Chasing Ghosts, By Brian Irwin

Published by Brian Irwin, Fly Fishing International Magazine on September, 2022

If a barracuda doesn’t bite you, Bair’s Lodge is a perfect place to target bonefish in South Andros.

I was on the southern section of Andros, one of the Bahamas’ Out Islands, speaking with Leslie, a guide at Bair’s, a luxury Bahamian lodge specializing in fly fishing for bonefish. Leslie suddenly said, “Once I got 46 stitches from a barracuda bite.”

Show me the scars!” I said, but Leslie would not oblige. “Never shown them before. So, I can’t. I once had that famous guy, Ted Williams, offer me $5,000 to show them. I passed.

While you often hear Andros and bonefish in the same breath, barracuda bites aren’t the type of thing you hear about every day, and fly fishers, renowned and average Joes, have been coming to Andros for a long time. But unlike the more touristy Bahamian destinations, it retains a remote, genuine feel. About 100 miles long (although broken into three sections by wide inlet-like cuts known as the bights), Andros is the largest landmass in all the Bahamas, a chain of 700 islands spread out over an area greater than the size of the Gulf of Mexico. The island didn’t have power until 1987 and remains sparsely settled. There’s still no municipal water supply, and there’s only one ATM. What you have is a wonderful place to reset your mind. And perhaps catch some bonefish, as it’s arguably the richest and healthiest bonefish fishery in this hemisphere.

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