A Bonefishing Journey by Graham Stephens
Any new book on flats fishing is always bound to catch this editor's eye and it's even more interesting when the author is actually based in the UK for a change rather than in some tropical location. Graham Stephens recounts his personal journey of discovering the bonefish and how to fly fish for them via his travel adventures overseas.
"This is what I have been waiting and hoping for all day. The tide has been steadily falling for the past few hours and the tight schools of agitated bonefish had now dispersed across the flat. They are making the most of what will be for them, just an hour or two when they can feed, unmolested by sharks and barracuda, in the secure comfort of the warm shallow water."
How many of us can identify with this particular scene picked out on the back cover of Graham Stephens' book titled A Bonefishing Journey and how many more wish we were watching it unfold before us right this minute!?
That exact passion which flows through the narrative is just one reason I enjoyed coming back to this book over the past week or two while I was reading it, to dip into another chapter or two where Stephens describes his personal development as a self-confessed bonefish fanatic from his earliest encounter in Anegada in the British Virgin Islands in 1998 through adventures to 11 different destinations in total ranging from the Bahamas to Venezuela and many other Caribbean hotspots inbetween.
Vicarious pleasure is a dangerous thing sometimes as after reading of Stephens' adventures and recommended locations to fish it is very hard not to resist rushing off to book my own next adventure or indeed several. Written in first-person, each chapter gives a very personal account of the trials and tribulations of the fishing encountered, guides and other anglers met along the way through the anglers own eyes and I found gives the reader a very good overview of what one could reasonably expect to find and encounter there.
While the large part of this book therefore is spent covering Stephens' travels around the bonefisheries of the Caribbean and with a storyline running through them all chronicling his development as a bonefisher, there is also an instructional element too in the form of the last several chapters that discuss flies, tactics, boat etiquette, and how to prepare and pack for an overseas trip borne from experience. This is all great information for a first-timer inparticular but seasoned anglers will also pick up or probably be happy to be reminded of some long-lost nuggets of information too.
There was the occasional word missing in places that slipped past the proof-reading stage but that's just me with my editors hat on. Most won't even notice and I happily recommend this book as a nice refreshing read and definitely as a warm-up prior to your own next trip in search of the silver ghost.
p.s. There is also a great account of one of those red-letter days that typically happen only once in a lifetime but I'm not going to tell you what happens - you'll have to read the book!
Get more details from the authors website at http://www.bonefishingjourney.com/
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