December 2014


See Jim Belushi and Jimmy Kimmel in the trailer of Buccaneers & Bones on Outdoor Channel.

Newcomers Jimmy Kimmel and Jim Belushi catch their first bonefish as they join the cast of Huey Lewis, Yvon Chouinard, Tom McGuane, Lefty Kreh, and Bill Klyn at Bair’s Lodge in South Andros Island in The Bahamas to pursue the treasure of the saltwater flats – the bonefish. – Discover Bair’s Lodge: http://bit.ly/BairsLodge

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The buccaneers returning to the most storied angling destinations.

Posted on December 24, 2014 by Nervous Waters Get ready for a 6th. season of adventure, as the iconic cast of anglers – along with a few new friends – reconvene at Blair´s Lodge on South Andros Island to pursue the treasure of flats. Buccaneers & Bones will debut on Outdoor Channel this Friday at 6:30 and 9:00 AM, and Saturday at 6:30 AM and 5:00 PM (all times ET) Discover Bair’s lodge  

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Bob Gino had left his comments about Bair’s.

Posted on December 23, 2014 by Nervous Waters After his visit to Bair´s Lodge, in South Andros, Bob says: “I like to ffer constructive criticism to the places I visit that I plan on returning to, as I plan to come here again, but have nothing to offer in theway improving the operation. The managers and staff are friendly and attentive, food is delicious and healthy and the accommodations are very clean and comfortable, but having fly fished in the salt many time I was so impressed with the guides. Their attitudes are the best I’ve seen. Salt water fly fishing is more difficult than most people know and typically salt guides have little patience for the seasoned novice. This is a fishing trip after all and these guys can make or break the experience. I fished with Leslie, Gary and Ron, and to a man, great guys.  Also the fishing is great, large bones and plenty of them!”   Discover Bair’s Lodge

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Yule Love It, Holiday Gift Guide

6 must-haves for travel-savvy fly fishers looking to escape With anglers pining to make jailbreaks from winter’s bleak grip, the months between December and spring thaw mark great opportunities to escape. And if you haven’t booked destination trips yet, you’re at least dreaming about walking colorful flats teeming with tailing bones or anticipating blanket mayfly hatches on the best trout waters across the planet. With that in mind, we’ve assembled a Yule-Love-It list of game-changing products and last-minute destination specials for those about to merrily hit the water this holiday season and beyond.   Made in the Shade Costa’s new Cortez Sunglasses take their name from Mexico’s fish-rich Sea of Cortez. Drawing from this inspiration, sunglasses feature a great blend of style and comfort meets high-caliber optics. We’ve tested Costa 580 lenses, available for the Cortez, from Abaco and Bair’s to the Florida Keys and Cuba and, when it comes to fish-spotting, glare-cutting credentials, they’re some of the best. Cortez frames feature a large fit with a bold wrap shape, meant to block encroaching light from entering from the sides. The linear venting system alleviates lens fogging. Colors include: blackout, tortoise, shiny black, Realtree® Xtra® camo, crystal bronze, and white with a blue Costa logo. Costadelmar.com Constant Communication Picture yourself miles deep in the backcountry faced with a medical emergency and no signal from your smartphone carrier. This scenario happens more often than you might think. But thanks to the lightweight, easily packable SPOT Global Phone, you’re in good hands in no-man’s land. We’ve tested this simple, affordable SAT unit for the past year-and-a-half, successfully connecting with friends and loved ones from Lower 48 wilderness-areas to remote Bahamian atolls. The only place we struggled to lock in a signal was in Tierra del Fuego, where SPOT is currently resolving coverage […]

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Targeting Tararira

Expert tips for fly fishers in search of Argentina’s elusive River Wolf Tararira (Hoplias malabaricus) are native to Argentina and popular among regional flyfishers. Their behavior is comparable to pike or largemouth bass. Mainly living in stagnant shallow waters, they provide great top-water action and are known for their acrobatics. Although tararira are aggressive at times, they can also be a challenge. Especially in cooler water, when their metabolism slows and they become inactive. In theParaná River Delta, over the course of a day they’ll go from ignoring flies, to attacking a swimming duck. Quality fish in this area range from 3 to 6 pounds, but 10+ pounders have been caught. Ultimately, tararira are a unique gamefish that grow large, provide great sport, and are yours to discover. Conditions   The best fishing for tararira typically occurs in the morning when the sun is rising, as well as in the evening. Considering their poor eyesight, they need sufficient light in order to track their prey. Moderate to heavy cloud cover can produce some good tararira fishing, depending on the water temperature. Also, the less wind the better! Wind cools the water and can create enough turbulence to turn off the dry-fly bite. During midday heat, with high sun levels and few clouds, tararira move to shallower water and are less active. Approach How you approach tararira will depend on water conditions. In clear water, a slow and cautious approach is necessary to avoid spooking them. However, if the water is murky you can get a little closer to the fish. Casting requires a certain degree of accuracy, placing your fly in and around weeds and various structural elements where they seek shelter. Cover as much water as possible and keep in mind that the closer the fly is placed to […]

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Travel Right this Sea-Run Season

Tips from an anadromy addict The successful interception of anadromous fish requires one vital element above all: Timeliness. No doubt, being in the right places at the right times comes with benefits. Whether it’s fall migrations of Rio Grande-bound sea-run browns or summer steelhead from the Pacific Northwest, good timing (and great luck) means fish in the system, favorable water conditions, and stable weather. It’s that simple. Or, on the other hand, it’s that complex. Even with good timing, we’ve experienced enough fruitful (and failed) fishing trips over the years to know there are additional factors that help advance the cause. Or crater it when you’ve missed a vital step. The good news is that many of these aspects can be conquered in advance of your predetermined arrival in sea-run paradise. And they mostly fall under the category of preparation. So, before embarking on your next adventure consider the following tips for performing in unforgiving lands—where opportunity beyond securing the perfect week lies in your own hands. Source the Right Flies. Reaching Tierra del Fuego from any hub in the continental US requires logging some serious flight time. When you arrive, fly shops are nonexistent and, near season’s end, the string leeches lingering in your guide’s fly box are mostly ratty and ready for retirement. With that in mind, having an assortment of the right flies, from home, is always a good idea. If you’re not a fly-tier, your local fly shop can twist up a selection of the best variations with some advance-notice. Make sure you have guide-tested patterns and color-combos in various sink-rates and sizes to cover an array of water conditions. For a comprehensive list of proven Rio Grande patterns, click here. Fish the Right Heads and Tips. Spey fishing for large sea-run browns is something adept anglers […]

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Home Pool Haunts at Pira Lodge

In pursuit of a pioneering way Between dorado sessions, the Home Pool at Pira can be one of the most incredible places for those who enjoy the subtleness of ultralight flyfishing, with 000 to 2-weight rods. This little cut where we dock our flats skiffs offers a microenvironment of varied underwater habitat awash in slow moving seams and swirling eddies. Even the regular movement of people helps attract a diverse range of species that you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in the marsh.   Many of these exotics are not the kind of fish we dream to catch on a trip to Pira Lodge. But quite a few of them, particularly those little critters that most anglers ignore, with the right tackle, can provide not only great fun, but also interesting flyfishing lessons. During normal high-water conditions this intimate fishery is at its best. Some seasons as many as 12 to 15 different species frequent the Home Pool. Most of them will surely not ring a bell among anglers from other countries, but think for a minute: When was the last time you intentionally caught a fish that you didn’t even know existed? Yes, visiting flyfishers might catch “unknown” species while trying for celebrity fish like dorado. But they’ve usually overpowered them with heavy gear and, probably, are a bit insensitive toward these secondary catches. We’ve all been there. Modern approach to this sport, hobby, or art—whatever you want to call it—involves ingesting a huge amount of information that, in a way, reduces the surprise factor that old school anglers were prone to experience…. Long before the Internet age. At the Home Pool, with a light set-up and an open mind, the pioneering experience lives on. So if you’re heading to Pira Lodge this season, be sure to sneak […]

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Summer Fly-Fishing Tune Up

With resident casting expert, Oliver White  Oliver White has been fly-fishing for more than a decade and has traveled the world in pursuit of his passion. Formerly a guide in Jackson, Wyoming, and at Kau Tapen Lodge in Tierra del Fuego, Oliver was instrumental in Abaco Lodge’s development. He is a fixture in the Bahamas and on the adventure angling circuit, and has recently branched out into book writing, as well as a number of TV and film projects. Oliver is an expert salt- and freshwater angler and the only FFF-certified casting instructor in the Bahamas. Here are his tips for developing a winning casting stroke this season. 1) Stay connected   For seamless power transfer its essential to stay connected throughout the casting stroke A common mistake I often see anglers struggle with involves the introduction of slack line into the system. For the rod to load seamlessly, on both the back and forward stroke, your fly line must be tight at all times. When hauling for distance, for instance, your line hand needs to succeed, or follow, the rod as it unloads on the backcast. If you introduce line too soon, slack enters the equation and power is lost. Once you aren’t connected with a tight line, it’s over. 2) Wait on it. Especially the backcast   Patience is a virtue when it comes to making casts that pierce through the wind. Always make sure to wait on your back cast before beginning your forward stroke This is a great lesson, especially for casting in windy conditions. Anglers new to saltwater fly-fishing are often overly anxious to detonate the cast as quickly as possible. You see an approaching fish, you hear your encouraging guide calling out a medley of distances and foreign time zones, and your brain tells […]

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Slow, Deep, and BIG

Kau Tapen, March 8–15, 2014 As I mentioned last week, changing weather conditions have forced us to switch up our regular tactics: from small nymphs and rubber legs on intermediate tips to a more robust system of 3- to 4-inch leeches in bright chartreuse and orange tones fished on fast sinking tips, going down to a T20 in the deepest pools. After ten weeks on the trot, it’s a style of fishing that suits us guides perfectly. Gone are the sessions where guests need constant tutelage and adjustments in terms of fly choice and swing speeds. Instead, we’re taking on a more relaxed demeanour, confident in the knowledge that slow, deep, and big is the best approach. Considering the excellent catch statistics from Week 10, icluding the highest average weight for the season, the process is working. And we’re seeing larger, aggressive male fish factoring heavily into our catch counts, alongside some impressive females. Orazzio Gatti’s report card for the week is a testament to the quality of fish this river produces. Gatti landed 19 fish. His top three weighed in at 22, 19 and 17 pounds. Fishing alone, his 22 pounder was skilfully beached on the bank, while his guide managed to arrive just in time for the all-important photo shoot. Ponoi regular, Laurence Kiernan and his wife Andrea joined us from Germany. While Laurence battled with cold conditions on the river, Andrea adopted a more relaxed approach and took residency beside the cosy log fire in the lodge. Coming off the river each evening frozen to the bone, I looked at her enviously. Laurence landed some superb fish, but came just short of achieving his quest for a 20 pounder… maybe next time. Our top rod for the week, Chris O’Neill, fished with his wife Diane. Both steelheaders […]

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Spectrum of Emotions

Week 5 insights from Kau Tapen Lodge, Patagonia There is a phrase commonly used back home by anglers on the big western trout loughs (Irish lakes) that epitomizes precisely when he or she has reached wits end in a quest to outsmart tricky quarry. “I’m ready to jump in!” It’s a phrase I’ve used and a feeling I’ve experienced on more than one occasion, a type of torture by trout. On the opposite scale, on those days that either by luck or by crook you land a trout or two, I’ve heard the feeling of satisfaction described this way: “As good as the ride.” These are two ends of emotion anglers go through on a regular basis. The Rio Grande and its fabled sea trout are no different, producing incredible moments of jubilation while in a matter of hours leaving an angler lost and perplexed. It’s always interesting and at times amusing to watch a group of guests go through the spectrum as the trials and tribulations of a week’s fishing unfolds. Our group of guests this week experienced similar, enjoying some exceptional fishing, in fact the best so far this season in terms of numbers and size. Sea trout, however, by their nature can be moody fish and sessions of seven and eight fish followed by a blank leave anglers dumbfounded. It is not until the final session is over on Friday evening that a guest can sit back and process the rollercoaster of emotions experienced over the previous six days. Fortunately for us anglers, those moments of jubilation outweigh all others and leave us destined to search for more. Kau Tapen regulars Johannes Kahrs and Daniel Stephan joined us from Germany for their fourth successive season. Johannes, best described as a flamboyant character, allowed his emotions to ebb […]

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