My wonderful wife, Kathy, gave me a great birthday present.
She presented me a gift certificate for a bonefish trip of my choice: Bahamas, Mexico or Belize. What a present!
I've never been to an exotic bonefish destination, so it was quite a surprise.
"All you have to do is figure out where you want to go," said Kathy.
That's where the fun began.
Of course, she'll accompany me on the trip, so "rustic" bonefish camps are out. That eliminated the Andros Island Bonefish Club or any other club on the island. Ditto for many other Bahamian camps.
Mexico was a possibility, but Ascension Bay was a little pricey. I thought about booking a room in Cancun and fishing on my own. I've heard the Mexican flats around there have good bonefish populations with little pressure.
At one point, I suggested that we skip the bonefish trip and just take a cruise. However, we couldn't find a seven-day cruise that fit our times schedule.
Back to fishing...
After several hours of working the Internet, I remembered that my friend, Capt. Al White, raved about the bonefish at Grand Cayman. He said there are lots of fish and virtually no pressure.
"Nobody fishes for them," said White.
Grand Cayman offers plenty of things to do, so Kathy won't be bored during the day. And there's great nightlife. It's a great place.
We booked a hotel and flights. We leave Tampa around 2 p.m. on Dec. 24 and land in Grand Cayman at about 3:50. Then, I'll have four days to fish.
White told me that I can drive to most of the spots. Just park the car, get out, grab my fly rod and start looking for bonefish. He said that he hooked and landed a 13-pounder and several smaller fish. White said bonefish "crushed" two of his flies.
I'll be spending time tying flies for the trip. I'm going to tie tan-and-white Clousers, pink-and white-Clousers, pink Gotchas, First Cast Crab Flies and a few other patterns. I want to have an assortment of 3-4 dozen flies. Of course, I'll probably visit a fly shop on Grand Cayman and purchase a few of the hot local flies.
I will take three rods: 6 weight, 8 weight and 9 weight. I'll only use the 6 to fish other species like snook, jacks and whatever else lurks on the Caymanian flats.
I'm excited. Getting older really isn't too bad!