May 22, 2009
Name the Mystery Island
By Kirk Deeter
Because I travel and fish a lot, I often get asked that question: If you could be "beamed" anywhere in the world, to fish for any species, where would it be? And I usually answer that I live out West for a reason... namely, I like to catch big trout on flies.
But I'm changing my answer. Bonefish rule. I like tarpon, I like sharks, and I like stripers. But there's something about bonefishing that I think is an ultimate challenge for a fly angler. You're spotting fish. Then you have to make a long, accurate, delicate cast. You need the right fly, and the right presentation. And when everything works (good gear matters, from polarized glasses to rod, to reel, and especially line).. there's noting quite like seeing the "eat" and feeling that fish burn off at 25 m.p.h.
I just got back from the best bonefish flats I've ever seen... totally unspoiled, gin-clear, and loaded with 4-pound-plus fish (some 10-plus). For anyone who can name the "mystery island" where I caught the fish above, I'll thow names in a hat, pull a winner, and send them a dozen killer Charlie Craven bonefish flies.
Here are your hints: The island is 1300 nautical miles from New York City. It is 110 square miles in size--roughly three times the size of Manhattan. But it's a little less populated than NYC; it has only 300 residents, 150 of whom are kids. There are no full-on bonefish lodges here, just one beach resort with 16 rooms.