More Smiling Irish Eyes
December 3rd: Another great week of bonefishing at the Club, despite the still breezy weather. On Saturday Alex and Trish Findlater rounded off their last full day of fishing with 18 bonefish to the boat, guided by Ishi. Their bag total was exactly matched by Craig Bacher & Bob Shaunessy in a half day outing, also winding up their visit; they were guided by Robin.
Three serious Irish fly-fishermen – Angus Sutherland, Denis Daly and the well-known salmon and trout expert Peter O’Reilly – arrived on Saturday night and they were pressed straight into action on Sunday morning, with Club Manager, Sandy Walker, taking the spare seat in the boat. Although none of the new arrivals had ever fished for bonefish before, they had a great start, boating 47 fish between them in one day, guided by Robin and Ishi.
The next three days, which included a sortie to Cherokee Sound, were quieter with just 21 fish between the two boats, Peter Milne from Luxembourg completing the foursome. Thursday was a bit better, with 13 fish. Then on Friday the team returned to form with 34 bones, including four fish around 6lbs in weight, while guided by Donnie & Robin. To complete their visit, Denis Daly and Peter O’Reilly took a final half day on the water before flying home and boated another 19 fish while guided by Ishi.
In total, with just two boats out each day, Club anglers have taken 177 bonefish since last Saturday, with a good number of the bones weighing between 4lbs and 6lbs. This is the third year in a row in which early December has delivered excellent bonefishing catches as large shoals gather in the Marls.
Lest anyone should think bonefishing is either easy or all about numbers, the three Irish musketeers would be the first to admit that they were profoundly challenged by the demands of saltwater fly-fishing for these unforgiving fish, often in 20mph winds; they suffered many mishaps, to the amusement of the guide team. But they certainly fished over a lot of fish and had the opportunity to learn from their mistakes. And they greatly enjoyed the whole experience. As the Irish say, “The craic was mighty”.