Oliver Monore no longer answers to his given name. Instead, he prefers to be addressed as “Bonefish Slick”, a name that carries a certain cache for a saltwater flyfishing guide living on tiny Pipe Cay In the Exhuma island chain in the Bahamas. Slick, however, is no ordinary guide. He won’t tie on your fly, help you with your cast or advise you on your retrieve. Instead, Bonefish Slick focuses his skill set upon two very important things – finding bones and serving up uber-fresh conch.
Words: Brian IrwinI think the motor dumb,” Bonefish Slick hollered to Jason, Staniel Cay Yacht Club’s mechanic. Slick, my fiancée Lori and I had radioed Jason for help when the 30 horsepower outboard on the Whaler I had borrowed for this trip died, leaving us stranded in the middle of Pipe Creek.
Pipe Creek is nothing more than a channel that flows through the belly of the horseshoe-shaped Pipe Cay in the dead center of the Exuma chain of islands in the Bahamas. The azure vein winds through a flat the size of a half dozen football fields, providing thoroughfare into one of the best bonefish spots in the Exumas. The 50-year-old Slick, who chooses not to go by his given name, Oliver Monore, has been guiding this flat since his teens, hunting bones for celebrities like Jimmy Buffett, who in his memory was “a pretty good caster.”
Slick was our guide for the next two days. We were staying on Staniel Cay, a dot on the map, and home to a Caribbean time warp that allows visitors to hide from the outside world. Unlike the widely publicized Marls or the broads of Christmas Island, this remote chain is not known for bonefishing. As such, we didn’t see another fisherman. Especially with a dead motor on day one.Subscribe to start your collection of the world’s best flyfishing publication.