Aruba, trip report part 1 - Fly Fishing Forum
Bonefish, Tarpon, and other Obsessions Turquoise water, silver demons on the fly

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Old 01-28-2009, 04:45 PM
arubaman arubaman is offline
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Thumbs up Aruba, trip report part 1

Aruba update…
Finally!
It was the seasons coming and after more then two long years I got off for Christmas and returned back to home. It is always good to be with the family during the last weeks of the year. And when you’re living in the Netherlands it is a huge bonus when your parents’ home is in Aruba.

During the past two years I have not been sitting still, not at all. I practiced my butt off and of course there were lots of other exciting adventures. I caught nice brown trout in Denmark, Norway, Belgium and Germany. I fished for pike and roach back home and also the lake Oostvoorne here in the Netherlands is fascinating more and more.


Flyfishing in Norway in the summer


nice browns on a dry with a three weight

Most of all my angling improved. My casting is better then it was last time I was on the Island, my experience with drilling also got up. The gear…. What about the gear, it only got more and better, it is fun to see how we keep hoarding (is that the right word?) for better and newer stuff. The girlfriend… Even on that side things changed. New girlfriend who just happens to love photography and not bored by me fishing all day long. In fact she is not even negative about hanging out along the shoreline and shooting some pictures of her lucky Arubaman chasing his wet dreams on his native beaches.


The gear got better...

In the meanwhile I also had contact with some locals several times and through email and a visit of Ben to the Netherlands (where I tried to teach him some of the marvelous wonders of fly tying) a friendship grew between me and the guys from flyfishingaruba.com . I even got the honor of becoming part of the crew.

So basically all odds where in my favor, well, except maybe for the spotting part of fish. That´s the hardest thing to practice and sometimes can be my main concern. If I am honest about it I think at the age of 12 I was way much better then I am now. At that age I read the beaches and the waters with a small glance at the sea. Back home with the winds and the weather I could almost predict the fishabilties of the Caribbean. Only thing I did not know then was that bonefish is basically the most important and most wanted fish out there for the future Arubaman.... At that time I would see them and neglect it, no need to bother, not eatable. I was more concerned about catching grunts on a handline….


Well, it all started quite hard. This December certainly was not the December I wished for. The weather has been rainy for months now, something very unusual and in the more then 30 years I know my island I have never seen so much green. Rain means clouds and unfortunately a lot of times it also means the tides and waves will not be the same as you are used to. I had days were all factors combined )wind, clouds and surge-waves) almost made it impossible to spot any fish. But hey…. That’s why they call it fishing and not catching (just another bad cliché)


this holidays I had some terrible weather...

The first day I thought I saw a bone, made the cast and caught a trunkfish. Ben and Laurenz (I will call these two friends Uncle Ben and Uncle Lala from now on) call them boxfish. When the rod bended and it looked like I was drilling a fish Rianne (my girlfriend) came in to action and shot some pictures of the fish. It is strange that when you go out for bones a trunkfish is not so satisfying, although it really kicks on the rod compared to lots of freshwater fish that you would beg for on a regular European fishing day. Anyways, the lovely girlfriend (hope she reads this) made some commercial like pictures…


Front view of the trunk...


Side view of the trunk

But there were some nice things about that first day. The spotting was hard but I managed and I even saw something tailing which really got into my head. I spent all day thinking about it. It was not a tailing bone and I thought it looked like permit, but I never saw a tailing Permit before. Due to clouds and waves it was hard to tell. It also became the story of the vacation, it is very hard to spot a tailing fish that you can only see tail once or twice in less then 10 inches of water, with white foam on the water and not enough sun, so you can not even judge where and how it swims.

At the end of that first morning we went home satisfied. I saw some bones and a tail of something, I caught a trunkfish and even had a bone on that cut me off in seconds.

The second day was not as exciting as that first one (doesn’t every child rushes downstairs to look for presents, that’s the way I felt the first day), slowly all the memories got back and I picked up the rhythm and the pace of Malmok. I saw the tail again and afterwards I saw the fish, a big silhouette and every now and then some dark fins would gracefully cut through the surface like black stiletto’s . I did not manage to drop a fly in front of it, but after a pursuit of about 2 minutes I am sure it is permit! Then the fish moved out through the surge of to some deeper areas.

On the third day I called up Uncle Ben and the next morning we met on the beach, I drove with him to his house and we had some Uncle Ben’s coffee (coffee with baileys instead of milk, I think that’s the only way he drinks coffee, from early morn till whenever). Uncle Lala showed up after two calls and couldn’t even think about an alcoholic drink. Uncle Lala is a bartender and thinks about going professionally on guiding. He had a blast in the bar the night before and couldn’t even think about alcohol so early. We talked all morning, about the website (sorry Juro, but a little link) (no problem - just a little edit) which is Laurenz initiative and how he wants to become a pro-guide instead of the way it is done now. I think in the future the fishing will only become better if Laurenz really has all the time to put into the fishing. Uncle Lala already could qualify as an expert and together the three of us brainstormed and discussed, something that will definitely pay of and contribute to all of our fishing qualities
.
It’s later on that day I had a bone on that did not break me of like most of them did this vacation.
Rianne who was around came running down the beach and shot some nice pictures. Unfortunately I ran out into the sea to prevent it from getting stuck in the corals again. So the long-distance-highly-zoomed shots are not as sharp as it can be. But she captured everything. The drill, the way the rod separated when landing the fish and the way I took it to shore as a burglar with my cap and bandana… (knowing my fishing classics she immediately called me Guide X) To make some nice close ups of me and the fish.


I managed to hold it...


the rod separated when landing the fish, like some bank robber I walked back to shore for the picture


the first one of the trip


close up of the nice fish

Well, I think I will leave it till here for today, but there’s much more stories and things to share.
Ciao, Sander

Last edited by juro; 01-29-2009 at 11:12 AM.
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Old 01-28-2009, 05:06 PM
FLGator FLGator is offline
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Sounds like you had a great trip! Thanks for the report and excellent pictures.
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:43 AM
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petevicar petevicar is offline
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Hey Sander
Thanks for the report.
I look forward to the rest.

Pete
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Old 01-30-2009, 10:28 AM
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surfingfireman surfingfireman is offline
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Very cool, eagerly awaiting part 2...
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Old 01-30-2009, 01:42 PM
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jimS jimS is offline
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Excellent photos and narrative. Looking forward to part II.
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