Fishipedia Report: Mount Pleasant Lodge, Andros – The Journey Home

September 30th, 2011| No Comments

Alone With the Bones: One angler, one week, alone on the flats of Andros Island. The last of seven reports, in which Rory Batho serializes his week spent fishing the waters around Mount Pleasant Lodge, Bahamas

The White Bight - I'll be thinking of youHeading home: random thoughts
& reflections

It’s hard to say goodbye to a place like this. There’s the fishing obviously, which has been nothing short of exceptional. But there’s the other stuff too – making new friends, spending time alone, eating (a lot of) great food, lying in a hammock drinking a Kalik in the evening, the list goes on. We’re all the same really, us fishermen. We’ve all got a special place we return to in our minds – somewhere we think of when we’re drifting off to sleep, or sat in a stuffy office – a place or time we’d nearly always rather be. I think for me it’s going to be the first day I arrived at Mount Pleasant, rounding the corner and seeing that patch of 30 tails waving in the afternoon sun, knowing I was about to make my first cast. But there are all kinds of other things. Here’s just a selection of random stuff that’s occurred to me while I sit in Nassau Airport, waiting for my
flight home.

1. Be careful what you wish for. You spend the first couple of days praying for the wind to drop so you can have friendlier casting conditions. Problem is, when the breeze dies in this part of the world, the no-see-’ums come out swinging. All it takes is the walk from the main lodge to your room for them to annihilate you – I’ve got the scars to prove it.

2. There’s nothing like watching a shark chase down a bonefish on a remote flat to make you feel ever so slightly vulnerable. Its blistering acceleration and agility in those last crucial fractions of a second are spectacular – it was a visceral moment and as the water turned pink just feet from where I was standing, I felt quite alone.
Supplementary observation here: Bonefish might be quick, but they’ve got nothing on a shark.

Thank you, waterproof camera3. Investing in a waterproof camera (Pentax Optio W90) at the airport was a great idea. Slim, rugged and packed with cool settings (many of which I’ll never use), it comes with a thick canvas strap and a carabiner clip that remained permanently fastened to my rucksack strap. As with all waterproof models, it pretty much sucks in low light, but otherwise it’s pin sharp. I was particularly happy with how some of the underwater stuff came out.

4. If you’re heading to Mount Pleasant, prepare to eat. And then eat some more. Stacey takes good care of you down there – her conch fritters are worth the airfare alone.

5. Is there a finer way to end a day than watching the sun go down with a bottle of Kalik in hand? That was a rhetorical question by the way.

6. Just say I lived in the Bahamas, with my own little cabana opening onto a flat… would I ever get bored of bonefishing? I just don’t see how that’s possible…

Plastic: not so fantastic7. There’s too much trash in the sea – it’s depressing when you see the volume of stuff that gets belched onto Bahamian beaches. You look around sometimes and you wonder – how many hours would it require, how many volunteers to collect all this stuff? And what would you do with it when you had?

8. This trip contained a few firsts for me – seeing nurse sharks mating in the shallows was an unexpected highlight, having my first fish of the week turn out be my biggest was another. Other firsts included having an entire lodge to myself for a couple of nights, and having the plane to myself between Nassau and Andros – those 12 minutes might be the closest I ever get to the millionaire lifestyle.

9. James Lee Burke is still my favorite author. In the odd moment I wasn’t fishing tying flies or preparing leaders, I was reading Pegasus Descending. Always a pleasure to spend time in the company of a genius.

10. Nassau airport might not be as much fun when you’re heading home, but at least they serve Havana Club rum at the bar. In large measures.

Sunrise over the flats of Andros

Check out other instalments from Alone with the Bones: 
Day 1,  Day 2,  Day 3Day 4,  Day 5Day 6

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