Last year I landed a couple of bowfin on the fly. They were great sport.
I happen to care very little about the opinions of the locals, or the old guys, or the rednecks or anyone else who has uneducated opinions about an amazing native sportfish like bowfin.
In situations where people mock me for my personal choice of targets (I fish almost exclusively for carp on the fly now), I either ignore or educate. There are many myths about 'roughfish' and few of them are true.
I say, walk in with the next giant bowfin you catch and proudly say " I think I have a record!"
As for flies, I had luck with chartruse and silver clouser minnows.