Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Day in French Polynesia

Eric Berger photos
     OK, so I admit to having been a bit frustrated. My no-strip presentation had all too often deteriorated into a halfhearted crawl that no French Polynesian bonefish would respect, let alone eat. By 10:00 a.m. we had seen three or four monsters, but none had eaten my bunny fly. Our guide had suggested casting 15 to 20 feet away from the fish. After letting the fly settle, he suggested one small slow strip, then to do nothing. I was trying, but as each monster refused my creeping offering, I became more willing to commit totally to his approach.
     Now, it was a brand new, more serious, game. In front of me, a broad tail waved in the warm tropical air while the business end rooted for worms in the white sand. I pushed water hard yo get upwind. I couldn't make it totally upwind, but at least I got somewhat even. I collected myself and pounded a 30-foot cast with a strong second haul. I presented the fly as delicately as I could given the activity being generated by my adrenal gland. 

Just a few worms over 10 lbs.
     I stripped one small scuttling strip in hopes of getting this big bone's head out of the sand and onto other matters. It worked and he rushed my fly. I waited an agonizing few seconds until I finally figured it was now or never. I stripped-striked. As my internal chorus belted out HALLELUJAH, I felt that delicious tension on my line! The big bone ran instantly through my fly line. Backing melted off my spool until the sun-bleached pale sherbet orange turned into the bright international orange of never used Dacron thread. 
     Somewhat absurdly, I knew it was time to change my backing... until I managed to redirect my over stimulated synapses to the job at hand. I rarely had wanted to land a fish as much as I wanted to land, or at least see, this fish. I began racing around the flat like a crazy fool, lifting line over coral heads as I tried to get an avenue to apply pressure to the beast. The specific details are blurred, but eventually he tired and came to hand. He weighed exactly 10 pounds. I caught another just like him later in the day. I caught a total of four bonefish for the day... around 38 pounds of bonefish. According to my calculations, not a bad day... anywhere!


  1. Boga es muy mal... muy, muy mal.

    (No seriously, it damages the fish, in the mouth, where it eats.)

  2. PS. That is a VERY nice bonefish... and I'm jealous.

  3. Regarding Bogas, I agree totally. That was taken a long time ago and the guide insisted. thanks! Scott

  4. Oh, for some reason (probably laziness in not reading the entire post) I assumed it was recently... I should have known better. ;-)