Andros Tackle & Travel Tips
Flats Fishing Clothing
Clothes can make or break your trip, so it’s best to plan ahead and pack wisely. There are always a couple surprises at every new location, so gear that’s worked elsewhere might not perform as expected. For example, when you’re on the water hunting bonefish in the Florida Keys bugs are seldom an issue (unless you’re in the backcountry where the mosquitos can be brutal). However, in Andros we have Doctor Flies, which call for special precautions. These nasty critters are like a mini Horsefly, but they’re just as vicious and their bite is just as painful. So, where you might go barefoot or maybe wear sandals in the Keys, here we cover up. Good news is they aren’t as bad during the main season when the weather is cooler. That’s just one example; below is a list of recommended fishing clothing for Andros.
- Technical UPF fishing wear. Columbia, Ex-Officio, Patagonia, and World Wide Sportsman all offer quality flats clothing.
- Long sleeves and long pants are a must for flats fishing on Andros. The “doctor flies” are voracious, especially on calm days and there is nothing they like better than salt spray on bare skin. One of the best flats pants out there come recommended from the head guide at Fish Bones Fly Fishing, Cayman. Try the Horizon Hybrid Pants by Howler Bros. Made from quick-drying ripstop nylon they are super-comfortable and functional.
- Socks to wear on the skiff. Socks not only protect your feet from the doctor flies (they love to bite feet and ankles), but they allow you to feel if you’re standing on the flyline. This is critical for consistent presentation in windy conditions!
- Sun Mask (Buff®). This will not only help keep the sun off delicate facial features and eliminate the need to keep applying sunblock, but it can also be pulled up to keep your hat on while running.
- A quality, breathable rain jacket, for the occasional squall and to keep warm and dry when running long distances. There’s nothing worse than starting your day cold and wet.
- Wading shoes/flats booties. You never know when you’re going to have to wade. Always bring something onboard to protect your feet.
Off The Water
Shorts and slacks are acceptable, and bathing suits are OK on the beaches. However, the Bahamians are still traditional in some respects and when away from the water bathing suits should be covered with shorts or a sarong. Bring light-weight cotton shirts and shorts for the evenings or days spent exploring the island or shopping. You might want some light-weight long pants for the evenings during the rainy season when the mosquitos and sandflies are bad.
Flying with Fly Tackle
- Carry On vs. Checked Bags: Expensive tackle—rods, reels, etc—should be carried onboard, but fly-lines are an occasional problem. It’s been a while since we’ve had any issues, but there have been reports of anglers being asked to remove them when leaving the Bahamas. Within the US there’s no problem, but you should be prepared to check them if requested by security personnel. Simply removing the spools from your fly-reel can be a quick solution.
- Flies: The United States Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) actually recommends carrying expensive flies in your carry-on luggage. (Read Here.) However, that may not be the case in other countries or leaving the Bahamas. If traveling from the US we recommend carrying on your flies and then checking them on the flight home.
- Gadgets & Gizmos: You’ll want to bring a camera to capture the ‘big one’, but don’t forget to insure it. Most travel-insurance companies require a small additional fee for electronics like phones, digi-cams, iPods, and laptops.
- All Wet: If you do any wade-fishing, you might have wet boots to carry home with you. A dry-bag or large zip-lock can protect the rest of your luggage.