Tag Archives: tropical

Environment: Easy Little Things That Make A Big Difference

The overwhelming push on environmental issues that are far from clear like anthropologic climate change on social media sometimes results in easily understood and non controversial  ones to be overlooked.  For instance, water quality in our communities’ waterways has declined over the past decades, yet not a lot of people are aware of the issue and how easily they can change their behavior to improve it.

Whether inland or along the coast in Florida, decades of fertilization of yards has resulted in lush landscapes around most neighborhoods.  The unintended consequence is run-off of excess fertilizer into adjacent streams, ponds, lakes and rivers.  The resulting nutrient load in the water results in algae blooms and uncontrolled growth of various submerged and emergent grasses and plants.  In the worst of cases, oxygen levels plummet and living creatures throughout the water column die.

Even cutting grass and allowing it to get washed into storm water sewers has the same effect, as the clippings contain high amounts of nutrients that are easily released into the water, upsetting the natural balance.

In order to combat these problems, many communities have asked their residents to suspend fertilizer application through the rainy season, June – December.  Doing so will help to prevent the run-off from thunderstorms being so easily loaded with excess nutrients.

In addition, several counties and municipalities  are using placards and public information campaigns to educate the population on how to avoid sending clippings downstream into bodies of water by simply being mindful of where your mower sheds clippings.  Don’t blow them into the street, send them back across the yard where they can degrade and release the nutrients into the lawn, where you want them anyway.

Simple problems and simple solutions are easy to understand.  They don’t contain hidden agendas or the creation of “credits” made out of a nebulous idea that go to an equally mysterious bank.

If your neighborhood lacks a similar program, get involved and get one started.  The cost is low and the benefit to the environment is real.

Check out how its being done along the Indian River Lagoon in Brevard County, Florida.  Its a great example of how little ideas can have a big impact.


Salt Bum Environmental Issues
Protect Local Waterways
Salt Bum Environmental Issues
Mark Drains For Awareness


When I hear people talk of fly fishing as a sport, I silently disagree and hope that they might someday evolve and recognize it in its purest form, a lifestyle.

While it may seem off-putting or elitist to say, its truly how I feel.  To me, its more than reaching for a different piece of equipment when I’m fishing.  Fly fishing is what bends my perception of this planet.  You know, the one that sports a surface made up primarily of water.  I see through that lens  when I view my day, week or future years.  When I talk with friends, it is always there, even if just below the surface.

Fly fishing wasn’t always that for me, but it has been now for so long, I have a hard time remembering it any other way.

As a kid, I travelled a lot on summer breaks from school.  Camping our way from Memorial Day to Labor Day, my family and I have explored all over the United States and Canada.  My memories from those adventures are cherished, yet more recent travels spurred by fly fishing have meant more to me.

The reason for the enhanced quality of the fly fishing travel is certainly due to the bonds that were made and kept with fellow anglers that accompanied me.

There  have been many fish caught and released along the way, yet its the camaraderie that my memory keeps vivid.

Sports have seasons, competition and champions.  The fly fishing lifestyle I’ve grown to love has none.

When I see companies that recognize that lifestyle matters more than SPF factor and how waterproof a bag might be, I’m more inclined to spend my money with them.

Howler Brothers is one such company.  If you don’t get the sense that these guys are living a lifestyle, you may not have a pulse or have given up on life.

Fly Fishing is calling, will you Heed the Call?

Howler Brothers

DIY Bonefish On Fly – Planning The Adventure

Bahamas Goombay Punch Bonefish Fly Fishing
My Thoughts Are Beginning To Wander To The Islands

One of my partners in crime recently found out that we have been granted access to a condo in the Bahamas when we want to take advantage of it.  The news sent my mind reeling with thoughts of morning tides that overtake mangrove propagules that have taken root in soft marl in the far reaches of a coastal creek.

The image of sunlight flashing from an upturned tail breaking the surface draws me like a moth to flame.

I have things that could be more productive that need to be down, yet I pour over aerial maps on Bing and Google looking for areas of promise that will soon be within reach.

To me there is nothing more rewarding than plotting a course that takes me to a new area where I think bonefish will await my unfurling loop of fly line.

The hunt is still a ways away, so for now I’ll continue to plan.

When I step into the warm salty waters somewhere within the archipelago of The Bahamas, I’ll be ready.

A Lesson Learned 4200 Miles From Home

Sight fishing in the gin clear waters of an estuary where you routinely hear waves pounding the shore just over the dunes can lead you to believe you’re dialed in when it comes to how you handle a fly rod. Sure, you’ve got to be vigilant, eye on the ball at all times and ready to get in the game the moment a fish appears, but for the most part it becomes a matter of routine. Leading a redfish or trout is a calculation that happens in the blink of an eye, or rather the moment in time that it takes to develop a backcast and shoot line to the spot where you want the intercept angle to originate.

Recently a trip to Alaska opened my eyes to line control in a big way. I spent two weeks, nearly 16 hours a day immersed in a clinic put on by two guys that dissect water in a way that had my attention. Seriously, there was no end to the nuance of the ways they covered every possible spot a fish might be laying in wait for a passing meal.

A lot of humor comes at the expense of trout anglers when they’re on the pointy end of a skiff facing an onshore breeze that seems to keep their intended target just outside of casting range. Guides can spin yarns at the dock over a morning cup of coffee that will have you in stitches as they recall a sport that nearly started a tropical storm whipping fly line to and fro in a panic at the sight of a fish.

For the record, I’ve told a few of those stories as well.

Now, I have to tell you there is some modicum of truth to the generalizations made relative to casting skills between trout anglers and someone who spends most of their time in salt. Its simply a fact of life. The clinic I witnessed in the wilds of Alaska changed my overall bias towards the skills required to fish successfully on a river or stream.

In its most simple form, I’ll call it line control. The cast is merely an introduction from what I saw. A howdy-do, per se. The conversation that follows was the interesting part of the encounter. While it wasn’t 100% sight fishing, it was so akin to it, the line control I witnessed made it clear to me that the essence of it was the exact same thing.

Just like in shallow water sight fishing their is a point where the magic was going to happen. The point in space where a collision was going to occur and the line would come tight. The tug.

Anytime I was on the down current end of the raft, casting to a spot where I thought a fish would be lying in wait; from time to time, there was. Fish on. Yet, when I was on the oars, I would watch these two cast to a similar target, yet their fly would skate or drift through the same point in slow motion, lingering in the sweet spot begging to be eaten. The difference being plainly, my offering was there and gone in the blink of an eye.

They caught fish at a rate of 3 to 1 compared to my effort.

As I watched them, I started to realize that they were more connected to what the fly did once it was in the water. Getting it there was just the beginning compared to my approach which was to have it arrive at the destination.

Mend. Mend. Mend, Goddamit!

Well, its not just for trout fishing anymore in my mind. What?!?

Mending in saltwater sight fishing? YES.

But thats a technique to reduce line drag to ensure a dead drift for wary trout…

Agreed, but the principles of it apply to feeding fish on the flats as well. After making a cast to a moving fish, the ability to adjust the angle of a retrieve more subtlety is invaluable. If you can do it without picking up fly line and recasting you avoid spooking a fish by having line in the air.

I now find myself kicking out line to drag an angle to an arch or raising the rod tip to sweep the fly line to one side or the other to get the fly to where I want it, the point of collision, rather than re-casting.

This change in tactics has accounted for plenty of hook-ups where in the past they likely wouldn’t have happened.

I’ll never look at a trout fishing the same way again.

DIY Bahamas Bonefish Excursion

The past few weeks have been filled with days of building anticipation for the good times and fishing that is to come.  Three intrepid angling souls will pack up flies, rods and reels in just two days and retract the landing gear to head southeast into the archipelago of The Bahamas.

The unknown challenges of going it alone is the greatest appeal for “Do It Yourself” in a far flung location, but the rewards are epic when they come.

The entire experience is an adventure.  Beyond the simplicity of making a call to any of the fine bonefish lodges that dot the island nation, the search for shelter is just the beginning in a DIY adventure.  Scouring Google Maps for potential flats that will be both accessible and productive consumes hours of time as the date approaches.

For now, its back to packing and double checking gear…