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> > Pics from the Bahamas honeymoon & Troutnut's first bonefish!

TroutnutSeptember 6th, 2010, 1:57 pm
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2700
Lena and I had a great time in the Bahamas. It was just what we needed after reaching an unprecedented level of stress leading up to the wedding, which also went really well when it finally arrived.

We stayed at Small Hope Bay Lodge. They were really nice to us, so I want to give them a sincere plug here and I'd highly recommend them to anyone who has any interest in SCUBA diving, whether just learning (like us) or very advanced. They're a small, moderately remote lodge where you get to know all the staff and other guests really well by the end of your stay, and it quickly feels like home-away-from-home. The dive staff and owner eat with the guests and they're all fun people. The atmosphere is extremely laid-back, and the place feels like the "real" Bahamas, vastly different from the ultra-touristy mega-hotels on Nassau. It's clear they primarily cater to advanced SCUBA divers doing deep, technical dives, for which they're in apparently one of the best locations in the world. However, they happily accommodate guests with other skill levels (they were very patient teaching us to SCUBA dive) or interests (I was happy with our bonefish guide, Ricardo).

We picked a beautiful day for bonefishing, but unfortunately we slept in and fished in the afternoon, which on this day was a little too hot. Most of the bonefish had left (or were leaving) the flats for deeper, cooler water. I missed my shot at one feeding fish early on by fumbling around with my line wrapped around my foot, etc. After that, for a long time, we just saw fish on the move here and there, on their way out of the flats. Finally we found a small one still feeding in shallow, and the guide talked me through an effective presentation. Here's my first bonefish!

And a nice view of one of the flats:


Anyone who wants to see larger pictures, or pictures of all the cool fish and corals we saw snorkeling and SCUBA diving, can check out the full photo set on Flickr:
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
GONZOSeptember 6th, 2010, 3:15 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
Excellent, Jason, the Flickr pix are great. It's hard to imagine a much greater contrast than Andros and Alaska, and it must be nice to enjoy the best of both worlds. Now, what's next for you and Lena?
OldredbarnSeptember 6th, 2010, 7:50 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Wonderful stuff Jason! You two have made some nice memories there!

"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
TroutnutSeptember 6th, 2010, 8:29 pm
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2700
It's hard to imagine a much greater contrast than Andros and Alaska, and it must be nice to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Actually, I was surprised how much Andros reminded me of Alaska. They're both sparsely populated areas with vast (alder / mangrove) swamps bordering (bonefish / pike) flats and short, scrubby forests. If you fly over Andros at a couple thousand feet, it looks a lot more like the flat interior of Alaska than most parts of the U.S. lower 48 do. The main similarity that struck me, though, was the endearing, rough-around-the-edges aesthetic of people living on the edge of a frontier: they're a bit more inventive with how they use their resources, they make old things last them a bit longer. The palm trees and crabs scuttling underfoot gave it a nice exotic feel, but with beat-up old pickup trucks carrying small boats down pothole-laden roads, it didn't feel too far from home.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
CaseyPSeptember 7th, 2010, 9:09 am
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
what gorgeous pictures! of course anyone who can get those pesky bugs to sit still for portraits is going to have no problem with colorful fishies.
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
Shawnny3September 7th, 2010, 9:38 am
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Amazing photos, Jason. I sat down with my wife and watched the slideshow. If it's not too creepy, we went there vicariously by way of your album.

You see, we honeymooned in Branson, Missouri. Having lived in Missouri, Jason I'm sure knows that Branson is a country music mecca. We did not. Nuff said.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
AdirmanSeptember 9th, 2010, 6:06 am
Monticello, NY

Posts: 479
Whoa!! Forget the fish (which was awesome BTW!) check out the scenery!!

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