Kicking it up a notch... [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Kicking it up a notch...

03-27-2006, 10:25 AM
Next year I am thinking of adding a little more adventure to the bonefish oddysey. Perhaps inflatable kayaks that pack for flight and overnighters in the bush. Probably whittle the crew down to three or four max, hard cores to the bone (no pun intended). A lifetime experience unmatched in most lifetimes.

Searching the globe there are Cays in remote places with the characteristic no-bug scenarios with white sand and clear waters to overnight on while having their own great fishing or mangrove creeks in abundance a short paddle away. It would take careful planning, but being the tropics things are pretty laid back.

Inflatable kayaks are really comfortable mattresses and with the right screen structure a bug-free haven at night even in the bush.

I have some destinations in mind and will start developing itineraries that string cays together with short paddles between fishing ending with places to crash for the night.

After having explored some of the most remote out islands the scope of such a trip is much clearer and do-able. Understanding the rights and wrongs puts things into perspective.

I am looking for a few partners in this. Health, attitude, McGiverism are all important.

Let me know if you are interested.

03-27-2006, 10:29 AM
Ask me again for the 2008 trip, somehow I doubt it'll fly with my wife this time around, especially when we're talking about having another kid early next year.

Boy does that sound fun... :)

03-27-2006, 10:40 AM
This would be very serious trip, but yes fun. More of a fulfillment trip than a fun trip IMHO. Exhilaration from the challenge, no walk in the park by any means.

For instance - the ante would be a worthy inflatable kayak, most likely an Aire for me. Paddle, accesories. The group would have to evaluate each other to make sure the candidate 'makes the cut' in terms of gear, fitness, aptitude and attitude.

Waterproof packs with mountain climber sized lantern, stove, dried food and stuff to broil a mutton snapper over a beach fire pit and foil to roast a lobster tail, assuming one can find wood to burn - and a nalgene bottle full of patron reposado with fresh limes from Nassau in case you can't. Too many Kaliks weigh you down as does ice. Boiling lobster is not practical - too much fuel consumed. Small camp pan, fillets sauteed with seasoning makes more sense. Throw a few cans of locally bought corned beef in the boat for emergencies. Spanish macks make outstanding sushi and are plentiful. A little powdered wasabi and packs of soy at the grocery store before you fly and you are into some superb protein.

Serious radio and two GPS handhelds, spare batteries in vaccum sealed bags.

Ropes and kayak anchor, althought tying to mangroves is preferred. I have a Byer's screen hammock as well but trees are hard to come by. Rigging something to suspend the bug screen over the kayak would be ideal.

The choices of locations are fairly numerous but I have one or two in mind that I think rise above the rest.

03-27-2006, 10:42 AM
Juro there is a good article in the latest Fly Fishing in Saltwaters about setting up just such a trip in Mayaguana (except they use canoes rather than pool-toys).

Might want to check it out.

Keep in mind a contingency plan in case of any worst-case scenario. Not all of the islands are the same in terms of access to health clinics and life-flights. No matter how well prepared and physically fit you are, $hit happens.

03-27-2006, 11:01 AM
Thanks I sure will.

I have my own ideas of what contingency plans are, but I would be curious to hear what you would suggest. But before I spill - what do you mean?

03-27-2006, 11:19 AM
no specifics...just the "what do we do if's?"

-someone slips on a rock and breaks a leg

-someone has an allergic reaction to a bug bite/sting

etc, etc, etc...

03-27-2006, 11:46 AM
Good examples. I carry two epi pens, one in the chestpack and the other in pretty full first aid kit which I made availble in the vehicle in Acklins / all had access via key keeper.

Someone breaks a leg... feed him to the sharks :lildevl: Jus kidding, the crew that comes on this trip must be willing to accept the possibility that a broken leg would be met with a long ordeal to get them back to civilization... several miles; about the ordeal of being on the Monomoy tip rip witha kayak. Exception being there are plenty of boats to flag down on the tip, and likely nothing more than flares to attract the attention of the four daily inter-island flights starting at 7am running through the afternoon which come fairly close to the marls in one area, with the caveat that we want to avoid hitting these puddle jumpers :) perhaps not close enough in another but the alternative location is a sailing and cruising mecca and there are lots of overnight mooring boats en route over the same archipelago in that case. Choosing Regatta week would make the possibility of other boater encounters in the event of an emergency very high.

We haven't had much more than blisters on the 12 times I've travelled to bonefish but of course you raise a critical point.

I would also have each participant ante up $20 (since we are not paying for lodging) to recruit the interest of a local boatsman or outfitter to check for us at location X or Y on given days or else look for us on channel 16 each afternoon, etc. Small price to pay for communication, which is the heart of the problem in these remote areas even if there are amenities nearby on the flipside of the island.

Good discussion though, I'll be sure to take extra precautions to your point. That's if anyone will do it now :)

03-27-2006, 12:43 PM
I will publish a proposal for the "ultimate DIY expedition I" as the current season starts to simmer down (this fall).

I currently have some choice locations mapped out including access points directly adjacent to seemingly endless lee-side bight flats featuring easy paddling for many miles of pure white marls and creeks. Understanding the tide currents (mild to begin with) would reduce any effort still. Depending on time and resources there are several venues to explore within easy reach via inexpensive island hopping flights.

The key will be paddling to explore intense creek structures. I am trying to arrange for rentals on the island to eliminate the investment and luggage issues. Otherwise inflatables will be used. The advantage of inflatables is the comfort at rest especially for moorage on water.

Start and end of the trip will be in formal lodging (hotels) but the middle nights will be camping on open-air cays or in quiet lagoons as the situation arises. I would like to experience both. The hotel rooms and cottages are just getting too damn cushy for me lately. I want to be kept awake at night by active fish until I learn to sleep through it. I want to use my GPS to decipher the twists and turns of creeks with bones so big I would have to jump back into the yak to ride out the sleigh ride, in creeks where a fly has never landed before. I want to look up at the tropical night sky and instead of dreaming be in the dream itself.

If this is something that interests you think about getting into shape, or picking up the type of stuff that you need for such an expedition with a bonus or tax return, etc.

I am looking for a few good men to join up for the expedition of a lifetime.

03-27-2006, 01:10 PM
One thing I missed in your posts is the length of the trip...

03-27-2006, 01:31 PM
Since the areas have daily flights, any reasonable number of days but hardly worth it for less than a week.

03-27-2006, 02:03 PM
It's a wunnerful woild out there... road in the middle, flats all over de place.

03-27-2006, 04:04 PM
I know right where that is . . . and it looks great. Would this trip be available to old guys?

03-27-2006, 04:21 PM
No but it would be available to you :)

03-27-2006, 05:45 PM
Bring it on:smokin:

03-27-2006, 06:02 PM
You know, if would also be a wonderful place for wives . . . if they could put up with a bit of time without us . . . to rejoin them later.

03-27-2006, 09:14 PM
I am trying to arrange for rentals on the island to eliminate the investment and luggage issues.

You might consider mailing the extra luggage rather than carrying it as luggage. It's not quite the same but my wife and kids visited my in-laws in Orlando for a week. They each carried a small carry-on bag and mailed everything else. It made the trip more enjoyable to not have to worry about luggage.

03-27-2006, 09:24 PM
Well that would be convenient however shipping to this location would be cost prohibitive verses packing for flight as luggage, even if they do charge the $25 overweight baggage fee. Good suggestion for domestic travel though.

03-27-2006, 10:22 PM
I'm interested as well..

03-27-2006, 10:32 PM
You know, if would also be a wonderful place for wives . . . if they could put up with a bit of time without us . . . to rejoin them later.

Well that may be true... however once leaving the main venue to the Cays, which as you know are a short paddle apart, an entering into the myriad... I don't think this is going to be the couples clave.

We are still going to do that one, but this is going in a diametrically opposed direction. This is the "Navy Seal" bonefish trip (with all due respect to any real Seals out there).

In fact I am going to rent a leaky bass boat just to hone my senses for survival :lildevl:

03-27-2006, 10:35 PM
I'm interested as well..

OK Nute, will keep you in the loop.

03-27-2006, 11:53 PM

Sounds like a blast. Having just spent the last two days flat on my arse from blowing my back (from a real dumb sh** stunt in the yard), my definition of a contingency plan would be a two week supply of Soma and a bottle or two, or three of Glenlivet! I don't know if this old back could hack it, but if it could, fresh water would be my biggest concern. I figure it takes about a quart of water per bone fish!!! I suspect a trip like this might be beyond realistic for decrepit creatures like me, but how many miles/day paddling are you figuring. Or is it fishing in the daylight, travel at night. Hate to be paddling when I could be fishing!

03-28-2006, 05:54 AM
The itineraries I have planned involve paddles that I am comparing to the gap between the mainland and Jamaica Cay, although I still need to map waypoints onto gps to calculate more accurately.

I will put more info into a discussion board soon. Answer is you have a year to prepare, and the paddling distances are quite mild.

Fresh water is a good point, however a quart per bonefish - did you mean of the scotch? :lildevl:

There is a lot of civilization nearby and the excursion into the myriad is only a part of it. We can re-charge between forays.

03-28-2006, 06:10 AM
Count me in for this one if there is room. Am not missing it next year.


03-28-2006, 06:37 AM
Definitely bro! You've already got the fitness criteria in. Details of proposed itineraries to follow...

Found out r/t island hopper tickets are $65!

03-28-2006, 06:38 AM
I'll start training in May. Don't know if this will work for me. I owe my wife a vacation and I really want to go back to Acklins next winter but I'm going to prepare.

03-28-2006, 07:08 AM
Acklins will still be there too, I hope we can get several crews in for Felton now that we **really** know the island. Home cooking delivered... lobster tail dinners at the Sunset... getting wired in pretty well!

However I want to explore the "walkabout" style trip too. Different trip.

Maybe you could be a veteran on an Acklins trip. Also, there will soon be a new option for places to stay down on the pristine south end. :cool:

Also the possibility of doing a couples clave with a paddle off excursion combo as Bill suggested... they will provide a very strong contingency plan - get yer a** home safely or else!! But if so only to debug for the "navy seal" trip I am dreaming of.

Might work - they will (a) enjoy the location (b) check the radio regularly (c) make sure we are not left in the lurch and (d) feel less like we ran off fishing since they can tour the area and enjoy the beaches etc.

Again the trip I envision aims to take the tropical flyfishing trip to a new level of primitive experience by exploring by human power a well-calculated route through cays and creeks of pristine and rarely if ever accessed corners of bonefish heaven. It aims to leave the linens and creature comforts behind for a while and feel part of the marl and mangroves and sandy cays in the deep tropical night.

If we end up doing an improv couples clave with a scouting mission in the middle that might be a good first step to learn what needs to be done on the real deal the following year. Keeps the peace as well... a possibility. But it does delay the hardcore trip for a year.

03-28-2006, 07:34 AM
I'm interested as well..

We have a "MISSION" to honor your dad here.

03-28-2006, 08:39 AM
Thanks...I am very interested. My wife is a 'yaker so I am sure she can help with some stuff.

03-28-2006, 09:19 PM
No need for packing the inflatables, if we decide to take the extra step of finding good ground to camp on. I kind of like the idea of a Bivy-style inflatable since it provides a place to sleep comfortably... even among the mangroves - but then again a summer tent and sleeping bag is so small it fits in a roll-top dry pack easily. We'll weigh the pros and cons...

Kayak Rental Rates - EXTENDED USE

Days Rate Total
1 60 60
2 50 100
3 40 120
4 35 140
5 30 150
6 25 150
7 25 175

Days Rate Total
1 80 80
2 65 130
3 55 165
4 45 180
5 40 200
6 35 210
7 35 245

I would suggest renting an extra single for gear purposes. We can take turns towing the spare.

03-29-2006, 06:14 AM
Juro. Please keep me in the loop as well. If we take enough photos, which I would be happy to be in charge of, the trip itself could defray many expenses. With your writing skills and the right photography, an article ensuses. Somebody get me a towel. I'm drooling already!!!!!!!


03-29-2006, 08:44 AM
Arrrrggggggg - I can't take this anymore - :Eyecrazy:

I guess that means no let-up in the workout schedule - add me to the list! :lildevl:

03-29-2006, 02:19 PM
Would you guys have a good reference for lengthy kayak camping trips in the tropics?

03-29-2006, 04:27 PM
I can't say I've read any guides on extended Kayaking trips in the Tropics but I'm sure they are out there. I'll have a hunt and post results.

03-29-2006, 04:36 PM
Amazon is loaded with them...

Several destinations (including the one we are thinking of renting from) run kayak camping expeditions. The Exuma Cays is another example of an area where kayak camping tours are run by local business - whom I am sure can offer a lot of knowledge on the topic.

03-31-2006, 10:06 AM
This sounds exactly my kind of trip. Hardcore bonefishing in the tropics has me drooling.
Unfortunately I'm running short on vacation days. What date you fellas thinking of? Most likely if it is this year which I'm sure it is I won't be able to go.. :( I truly hope a detailed report and pics follow.

Juro, When you heading to St. Kitts? I'm missing my private lagoons (had the place to my entire self). Tye up some Chrt, toads, clousers, decievers.

If ain't charturese it ain't no use!!

04-01-2006, 07:28 AM
WOW !! sounds like an awesome trip! I have a lot of experiance with remote river expeditions in northeren Canada and Alaska. I hope you can post your itinerary would love to do this sort of trip myself someday. Heading to Glovers reef in june for more of a "base camp experiance" and my first foray into the "tropical adventure". Sounds like your doing your homework, Good luck!

p.s. if you end up one man short :-)

10-19-2007, 06:41 AM
Has this kayak camping trip moved any closer to reality?

10-19-2007, 06:54 AM
Josko -

Cool that you revived this... in pursuit of this exploration I spoke at length with the Turks and Caicos government. The situation in that archipelago is that the vast majority of it's waters are declared conservation waters for fishing, which is really IMHO a farce and targeted toward achieving two things:

- legitimately preventing the harvesting of fish, shellfish and lobster in remote areas
- small-mindedly providing exclusive rights to resident guides who gouge customers

With very few exceptions (e.g. bottle creek and provo), most T&C waters are protected although native guides can gouge visitors for some of the highest priced guided rates on the planet.

Speaking with the officials it became clear that the have the typical small picture mentality as seems to be common in small isolated tourist locations.

I became discouraged at this mentality and felt I should direct my interest (and dollars) elsewhere.

10-19-2007, 09:08 AM

It looks like I'm going to have to cover some meetings in a special little Tarpon mecca that you've previously explored, sometime in December. I'm planning on sticking around after that for a possible long weekend. You up for a possible weekend getaway in December:smokin:?

Anybody else?

10-19-2007, 12:28 PM
Well since I've recently drained the last of my Barrilito's three star rum, I would have to say count me in if you can get the extra days off. This elixir can only be obtained within it's borders.

However I can make no promises that I will do much of anything before 10am, and if the bar is late to open, later :) The cruising silver kings did not seem to mind my offerings at that time of day but they did force me to put down "the frozen concoction that helps me hang on"