Blackfly Lodge, February 2014
Wow! What an incredible place and experience. My dad and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the Black Fly Lodge. Everything was world class - food, fishing, guides, rooms. Not to mention, the golf driving range! We can't wait to get back soon.
Here are a couple of pictures during our visit.
John and Kevin English
By Yellow Dog on December 9, 2014
SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE LAST WEEK BLACKFLY LODGE ABACO, BAHAMAS
"You should have been here last week" was the first thing we heard upon arriving to the Blackfly Lodge on Abaco Island this past trip. It was hard to even hear the lodge manager, Clint Kemp, due to the piercing winds as he was telling us about the amazing week of permit fishing before the current cold front slid over the island. The eight anglers, hosted by Ian Davis from Yellow Dog, hearts sank as their last trip to Abaco was cut short due to a hurricane. The fall is typically one of the best times of year for pure numbers of bonefish on the flats, as well as good permit opportunities. We had picked out the week based on the tides and moon faze to focus on big Bahamian permit.
When we woke the first morning, the winds were ripping from the West, which was very rare. This made the Southern Marls and all the way to Sandy Point un-fishable, so we trailered the boats South. The boat ride was a bit rough, but not like other parts of the island due to the lee shoreline. Once we got into a vast and protected bay we found good numbers of feeding bones. Not huge numbers of fish due to the cooler water, but they were big and willing to eat. On day two the winds rotated to the northeast and we hit the areas we couldn't fish the prior day. We found schools traveling down the shorelines that were feeding well and provided some opportunities. Not all the boats had excellent days, but everyone had their shot. The last two days the bones came onto the flats with reckless abandon. Massive schools of larger bones invaded the flats to feed after the water temps heated up. The visibility was great due to great sunlight, especially when the occasional cloud passed over the white sand flats. There were times when anglers were catching bonefish three to five casts in a row! We also had the option to get away from the big schools and target large bones swimming in singles and doubles in knee-deep water. It was difficult to leave the football field sized schools after the few low count fish days. It's fairly common to see large schools of bones however, they usually quit feeding once a few have been caught. These fish never stopped feeding all day!
Oftentimes, when running boats in high winds you get very wet from ocean spray, your back is killing you from crashing through the waves, and the ride isn't fun. Well, at Blackfly they run customized East Cape skiffs that are very stable, dry and have tons of dry gear storage with interchangeable casting decks. We were blown away by the overall comfort of these skiffs. If you like a lean bar, a flip down seat in the lean bar, casting platform, or a clean deck with nothing on it, they can do it. Each boat is customized to your specifically requested set-up. The seats have padded back rests and raised shelves under the seats to keep your boat bags dry, but easily accessible. They even have line tamer buckets and when the wind is cranking, these are critical to store your line between shots at bonefish.
We have found at Yellow Dog that if the conditions are tough, the lodge and food aspects of a fishing trip better go well or we will hear about it. Every little problem is magnified when the fishing is challenging. The Blackfly Lodge is an amazing program. Between the single occupancy rooms, perfectly thought out lodge layout, and strong management team you will not find anything to complain about. Besides the fishing, the most looked forward to aspect of the trip each day was what chef Devon was creating in the open kitchen. Devon is a true culinary master. His unique blend of traditional Bahamas cuisine with American and European influences will tantalize your taste buds. Fresh wahoo, lobster, and conch were all on the menu, as well as beef fillets, rack of lamb, fresh soups, and amazing desserts. Even the fishing lunches were incredible. The smoked wahoo wraps left the guests asking for it again and again. After fishing, anglers socialized around the all-inclusive bar or on the front deck, with Devon presenting wonderful appetizers consisting of conch fritters, grouper fingers, white pizzas, and bacon wrapped peppers. You won't go hungry at Blackfly.
The managing partner, Clint Kemp has done an amazing job with Blackfly. We feel what really sets this destination apart are the people involved, the comfort of every aspect of the trip, and the fishery which can produce even in the most challenging conditions. We were pretty bummed that first day due to the weather, but at the end of the four days of fishing, each guest was 100% satisfied with the amount of bonefish caught, and this is a testament to the guides at the lodge. They are all long-time guides that know this area very well, are fun to fish with, and true professionals. While we only got a few shots at the big ocean going permit, which Blackfly is becoming very well known for, we will be back to pursue those game fish very soon.
I returned home from my trip to Abaco and Black Fly Lodge. All I can say is WOW, you guys thought of everything! The group I was with only booked four days of fishing but I can guarantee my next trip will be longer.
Clint, June, Devon & staff did an outstanding job. Siren (the dog) too. I fished with several guides and one epic day we ran into a HUGE school of bonefish and had a blast.
The East Cape Skiffs are very well designed. The cuisine was world class. The accommodations top notch. Needless to say I'm planning my next trip to Black Fly only this time I'll bring my wife along.
The following is a reprint of a blog post by the folks at Country Pleasures Fly Fishing.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Black Fly Trip Report
We just returned from 2 weeks at Black Fly Lodge in Abaco, Bahamas this past weekend.This year we did two seperate, back to back, hosted weeks. Our first group arrived at BF on March 29, fishing the subsequent 6 days. Our arrival coincided with the tail end of some pretty awful weather that they had been experiencing for a few days. This resulted in our first two days being kind of a fight with light (or lack thereof).
After the first couple of days, Mother Nature started to look more kindly upon us with more sunlight and stable weather patterns. Fishing improved right along with the weather. A couple of double digit Bonefish were landed during the week with quite a number of fish 5 pounds and over landed. One of our group, who we`ll just refer to as "Lucky Les", continued his Black Fly tradition of losing a couple of truly huge Bonefish.
Everyone thinks of Bonefish when the Bahamas are mention but Abaco is a very viable Permit fishery with some huge specimens kicking around. Five Permit were landed in our first week with one fish lost. One of the Permit came in at around 40 pounds.
The meals were maybe better than last year, which we would have never thought possible. Oh, and they still hold the title for best fishing lodge beds and showers in the world!
Our second week saw a continuation of very nice weather to start. I had the privelege of fishing with an old friend who is enjoying his first year of retirement. We had some pretty decent Bonefishing with shots at some very big fish.
Mid-week brought us a present from the north in the form of cloud, high wind, and dropping temps. Wednesday we headed out with expectations of a very pleasnat boat ride and horrible fishing. All of us ended up getting a ton of shot at big Bonefish. Unfortunately, they were the most uninterested fish I think I have ver seen. Fly reactions ranged from complete disinterest to absolute panic. Obviously it was a head scratcher.
As an added bonus, there were a ton of shots at tailing Mutton Snapper in very skinny water. tailing Muttons pretty much put Permit to shame in the spooky/difficult department.
The last few days brought improvement and the last day saw unbelievable Bonefishing. And just to top things off, there was a 4:05 PM, just about ready to quit, last cast Permit landed...perfect!
Great big thanks to SD, DP, TS, LG, and TH (you all know who you are). And a big thanks to whole cast and crew at Black Fly!
Mark your calendar for April 18-25, 2015! We're going back!
Here is a link to the original blog post.
Jeannine and I just got back from a 4 1/2 days, mini-vacation at Black Fly Lodge on Abaco Island. We had the good fortune of flying over with our friend, his wife, his brother and a friend of theirs from Indiana, in their very nice private jet! Yahoo! They want me to plan a return trip this coming April. They were there last March and had a fantastic time each time.
We did have some dicey weather with a cold front and winds that blue 15 to 25 kts. but everyone caught bonefish on a fly every day. If you like to give me a call I would go into detail on the one day with sunshine that we saw more than 1000 bonefish and we caught three sets of doubleheaders on fly and more than 20 bonefish that day.
The Lodge itself is great the food is fantastic (they have a wonderfully trained chef) and they treat everyone with care. Saying this, I highly recommend Black Fly Lodge to everyone that wants to know. Jeannine and I are heading back over there January 6 and returning home on the 10th.
I hope this gives you some insight.
Best wishes for more and bigger fishes,
Got the flies from Black Fly Outfitters on Wednesday and went solo fishing looking for permit Friday morning. After a 20 minute one on one fight I landed this 18 pound permit on fly.
I knew those flies were going to work! I have to give you an assist on this catch.
The weather kept us at the lodge one morning, but we sneaked out a bit before noon, and launched down at Sandy Point. Got into fish immediately on the "town flat" and Sandy caught a nice one. We also fished the creek behind Sandy Point and were treated to a very unusual, different and exciting environment for bonefish. Caught several and the water is so clear and calm it was like fishing at Silver Springs.
At this stage in our lives Black Fly is perfectly suited for us, easy to get to, great fishing, outstanding guides with Clint and his staff standing by with first class service and accommodations.
Why go anywhere else.
"Better than Good"!!
I can’t really say enough about how great of a job everyone did this past week. All of the guides, and the entire staff did an awesome job! Everyone was blown away by the place at every level. You have done an amazing thing with the operation, it is truly special!
Country Pleasures Fly Fishing
February 23, 2012
Attn: Mr. Vaughn Cochran/ Captain Clint Kemp
“We made it to Moors Island!!”. “We had shots at Permit!”.“We found a school of bonefish with over 200 fish in it!”. “Man- that Clint Kemp can cook!”. “I Really like Kalik, can we take some home with us?”.”David and Mandy are really great people”. These are all quotes from our November trip to Black Fly. With our third trip to Blackfly complete; I write to affirm that the experience just gets better.
As with any adventure, wind and weather is always a fear and there is no way to predict how it is going to affect the fishing. This fear, coupled with novice fishermen struck fear in my mind as the pilot circled into a 25 knot headwind on our approach to Marsh Harbor.
David and Mandy met us at the airport with a smile and positive reports. My guest and I arrived at the lodge to Captain Clint handing out Mojitos and encouraging us to spend the afternoon wading for bonefish at the roadside flat. With plenty of shots at fish now taken, a wonderful dinner complete and a sampling of the finest rum in the world; the experience to began. Tomorrow we would fish…weather permitting.
The next two days at Blackfly memorialized why we enjoy it so much and always look forward to our return. Your team of guides and staff continue to be the most nimble, courteous and knowledgeable group of entertainers in the industry. We experience 2 days of fantastic food, incredible opportunities on the flats and were exposed to areas of Abaco that I assure you no one other than Clint and the Blackfly guides can access. We had real shots at Permit, experiences flats with 100 + bonefish and even played witness a school of bonefish off shore as they made the “tornado” as they protected themselves from the shark lurking in the water below. After this, I will definitely throw a mask and fins in the boat next trip.
All told, every trip to Blackfly is special in its own way. Clint and his staff continue to do an exceptional job. We look forward to our next trip and the adventure that awaits us in Abaco. Best of luck with the new lodge and the New Year. We will see you this spring.
James H. Booker III (Trip)
12 December 2011
I want to thank you for your hospitality. My son Tony Jr. and I were looking for a good fishing trip, but we had much more than that. We had a great father and son experience that we'll talk about for a long time.
Despite having 26 knot winds with 30 knot gusts we experienced world class bonefishing. The ambiance, the camaraderie, the great food and the staff were as good as the fishing. We felt as though. we were visiting old fishing buddies. The Blackfly guides worked very hard to find us fish and some protection from the wind, including six double hookups. I can't imagine any other bonefishing location where we could have had a better experience. The icing on the cake was wading the Roadside flats the last morning before we left and to watch Tony Jr. hook and chase those two big fish, one in that narrow creek. I am enclosing pictures of Tony Jr. two Roadside fish and also one of my fish. We will be making reservations for our next trip in October over the next few weeks. Keep me posted on the Schooner Bay Project. Thank you and the Blackfly organization including Siren for a great experience.
J. A. "Tony" Llera D.D.S.
24 October 2010
I picked up Geoff Mueller from the Drake Magazine in Marsh Harbor this afternoon at 1:30. It was a long way from Denver and he had made four stops to get here to be greeted by 20 knot winds. We made our way south to the Club, had a quick lunch and I asked if he was up for a little fishing. It's hard to describe the afternoon we had. For three hours on an incoming tide we wadded in endless tailing fish, several times I looked down the flat and for as far as I could see there were tails glistening in the sun. I stopped counting the fish I caught and as the sun was setting we left the flat and the fish, it was epic. Two ice cold Coronas were waiting back at the truck, a perfect ending to a near perfect afternoon.
Not a bad way to get warmed up for a week of fishing in Abaco.
Capt. Clint Kemp
30 September 2010
Vaughn and Jean
I just wanted to let you know what an awesome experience we had last week with Clint. The fishing was really good despite 20+ MPH winds! Fortunately, we were able to fish Moore's Island on day 1 before the winds got too bad. According to Clint it was a below average day but I cannot imagine what an above average day must be like because the fishing was fantastic. Moore's is an incredibly diverse fishery that I hope to fish every year! We fished the Marls on day 2 with sustained winds of 25+ mph and low light conditions. Despite this, Joe had me in a bonefish highway and we landed 11 bonefish before 12:30 PM!! We lost at least that many fish by trying to keep them out of the mangroves. I am convinced that Joe's knowledge of this area saved the day. Clint was an awesome host and he may be the best cook I have ever been around. We enjoyed learning Bahamas history from Clint and he went way above the call of duty by giving us a tour of Abaco when our flight was canceled due to a tropical storm. Clint took the time to show us a few new flies too. We enjoyed his company as much as we enjoyed the fishing. We are already planning our return trip!
I will be in touch soon to book our spring trip!
p.s. We were honored that our guide took us to his secret tarpon "beaver dam", I hooked five and landed one...my first tarpon!
09 June 2010
Blackfly Outfitters, thank you so much for a very special trip to Abaco. The Beach House was beautiful, comfortable, and very inviting. Clint was simply a great host and what a chef! The food was really special and original. We learned a lot about the Bahamas' culture from all of your staff. They went out of their way to meet our every request. Elizabeth kept everything tidy, even did our laundry. You must not let her get away! Clint was a regular tour guide for Sherri! I was almost jealous! It was my first time Bone Fishing and I am sure I had the very best guide in the Bahamas. Our guide was fantastic. I can not say enough about him. Bill knew what he was doing, but our guide was there with good advice and help.
07 June 2010
Dom B & John K
Clint, You know the hallmark of a great trip is when your enthusiasm for return at departure is the same as your enthusiasm at arrival. You have great partners in Vaughn and Jean. Vaughn and Jean made our administrative experience in booking a breeze, through their timely & thorough responses. We look forward to meeting them at Schooner Bay.
Clint, we cannot say enough about your dedication to making the Blackfly Lodge experience a standard bearer for all others, from your authentic Bahamian cuisine, accommodations, real Cuban cigars and of course to the marine ecosystem you support.
As we have spoken, you're a great "fishing coach" for intermediate fishermen like us, providing the perfect balance between a task master and an unselfish, gentle, nudging parent.
Thanks for a great time.
03 June 2010
Vaughn it is hard to describe the number of good things that happened on our recent trip to the Blackfly Lodge on Abaco. Thanks for putting together the experience.
It started off with one of the most hassle free flights out of Daytona Beach. We flew on a small 6 passenger plane and were met in Marsh Harbor by the airlines station person who stayed with us through Customs which made it quick and simple. Outside we were met by Clint Kemp the resort Manager who loaded our equipment and transported us to the Lodge.
After a quick lunch we gathered our equipment and were dropped off near the lodge to fish. Bill caught two good bones before 5:00 when Clint picked us back up for drinks and dinner. Day one was bones, bones and more bones with Joe polling and me trying to get over a bad case of buck fever. I managed to hook 15 and land 13. Clint turned out to be and outstanding host as well as a gourmet cook providing us with continues selection from his Grandmother's kitchen. During the day while we were fishing he took my wife with him into Marsh Harbor and accompanied her while she did some shopping for things to take home for the kids.
On day two he took her to Hope Town in his Dads boat and gave her a tour of the town.
On day three he arranged for her to explore the local beaches and collect Sea Glass with a neighbor near the lodge. I can truly say she was mesmerized and could only say "when are we coming back".
As for me and the bones the trip just go better. With more bones being caught and larger bones being seen as we extended the trips to the out islands.
I can truly say it was a trip of a life time for both my wife (who doesn’t fish) and myself. I will not have to ask her to go again she keeps asking me when.
Thanks for a great trip.
28 May 2010
Paul T. Horne
Vaughn – I got back from Abaco and wanted to give you a report on our trip. Ray and I were very reluctant to take our non-fishing wives to a fishing lodge. He and I have been to some that the girls would definitely not have been impressed, to say the least. Reading about Black Fly, it sounded a little too remote for them to just hang out…no swimming pools, restaurants, shopping, etc. Well it was a little remote for them, BUT they were thrilled! We actually fished 4 days at another outfit that they had been to before and really liked prior to going to Abaco. After a couple days at Blackfly and especially several of Clint’s meals, Shari (my wife) said she’d come back anytime. I am a little worried that she and Clint had too good a time shopping and sight-seeing! I know you already know this, but Clint is as good at what he does as anyone I’ve ever met, not just in the fishing business but any business!
Our first day was okay, but we fought the cloud cover and didn’t see a lot of fish. We saw enough to catch a few and stay interested. The 2nd day we spent at Moore’s Island was truly special. We saw more bones that day than any 3 days put together on previous trips. I would describe that day as “Lot’s of bones, lot’s of tailing bones, and lots of BIG bones”! That is hard to beat! Ray and I both put 6 lb fish in the boat and caught several in the 3-5 lb range and missed way too many admit to. As it was our 6th and final day of fishing for the trip (2nd at BF), he decided we needed to try on some permit (we had already seen 2, but couldn’t catch them). I started to argue, as it was hard to leave the area we were fishing with less than an hour remaining to fish, but decided he certainly hadn’t led us wrong yet. We moved and within 15 minutes had shots at 2 nice permit. The 2nd turned and looked at Ray’s fly…we all thought he was going to eat! It was a thrill!
Blackfly is a truly special experience! As you know, we are already working with Jean to book a November trip. Shari even said she wants to book 2 boats one day so they can go with us…or maybe just go with Clint! I’m already dreaming of another day at Moore’s Island. I attached a few pictures I took of Ray and some bones. Thanks! Please forward this to Clint.
Thanks to Ian Davis at Yellow Dog Fly Fishing Adventures for this endorsement:
“I want to thank Vaughn, Jean and Randy at Blackfly Outfitter for the fantastic service provided to our customers. Every customer has been completely satisfied. Their questions were answered, their orders arrived quickly, the hand-selected custom fly kits were effective and the rods and reels were perfect for the fishery.”
- Ian Davis, Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures
From Chris Travis of the TV show “Hooked on the Fly”.
14 April 2010
Well, I think you found the place, my friend. I really like Clint very much and you can trust him with your life. And the food! OMG! I liked Tony, too. We got to know him quite well, and see him do a great job for us. I was so happy to fish with you and get to know the person behind the Blackfly Mystique. We almost cried on our boat when we heard you landed your best bone ever...and on film. What a gamer! You are still probably on cloud nine, and we will get some footage out as soon as we can. We got lucky, my friend, as Friday with Clint was magic. I hooked 16 bones and landed 11. My biggest was an incredible sequence with my guide spearing a bunch of closing sharks with his push pole (on film) while I landed an 8+ lb bonefish, hook falling out and reviving it properly after some stunning shots. We were at Gorda Key and it was perfect. I landed numerous others all with a story about how sharks can hone into the elicited pheromones of bones when in terror. Life plays out vividly on the flats. We really got great footage all day. How magical.
With my big day and Clint's, as well (he had shots to 5 permit and we got all the expletive deletes on film...we won't do that to him) we have more than enough footage for a great second show! We got him breaking a rod when fighting a trigger fish (his second broken rod of the day...oh my.) We got a great sequence of Clint battling a tough bone that took him to a drop off at Moore's Island, he running after the bonefish. That will be a great full sequence. My 8+ lb bonefish will end the second show with our guide and the sharks and the 200 yard runs the bone took and me freaking out running around the boat (at least 100 yards away) and out of the mud. We got a film clip sequence of a smaller bonefish. We were not smooth at it, but editing does wonders.
We will have two shows (two weeks) airing to 60 million viewer homes 5 times a week on 4 networks. They will repeat again two months later the same 5 times a week for two weeks and we will have a best of (repeated too)..... to show our best sequences. You guessed it, Vaughn and his fish of a lifetime will be part of the best of.
Again, we had a magical run, and I thank you both for your generosity and trust in mankind. It is easy to become jaded in this age, but it is so nice to see people like you who still believe. I am glad to know you.
21 February 2010
Thank you to Karen and Wendy for letting Jim and I go fly fishing.
It was a fantastic trip. We were blessed with gorgeous weather (our guides said the best 3 days in months), great accommodations at the Blackfly Lodge facility, wonderful Bahamian cooking, two really excellent guides (Clint Kemp and his cadre of guides) and lots of bonefish with a lot of big big fish.
It was really educational for Jim: he learned what it was like to catch two double-digit bonefish (a 10 and a 12), he learned how to tie flies and clean conch, and he is planning on tying his fly line to his backing in the future.
I really have to single-out the performance of the guides. I have been fortunate to have trips with many good fly guides in the past. Even so, these two stood above. Their calm and capable direction made it much easier to spot the fish, anticipate the moment and place for fly presentation, and to understand how to succeed in hooking up and landing them. We caught bones with flies we learned to tie the night before! There was no screaming, no yelling, no anxiety. They were confident they knew how to guide us to make once-in-a-lifetime catches, and that confidence was contagious. There was no hope that we would catch fish, there was absolute certainty that we would catch fish.
Why fly fish? Because it offers the chance to catch gorgeous fish in heavenly places, in an elegant and rewarding manner. This place had it all and more: great fishing, spectacular locations, and great guys to catch fish with.
From Ian D.
This unique beach house is perfectly located to fish some of Abaco's finest flats. If you are looking for variety in the style of flats, then checkout the Blackfly Beach House and the Schooner Bay Project. Not only are the flats diverse, but so are the species of fish you can target with very little running distance in a boat. Captain Clint Kemp is a true professional and works very hard to make the Bahamas a "better place" for everyone, not just his new destination in South Abaco. There are special places these guides know about that rival anywhere in the world for the slam.....see you there,
From Robert C.
For years May has been considered one of the best months to fish the Bahamas. But not this year. I was at the Beach Club May 18-22 and every day experienced squall lines, wind in excess of 20 knots, and rain that came down sideways. It was combat fishing. Nevertheless, Clint Kemp put me on the fish. The first afternoon I caught two, lost one, and, because of difficulty casting in the high winds, could not reach dozens of others that were visible. One day we went to Gorda Cay and the first fish was seven pounds. This is a world-class fishery with big aggressive fish; I saw dozens of double-digit bones. I stood on a mogul and watched about 50 bones circling me. We got on permit two days but they were too persnickety to eat. If Clint stops guiding, he can be a chef. The seared fresh tuna was one of the best meals I've eaten in a long time. I would go back in a heartbeat, even if another baby hurricane was blowing.
From Mark C.
Vaughn is onto something really special in Abaco. I just got back last week from a CF (Cystic Fibrosis) Redbone Tournament in Marsh Harbor and ran into Vaughn making his final arrangements. We were there fishing and also filming some footage for the ESPN Saltwater Series show in 2010. Let me just say, I'm well traveled around the Caribbean and Keys tournaments, including Cuba and I've never seen a fishery like this one. I'm already scheduling to go back. It's the best visual fishery I've ever fished. Sure you have friendly Bahamian fish 21-27 inches consistently, but on the Marls bottom you get to see it all happen, fly-land, fish-turn, fish-chase while switching their heads like a bloodhound from 60-80 feet away (and typically way closer) because of the light bottom, fish-pound the fly into the bottom, fish-zip away. WOW!! You can check out the Abacos Tournament and exactly what I'm talking about at the ESPN website. I'm a dad with a 10 and 1 year old and this will be the place they cut their teeth on bonefish. Lots of action and GREAT visuals.
From Frank F
Clint, I've never been on a trip where the fishing was so lousy and had such a great time.
An exception to the lousy fishing was, of course, the fine day we had at the secret spot. Fine would have turned into fabulous had I landed "the monster". Still not over that one.
The food and the company and your accommodating approach made up for that infernal west wind and what I now know was a low pressure trough over us. All in my group feel the same way and were highly complimentary. Blackfly is a winner and you're the best!
I think I've found the tide chart but would be grateful for your link anyway. And that minced lobster recipe would be most appreciated!