Good friend Coach Duff just put out a new short video of some of his fish in Oahu, where some of the largest bonefish I have ever seen reside. Check it out here:
After returning from a good friends lodge in Honduras for a week of fantastic bone and permit fishing, I was delighted to come back and read up a bit on another locale near and ear to my heart, Hawaii. A short time ago, the owner of the Fly Fish Journal, Jeff Galbraith contacted myself and good friend Brian Bennett of Moldy Chum for a hook up with a guide in the isles and of course none other came to mind that my long time friend Coach Duff. In short, this is more to welcome Jeff to a new form of angling addiction — warm saltwater! Jeff, relax there are only 2 dozen countries with hundreds of thousands of miles of shoreline to scratch that itch! Read a bit of Jeff’s recount on their blog here:
More on Honduras very soon!
I met Blake years ago when he mailed me an application and resume to work for us. I was immediately drawn to a number of things about this kid, at the time a kid and still one to me in a fatherly sense only. He was young but had taken considerable effort in having a professional resume that was littered with legit experience, no fluff or made up/name dropping experience. What really made me pay attention however was the fact that he had understood at such a young age that including some of his better and favorite images of his time in the sport would enhance his qualifications — it did!
It is just my opinion but when you have all the tools of a great guide and I mean all of them — chameleon like personality, boat handling skills, articulate, well traveled, amazing casting and instructing skills, patience, infectious demeanor and you parade around with zero attitude but still bearing the patch of passion on your shirt sleeve or tattooed on your forehead and forget to include photography, you have missed the boat. These two entities, fly fishing and photography should really be considered Siamese twins, joined at the hip as one captures the essence of why we do the other and that doesn’t always mean the fish.
Beautiful shots Blake, see you soon buddy! Get to know Blake more here: Blake McHenry
Happy spring everyone, look for Blake and I to be putting together a co-hosted trip to Africa and the South Pacific in 2012 or 2013 at the latest.
Now for the story.
The day before I was supposed to fish with this guy (Takashi) and got a flat tire towing my boat in Waikiki. I mean right in Waikiki on Kuhio. I drug it off the road a couple blocks later in front of his hotel. Later Lex Brodie tires found an f–king screwdriver in my tire, typical Hawaiian roads.
So as you know Dodge wheels have a tendency to seal and with some rust, couldn’t get the thing off for 5 hours, even had insurance company send out a wrecker with a breaking bar and he couldn’t. I ended up lying on my back in the street with a viking berserker who just drank 4 cups of shroom tea in a rage and mule kicking it off.
So my client was f–ked and lost the whole day. I like this guy a lot and on day two we needed to get him a fish. He hooked this fish tailing with a money presentation right on the edge and immediately threw slack and turned off the Hatch drag which I’ve taught him to do. The fish still ran straight down and the area he hooked it in is 11 feet deep off the flat. The backing got caught on the bottom and we were gonna lose this baby so I ripped off my chest pack and Oakleys off handed them to Takashi, and jumped in. I swam to the bottom, unf–ked the line and backing which was wrapped around coral heads, and as it freed the fish ran up in the water column and while under free spool came tight. I swam up to the surface, crawled to the edge and we landed the bitch. I looked like a drowned rat and we were both high fiving and screaming BANZAI!
Takashi was PUMPED. He now calls me Kamakazie Coach.
Hey, when a guy sits with you for 5 hours on the side of the road and misses his fishing day due to a an evil devil worshiping flat tire and buys YOU lunch and beers goddamnit you net that fish for him by any means. One of my favorite 5 landed bonefish ever. Thought you’d get a laugh at this one. Hope everyone’s lines are tighter than a mosquitos ass on a rain barrell. Aloha and A hui ho!!!!!
First trip of 2010 to Hawaii and what a doozie. First, weather was all over the place, super high winds one day to absolute glass the next, rain in between and intermittent clouds and sun. For Hawaii, a real pain in the butt sometimes.
However, on other fronts, while there to finish up some photos for an upcoming article, I did get to actually fish without remorse, meaning my family was not along, so I could FOCUS!
While I snapped off a few fish and had a handful of refusals, I also had simply put, a life changing experience in the world of bonefish. There will always be questions regarding what I am about to say. We didn’t land it or even get a good shot at it but this bonefish we saw was pushing well into the mid to high 40 inch range. First spotting it, I was convinced in the mottled water that is was multiple fish shadowing each other.
To my surprise and utter speechlessness, it was a single fish and at 40 feet, I have to imagine this fish was mid 20 pounds as every other fish we saw for the next couple days were mere dwarfs to this monstrosity and many of them were over 10 pounds. This fish was every bit of twice plus some of those 10+ pounders.
I am forever a different angler on the flats knowing bones that big really do exist and knowing I may never see one of that stature again in my life.
As we watched it elegantly slither away some 150 yards, he/she finally lost our sights when the sun disappeared behind a cloud, temporarily blanketing the water with an impenetrable glare.
The 3 of us Coach, Doug and myself sat and all we could come up with is, well, we did get that blowfish…