By Skip Clement[dropcap]I[/dropcap]called a friend of mine from California (we do occasional emails and exchange Christmas cards). He’s an over-the-top traveling and expert fly angler with a penchant for bonefishing. I serendipitously met him in Idaho and then New Zealand – decades apart. He’s been to Tranquilty Hill Lodge twice over the past years and I wanted his opine on experiences there.
Sometimes destination “deals” by travel agencies aren’t always what they’re made out to be. Once, a good friend of mine and I, a fishing bud for over 25 years, called on a last minute deal for an Alaska trip in late September of 1993. We both loved chasing and sight fishing for “silvers.” The travel agency sent us a brochure with some shots and an invoice for the week that was about 40 percent less than other silver country lodges. It wasn’t a fancy brochure, and “camp” accommodations were described (and shown in the brochure) as “luxury tents.” A statement which turned out to be as metaphoric as clean coal. With no stove in the tent, our body heat body made the tent walls sweat – drip on the cots and our sleeping bags all night, every night. We awoke each morning to high 30s, damp temps, soaking wet and shivering. The fishing was pretty good, but avoiding bears was an everyday, all day mission. We had a boat and a guide with a pair of colt 45s and enough ammo to invade Anchorage. He never fired a shot, but we did some 50-yard dashes more than once each day. Momma didn’t like us with cubs around. And the engine always started on the first pull. Whew!
My California friend, now a retired urologist said: “Tranquility Hill Fishing Lodge (THL) on the North Bight, Andros deal is a great one. The guides are excellent, enjoy what they do, know how to and work hard for you. The food is a full kitchen breakfast, packaged lunch and always an excellent dinner with a cash bar. You can BYO, but you can only drink in your room, which doesn’t sound like much fun to me. At $2,995 per person, seven nights and six days fishing, single room, including food, great guide and a BONUS of A free trip if you catch a 12-pound bone. It would be cheaper to go to THL for the week than than visit my dentist for two hours, and far more fun.”
NOTE: Two anglers to a boat with professional guide. Bonefish are your target. Bring all your own gear and if you haven’t been before or not lately read the following story in FLM.com, Destinations: DIY Bonefishing in The Bahamas? You’ll be the wiser for it.
I called Anglers Adventures to verify the deal and see if the outfit sounded “for real.” Doug Schlink picked up the phone on the second ring and was extremely knowledgeablbe about angling for bones and THL and it’s staff and facility; here’s what he said:
DS/AA: Tranquility Hill provides anglers the best access to one of the world’s greatest bonefisheries, the legendary North and Middle Bights of Andros.
FLM: Are there any big bones?
DS/AA: The Bights are revered by seasoned flyrodders not only for numbers of fish, but the abundance of trophy size bones, frequently topping the double digit mark.
FLM: Where exactly is Tranquilty Hill?
DS/AA: It’s situated on a bluff overlooking North Bight, the lodge provides basic but comfortable air-conditioned accommodations, delicious home-style meals with a Bahamian flair, and a stable of some of the most experienced guides in the Bahamas.[information]
Tranquility Hill is easily accessed by daily commercial flights (15 minutes) from Nassau to Andros Town Airport, or by private charter direct from Florida gateways.
For reservations or more information, contact Angler Adventures, 800-628-1447
PO Box 872, Old Lyme, CT 06371, USA
Tel: 800-628-1447 (US) 860-434-9624 - Fax 860-434-8605