THE ANGLING REPORT, June 2015
“Three longtime subscribers, Mike Galvin, Deke Welles, and Jed Lyons, have very good things to say about a trip they took in May 2014 to The Delphi Club (www.delphi-bahamas.com) on Abaco Island in the Bahamas. They were all very pleased with the experience, especially Mike Galvin, who says he had the most productive single day of fly fishing he ever experienced. And that is saying something because he has fished for bonefish, he says, for 25 years.
“In all, he says he brought 15 fish to the boat in one day, ranging in size from four up to eight pounds, with the balance weighing around three pounds. The eight-pound bonefish, he says, was the largest one that had been caught at that point by a Delphi Lodge guest last year. One of the fish was particularly thrilling to land, Galvin says, because it was grabbed and half swallowed at one point by a shark. Fortunately, his guide was able to pole quickly over to the shark and prod it with his pole until it released the fish. Interestingly, upon landing the fish, Galvin found there was hardly a tooth mark on it even though the shark had thrashed about with it in its jaws. Ultimately, the largely uninjured bonefish was released safely back into the wild.
“Galvin says he was particularly impressed on this trip with his guide’s ability to spot fish even in cloudy conditions. One afternoon, after sitting out a morning of intense rain, he says his guide spotted numerous bonefish for him in very cloudy conditions, a half dozen of which he was able to bring to the boat. All were in the three-pound range. ‘This happened on a day we all assumed we would not be fishing at all, let alone catching anything,’ he writes.
“’The Delphi Club accommodations, food, wine, and hospitality are exquisite,’ Galvin goes on to write. ‘Owner Peter Mantle runs as tastefully appointed and genuinely welcoming a bonefish lodge as any of us had ever experienced. Delphi Club is a lodge that spouses, male or female, would find inviting even if they weren’t interested in fly fishing, thanks to the presence of a pool and a breathtaking private beach out front. The lodge has eight bedrooms and large and gracious dining and gathering spaces both inside and out. The facility sits high on a bluff with an expansive view that is quite remarkable for the Bahamas. The architecture and decor is British West Indies comfortable, replete with antiques and plush wooden furniture. We felt as if we were staying at a large country home and we were members of a house party. This was reinforced by the repartee and camaraderie around the long dining table and the presence of an eclectic group of guests from around the world.
“’In addition to providing the opportunity to fish the abundant bones on the marls, Delphi provides an equal chance to fish the extensive flats of Cherokee Sound on the east side of Abaco. Both are short car and boat rides from the club,’ he continues. ‘Guests can also try for permit here by casting for them from the shore in front of the Lodge. Alas, we were unsuccessful when we tried on our first day. All in all, this was as memorable and rewarding a trip to the Bahamas as any of us had ever experienced.’”
Recent Guest Feedback
“My wife and I have been to several saltwater locations and your lodge ranks at the top”.
Julien M, Virginia USA – April 2015
“We had a good time at Delphi with our friends and joined a very convivial party of guests from many countries. Our fishing was rewarding and we both caught several bonefish… They were all in the 2-4lbs range but roared off and fought well.
“What a wonderful lodge you have established and it all seemed to work effortlessly with nice staff and good food. Max was very efficient and everything worked smoothly from our arrival till our rather early departure’’.
Freddie W, Scotland – March 2015
“We had good fishing and your club is lovely. We will certainly be back”.
Susie C, USA – March 2015
‘’Everything was wonderful. Max is delightful… He works very hard and seems able to adapt to island life with all it’s foibles and small bumps in the road. The Vittles [sic] were terrific and guides and fishing were great…We had a lovely time with much discussion of returning”.
Tim B, New York – March 2015
“We had an absolutely marvellous time! The majority of guests last week were Club members. Indeed, we were the only Americans in the group. The food and wine were stellar and the conversations over dinner animated and far-ranging. Room 8 was truly a room with a (spectacular) view. Max, and other members of the staff could not have been more friendly and helpful. This was our first time bone fishing but we very much enjoyed the experience. Our stay, in short, was everything we hoped it would be”.
Tom B, Indiana USA – March 2015
Extracts from SPORTING CLASSICS, Nov-Dec 2014,
By Ron Spomer
The Delphi Club lodge, which looks like an antebellum plantation house, was built in 2008 on a high bank overlooking the Atlantic on the island’s eastern shore. Despite its size, it exudes a cozy, welcoming, relaxed atmosphere in which visitors quickly feel at home. Fine wines, fine dining, stimulating conversation, trade wind breezes, and best of all, fine fishing.
Sunshine, light breezes, blue skies, a strong- armed guide to pole your boat and fish that strip deep into your backing two or three times before bringing a mint-silver bone to the boat.
The flats around Great Abaco Island are literally under siege by bonefish. Long, sleek, silver bonefish. Hungry, powerful, fast bonefish. Swarming, prowling, tailing, nervous, cruising bonefish.
Over the years I’ve pursued these quintessential saltwater fighters as far from home as Christmas Island, yet neglected them right off the back porch of the U.S.A.
Today, Great Abaco is the forward support base for bonefishing in the Bahamas. The island’s airport lies just 100 miles east of Fort Lauderdale so you can fly from Miami to Marsh Harbor and be casting within two hours of taking off.
Tailing fish were common, but most impressive were roving schools that came ripping down the shores faster than a man can walk.
… Suddenly we had a double. Bowing rods, screaming drags, sizzling lines and all the other cliches in action. Against the horizon our travel partners, Dean and Susan, were bent over a double of their own. Before the day was over they would land more than 40 bones on the Marls, a series of mangrove-bordered mud flats that cover as many as 130 square miles on the west side of Great Abaco. Surprisingly, considering the numbers of fish and the island’s proximity to Florida, the Marls are largely unpeopled…
Don’t let the name fool you: The Delphi Club does have members, but operates as a commercial “lodge” open to non-members. Its staff strives to create the experience of going to a fishing lodge with your friends. Easy. Comfortable. A laid back, relaxed atmosphere with anything but a hotel’ feel. Our meals were sinfully good and the wine list superb.
Non-anglers can enjoy the pool, beach, birding, kayaking, spas, golfing and “blue holes” cave tours.
RECENT GUEST FEEDBACK
“Thanks for creating the most perfect place on earth for bonefishermen!”
Andy Z, New York – February 2015
“The good? There is nowhere else in the Caribbean – and very possibly the world – that runs such a meticulously thought through, on time, everything thought of and working, top-end creature comfort fishing lodge….. And I have been to a lot. There are one or two that come close and one or two that I could not chose between, but when you add the ease of getting to you, and the rather lovely Anglo-Irish flavor, it is unique. The bad? Well there is no bad…”
Gordon M, UK – November 2014
“The take away was all good memories of Abaco and the hospitality of the Delphi Club. The staff performed at a level 10/10. A true paradise in all respects – weather, fishing, fabulous food and a dinner table full of crazy conversation.”
Jon M, USA – April 2014
Angling Report: April 2014
Thumbs-up Fishing Review for Delphi Lodge on Abaco Island
Subscriber Richard L Philipson has good things to say about his stay this past month at Delphi Lodge on Abaco Island in the Bahamas (www.delphi-bahamas. com), despite awful weather that resulted in most of his party deciding to stay home.
He says the weather was so bad he was limited to fishing one half day and a total of four hours on two other days. Nonetheless, he reports catching seven bonefish and a small barracuda. “I saw lots of fish and had good casts to them, but I got a lot of refusals in spite of changing my fly repeatedly,” he writes. “Most of the fish I caught weighed two and a half to three pounds, but I definitely saw and cast to bigger ones.”
Philipson calls Delphi Lodge a very nice resort, singling out its cleanliness, its cedar closets, and its king-size four-posted beds for special mention. He calls the food particularly good and notes the staff was very friendly. The only other guests in the lodge were two British couples on an extended stay of two to three weeks, he says. That fact, plus the nationality of the owner and general manager (both Peter Mantle and Sandy Walker are Irish), left him feeling like he was at the “other Delphi Lodge,” Philipson says, referring to a salmon fishing Lodge in Ireland that Peter Mantle developed and sold before constructing his current facility in the Bahamas.
Philipson goes on to say he liked the short rides from the club to the boat ramps each day, plus the way guides were rotated at Delphi Lodge. “No one, including share owners of the lodge, can claim a particular guide for their stay,” he writes. “I had two different guides during my stay, and I felt they both did well in difficult conditions.”
GARDEN & GUN, December 2012
One of 25 reasons why the South is a sportsman’s paradise – Bonefish Lodge: The Delphi Club. You love to chase bonefish. The wife and kids, not so much. You can compromise. Or you can fly south to the Bahamas where Great Abaco Island’s Delphi Club offers world-class bonefishing from an eight-bedroom plantation-style lodge. Guests who aren’t fishing can go snorkeling, diving or birding, or just relax by the pool or on the lodge’s expansive porches. For guests who are, talented local guides and trophy bones await. frontierstravel.com.
TROUT & SALMON, December 2011
By Michael Shortt
“What Peter Mantle has created on Abaco is a synthesis of all that is best from Irish Delphi and other wonderful places around the world. It is an amazing blend of beautful location, glorious climate, sumptuous accommodation and food, huge fun and great fly-fishing. Best of all he has managed to import the wonderful house-party atmosphere of Delphi Ireland to this semi-tropical paradise. It’s a menu that, I fear, will become as addictive as did that Mayo valley all those years ago.” Full Article
IRISH TIMES, July 2011 & May 2012
By Derek Evans, Angling Editor
“Having been at the Delphi Club last year, and with more than fifty years of angling under my belt, the experience was the most spectacular, rewarding and enjoyable I have ever had.”
“With its stunning lodgings, location and menus, plus brilliant bonefishing, the Delphi Club can lay claim to being one of the finest saltwater fishing lodges in the world. I can vouch for that.”
COUNTRY LIFE, November 2010
By David Profumo
“Saltwater fly-fishing tends to happen in nice, hot places, but many are hard-core angling camps, and there are precious few destinations where the ‘fishing widow’ can also relax in comfort. One splendid exception is the new Delphi Club, on the out island of Abaco, where Peter Mantle (famed for his salmon lodge back in Connemara) has opened a luxurious, plantation-style resort on a bluff overlooking a pristine beach. ‘Fishing is not compulsory,’ the brochure firmly states. Imagine staying in a civilised house party, with first-class cuisine – Eggs Benedict for breakfast, anyone? – and you’ve got the general idea.
“We were dogged by lousy weather: cold winds make chasing flats species a tough pastime as they’re hard to spot and this is meant to be a sight-fishing experience. Even so, angling pressure here is so light that you can nearly always find fish especially in the Marls area – 400 square miles on the west side, where, even in a gale, my friend Fergus and I managed to hook a dozen bones in one day. If that’s a slow sport at Delphi, I’d love to be there during a bonanza.
“This would be an ideal place to try fishing the salt for the first time. Albula vulpes – often called the phantom of the flats – is thrilling, mirror-flanked speedster that you intercept with your artificial pattern as he scurries around the sea floor hovering up goodies. These are nervous creatures, so you need to be quick on the draw. At Cherokee Sound, on the Atlantic side, the schools get fished for more frequently and are altogether harder to fool; I had two nice sessions there with veteran guide Donnie, and hooked a four-pounder that took so much backing we had to follow him in the skiff. Another day, I ambushed a massive barracuda up a mangrove channel – at 32lb it was one serious unit, and I’m sure I heard it snarl as it came snapping for my surface lure.
“After a hot day out, you convene at the cocktail hour in the Great Room, where colonial-chic style combines stuffed billfish with framed Irish flies. Meals are communal and the atmosphere is most convivial. A couple of rum nightcaps, and you’re glad of the cool, cedar-scented comfort of your room, with a balcony overlooking the ocean. It’s all beautifully organised.”
Delphi Club on Abaco Island Gets Thumbs Up
Angling Report: August 2010
Kenneth Spint is very pleased with a week-long stay at the Delphi Club on Abaco Island in The Bahamas this past May. He reports catching numerous bonefish in The Marls and in Cherokee Sound. He notes the former yields a lot of fish but they tend to be on the small side (two to four pounds), while the latter yields fewer, but larger (five to eight pound), fish.
He reserves his most enthusiastic praise for the Club itself, where, he says, the accommodations were like staying at a private estate. He writes:
“The club is located in a beautiful setting on its own private beach. During my visit, it seemed as if every whim was anticipated and cared for. The meals were haute cuisine and served with more utensils and wine glasses that one is used to. The conversation at dinner between the members of what turned out to be an eclectic group of world traveled fishermen (and women) was worth the price of admission alone. Marvellous!”
Spint gives the cost of his seven-day/five-fishing-day trip as $7,400. That included the cost of a single supplement plus one non-fisherman. He warmly recommends this trip to fellow subscribers.
IRISH TIMES, June 2010
by Derek Evans
“The Delphi Club is five star in every respect. The eight double bedrooms, each with verandah, have stunning views over a white sandy beach and the blue waters of the Atlantic …
“The Great Room is immaculately furnished, with fishy themes, and there’s a great library. An outdoor heated swimming pool captivates …
“Fisherman’s paradise …
“Gareth Reid, resident chef from Armagh, is top drawer … Dinner at 7pm at the big table is the highlight of the day. I opted for shrimp tempura with a spicy pineapple salsa, then pan-fried mahi-mahi with cucumber and white butter sauce. Hot raspberry soufflé completed a sumptuous meal …
“And there are bonefish, lots of them … With over fifty years of angling under my belt, this bonefishing is the most spectacular, rewarding and enjoyable I have ever encountered …
“The Bahamas are the capital of bonefishing … The islands are beautiful, rich in culture and heritage, and boast a “guarantee” of glorious sunshine.”
THE ANGLING REPORT, December 2009
By Don Causey
“Here and there, amazing sorts of operations are emerging, as witness the brand-new Delphi Club on Abaco Island … A sort of European manor transferred from the wilds of Ireland … Indeed, the model for the lodge is a magnificent country home cum sporting lodge [Peter] Mantle [also] operates in the Connemara region of Ireland … The Bahamian version of Delphi Lodge is a mirror image of the Irish one …”
“The imposing, eight-bedroom structure … is situated on an east-facing, ocean-side cliff that looks out over a sandy beach and the open Atlantic. The sunrises are unlike any I have seen in a lifetime of travels around the world …”
“The style of the Club is that of an 18th century colonial plantation house. The decor, the antiques, the elegant layout of the common area, the wrap-around verandah with its excellent views, the pounding surf and clear ocean water all leave one feeling a bit disoriented, as if a time and space machine had gone awry, leaving rural Ireland and the Caribbean magically glued together in some way …”
“The art of conversation rediscovered over good food and fine wine. As Tim Jones said of Delphi Lodge in Ireland, the fishing was almost secondary to the cultural experience of just being there … Decidedly not for everyone, and that includes the hard-fishing maniac, the fish-counter and anyone who likes to just sprawl at end of the day, toss back a beer and go to sleep …”
“The fishing, of course, is for bonefish with an occasional crack at a permit and a sometime chance to jump a tarpon … The Marls, in case you haven’t fished Abaco, is a vast, 400-square-mile labyrinth of flats, creeks and open areas on the west side of the island. The area boasts a huge number of bonefish, most of them in the two- to three-pound range with occasional specimens upwards of five pounds and more … There is very little fishing pressure on the Marls, so the bonefish there are not difficult to catch … ”
“The three guides I fished with during my stay were all very competent and pleasant … One by the name of Robin was among the best I have ever fished with in the Bahamas …”
“A genuinely fun place to visit. It is as near as perfect a place as exists in the Bahamas to bring a non-fishing spouse. She, or he, will have a ball …”