April 3rd: The past few weeks have seen a large number of guests catch their first ever bonefish. Pride of place goes to the UK’s Olympic gold-medallist rower Anna Watkins, who nailed one of the best fish of the spring, a bone of over six pounds, on her first day out. Our renewed attempts to persuade Anna to abandon her mathematics PhD in favour of guiding have again proved fruitless.
Other successful UK first timers included Lorna Jarman, Eira Drysdale, Mary Nicholson, Sarah Hammond, Jamie Peddle, David Nickson, Oli Watkins and Graham Menzies. From the USA, Roger Aksamit, Gordon Roberts, Tom and Janet Berry, Donna Mashburn and Alan Wolfe all lost their neophyte status – in Alan’s case with a whole lot of fish taken on his own fly patterns.
The weather has been mixed, with frequent strong breezes, some cloudy periods and occasional days when temperatures dropped into the mid-60s. But guests have fished on regardless and among those to record double-figure catches were old stalwarts Christopher Jarman, Vaughan Ruckley, Bob Shaunessy and Craig Bacher, as well as father and son team Bob & Geoff Hadden. Some new guests also scored well, including Ted & Glenda Fowler, John Sikich, Marshall Miller and John Dorn.
Guests have had a few shots at big permit and some very nice barracuda have been boated (to the delight of the guides for whom these are the number one eating fish).
Terence Coyle, a bagpipe-playing New Yorker, lost a very decent bone when his line separated from his backing. Half an hour later, a half a mile further on, his boat partner Vaughan Ruckley was casting to a good bone when he suddenly noticed a fly line trailing to the side of the fish. He aborted his own cast, grabbed the flyline and played the fish by hand while Ishi the guide hurriedly reattached the backing. No sooner was everything rethreaded and tied than the fish took off on another almighty run before finally succumbing to Terence’s wailing. Songs were sung and hornpipes played that night.