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"Bonefish, 10 o'clock"

Guest post by veteran Orvis Saltwater Fly Fishing Festival guide and author, Colin Macleod.

As dawn broke, a thick veil of cloud obscured the hot Cuban sun. Given time, the cloud would burn away but for the first hour or so spotting bonefish in the turquoise shallows would be tricky. I took up position on the casting deck at the front of the skiff, scanning the water immediately in front of the boat for fish, while my guide perched high above on the poling platform searched 30 meters beyond the bow. In my right hand sat an 8 weight version of the new Helios D and I looked forward to making the first, serious cast with great anticipation. 

In my peripheral vision I could see the familiar white label located on the lower blank, reminiscent of the H3D and comforting, like an old friend. A few moments earlier, I had indulged in some practice casts towards imaginary fish, to gauge how the rod performed. First impression was how incredibly light the Helios felt in the hand. With a gentle haul, the Helios deposited my Gotcha fly some 3 meters further than intended. Talk about effortless casting! A slight reduction in the amount of energy applied to the next cast saw the fly land precisely where I wanted it.

Casting towards imaginary fish is one thing but casting for the real thing from a moving boat in a gusting wind is quite another. Accurately delivering the fly 3 feet in front of the fish and 3 feet past its head is crucial to success. 

Suddenly my guide uttered those magic words, "Bonefish 10 o'clock at 20 meters. Cast when you see it". Within seconds I detected a chromium -coloured shape moving across the white sand. The pressure was on and the Helios delivered with aplomb. The bonefish could not fail to see the fly and with one long, slow strip of the fly line the fish was on. The bonefish ran with tremendous speed towards distant mangroves and the chance of escape. Fortunately, the Helios demonstrated excellent power in reserve and the fish was steered towards the safety of open water. A few moments later, a gorgeous Cuban bone posed for the camera.

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