I had been given the honor of being a groomsman for my first-ever boss and mentor in insurance. The bride and groom had set the stage for everything and I figured I could cut out for a couple of hours in the early mornings to wet a line.
Reality quickly settled in as this was my first time as a groomsman, and, also, my first-ever destination wedding. Nobody had prepared me for the fun long weekend ahead of me. We spent most of our time hanging with the wedding party and family, lots of it at the beach. Of course, I’d pack my fly gear in our beach bag, but all the places we went weren’t conducive to fly fishing for many reasons. Mornings were somewhat open but I woke up most days with a pounding head and achy body, possibly a result of four consecutive nights of celebratory tequila shots!
I had done my research and spent well over six hours tying flies for the bonefish and hogfish that I’d heard you can target inshore. I chuckle to myself now because I spent way more time tying flies for this trip than I did actually fishing! Luckily, I have some friends that are local to the island and they invited us for coffee and a kayak paddle one morning at their place. We graciously accepted and again the fly gear came with us.
My friends’ apartment was awesome. They are waterfront on a little cove that is also home to a variety of wildlife. Everywhere you look you’d see bait crashing the surface as they’re being gobbled up by other bigger fish. Needless to say, I was chomping at the bit to get out there and fish. So, we downed our coffees and got into the kayak.
With heron and sea turtles in great abundance as well, this was a very fun way to spend a morning. I couldn’t locate any bones or hogs on that kayak trip but managed to catch some smaller fish. I probably caught around 10 jacks and general reef fish that I couldn’t identify and only got pictures of a few of them. Either way, it was fun to catch on the tropical flies I’d tied, and I was thankful for the time we had.
The 9 wt. was definitely overkill, but, at least, I got to have some fun with it on our mini vacation. Next time I’ll definitely be hiring a guide. For anyone wondering, all my local friends recommended Capt. Ian from Jump Dem Bones – I only wish I had more time to hire him. Later that day, my buddy got married in one of the most beautiful places we’d ever been to and everything went off without a hitch. Congrats Mike and Melissa, thanks for making it all possible!