Salty Prep

Salty Prep

Tracy&James | Thursday, 10 January 2019

James is away on business this week, so I’m home-alone going through the saltwater flies to check for corrosion or other damage. I’m trying to work out how many flies we need for our Bahamas trip in April and what types James needs to tie. Thankfully, he’s managed to gather some hooks (from friends, the local tackle shops we frequented over the Xmas/New Year break and some ordered from Finland), so when he gets back from his US trip, he can start tying. It’ll give him something to do whilst he gets over his jetlag.

I’ve decided to tie a few myself, though the ratio will be 1:15 or possibly greater as I’m still learning about fly tying and take too long making each fly. One type of fly I need James to tie, that I definitely won’t even attempt to make, will be the ones for sharks. These seem to be tricky to get the right shape and you can end up using lots of material to get them right (or wasting lots of material when you get it wrong), so I’ll be leaving these to him. I’m hoping for lots of these as though I will be targeting my favourite fish – bones – this year I want to catch a decent size shark or perhaps two – so will need lots of these flies as they don’t often last more than one ‘hooking’. I’ve caught many over the years, but only once hooked a good size 150lb+ one that I played for around 40 minutes (with help from James) but then lost it when it shook it’s head and somehow slashed the leader above the wire.

There are some interesting places on the island that we are staying on that attract good sized sharks, so hopefully I’ll have several attempts, although I intend to go for the cudas, snappers, jacks and any other species that will take a fly too. It’s often a difficult decision to know which rod to have ready based on the potential species and which one to store on my ‘back-pack’. It’s generally ‘sods-law’ that the rod you need is the one on your back, rather than the one in your hand. Although sometimes you get lucky and you get sharks chasing the shoals of bones, so either rod could be handy, as long as the sharks don’t eat the bone that you are playing – that’s happened a few times and normally results in us moving to another flat or casting only at the predators.

I’m also working through the notes from our last trip as we’re going back to the same island and my notes are very handy in working out which flat to go to based on the tide, weather and target species. I want to work out what else we need to buy for the trip, such as new walkie-talkies as the ones last year became temperamental and didn’t always work – leading to lots of hand signalling to each other whilst trying not to spook any fish. Anyone who joins us fishing may be amused by some of the gestures we do… either that or you’ll think we’re a little weird (although I’m sure some people already think that anyway Wink.

I’m really looking forward to catching up with the friends we have made on the Bahamas island from our previous trips and supping the VGB and dark ‘n’ stormy cocktails after a day’s fishing. I’ve bought some new wading boots so hopefully these will last longer than the previous pair. Plus I’ll need spray-plaster as I have found this works brilliantly to protect any scratches on my feet from getting worse due to being constantly in saltwater. All-in-all for the next few months, we’ll be preparing for the holiday, though a few things may distract me, such as work and the fact that I need to organise the BFCC Calendar for 2019. There’s probably going to be more casting events this year plus a few international ones to attend, so I’ll try and de-conflict everything where I can. With my dodgy elbow seemingly healed, I expect to be casting this weekend once James is back in the UK.