Hard working and patient guide
I recently had a chance to fly fish for bonefish with Docky Smith for four days. Docky started out by asking my goals for the trip and I told him my number one objective was to learn more about the art of bonefishing. I felt Docky did a very good job of focusing on this objective. This was important because what I thought I knew about fly fishing based on many years of throwing streamers after salmon and nymphing for trout did not transfer well to bonefish. I learned that to be successful in bonefishing one must be able to make very quick and accurate casts in quite strong winds coming from all possible directions (because the boat is always changing position relative to the wind). An accurate cast gave a very high likelihood of catching a fish, and an inaccurate cast would almost always spook the whole school. During my days fishing the wind pretty much always blew at 15-20 mph, which generally wreaked havoc with my accuracy resulting in many spooked fish. Docky gave me many suggestions on how to improve my casting, with limited improvement on my part although towards the end my casting did improve (somewhat). Despite my challenges casting with the wind, Docky was extremely patient and consistently gave me new opportunities to cast to fish. I especially enjoyed wading the flats because you got to see the bonefish approaching from up 100 meters away and had a little more time to prepare for the critical first cast. We often encountered schools of 20-100 bonefish, which pretty much guaranteed a take if I was able to get the fly close to where Docky indicated. The bonefish move a lot with the wind and tides (mostly in and out of the mangroves depending on conditions), and Docky was always trying different places to find new fish. I was amazed by his ability to spot fish from great distances.
Besides working really hard to get me on fish and doing his best to correct my many mistakes, Docky was very personable. I especially enjoyed talking to him about the natural history and culture of Long Island and the rest of the Bahamas. We also had extensive conversations about resource management, world events, our families, and of course the pandemic. I was very impressed by Docky’s conservation ethos. He gently released the fish we caught and made sure they were not harassed by lemon sharks or barracuda. We had a chance to fish many very beautiful spots. I will always remember these four days of fishing, and next time I fish with Docky and I am going to be much better at making short accurate casts with strong winds coming from any direction!
I have fished with guides all over the world and Docky is by far the best!
He understands the way fish think, and he has eyes that miss nothing. If you’re a beginner, or have lots of experience bonefishing, you will learn a lot when you fish with Docky. Lots of guides can spot the fish and point them out, but if you want to really learn what the fish are doing and how and why they are reacting to the conditions and the fly, Docky has a way of explaining this. I have caught many bones up to 10 lbs on the flats here and usually have the place to myself. The best part of fishing with Docky is that he is an absolute riot and you will have lots of laughs and fun along the way.
“I had a great time fishing with Docky. My biggest bonefish I caught with Docky on my birthday. He seems to know just where the bonefish will be. He is really awesome and very patient. I learned a lot and had a great time fly fishing with him.”
Having fly fished for over 50 years for countless species in many different countries I have had the good fortune to have been guided by the legends of the sport. I can honestly say that Docky Smith is without peer..quite simply the best. Patient,good natured with an impish sense of humor, Docky could find fish on the moon. And spot them from planet earth with his bare eyes. A day spent with Docky will not be forgotten.
My First Bonefishing Experience.
Everyone’s first bonefishing experience should be with Docky Smith. Mine was and I am hooked for life. (We had to buy a house in Long Island so we could fish with Docky for the rest of our lives).As a guide he is eternally upbeat and joyful. When it comes to fishing, he embodies the spirit of the ocean and understands it like no other… Docky lives, breathes and in his own words “smells ” the bonefish far beyond what the eyes can see. When Docky says, “I smell them” you can bet that you’ll be hooked up in minutes.”I ve got your back” in Docky speak, means he’ll bring you to the fish, help you hook one, and guarantee you a memory to last a lifetime.