Sounds like a typical day at one of our lodges to us..
Alaska | The Bahamas | Chile
We love casting, and a little casting practice can go a long way in preparation for a fishing trip. After all, it’s always better to shake some of the rust off ahead of time, rather than during the first day of your trip.
However, we also realize that casting over grass is not nearly as exciting as casting over fish, and not everyone has the free time to work on their cast day in and day out.
That’s why we love our casting platform at Andros South. Don’t have the time to work out the kinks before your trip? No problem. Spend some time dialing in your cast upon arrival, and hit the water ready to roll the following morning.
Today we kick off our 2016/2017 bonefishing season at Andros South, and needless to say we’re pretty excited.
We’ll be reporting each day from our humble abode here on South Andros Island, and plan on keeping you up to date as the season unfolds.
Let the bonefishing begin!
Great fishing can make for a good fishing trip, but its often the other things, aside from the fishing, that make a good fishing trip great. Wildlife is one those things.
Sort of like this stunning shot of an immature bald eagle captured by photographic stud, Abe Blair, while on site at Rapids Camp Lodge.
Direct nail knots that is..
With less than a week out from the opening day of our bonefishing season at Andros South, our focus has turned to dialing in our saltwater gear, and we have a feeling the same is true for many of you as well!
As you might expect, we see a lot of bonefishing rigs over the course of the year, and a common mistake we see from our anglers, especially those new to saltwater fly fishing, are nail knots used to connect the leader to the fly line or to connect the fly line to the backing.
Therefore, we thought it was time to run a post to stress, when rigging up for the salt..
“What’s the big deal?” You might be thinking, “They’ve always held for me in the past.” Sure, in many freshwater or other cold water applications, the nail knot is a great knot, and does a great job at connecting cold water fly lines to leaders and backing with a slim, but also strong, connection.
However, when it comes to bonefishing, most modern saltwater fly lines designed for tropical conditions are constructed using some sort of monofilament core. Monofilament allows the line to remain stiff in tropical climates, unlike the cores used in cold water lines which can become excessively limp when the temperature rises. Monofilament is also extremely slippery, often times creating a weak adhesion of the core to the coating of the fly line.
So what does this have to do with nail knots? Connecting a leader to a tropical fly line with nothing more than a single nail knot does little to compress the actual core of many fly lines, and instead only cuts into the coating of the fly line. The result is the coating sliding straight off the end of the fly line with an abrupt pull on the leader.. And that’s not good.
So, when connecting leaders and/or backing to tropical fly lines, we always recommend using knots that double the fly line over, thus compressing both the coating and the core of the line. A few options include:
When it comes to bonefishing, say no to direct nail knots, try using the options above instead, and save the heart ache of watching your fish, leader, and potentially entire fly line get away.
At Andros South Lodge, its not uncommon to come across massive congregates of schooling bonefish in the hundreds (no, not an exaggeration). Often times, such schools are a welcome sight to the frustrated angler experiencing a slow day chasing singles and doubles. Sometimes, they do just the opposite.
After all, what’s more frustrating than being refused by a bonefish? Being refused three hundred bonefish!
However, today’s post is to remind you that bonefish school for a few reasons, the primary of which is to protect themselves from predators. A school of bonefish can become spooked by predators entering a flat hundreds of feet away. In fact, we witness bonefish on a daily basis acting unusual, only to see a shark or barracuda swim by in the next few minutes.
So, the next time you find yourself distraught, asking yourself, “why won’t any of those fish eat my fly!?” Relax. Look around. Odds are the answer is swimming up from behind.
Today’s post comes from the ‘topics you asked us to write about‘ category!
Spey casting is a fun, efficient, and versatile way cover a whole bunch of water. There are numerous casts (and variations of those casts) designed to present your fly in situations which would be otherwise impossible with a traditional overhead cast. However, for many anglers new to spey casting, it can be really confusing as to how to determine which spey cast to use, and when to use it.
There are a number of variables present on the river, all of which can dictate which cast (or even variation of such cast) will be best for a particular situation. Some of these variables include, but are certainly not limited to; wind direction, the side of the river you’re casting from (river position), present obstacles and obstructions, the desired presentation of your fly, and so on. However, today we’re going to talk about the two most governing factors in determining which spey cast to use for most every situation; wind direction and river position.
Safety should always be of the most utmost concern when spey casting. No one wants a hook in the head, especially the size of which are most often associated with spey casting, and choosing your cast with the wind direction in mind is crucial to keeping you out of harms way of your fly.
We like to simplify the wind direction as either upstream (blowing in a direction traveling upriver) or downstream (blowing in a direction traveling downriver). This direction dictates which side of the body the anchor must be placed in order to keep the line (and thus, fly) from being blown into our body during the cast.
For example, if the wind is blowing upstream, it is crucial that we choose a cast which places our anchor on the upstream side of our body so that the wind will help to carry the line safely away from our body during the forward cast. Such is true in the opposite scenario as well; with a downstream wind, a cast must be chosen which places the anchor on the downstream side of the body.
Obviously, in the event of a calm day, or a wind blowing either head on or directly away from you, casts can be chosen with anchors on either side of the body. However, keep in mind that even the slightest cross breeze can reposition your line into an unsafe position. Always veer on the safe side.
Aside from wind direction, the other major factor dictating which cast to choose is your river position, or perhaps better put, the side of the river you’re casting from.
We like to simplify our position on the river as either river right (on the righthand bank when looking downstream) or river left (on the lefthand bank when looking downstream). Knowing which side of the river you’re casting from (along with whether you cast right or left handed) helps dictate which cast we can use, and how to perform it (whether off of our dominant or non-dominant side).
For example, lets say you’re casting from a river left position, with an upstream wind, and prefer to cast right handed (with your right hand on top). The wind direction immediately dictates that we must choose a cast which places the anchor upstream of our body. Therefore, a few casts we could choose from could be a snap T, circle spey, or a single spey to name a few. Due to the fact that we are a right handed caster, casting from river left, each of these casts will performed off of the dominant side.
Now, lets jump over to the other side of the river, on river right, but still assuming an upstream wind. We must still choose a cast which puts the anchor upstream of us, but because our river position has changed, so must our execution. For a right handed caster, appropriate casts now might still include a snap T or circle spey, but they must now be executed “cack handed” (such that casts across the body off of the non-dominant shoulder).
Note: Keep in mind, casters who are able to cast both right and left handed are afforded the advantage to always cast off of the appropriate dominant shoulder regardless of the wind direction or river position.
More often than not, there are more than one effective spey cast to use for a given situation. However, an appropriate cast can be narrowed down by remembering the following.
Always think about these two factors before starting down a run and you’ll be sure to choose the best cast for the situation at hand.