Alone With the Bones: One angler, one week, alone on the flats of Andros Island. The third of seven reports, in which Rory Batho serializes his week spent fishing the waters around Mount Pleasant Lodge, Bahamas
Day 3: Ricardo leads the way
Today was spent in the company of local guide, Ricardo Mackey. He’s something of a legend round these parts and, as the day unfolded, it became easy to see why.
Within about an hour we encountered the first fish of the day, a group of five or six bonefish cruising next to the mangroves somewhere down in the Middle Bight. This is pretty much how it went:
“Fish, 1 o’clock, 80 feet. You see ’em?”
“Coming off the dark patch, just in front of the biggest mangrove. Maybe 60 feet now. Got ’em?”
“OK, get ready… cast now… come right… drop the fly maaaan… striiiiiip… striiiiiip… stop the fly… strip it long… you got ’im right?”
Textbook. It was one of those times where you wonder to yourself: why isn’t it always like that? Probably because you don’t have a guide like Ricardo every time. The next fish we came across got exactly the same treatment and we carried on steadily catching throughout the day.
Particularly where guided fishing is concerned, I’m starting to think I need someone else with me to document the day’s fishing. Sitting back that evening, beer in hand, it all seemed such a blur – I’d had such fun that I couldn’t remember how many fish we’d caught and which ones we’d caught where. It’s as if I remember the key moments but not the order in which they occurred. Does anyone else get that?
Anyway, it was a great regardless. We didn’t see another boat until we returned to the dock, at which point Ricardo took time out to give me a little impromptu casting tutorial. Seeing him fire out the entire fly line plus backing, seemingly with complete ease, was quite a moment. I’m still not convinced I’ll ever be able to do that, but it’s good to know it’s possible.
He’s nifty with the camera too, I was kind of hoping he hadn’t managed to immortalize this moment, but seeing as he did, you can all have a laugh: