OK, maybe there’s no such thing as Bonefish Magazine, but if there was a Bonefish Magazine, this could be the cover shot, right?
If you’ve spent any time at all around our web site, you know that we’re kind of nutty when it comes to spey fishing. If you’ve followed our first few seasons operating at Chile West, you also may know that there are some pretty incredible king salmon down there.
We’ve been catching these chinooks on gear in Chile pretty much since we started trying, and our team has been working hard to figure out the ‘swung fly’ program down there. We’re very happy to report that earlier this year, the Michael White/Trevor Covich team cracked the code and got ‘er done when Whitey landed the fish you see above in classic ‘winter steelhead’ fashion, using a two-handed rod, a sinktip, a swung fly presentation and a fly that would look right at home at Alaska West in late June.
Are we guaranteeing that from here on out, anybody who wants to spey fish for kings in Chile is going to have success? Absolutely not. We’ve still got a lot to learn about the king fishery down there, but for a certain kind of angler, that’s what makes it cool!
Note: if you follow us on Facebook, you get the blow-by-blow from all of our operations so you heard about this the day it happened. Sorry for the repeat!
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OK, so what do these 4 pictures have in common?
Yeah, they’re all shots of pretty darned nice-sized bonefish. But what else?
- Nobody in these photos is wearing shorts and T-shirts?
- There’s no sweat on anyone’s brow?
- You could even say that these guys are bundled up?
These shots were all taken during January of 2010, on the tail end of that epic cold front that screwed up fisheries from Florida through the Caribbean pretty royally. As usual we weren’t affected as severely on South Andros, but our guests were thrilled this week if the temperature broke 70.
Big bonefish like being on the flats when the water is just a little bit cooler. While we’ve got lots of beautiful warm weather days from March to May, guests who want to have the maximum number of shots at big bonefish tend to come between October and February. That’s not to say that we don’t get shots at the big boys on hot days in the late spring, but without a doubt big fish like it better when it’s cooler.
If you’re on South Andros and the weather isn’t scorching, don’t despair! Add a layer, get on out there, and check your knots extra well – you just might get a shot at a big boy.
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- There’s billions of them. OK, not billions, but it’s putting it mildly to say that fishing for silver salmon at Alaska West is a ‘numbers-oriented’ fishery. We catch lots and lots of them.
- They eat poppers. And pollywogs. And wet flies and…well, in certain circumstances, pretty much anything. Yes, certain flies work better than others sometimes but these fish aren’t picky.
- They fight like hell. They jump, and cartwheel, and peel line and bulldog you down deep.
We love our silver salmon at Alaska West, and if you join us anytime from the last week of July to the first week of September, you’ll love ’em too!
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We’re happy to crown Jason Burgett the winner of our first-ever Facebook photo contest. Jason visited us at Alaska West this past August to chase silvers and rainbows, and he submitted this gem of a picture on our Facebook page.
Yes, we did say that hero shots of big fish aren’t necessarily what we’re looking for, and no, this shot maybe isn’t destined for the cover of a magazine due to the guy dancing a jig in the background…but the pairing of the very big rainbow with Blake’s very big smile was just too much for us to pass up.
Congratulations, Jason! Thanks very much to everyone who participated. This certainly won’t be the last time – we’ll keep you posted on future contests.
More Great Submissions
Jerry Arnold is a good friend who has joined us at three of our operations in both hemispheres.
Nice fish, Jerry!