Crooked Island, Bahamas
Hosted Bone Fishing!
The team at Elk River Guiding Company has been working hard exploring potential global destinations for the adventurous fly fisherman.
Our Crooked Island Bahamas trip is turning out to be an annual favorite. Click below on the pdf for more details and see why it's not hard to join us on an epic bonefishing adventure. Dates for 2015 are not set yet. Give us a call if you are interested.
We now offer extensive Global Angling Destination packages and hosted trips for the travelling Fly Angler! If you have questions on any global fly fishing destination.... call us... you will be suprised at what we know about lodges and outfitters around the world!
In the meantime....Call Now to book your spot on the 2015 Crooked Island, Bahamas Adventure. 1-877-423-7239
Here is a nice write up by one of our past clients-Its is worth the read!!
“Nervous water! I’ve got nervous water at ten o’clock – eighty feet!” It is day three of our sojourn to this Bahamian outpost and for the first time, I can actually see the wave of fish coming before they are right on top of me. Even with the wind pushing in my face, I manage a sad-sack facsimile of a double-haul and my fly lands softly some ten feet in front of the oncoming shadows. A trio of advance scouts pulls away from the school – darting directly toward the end of my line. “Strip! Strip! Faster! Stop! Pull! You got him!”
Pound for pound, it is hard to imagine a scaled animal that fights harder than a bonefish…even the smaller ones somehow manage to blast their way into the backing and every fish is a new adventure. I found their ferocity astounding, but I was also surprised to learn the importance of minimizing noise when stalking them and I was a sad witness to how quickly a pair of sharks chased down and devoured a released fish…all because the protective slime had been worn away during the handling involved in a requisite photo opportunity. Once the slime is gone – the sharks can smell them and with the fish already tired from trying to take every fly to Nassau, they don’t have a chance. The guides often even temporarily placed larger specimens in the live-well for release in a safer location…just another example of their expertise, professionalism and dedication toward preserving an incredible fishery.
I lucked into the opportunity to realize a long-postponed dream to fly fish the flats in the Bahamas through my brother. He is friends with Paul Samycia, the owner/operator of Elk River Guiding in Fernie, BC and it turns out that Paul has been organizing annual trips to a semi-secret hideaway on Crooked Island for the past eight years. After meeting him, I learned that Paul has made the trips a bit of an annual pilgrimage that offers him an opportunity to unwind in the sun prior to the beginning of the guiding season back home – when there aren’t ever enough hours in a day to get everything done that needs doing to properly manage a successful guiding business. He is truly a sweet guy – loves to fish, knows virtually everyone on the island (most treat him now like family), knows what he is talking about and enjoys a cold Kalik at the end of a long day in the Caribbean sun just like the rest of us.
I admit when I first heard the word Bahamas, the word ‘expensive’ popped into my mind, but it turned out to NOT at all be the case. Considering that all our accommodation, meals and the dedicated services of three incredibly professional guides were included in the package – I consider that we all got the bargain of a lifetime. With all the trips Paul has organized previous, the kinks have long ago been worked out and we stayed in beautiful bungalows right on a completely deserted, white, sandy beach complete with lawn chairs; WiFi; television that few of us watched; kitchen facilities that we mostly just used for making coffee and storing beer and every other amenity you can imagine. Someone came every day to clean the rooms and make the beds and the hum of the air conditioner even drowned out the sound of my brother snoring…absolute heaven. We were treated every evening to a marvelously delicious and varied supper at the local restaurant and lunches were packed in ice-filled coolers on each boat. All three guide boats are spotlessly maintained with state of the art professional gear and those Yamaha motors get you to where you want to go in a hurry. I have fished some pretty skinny water in jet boats plying rivers near where I live, but I have never been 55 miles an hour in less than a foot of water in the ocean before! Way cool!
The highlight of my trip on a personal level was landing my first ever tarpon. I hooked the fish within four feet of a mangrove choked shore and Clinton cried out “Tarpon” perhaps five seconds before line started screaming from my reel. I have no idea how many steelhead and salmon I have caught in more than 30 years of avid angling, but none of them prepared me for the acrobatics of that prehistoric beast leaping repeatedly above my head! I vividly remember having to sit down in the bow, shaking my head and laughing as the fish continued to rip backing free from my Lamson, while the boat motored away from the mangroves. I had never seen a boa before, but thank the stars that Clinton had one and knew how to use it. I can’t imagine a safer or more humane way of safely subduing such a large fish destined for release unharmed and I remember being struck by how careful Clinton was in handling it for the brief period we had it out of the water. Interestingly, I learned later from Paul that Tarpon are actually able to breathe air...who knew?
On our final day fishing together, we all took a break from fly fishing – anchoring and mooching with live pilchard that the guides caught using a thrown net. We talked the guides into fishing also and learned unsurprisingly that they all love to fish just as much as we. That part of the day turned into a contest of sorts, with lots of laughs, triple headers and fish of all sizes and shapes. We caught jack tuna of all sorts, lady fish that seemed to spend almost as much time in the air as the water, numerous barracuda (wire leader a necessity when these puppies are around) and several mutton snapper (surprisingly good fighters and our main target species, as we were instructed to bring back supper). Clinton had a six foot shark leap clear of to water to grab the small jack he was trying to release and my brother had the same thing happen with a lady fish mid-leap. It was the only day we got caught in a tropical downpour, but it didn’t stop us fishing for a second and the mutton snapper was absolutely delicious.
Many years ago, a group of friends and I used to travel to the Queen Charlotte Islands (now Haida Gwaii) on an annual, week-long steelhead trip. We always caught lots of fish, were treated to sights that few people ever get to see and after we returned a few times in a row – we were welcomed by the locals and treated like we belonged. Within a week or so of returning home – we would all start talking about ‘next year’ and begin making tentative plans for a repeat. Despite this was my first trip ever to Crooked Island, I was left with the same sense of being welcomed that I remember from those cherished trips to Haida Gwaii and I know already from speaking with the others I fished with that everyone plans to go back again next year. Thanks very much Paul for being such a great host and arranging what for me was truly the trip of a life time. ~Archie~
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