Because not all clown sightings are creepy.. At least not in our neck of the woods.
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.
More on Schooling Bonefish
We’ve said it many times before, but we love fishing giant flies for our trout in western Alaska. Some might assume that that’s because we subscribe to the ‘big fly, big fish’ theory of fly selection..
However, in our neck of the woods, abundant food sources and a short growing season lends itself to trout, both big and small, pouncing on flies the size of which might be more at home in a largemouth bass pond than a trout stream.
Don’t believe us? Just ask the juvenile dolly varden hanging out of the mouth of the, oh, ten inch rainbow trout shown above. Small fish eat big flies too!
More About Alaskan Trout
No, not really.. That’s just a ‘jack’ king salmon in full spawning garb caught by our buddy Chandler Cook at Alaska West Lodge.
Many anglers are aware of the shocking transformation of our beloved king salmon as they transition from the chrome bright appearance from their years at sea, to the brilliant ‘fire-truck’ red as they approach the end of their journey to spawn.
However, many of our guests are surprised to learn that ‘jacks,’ younger king salmon (typically 1-3 years old) that have returned with their adult brethren, in our neck of the woods, actually take on a goldish/brown appearance more characteristic of the spawning colors of a brown trout or Atlantic salmon than that of a mature chinook.
We welcome the return of jacks each year to our home river, not only because we think they add to the awesome variety of our fishery, but also because they often round out the final species for a few anglers each season lucky enough to land the salmon grand slam, which we think is pretty darn cool.
More About King Salmon
Not a breath of wind, hardly a cloud in sight, and water so calm you can often hear the fish before you spot them. This is how you want your day to start at Andros South.
These are the conditions serious flats anglers long for. Because the fishing’s so good? Hardly. In fact, glassy calm days can be some of the most challenging, or at least mentally taxing, days on the water. In our opinion however, that just cranks up the fun factor an extra notch.
After all, humility is a big part of bonefishing. A part which, call us strange, we actually appreciate!
Tips for Glassy Days
When asked, “what color would you best describe bonefish to be,” most anglers would likely answer somewhere in the silver, gray-ish, or drab white category.
That wouldn’t be far off from the truth of course. After all, it is the reflective quality of a bonefish’s scales that are responsible for their elusive, often ghost-like nature we all know and love.
However, one thing we really dig about bonefish is that, contrary to popular to popular belief, their pearlescent appearance often produces colors not easily captured by a simple snapshot. From bright greens, to subtle pinks, to (if you’re lucky) vibrant blues, each and every fish is unique.
Come catch a few and see for yourself!
More Pretty Pictures of Bonefish
Today we present you with nothing more than a photo that any hardcore salmon or steelhead angler will appreciate..
We talk all the time about how much we love catching big salmon and steelhead at our lodges, the majority of which are as bright as the face of nickel – a tell tale sign of fish fresh from the ocean. We’re really fortunate to have lodges located so close to the ocean that we’re able to target salmon and steelhead having entered our rivers in only a matters of hours – something we think is pretty darn special.
While flipping through photos of the summer past, we recently stumbled across this photo of a healthy king salmon as bright as can be. There’s bright, and then there’s chrome bright, and we think this photo does a good job at illustrating the difference.