Online

Facebook Caption Contest

Bonefishing Picture
Only Facebook comments count! Photo: Michael Gracie

Andros FIBFest 2011 is happening right now at Andros South.  We’re hosting a group of folks who write about fly fishing online, and we’re having a pretty darned good time doing it.

The first day of FIBFest yielded a pretty incredible photo, and it was immediately clear to us that we needed to run our first Facebook Caption Contest.

Kyle Perkins and Michael Gracie teamed up to produce the glory that you see above.  To enter our caption contest and maybe win yourself an Andros South T-Shirt, click right here to go to Facebook and add a comment with your caption for the photo.  Only Facebook comments with caption entries count in the contest.

Thanks, Michael and Kyle!

More Silly Pictures

Andros FIBFest 2011

Andros FIBFest 2011
Typical blogger's office - this week, at least.

It’s time for FIBFest!

This week at Andros South we’re hosting a great lineup of folks who write about fishing online.  Here’s the plan: we’re all going to go fishing, and write about it online.  FIB stands for Fishing Industry Bloggers, and is in no way a reflection of the tendency of anglers to get creative with the truth.

Following Along

We’ll keep this page updated during the week with updates on the action on South Andros.  We’ll maintain a section down below with links to all the FIBFest content that our attendees post.

We’ll have lots of updates on our Facebook page.

If you really want the blow-by-blog you can see Twitter updates from all of at the FIBFest Twitter List.

The Lineup

Please help us welcome this star-studded lineup to Andros South.

Andros FIBFest 2011 Posts, So Far

Pre-Trip

Posts During the Week

Post-Trip

FIBFest is Back

FIBFest 2011
We'll be doing some of this, probably. Photo: Louis Cahill

We had such a good time with it last year that we had to do it again.

It’s Deneki FIBFest!  It’s an in-person gathering of folks who write online about fly fishing.  FIB stands for Fishing Industry Bloggers, and FIBFest is the most cleverest name we could come up with.

Starting on March 26th, a small group of us will spend a week at Andros South.  We’ll catch bonefish.  We’ll write about it online.  That’s the program!

Here’s the current lineup for Andros South FIBFest 2011 – in alphabetical order of course.

  • Rebecca Garlock writes The Outdooress, and created an incredibly successful platform for outdoor bloggers called the Outdoor Blogger Network.
  • Michael Gracie is an alumnus of FIBFest, and cranks out some of the most intelligent writing about fly fishing online at michaelgracie.com.
  • Kyle Perkins writes Compleat Thought, a blog on conversation, education and new media in fly fishing.  He’s also done a bunch of marketing consulting work for a variety of fly fishing causes.
  • Eric Rathbun is one of the masterminds behind Moldy Chum, a fly fishing blog that’s busier than Times Square.
  • Bjorn Stromsness – if there’s one guy who’s the right guy for FIBFest at Andros South, it’s Bjorn.  He writes Bonefish on the Brain, a blog about nothing but bonefish.

We’re going to do our darndest to give you a bunch of different viewpoints on what a week on South Andros is all about.  If you want to follow along with us during the week, you’ll have plenty of chances.  Don’t worry, we’ll give you a reminder or two when the event is about to start…

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