Bermuda Fly Selection
I'm only heading for a long weekend in the middle of May, but want to bring a small selection of flies. Maybe a box or so...what would YOU put in it?
Also, I've read back through and found most of the hot flats, any places near to the Fairmount Southampton? Most look like they will require a scooter to get to, but maybe some early morning walking opportunities will be available.
I must've told you about my 3 hour bus ride to bermuda's bonefish hideaway - Somerset. I was pretty amazed that there were 10 pound bones right in front of me within minutes of arriving. Close but no cigar for me on those giants but having a lot of shots made my day since it was the only chance I had to do a little fishing on that family trip.
I would say that these fish are not very educated but they know what they like. In other words they seemed interested in the way they came for the fly and somewhat hard to spook compared to Florida Keys bones but relaxed in the choices they could make about food so the presentation and fly are important.
I clearly recall one of the casual rejections I got from a huge bone within a few feet of me. I wondered if I had not excited it enough with my retrieve. It came within a fraction of an inch of eating my fly so I assumed I was only missing the trigger it needed to commit. Or maybe it was the fly. Maybe I needed some raw chicken on the hook, so the local boy told me. :devil:
All I know is if I had more than that short time to play on that beach I believe I could've figured out how to seal the deal with these bones eventually. They weren't bashful, I just needed to get inside their bony heads a little more. Or maybe I was the one with the bony head. :p
I saw other areas that looked very promising for bonefishing, but was unable to explore them. We were on a cruise ship and only there for a couple of days, I was lucky to even get that outing in.
Good luck Nick, there are some BIG bones there.
To answer your question, I have not logged as many hours chasing bonefish as I'd liked to (but I plan to correct that over the years) so I hope someone else chimes in but I would start with the standard gotchas, charlies, shrimp imitations and crab patterns. I think these fish haven't seen a lot but they need a trigger. Maybe going in morning and evening would get them rooting more aggressively. I feel the fish's mood is much more important than fly choice especially at a place where they have probably never seen a fly before like Bermuda.
- gotchas/charlies in sand, tan, brown and pink / orange shrimp
- realistic shrimp patterns modeled after sand shrimp which I think are under-utilized for bonefish
- small crab patterns in white, sand / calico and tan
- stuff for cuda in case you get bored
I also recall seeing some mole-crab like husks along the beach. I did not have any small mole crab flies but I can imagine they are big on the bone's list of snacks. I also saw some insane mantis shrimp that I assume the bonefish would stay very clear of. Heck I stayed clear of them too.
I also would focus on deciphering their behavior for peak aggressive times, figuring out what they are most prone to eat without hesitation and getting as many shots as possible to try different things.
Your hotel is pretty close to Somerset. I needed to make the transfer from St.Georges thru Hamilton where you are just a bus ride away. You might consider finding Cambridge Beach and stalking it's killer falt during the off hours...
But overall there is little in the way of flats as seen in this Somerset area photo
The lagoons around the island are known to be target spots for the only guide on the Island, Mr.Pearman. If you rented a yak you might open some possibilities provided you chose lagoons with proper structure to hold bones.
Also when the tide got running through channels the water exploded with jacks and other predators. You might have a blast taking advantage of that scenario as well.
Lots of cuda around the boat moorings at the aquarium but good luck landing anything there.
Anyway I think if you poke around you will find something good to cast to! Good luck.
As always, thanks for the great information. My gameplan now is as follows: I have 2/3's of one day to devote totally to fishing, and plan to head to some place for some bonefish attempts. i wll probably try to get some insight when I get to the hotel as to bus schedule and any hot areas at the time. The rest of the time, i will have my rod with me for any opportunities. I figure morning or evening i will have some shots for jacks, cuda, and anything else that will pull on my line. I just ordered the waterproof housing for my camera, so I will be sure to write up a report when i get back.
Now...to head to the bench and catch up from this winter of no tying!
Bonefishy locations I wish I'd tried:
Depending on the timing I may be able to give you some flies. I return from my trip on May 8th and have a few hundred flies tied up so I am sure I will have some extras on my return. Shoot me a PM on the 9th to remind me if you need some.
Sean, Thanks for the offer! I may take you up on it. Have a great time on your trip!
The peerless Mr. Pearman.....
Juro et al,
Here's an article I found on the net about Bermuda bonefishing, and the one guide that Juro mentioned above...sounds like he books three months in advance! My parents usually spend a week at the Willowbank resort on Somerset every September (and I went down with them last year- unfortunately without a rod:( ). Hopefully I'll get a crack at them sometime myself!
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