Size 2 for bones? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Size 2 for bones?

11-20-2007, 03:00 PM
Im always advised to bring flies in size 2, 4 and 6.
I've tied a few size 2, but they look so awfully big compared to the cute size 6 ones :tongue: .

So here goes: How often will you actually attach a size 2 on the leader?
Are there any areas where the bones generally hit for the bigger flies?

I can see the point in using some heavier flies for the deeper water in order to reach the bottom faster, but I'd rather use a smaller one with lead eyes than an ugly size 2 :)

Should I overcome my "size 2 disgust" and tie equally size 2,4 and 6?


Mat M
11-20-2007, 03:10 PM

Depends on where you are fishing. I have used size 2's and 4's for the majority of the bonefishing I have done but that has been focussed in the south pacific where there are big fish that haven't seen many flies. The places where I have been that are more heavily fished I have had to use smaller flies.

Same thing happens with NZ trout. Early season you can fish size 12's. Mid summer I am generally fishing 14/16's end of season 16/18's. Over the course of a season the fish get harder and rather than change pattern on a refusal the first move I make is on size.

You can still fish small flies that sink fast. Just use more lead.


11-20-2007, 03:28 PM
Hi Lars -

Your enthusiasm is contagious.

I always bring materials and tools to tie as well, just a compact essentials kit. My experience has been that as I learn a destination I tie a lot on location at first then less and less with each visit.

The best teacher is hands on experience and you will get that over time.

Mat M
11-20-2007, 03:38 PM
I am the same as juro. I take the kit with me and once I am on a pattern that is working I tie a couple up for each day. End up only using 2 or 3 patterns for the week. Confidence in your fly is a funny thing.

Trevor B
11-20-2007, 06:04 PM
I have always believed that presentation is 90% of the equation and As Mat says confidence in what you are using is huge !

11-20-2007, 07:05 PM
Much depends on where you fish. I like to work some 'very technical' flats on Andros, such as 'White Bight' and 'Young sound' where fish see a daily procession of anglers. Even with a perfect presentation, they'll come over, check it out, and just move on if the fly is not the pattern they want that day. I used to move to smaller and smaller, lighter and lighter flies for those fish. Then one day, I got too frustrated with a size 8 wisp of a shrimp pattern and stuck on a size 2 mantis that'd been kicking in my box forever. They went for it from 6' away.
So now I've learned that it's worthwhile to give educated fish something large and obnoxious that nobody else is showing them. As long as it's a reasonable imitation of some local prey, there's a decent chance it'll work. So a set of big, bright, bushy size 2's are a part of my trick bag for those super-spooky educated fish.

11-20-2007, 09:31 PM
After numerous days on the water in the Bahamas - (with the eception of tailing flies) the only thing that I tie and use is size 2. Its never an issue with smaller fish - but I a convinced larger fish will move to take a larger fly vs. a smaller one. Of course this is all opinion, as mentioned before confidence in the fly and presentation is more important than type of fly. I fish Gotchas, Clousers, and a local fly called PSK all tied on a number 2. I do prefer to throw a smaller Horror or puff if I am fishing skinny water - Other than that its lead eyed # 2's.


11-21-2007, 05:25 AM
Hi Lars
In my experience the hook size depends upon the type of fly you are tying and that depends upon the location. On sandy bottom flats like the Bahamas or Seychelles then a size 4 gotcha or Christmas Island special is usually the perfect fly. In Mexico and Belize smaller gotchas size 6 or even 8 seem to work best,
In other areas where there is a lot of turtle grass, like the Keys, where you mostly use Borski type flies or tasty toads then you can use flies even up to size 1.

Having said that I have caught bones on size 1/0 clousers and even 4/0 tarpon bunnies.

The larger fish that I have caught have all been on larger flies.

13.5lbs on a size 1 tasty toad Florida Keys

11-21-2007, 06:15 AM
I rarely fish anything larger than a 4 when targeting bonefish but may try some larger flies more often. I have had bonefish take #1 merkins when fishing for permit and they came from a long way off.

11-21-2007, 08:40 AM
Gotta love the differences in time zones...
1) Post a question
2) Go to sleep for 8 hours
3) Log in to FFF fully rested
4) Read 7 answers in the morning and go to work while considering the input :hihi:

Thanks alot to all for sharing your consideration and expereinces!
Seems like I'd better bring at least some of these huge, ugly size 2 :)
Your different experiences just emphasizes the importance of beeing able adjust to the local conditions.

Im going to fish carribean waters (Yucatan, FL keys, Bahamas and Cuba). I might dip the fly on the Pacific side of Mexico as well, but that'll be for other species then. Interesting obeservation with the NZ trout...

contagious - is that good or bad? :smokin:
I'll definately bring the vice and a basic collection of materials (including size 8 AND size 2 hooks :wink:)

Agree on the confidence thing... It goes for flies as well as for *cough* spin bait *cough*. You wont be successfull if you dont believe in it.

Interesting point. So the Mantis was literally kicking, aight? :wink: (took a while for me to figure that one out)

Can you give a few words on the PSK? I've googled a bit, but wasnt able to find anything usefull.

Yet another very nice fish... Guess I'll need to build a couple of Bonefish sliders / Cuba specials and toads as well.

Thanks again...
Adapatability must be the keyword!


Mat M
11-21-2007, 09:50 AM

You will be amazed how quickly bones are affected by fishing pressure. I fished a virgin atoll out in French polynesia last year that hadn't seen a fly angler for at least 2 years. The first day on the main flat we fished the bonefish were eating size 2 clousers and swimming into your legs and even then they didn't spokok just got confused with these strange things in the water. By the end of our second week on the island the fish would spook at the sound of the fly hitting the water. A continual reduction in the size of fly (and weight) was needed to even get the fly close to them let alone get a take.


alan caolo
11-21-2007, 12:21 PM
Florida: mostly #2's, some #1's, some #4's.

Everywhere else: mostly #6's, some #4's, some #8's.

Note: these physical sizes relate to TMC and Mustad hook scales - other hook makers' size designations may differ.

11-27-2007, 02:03 AM
Spot the size 2 :hihi:


11-27-2007, 10:50 AM
Lars- I'll add my two cents and I agree with all the above,However if your new to the game you should take the time to read Dick Brown's book Bonefish Fly Patterns and Randall Kaufmann's bookon Bonefishing it would help with alot of your questions.I might also add that its a game of experience and very addictive.
I will throw in one more thing,practice your casting and practice casting in the wind.

11-27-2007, 03:46 PM
Hi McFLy,
Thank you for the hints.
I've already spend several hours in company with Kaufmann previous this year. However I did not give much attention to the fly section. To be honest I did only read the first 60-70 pages, and skimmed the rest. Actually, just yesterday I ordered Chico Fernandez's bonefish book from Amazon (I was ordering a bunch of "Lonely Planets" when it popped up at ~ 30 USD). Look forward to receive it :)

Im definately new to the game with only 2 weeks of experience from Los Roques.
I know very well how addictive bonefishing is... In fact Im facing a 3 month leave from my job in IBM to chase the silvery creatures. People just roll their eyes when I tell them the purpose with my leave :rolleyes:

I feel pretty confident with my casting. We have some rather windy shorelines here in Denmark as well (thou precision/accuracy isn't that big a factor) :chuckle: Anyway, I believe I'll have enough time to practice "out there" :)


11-28-2007, 11:54 AM
In my opinion you'll get more out of completing Randall's book than you will by reading Chico's. Also, Dick Brown's first book on Fly Fishing for Bonefish is coming out in a new edition after the first of the year. That might actually be the most useful of all as his first edition was the most informative of all the books on bonefish.