The original Andros Island fly fishing club
Cargill Creek, North Andros Island, The Bahamas
Inns, Lodges, Resorts
Article and featured photo by Polly Dean
“Andros Island is the richest island in the world. We’re the untamed spirit of the Bahamas, and we need to bring people back to fish here,” Captain Rupert Leadon, the founder of the Andros Island Bonefish Club, once said.
The more I learned about the club and its history, I came to realize what a pioneer Capt. Leadon was to have envisioned such a destination for fly-rod anglers. The lodge provides the perfect setting at the southeastern tip of North Andros Island for experiencing the pursuit of bonefish, the reel-blistering gray ghosts of the flats.
Capt. Leadon, who passed away in 2012, was ambitious, hard-working and employed for many years as a diesel mechanic at the nearby U.S. Navy facility on North Andros Island. He also worked part-time at the Andros Town Yacht Club, diving for lobster and grouper to sell for extra cash.
That second job also is where he learned to guide anglers. Fishermen appreciated his knowledge of local waters and established relationships with him. Because Rupert had nowhere for visiting anglers to stay, he purchased the property that the resort sits on now. With a machete to clear the land and much hard work he built a moderate guest house.
Word spread about Andros’ great fishing and Capt. Leadon’s guiding expertise. Soon, as more and more business headed his direction, additional exposure was created when well-known figures in the fishing industry, such as Lefty Kreh, came to fish with Leadon
Today, Rupert Leadon’s daughter, Juliet Newbold, manages the property that is located in the village of Cargill Creek. The club now is made up of several guest buildings, a dining hall and open-air waterfront bar.
As one dines, sips a cocktail and swaps a tale or two while enjoying the salt air; it’s nearly impossible to remain unaware of the fly-fishing legends that have enjoyed the grounds before us. The still fairly modest lodge allows one to appreciate the unspoiled beauty of the islands, while enjoying the graciousness and spirit of the island people that live and work in such a tropical paradise.
Packages at the Andros Island Bonefish Club come in various configurations, and include guided fishing, lodging and meals. The club exudes a team spirit of guides, kitchen staff, bartenders, housekeepers and maintenance staff to make sure your stay is a memorable one.
For more information visit their website. They even have some helpful instructional videos for brushing up on your fly-casting, especially when targeting bonefish.
Visiting many of The Bahamas’ out islands includes plane changes in Nassau or Freeport and may even involve layovers. Fortunately, Makers Air offers scheduled, direct daily flights from Florida to Fresh Creek Airport in Andros Town. It is then a short shuttle ride south to Andros Island Bonefish Club.
Makers Air is based out of the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport. Passengers can escape the large airports and parking hassles of air travel through major commercial terminals and enjoy a less hectic style of travel. There are no lines for checking bags. Rather, you can utilize free valet parking, then enjoy complimentary pre-flight beverages and snacks in the lounge area.
Reviews from passengers consistently rate this airline as trouble-free and professional. It feels like private service with regularly scheduled destinations throughout the Bahama Islands.
Makers Air also offers hotel and local excursion recommendations. They will gather all the information needed to plan your Bahamas getaway. Visit their website for more details.