Body of Water: A Sage, A Seeker, and the World’s Most Alluring Fish by Chris Dombrowski
Milkweed Editions, October 2016
$24; 215 pp
In Body of Water, a treat for fly fishing bibliophiles, author and Montana fishing guide Chris Dombrowski strays from his roots in poetry and big sky rivers to tell the story of legendary bonefish guide David Pinder and one of the world’s most fabled sporting lodges – Deep Water Cay.
Pinder, a family man whose sons have grown into world-class bone fishing guides in their own right, is credited with creating the Bahamas’ bone fishing industry and establishing Deep Water Cay’s fishing program.
“In addition to teaching tides, boat position, flats, and a fly selection, David taught his lineage of postulants that the guide must pursue, as instinctively as any fish, a satisfied feeling inside the client, an elusive and lucrative quarry. This is the guide’s philosophical foundation.”
Deep Water Cay is on the east end of Grand Bahama Island, home to one of the most prolific bone fish populations on the planet. Over 50 years old, Deep Water Cay is one of the world’s most upscale fishing resorts. Dembrowski delves into DWC’s history and the struggle to balance commercialization on the island’s east end while still conserving fish habitat.
“For nearly two million years, up until roughly a century ago, fishermen knew innately that efficient food harvest led to retention of energy, which led to a better chance of survival. The average twenty-first-century angler visiting Deep Water Cay, however, has flown hundreds of miles to Freeport, taken a cab from Freeport to McLean’s Town and a ferry from McLean’s Town to the lodge, then motored miles in a boat to a flat covered (he hopes) with bonefish he plans to release upon catching. The amount of individual and collective energy expended here is literally and figuratively flummoxing.”
Whether you’ve been bone fishing in the Bahamas or one of the millions with it on a bucket list, Body of Water is a book any fly angler will enjoy. When Alaska’s weather has your plane delayed and you’re waiting it out inside a cramped village airport, instead of reaching for your phone let Dombrowski tell you about bone fishing in the islands. You’ll be glad you did.