Andros is a 2,300 square mile island known not only for its world class bone fishing but also for its many species of flora and fauna and its spectacular marine environments, which include the second-largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere, blue holes, the Tongue of the Ocean, and the Great Bahama Bank. The island is a limestone formation. The interior consists of hardwood and Andros Pine forests dissected by inland lakes and creeks. More than 40 known species of wild orchids and more than 200 species of resident and migrating birds inhabit Andros. Other wildlife include butterflies, wild boar, iguanas and land crabs.
The perimeter of the Island is distinguished by interchanging coral sand beaches, mangrove line bays and lagoons. The Island is lined with thousands of miles of inland waterways and fishing flats. The North, Middle, and South Bights through the island, east to west, creating vast areas for fishing and access to even more flats on the west side. Andros’ saltwater flats, a crucial habitat for bonefish and other species, are the largest in the world. The Island’s west coast is the largest tropical nursery in the world, in part owing to extensive red, black and white mangrove systems (the largest concentration in The Bahamas).
With the third-largest barrier reef in the world on one side and the shallow flats of the Grand Bahama Bank on the other, much of Andros remains a wilderness spared from major development. These conditions have created an excellent world class sanctuary for fly fishermen in pursuit of bonefish, tarpon, and permit.
In the early 1900’s, fly fishing was introduced to The Bahamas, primarily on the islands of Bimini, Abaco, Andros, Exuma and Grand Bahama. Small lodges, such as the Bang Bang Club (Andros 1929), Deep Water Cay (Grand Bahama 1956) and Peace and Plenty (Exuma) established the Bahamas as a renowned world class fishery destination. Few anglers left The Bahamas without this experience. Over the past fifty years, the number of fly fishing lodges in the Bahamas has grown, adding important diversification to the nation’s vital tourism industry. Andros is known among anglers as the premier fly-fishing destination in The Bahamas. For fly-fishing, the Island has unparalleled marine and coastal habitats.
However, the ecological underpinnings of the marine and coastal environments are fragile and deserve to be researched and protected. The fishery faces stress from a variety of pressures including coastal development that could potentially spoil near-shore marine environments, netting of bonefish for subsistence needs, and the fly- fishing industry itself.
The Bahamas Sport fishing and Conservation Association (BSCA) is a grassroots network of the industry’s most recognized and successful Bahamian leaders. The Association, was formed to promote conservation and environmental awareness throughout the Bahamas. The BSCA is dedicated to the preservation of marine and coastal systems, the protection of the sport fish of this remarkable fishery, and the economic benefits that this industry provides the Bahamian people.