I N T H E S A LT
It’s one thing managing a lodge in your home country, surrounded by your own people and in your own well-known language. Managing a lodge in a foreign country and working together with different nationalities and customs is completely different on so many levels. I think we were fortunate to have had a lot of experience working in foreign countries before coming over to the Bahamas and ultimately that experience helped prepare us for the task. Maybe you have realized that I have not once spoken about the fishing opportunities out here? Well, welcome to the life of a lodge manager! All jokes aside, the size of this fishery and how unpressured it is, really blew me away. With all the research we did before coming over here we were prepared for a Bone fishery. My friends, Abaco has so much more to offer! Over the past three years we have seen more and more Permit fish on the flats, or should I say we have been looking for them a little more? I soon realized the potential of Abaco as a trophy Permit fishery. It’s a bold statement to make, I know, but the amount of shots do not do the numbers of fish landed justice. Three years
into managing the lodge I will not let a boat head out without being ready for Permit, that’s the least we could do right? When we started out here in 2016, we averaged about 3-4 Permit per season which is over a stretch of nine months. During 2017/18 we managed to land 5 Permit for the season and for this last season we are currently on 24 Permit. With these statistics we are super excited about what the future holds for this fishery. Then again we haven’t even talked about the true hero of this fishery, Bonefish. It’s hard to imagine that a fishery only an hour’s flight away from Miami could be as untouched and unpressured as these flats we fish on the west side of Abaco. Our playground consists of 245 square miles of water averaging out to two feet deep - Bonefish nirvana perhaps? We pride ourselves on making everyone feel at home here. Even if you’ve never tried fly fishing before, we welcome you. If you are 91 years old and want to try saltwater fly fishing for the first time, we welcome you. We honestly cater for anyone, and for the most part we have met great
A F LY F I S H I N G M A G A Z I N E
people and made new friends out here. Like most things in life, it is not always sunshine and roses, but that is very much true in managing a lodge anywhere in the world. My first love remains fly fishing and unfortunately as a manager my days on the water are few and far between, but still more than enough to keep me sane. Let me guess, you thought I had the luxury of fishing every day? Haha! Instead, I have become a very capable handy man able to do electrical wiring, plumbing work, boat mechanics, gardening, carpentry and my cooking skills have improved vastly. It is for this exact reason that we signed up for this job. We have grown immensely over the past three years and will leave here WAY MORE skilled than when we arrived. On the other hand, when things go wrong - and trust me, they will – the managers can quickly turn into punching bags if they don’t learn how to defuse frustrations and conflict. Running a lodge of this caliber takes a team of hard working individuals that all contribute in their own special way to make this lodge a bucket list destination.