TARPON the movie

TARPON the movie

Quick update on for those interested in purchasing a copy of the cult classic fly fishing TARPON MOVIE on DVD by UYA Films featuring: Jim Harrison, Thomas McGuane, Richard Brautigan and music by Jimmy Buffett,. This classic film was recently re-mastered and put back on the market for sale. Of which time the movie has sold some 30,000 copies and still building steam. It was being offered for $34.99 from places like “The Book Mailer” – However, I’ve reduced the price to $20.99. At that price how can you resist owning your own copy of the famous TARPON movie on DVD.


Watch a clip from the famous TARPON Movie: CLICK HERE


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If you’ve ever spent your hard earned time and dollars booking just the right trip for a destination fishing adventure and the time comes and the weather is blown out, your work won’t let you leave due to some emergency with the mid-west division, or a family emergency comes up and it’s pushed off. Or, say it did go right. The weather was perfect, and the fishing action stellar. But you didn’t like the $300.00 to $600.00 per day you spent to have some guide yelling at you every time you missed a fish.

Have you ever considered D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself) fishing? It can be just as much fun and at times a quarter of the daily cost of fishing in many resort destinations. Take Belize for example. Your average five day fishing package in Belize with popular resorts such as El-Pescador or the famous Turneffee Flats, T-Flatts Lodge of Belize can run you anywhere from $3,000 per week to upwards of $7 or $8,000. That’s some expensive fishing and it only allows a small percentage of those whom wish to fish in Belize to enjoy the abundance and fun of the action that awaits in Belize.

Well for a much lower cost – TRY $85.00 PER DAY you can experience all the excitement of fishing in Belize for a fraction of the cost of most resorts. For more information about the CHEAPEST Fishing in Belize visit www.BiteMeBelize.com and start planning your Belize fishing adventure today.

By: Marshall Cutchin

I started my day by reading an innocent question by Esquire book reviewer Benjamin Alsup: “Would anyone still subject themselves to the embarrassments of fly-fishing if it weren’t for Hemingway?.” While Hemingway fished and wrote about many waters now famous for their fly fishing, he was, by many accounts, reluctant to throw a fly. (As Nick Lyons said in his intro to Hemingway on Fishing, “For a writer so beloved by fly fishermen, he shows little interest in this brand of fishing.” Apparently Hemingway preferred swinging multiple wet flies through the riffles — when he had to.) So Hemingway/fly fishing references do beg the question of whether the great literature is fading from view faster than we’d like.

Arnold Gingrich, who founded and ruled Esquire during its heyday in the 30s, 40s and 50s and was a fly fishing fanatic, probably also knew more about the sport’s literature than any man of his day. He fished with Hemingway and listened to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s excuses for not doing so (“I can’t face Ernest again, when he’s so successful and I’m such a failure“). Gingrich was one of the first — and last — to publish Hemingway (and Fitzgerald, and John Steinbeck, and Truman Capote) in a major U.S. magazine. It would be fair to say that he saw fly fishing as one of his era’s “extreme” sports, one that was worth the attention of the very best writers, fly fishers or not. But Hemingway, who was writing stories like “Sailfish Off Mombasa: A Key West Letter” and “Hemingway On Being Shot. Again,” and was probably glad to lend a touch of machismo to Gingrich’s favored sport, was unlikely to dilly dally around with the engraved fly fisher’s flask when there was a case of Jameson’s Irish whiskey stashed in the bow of The Pilar.

Some better literary candidates? Negley Farson, who lived in remote British Columbia and who fly fished to put food on the table, John Gierach, who cared enough about saving fly fishing from pretension that he coined the phrase “trout bum,” or the gifted Jim Harrison, whose poetry inspired by rivers has nothing at all to do with the glamour of being a celebrity sportsman.

But maybe the best choice would be Gingrich himself, who did as much as anyone to point out that fly fishing is not a sport for sissies.

International Game Fish Association has approved Tres Pescado Slam Tournament as an Inshore World Championship qualifier event.

August 20, 21, and 22, 2009 is the date for the first Belize fly fishing tournament, Tres Pescado Slam Tournament, involving all 3 of the grand slam species Belize is known for. Another first is the type of tournament, a “Catch and Release” only event. And yet another is the data collection that will take place during the tournament to establish a baseline for the 3 grand slam species – the data collection for this event is modeled after the successful Florida Keys bonefish census. As if that weren’t enough, the Tres Pescado Slam Tournament, held on Ambergris Caye, has received approval as one of the qualifying events for the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) Inshore World Championships.

What’s this mean? In the fly fishing world of tournaments there is no single tournament that garners more respect and prestige than the IGFA Inshore World Championships. In June each year the top qualifier event champions from around the globe gather in Islamorada, Florida to compete for the top honors and title of World Champion.

To qualify for a chance at being invited to this World Championship event, an angler must first qualify by winning one of the world qualifying tournaments held in the USA, Bahamas, Australia, and now in Belize.

The Tres Pescado Slam Tournament has received approval of their application to be one of the world class qualifying events whereby anglers from around the world can come and if lucky enough to win the event title, qualify for an invitation to the 2010 IGFA Inshore World Championships. All anglers must qualify in the prior year to receive an invitation to the World Championships.

In addition, ESPN Outdoors selects various qualifying event locations to film for their ESPN Outdoors Saltwater Series shown on ESPN2 and on their ESPNoutdoor.com multimedia platforms. Being new as a qualifying event Belize can only hope to have coverage like this but then again, Belize is the rare jewel among the string of saltwater fly fishing events.

Sandy Moret, 3-time Gold Cup Tarpon Champ and IGFA Inshore World Championship Director, stated it best in the IGFA approval letter: “Fantastic… you are approved with flying colors. It is wonderful to see that lodge owners, guides and anglers of Belize have made such a giant step setting a leadership example for all of the Caribbean to envy. I am in hopes that Florida will follow suit with permit soon.”

To become part of this tournament and join in on the global stage of this world class event please go to www.tres-pescado-tournament.org and learn more about the available sponsorships and teams. This is a non-profit event with all proceeds going to support the health of the 3 grand slam fish.

“IT IS LIKE A DRUG. I think that’s what it is. What is it about Belize bonefish? You know every fisherman asks themselves, ‘If I could give up everything, for one fish, in one place, what would it be?’ And the more I go, the more I’m sure it would be a big bonefish in Belize.”

Watching a light spray come over the bow of my kayak heading across the bay with two clients paddling behind me. A beautiful Spotted Eagle Ray looking for a handout of free food greets me. I oblige and motion to my fishermen to paddle over. Digging in my spare compartment I withdraw a handful of shrimp that I keep in a bait bucket for just such occasions. Learning to the side and offering my hand a few inches below the surface the big “bird of the deep” passes by effortlessly inhaling the shrimp resting in my palm. What a great close to a day of kayaking and fishing these beautiful turquoise waters of the Caribbean.

I give my guys a moment to store their cameras in the dry bags before we push on towards the last stretch to home. Each stroke of my paddle I relax to the slight gurgle produced as I draw it back. Birds along the mangrove-lined shores are calling loudly announcing the approaching close of yet another day. I’m daydreaming that I must be in heaven. Interrupted by a roar of laughter from clients I tune into their conversation to hear them reminiscing over one of the fish they caught while stalking and paddling the flats earlier today. I’m instantly taken back to the sound of a singing reel being stripped of line, the smiles on the faces of enthused anglers, and the excitement as they pose with their first Belize flats fish. This is my heaven. It’s what I love most about sharing flats fishing with anglers on this tropical island off the coast of Belize.

I often tell people that I can turn anyone into a five year old in a split second. That split second they hook up with their first bonefish, permit, or tarpon. Man or woman, everyone giggles like a five year old. Couple that experience with paddling through gin-clear water with the warmth of the tropical trades caressing your skin under a clear blue sky and you begin to understand why people adopt a “tropical latitude” and return time and time again. It’s the reason I made the permanent move myself. Constant day dreams of shadows moving in from deeper waters, schooling noses in the sand and tails breaking the waters surface filled my head so often that I finally gave in and let go.

If you’re ready to develop you own “Tropical Latitude” and love kayaking and fishing then come visit. I can promise you’ll have the time of your life. From sun-up and well past sun down the Caribbean island of Ambergris Caye is all about fun. Sun soaked days harassing fish on fly or spinning and rum soaked evenings filled with great friends, good music, and excellent food will have you booking return trips as well.

I hope you’ve been inspired to get out there and do some fishing. And if the weather doesn’t permit, then head over to the airport and hop on the next silver bird that’s south bound. And remember, although the fishing is excellent year round. However, wit the migrating HUGE TARPON, and the overly aggressive permit schooling for spawning as well as the same with the bonefish. The summer is when Belize fishing is absolutely world famous. So if you’re ready to get into some fish and paddle through one of the prettiest places on the planet then check out Belize.

I look forward to fishing with you all soon.

Fishing in Belize with BITE ME BELIZE FISHING

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Center Hill Lake is a cool clear body of water that is nestled snugly in a valley surrounded by lush green hills and limestone walls in the middle of Tennessee. As a child it was a tradition for my grandparents and I to venture to this man made fishing heaven once or twice per summer. In more recent years I’ve found that being at a BBQ with the air filled with the smell of roasting hot dogs and the sounds of sizzling burgers often carry my mind back to a campsite on those familiar childhood shores. Later in life the river that is the backbone for this stretch of water would also be my introduction into trout fishing tail waters as well.

One particular early summer morning I arose to smell of coffee perking over an open fire and the sounds of my grandfather and grandmother discussing news they’ve read in the days paper picked up by my grandfather at some ungodly hour at the local convenient store. I roll out of bed, literally as we’re sleeping in a late seventies pop-up camper. If you’ve ever seen one of these things, they have the most amazing capability to go from something resembling a thin rectangle box into a monstrosity of a fort that looms over the campsite stating to all those around; “I no longer accept camping as primal and simple manner to remain in touch with our natural world. No, I am the master of the woods and shall bring along all the comforts of home and just temporarily set-up shop in the woods for a week or two.” My grandfather said that sleeping on the ground in a tent gave him a bad back. I was five years old and had no clue what a bad back was, yet.

Exiting the camper I was greeted as most grandchildren are by unwanted kisses from grandmother and a forceful stroking of my head in an attempt to somehow get my hair from sticking up all over the place giving me the appearance of something raised by a pack of wolves. After all, one must maintain a proper appearance when camping in the great outdoors. Once I freed my self from her arms I slumbered to the safety of my grandfather. He would never “ruin my rep” and slather me with kisses and try to make me look presentable in the middle of the forest. He would however, let me sit on one of his knees and take sips from his coffee which would drive my grandmother nuts. He’d flip to the comics’ section and begin reading me the funnies. Usually this was enough to hold my attention for the first half an hour or so until I fully awaken. Being by the waters edge it would only last a few minutes. My attention fixed on the fishing rod and the tackle box resting against the truck bed. My grandfather nudged me and with a gentle whisper instructed me; “Go ahead, but stay close to camp.” I sprang from my grandfather’s knee, in a split second I had my trusty Zebco 202 and my tackle box in hand running for the trail leading down the hill from our campsite. On my mad dash for the water I took note of my grandmother telling me breakfast was in half an hour.

Moving branches aside while wiping spider webs from my face that I’ve walked into I make my way to the waters edge. I follow along the water a few more steps and find a nice spot with the branches of a submerged tree rising from the surface. This is the spot I say to myself, lots of cover. I pause listening into the silence for any signs of trouble. My grandfather enjoyed telling me fictional stories as a child of bear attacks around the lake and deadly pythons, rattle snakes, even the occasional Boa would be found lurking in these woods to feast on “bad” little boys and girls. Again, I reiterate that we’re in MIDDLE TENNESSEE! And I’m only five. Not to mention that up until my twenties every word uttered by my grandfather was as if it had come directly from the lips of God. Like many young boys I idolized my grandfather and he could do no wrong, even if he did insist on scaring the wits out of me with his fictitious tales.

After ascertaining that I was indeed alone and the coast was clear and I could still hear the faint sound of my grandparents in the distance above me. Unlatching my little tackle box I open the top, reach in and pull out a Styrofoam container filled with dirt and night crawlers. I thread one onto the hook, check that my balsa wood float is secured in place and heaving my rod forward I press my thumb on the release and with a zinging sound and a whoosh my line hurls forward landing with a splash a few feet from the edge of the tree. I turn the reel crank a few times to tighten up the line and make my self cozy on a fold out multi-colored woven aluminum lawn chair left on the banks the first day we arrived. My attention focused towards the open waters of the lake as the sun begins to sparkle on the waters surface with the light begining to break through the trees high atop the hills. The early morning fishing boats motoring across the water leave a wake that turns those gentle sparkles into a light show that seems to come to life in a beautiful dance.

A quick tug and my attention is back to the float. Steady, slowly turning the crank to tighten the line again. Steady, I tell myself. With a slight gulp sound the bobber is tugged under water. I give a quick reel and pull back on my rod. FISH ON! First fish of the morning and I’m all smiles. Thirty years later and the fastest way to make me smile is to hook up with a fish. Well, maybe that comes second to having a pretty girl tell me she likes me. I’m reeling and keeping my rod tip up as I retrieve the fish. My head filled with the day dream of bringing in a lunker of a bass that would certainly impress my grandfather and all else whom saw the picture as it would merit a frame and display on the mantle for all to see. As the fish bolts towards the surface in one last attempt at freedom my hopes are shattered by the sight of a small pan fish about the width of my two little palms placed side-by-side.

Kneeling down to the waters edge I rest my rod next to me and with care I remove the hook and let the little fish swim back for the safety of the branches. As I reach my hands into the water to wash them off, a movement catches my attention from the corner of my eye. Seems that all the commotion of my catch has aroused the curiosity of something else. It darts back along side the log where I can’t see it any more. I stand slowly in anticipation of what it is. Maybe it was just a fish chasing some bait or a water strider darting across the surface. I second-guess the water strider due to the very large wake it left. I can feel my heart begin to pound faster. Images from my grandfather’s stories begin to fill my head. Feeling the fear build within me I’m still trying to be brave. I’m also very curious. What if it is a huge bass crashing some bait just on the other side of this log. I could cast in my worm and potentially catch this monster.

I kneel back down as not to scare the fish as I creep forward toward the edge of the log. I glide my hands quietly over the surface of the log. I maneuver with the skill of a seasoned hunter stalking his prey. I raise my head over the log and that very moment, the head of a snake pops out of the water towards me and comes to rest on a branch about a foot away. Face to face, we stare each other down, neither sure what to do or make of the other. I did the only thing a five year old is to do in this situation. I leap to my feet and frozen stiff open my mouth and let out the highest pitched screech for help that even froze the snake in its place. As we both sat there unable to move with me crying for help; “POPPA, POPPA!” I screamed, my eyes filling with tears. The snake seemed paralyzed and never moved an inch. Upon the forth or fifth yelp for help I head the rustle of the dirt as he raced to my aid. Placing a hand on my shoulder he kneels next to me asking what’s wrong. I point to the snake and he looks in the direction of my hand. Turning back towards me smiling he chuckles. “It’s a harmless water snake, see.” Grabbing a small stick laying on the ground he shakes it at the alarmed two-foot long creature and it turns tail and scurries in the opposite direction.

Returning to camp he fills in the details to my grandmother whom was in the camper bathroom when my screaming began rolling her hair. Again, one must keep up appearances when in the wilderness. They both soothe my worries and guide me to a seat to have some breakfast. Not sure if that was to make me feel better or not. I felt like the biggest wimp. What a sissy I told myself. A few weeks later as some other older generations of family are gathered around for my great grandmother and grandfathers anniversary party I walk into a room when my grandfather motions with a gesture for me to come to him. Sitting me on his knees he looks up at me and with a room full of the elder men of our little tribe sitting around he says; “Go ahead, tell them about the monster of the lake.” Hearing chuckles from them all I don’t hesitate. I launch in to the story with, “You should have seen it. It had to have been ten feet long!” It was at that moment I’m certain my grandfather knew I was destined for fishing greatness. After all I’d already mastered the art of the fisherman’s tale.

written by: Jim “Big D” Harper
Fishing in Belize

Backyard Bones

The move to the small Caribbean island off the coast of Belize wasn’t easy. In fact, some might call it a rather arduous journey. Adventure is a more appropriate description. Not only was the move an adventure, the day-to-day routines of ones life are as well. What makes the hassle and hurdles worth it, you ask? A few things in come to mind immediately.

A.) I did mention it’s a Caribbean Island, right?
B.) An abundance of very small bikinis on petite, stunningly beautiful senoritas.
C.) The most important deciding factor for me, something I call “Backyard Bones”.

This all begins a short six months after I entered the “working” world. As a child I fished a lot. So much in fact that I was recognized by my peers as being quite adept at the sport. When the time came, I was informed that regardless of being told as a child I could be anything I wanted. And I of course said I wanted to be a fisherman. That it was all a lie. Moms, Dads, Grandparents, Uncles and adults in general were lying when they informed you that you could be anything you dare to dream. Really, when they asked; “What do you want to be when you grow up?” their actually looking for cheap amusement from the innocents of a child. The reality is, once you’re of age they expect a productive and contributing member of society. So, with that repressed angst off my chest now – I’ll continue.

Off to the corporate world I went. I thought at the time that I was fairly lucky. Everyone informed me that since I hadn’t gone to college and was given a natural-knack for writing various computer code and earning a decent wage for a first job, especially as a young man of twenty. I, according to society was on the right path in life. Within the first six months of breathing recycled air surrounded by people I found annoying and rather miserable. The luster of the corporate career wore off. And the harsh reality began to set-in. I was on the well-paved road to spending the next thirty years in this bleak existence. Trapped in a three-walled cell, opps I meant cubicle day-after-day for roughly 250 days per year for a grand total of 7,500 days of your “working” life. Let that sink in just a bit. SEVEN THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED DAYS OF YOUR LIFE! Well it scared the shit out of me. Soon I was living for that sacred two brief days per week doing what I WANTED TO DO, known as the weekend.

In order to break the monotony of this drab routine I took up fly-fishing and begin returning to the past time that I had so comfortably fit into through out my youth. The weeks got easier as I spent the majority of my days on someone’s dime other than mine performing just enough work to keep me below the radar. The rest of the time studying the art of fly fishing and fly tying in books and on the internet. Fridays would arrive and I would sneak out of the building a full hour early. Truck packed with gear and a paycheck in my pocket. I would bolt for freedom like the family cat when he would hear my three-year old cousin coming after him. I knew, If I could beat traffic I would be settling into my campsite adjacent to some great waters holding tons of fish for me to harass come sun up.

Regardless of the previous five days since my last visit. Each morning on the water was as if I’d never left. It’s the slight chill early in the morning coupled with the anticipation of what the day will hold. The early morning still as the sun begins to break the horizon. The gentle trickle of water as a few drops hit the surface while poling the boat into an area teaming with fish. Listening to the trees come to life with the sounds of various birds as they greet a new day. Watching those first signs of disturbance on the waters surface indicative of feeding fish. This is what my life has been about since the beginning. For richer or poorer, for better or for worse, I said “I do.” to fishing long ago.

One morning while conducting my “paid for” fishing research I ran across an advertisement for a flats trip in the Bahamas. Living in southern Florida I knew the airfare rates couldn’t be terribly expensive. Sure enough I discovered a round trip to Freeport for a hundred fifty six dollars. That was it, my mind was made up. I called up the number from my employers phone; after all, international calling is expensive. A gentle sounding voice with a thick island accent answered with a pleasant hello. Cutting through the chase I asked when was the first immediate opening he had for three days of fishing. He replied with a slight hmmm… and a pause. “The twelfth of this month.” With no hesitation I said I’d take it. Upon hanging up the phone I began plotting how I could escape with a reasonable excuse. Only having eight days to prepare I knew it was going to be my best “duck and dodge” of the office I would have yet to perform. The following Monday I began with a fake cough. Followed by a few sneezing fits encourage by breathing a bit of white pepper. Add to that a few drops of Visine to make my eyes water. A couple of squirts of nasal spray that always gives me a little sniffle runs just after I sniff it. And viola! Looks as though the years of faking sick in school works equally well in corporate America.

By the second day of my shenanigans I added a large coffee cup containing some VERY peppery broth to produce a mild sweat on my forehead. Add in one departmental office meeting with everyone one in attendance and by Tuesday at noon, the boss sent me home before I got everyone in the office sick. I strolled out of the office somberly accepting the “get well soons” and the “hope you feel betters” from numerous co-workers. As I drove away from the property with the office building in my rearview I paused for a moment and with a smile said; “I’d like to thank the academy!” I spent the remainder of the day packing my gear, tying some popular bonefish patterns, while watching a few of my favorite movies.

Waking early the next morning I loaded my gear and headed down A1A, also know as Ocean Blvd twenty five miles south toward Ft. Lauderdale to meet my puddle jumper over to the Bahamas. By 10:15 in the morning I was sipping Kailik on a beach in Eleuthera staring aimlessly out across the vibrant hues of blue as far as my eyes could see. With my five-day repreival from the office finally at hand I begin feeling enlightened and content once again. I realized the sun had sunk closer to the horizon and my watch reads four p.m. It strikes me that while being surrounded by the tropics on the beginning of a fishing trip has aided me in shrugging off the corporate blues. It’s more likely that the rum drinks are the reason for enlightenment. With the awareness of my altered state now on my mind, I set my watch alarm for eight o’clock as a reminder to head to bed, as six a.m. will come painfully early should this drinking continue any further. I pick my self up out of the beach chair and proceed to glide in the direction of the bar for just a few more.

The next morning I’m up early rigging my fly rod and tying a few extra leaders for the coming day. I pause for a moment in my shuffling to fully take-in my current place on the planet. Making my way to the balcony I watch in wonder as colors so brilliant fill the sky. Remarkable hues of orange, purple, pink, reds, and blues explode over the glass like waters of the Caribbean. A small skiff passes by, the wake gently rolls towards shore giving life to this once still canvas. Each perfectly melding color begins to dance with such fervor that it reminds me once again what a miracle each day truly is.

Promptly at six on the dot, a weathered and worn jeep wrangler arrives just in front of my door. A thin framed very dark man sporting a tattered looking straw hat, faded khaki cargo shorts and a sun faded t-shirt that said, “I Love Bimini” across the chest. With a kind smile he offers his hand and introduces himself as Doc. Accepting his jester I grip firmly and immediately feel a lifetime of poling and fishing in the calluses of his shake. Introductions concluded he instructs me to place my rod in his custom-made rod rack mounted to the top of the old jeep. Remarking on it’s unique design Doc says; “Yeah, I fine dis piece of pipe’n wash up from sum storm on de backside of dis heere lil’ caye, bout sum two mile out. I figured it don serve me well for my use as a holder.” Nodding my head in agreement he turns the key and we’re on our way.

I ask Doc if it’ll be a far run out to the first spot we’ll be fishing. He chuckles in a manner that makes me certain that to this game I’m a complete newbie. With a quick answer he says it all and I know that the joke is going to be on me. “Yeah mon! It gonna take bout terty minute fore ya fishin.”. Only five minutes drive from my room we arrive at a washed out pastel blue home complete with angled storm shutters accented in a weathered white paint laden with cracks and chips. A slightly corroded tin roof adorns the roof of the house. It sits tall on stilts and featuring a wrap around porch with flower boxes mounted to the deck railing. Each box containing well maintained hibiscus plants blooming in a gorgeous alternating pattern of orange, yellow, and red. Perfectly spaced every two feet or so, these stunning plants merge together and appear as one continues plant encircling the home.

Doc lifts the latch on the gate and steps into the yard. Closing the gate behind me a young girl appears on the top step letting out an ecstatic “Daddy!” as if her father had been gone for days. It’s abundantly clear we’re at Doc’s house now. He turns to me and offers a brief explanation; “Dat be my baby, Julia. We gonna get some eats before we head out, if that alright with you.” I agree, feeling my stomach rumbling. Thinking to myself that I could use some food to absorb the rum from last night sugary cocktails. Continuing through the yard and along the side where it opens into a beautiful mangrove lined sand filled parcel. In the center surrounded by various boat engines, parts, a worn-out used skiff hull, variety of buoys and tattered fishing nets, sits a picnic table accompanied by plastic deck chairs and a sunbrella in the middle of the table.

Pointing towards one of the chairs, Doc gestures for me to take a seat. A moment later I hear the creak of a screen door and glance upwards to the back porch. Carefully making her way down the stairs holding a large plastic pitcher, was little Julia. I would soon discover she carried a delightful mixture of freshly squeezed mango and orange juice. Following behind is a beautiful woman adorn in a bright yellow blouse and a floral print dress, her smile big and bright. She watches the little one with a sense of maternal pride as she so eagerly wishes to help. It’s a spectacle that can’t help but bring a smile to your face as she diligently concentrates on her task at hand. A size two child with a size three pitcher weighted down by three pounds of liquid.

Soon we’ve all been introduced and are sitting comfortably around the table eating fresh fruit, eggs, bacon, and toast topped with homemade papaya jam canned by Doc’s wife. Having had our fill, Doc rises from the table leans forward and kisses his wife before walking around to Julia and stroking her cheek while reassuring her that he’ll be back before night-fall. Glancing in my direction he says; “Ya ready catch sum Bonefish?” I answer, “You bet!” I follow Doc through an opening in the mangroves along a narrow boardwalk lifted a foot off the ground. Past the mangroves lies an opening into a canal where there sits a small floating home to Doc’s skiff. As we board the boat Doc begins inspecting a few things prior to departure. After lying down my wading pack, I begin to stow my rod in the holder. Doc informs me that it won’t be necessary, stating; “You gonna need dat soon.” Wit the bow pointed towards the entrance of the channel He trims the engine down off tilt and into the water. Turning the key the engines purrs to life. A slight odor of burning petrol and two-stroke oil fill the air. Doc moves the throttle forward putting her into gear, off we go in the direction of the first destination.

Admiring the other little island cottages lining the canal I think to myself how nice it would be to own something like this for my own. Along with what a nice life Doc probably has fishing everyday while pursuing his passion. We pass three other cottages and we’re coming to the opening of the canal. Pulling past the last cottage I focus my attention to the right and to my surprise sits a large salt flats area just to the south of Doc’s canal. During my surprise my jaw must have dropped to the deck of the boat. Doc begins to chuckle, looking back he remarks; “What ya tink?” a second later he turns off the engine and trims it up. Pointing just ahead of me to the right, “there, two o’clock forty feet, you see dem?”. Shocked I stare as three large bonefish with their noses in the sand unaware of our presences are on a direct path towards the boat. With a childish grin on my face and the excitement of a kid in a candy store, I look at Doc saying; “You’ve got bones in the backyard!”, his reply; “Not bad, yeah!”

Grabbing his pole carefully from the deck as not to make any noise he skillfully pops up atop the poling platform and begins pushing us out on the flats. With barely enough time to unhook my fly from hook holder and strip off sixty to seventy feet of line before Doc calls out. “Eleven o’clock fifty yards!”. Sure enough with one quick glance I spot a school of five bonefish nose down and tails up. I throw my rod back and feel it load. With the flick of my wrist I shoot the line forward then back again. As the momentum of the line loads the rod on the back cast this time I make a haul and shoot forwards, releasing with my left hand the remaining line. I feel it slip quickly through my thumb and forefinger that are guiding the remaining line on the deck of the boat. The loop unfurls ahead of me and I watch as I tip the rod tip to the waters edge and the leader delicately delivers the fly a few feet in front of the school. As the fly sinks one of the bones turn on it. “He’s sees it!” Doc says. Followed by a “Strip”, “Strip”. Just like that a mere five minutes from the dock I’m hooked up. I palm the reel as he strips me into my backing. Six or seven minutes later I bring him aside the boat as I kneel down and remove the hook from his mouth and take the opportunity to snap a quick picture. The rest of the day is spent stalking and catching fish after fish on the network of flats just behind Doc’s house, never straying more than a mile or two from his canal.

Three days of successful fishing later. I’m packing my bags and gear heading towards the Governors Harbor to catch my flight back to Freeport and then on to Ft. Lauderdale. I fell refreshed and notice a renewed sense of vigor. It’s as if I was plugged into a socket and my batteries are once again at full power. With this contemplation I understand the importance of the “vacation” in the corporate world. I see how it can replenish ones spirit and give them a false sense of hope again. The kind of hope that keeps you thinking, one day, one day I’ll be able to enjoy these activities and things that I like on a regular basis. I also get an understanding during this epiphany that the system was designed to give you just enough hope whilst keeping you coming back again and again. You never really have enough to get ahead. With the cost of living increasing at all times and inflation on the rise you’ll be lucky to have a 401K or some small money market account to play with once you reach sixty five. And even I know not to count on Social Security, and I’m certainly no economist or financial planner. I come from a long line of financial spenders. Lets just say my family is known as “good consumers”.

I could go on and on about my experiences of getting away from corporate America or any life that you merely tolerate and don’t truly love or have passion for. It’s like staying in a relationship because you’re comfortable. Passion keeps the soul young, and I see more passionate older people that have spent a lifetime doing something they love surrounded by people they love. After this altering realization and upon my return from the Bahamas I lasted a short seven weeks before handing in my resignation. I began a career of consulting and contracting work that enabled me more time to pursue my passions as well as work remotely from various tropical islands. After much exploring and fishing this planet I realize in hindsight that it was the best move I’ve ever made in this world. It hasn’t just changed my reality and my microcosm of this world. It’s changed everyone around me and in my life’s world as well. The happiness and content I have for my situation influences and eases anyone around me. There are a few disgruntled family members and ex-friends that hold a grudge and a bad attitude. How can that affect you when you’re enjoying your ride, the ups and the downs? It’s still exactly where and what you want to be doing. Their jealousy is based on the fear they’ve lived in for their entire lives that have stopped them from stepping out and pursuing what their passions are or were.

I now own a fishing outfit that lodges and guides people to experience their ideal fishing vacations. The lodge located just a few hundred yards from my house on a canal of my own. Recently I had the editor of a fishing magazine visiting to do a write-up about my fishing operation. His first day of arrival as I push us off the dock and motor out to the opening he glances over the side and with child like enthusiasm turns to me with wide eyes and proclaims, “Bro, you’ve got backyard bones!”. To that I can only say, “Yes I do, brutha! Yes I do!”

I hope you too are inspired to pursue your goals and passions through out life. If you’ve ever dreamed of doing something, do it! You’re far more likely to regret the things you didn’t do then the things you did. In one final parting note I leave you with a favorite quote.

“Laugh at yourself, but don’t ever aim your doubt at yourself. Be BOLD! When you embark for strange places, don’t leave any of yourself safely on shore. Have the nerve to venture into unexplored territory.” – Alan Alda, actor

written by: Jim “Big D” Harper
Fishing in Belize

Running Down the Man DVD
Running Down The Man | Fly Fishing Video DVD
I was just sent a copy of Running Down The Man from one of my Belize Fishing clients. I must say – I LOVE IT! The action in the movie is awesome. Filled with Frank Smethurst sprinting up and down the beautiful beaches of Baja California with a ten weight fly rod chasing Rooster fish on the fly.The journey begins with a dune buggy speeding through the deserted roads of Baja along some of the most beautiful stretches of beach.

Watching these guys lock into these huge Rooster fish is amazing. What a truly beautiful animal. Watching Running Down the Man will have you drooling to hop the first thing smoking to go fishing for Roosters on the Baja coast line.

If you’re looking for a Fishing DVD with great footage and excellent editing I suggest you purchase a copy of Running Down The Man today.

It’s available at Amazon – CLICK THE LINK BELOW
Running Down the Man DVD

Or watch a trailer segment and get the feel for this incredible fishing movie.