I had lent all my bonefish flies to Ken Jackson for his own Christmas Island trip, so I had none with me. Yes, certainly the guide will have bonefish flies.
Finally, thinking I should further my younger son Matt's education by staking him to a bonefish trip, we settled on fishing one rod only for one morning trip. $130.
Driving south from Punta Sam to the hotel zone in the taxi at 6 AM we saw the Laguna for the first time. The glitzy hotel strip is built on the typical narrow barrier island with room for just a fronting beach, the hotel, and the main drag behind it. The laguna itself looked wild and interesting with fishy looking
mangrove borders. Hmmm....
We walked through the restaurant/bar to the docks behind and met Carlos. He spoke good english.
"All you have is fly rods?"
"I usually fish spinning fisherman (sic). I no fish fly rods before."
"Did you get the word to get some bonefish flies?", I asked hopefully.
"No. I have no flies. But," he perked up, "it is too windy for bonefish anyway. Bonefish no good now."
"Any chance for tarpon?"
"No good for tarpon. Too much wind. Scatters the baitfish. Not good now.
"Any barracuda?" I was getting desparate.
"Maybe few, very small. All the big barracuda caught out."
What was there left. "Snook?"
He shook his head non-committaly. I was to find out later that this all was because he didn't really believe in either fly fishing in general, or my ability to cast into the wind in specific.
"What were you going to fish for anyway?"
"Mutton snapper, mangrove snapper. I have spinning rod."
The image I had was, at best, blind casting flies into deeper water. I was ready to call the whole thing off. He could see it in my eyes.
"Let's go now. I know a place. Maybe baby tarpon."
"Baby tarpon will be just fine."
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