Bonefishing how big of a learning curve? - Fly Fishing Forum
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Old 10-01-2006, 09:26 AM
FishHawk FishHawk is offline
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Bonefishing how big of a learning curve?

How much of a learning curve is there to Bonefishing? Were assuming here that the angler is rather experienced , can cast ect?
Thinking of Actklins and wondered how much was there to learn?
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  #2  
Old 10-01-2006, 09:39 AM
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Hi Fishhawk -

Your time on the Monomoy Flats is money in the bank for bonefishing, although there are major differences to cope with.

As with striper sight fishing distance is less important than accuracy and timing. What you make the fly do will make or break the presentation. Most importantly you need to tune into the fish's thinking spontaneously (unlike a stationary rising trout) or the moment quickly passes.

I am getting revv'ed up just thinking about it

If you go to Acklins with the veterans, the learning curve will be cut short. If you hook up with Bob Berquist and let him bring you to the island's guides, it will be cut shorter still. Or you could go top shelf at one of the fine lodges on the island.

I have to run as I already lost a fishing day from slacking on car maintenance but I will say this - you can't get on the fast track up that curve until you go, and there are few angling venues with that combination of raw tropical beauty, pure flyfishing essence, and technical challenge.

GO! You will never regret it, and you will go again.
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Old 10-01-2006, 10:02 AM
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Not that bad depending on where you go...

Fishhawk,

I have only been bonefishing once but I caught a bone on my 1st cast. Well, I hooked a bone on my first cast. An then I horsed him on the 1st explosive run and broke him off. The learning curve began at that point.

I was with a guide. He put me into huge schools of bones in Belize. We pursued some on foot and some in the boat. After one day of a guide's advice on how and when to strip, how close to cast to cruising bones etc. I felt that I could have done well on my own if I had access to the same spots (which were offshore islands).

Just do it.

My thoughts,

Mike
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Old 10-01-2006, 02:05 PM
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Getting the fish to bite is only one third of the battle. Learning to strike, clear line, and getting the fish on the reel are keys to landing them...Hard to practice, unless you find someone with a radio controlled car that goes 25 mph across a football field
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Old 10-01-2006, 06:03 PM
Bob Bergquist Bob Bergquist is offline
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The biggest adjustment in my estimation, and by the comments of guests, is how fast things happen on the flats. A pod of bones spotted easing towards you 100 yards out is on you before you know it. Then there is spoting the fish (where the guide is worth his beans), and keeping the line from tangling in your boots, not bonking the fish on the head with the cast....or like Muggsy, developing eyes in the back of his head. He has a knack for bones spooking him from 10 ft at his back!

Overall the curve seems to be three days, then the rest of the week is lamenting "I wish I knew then what I know now". One of my guys caught two or three a day for three days then smoked 47 on day four.
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Old 10-01-2006, 06:38 PM
nmbrowncom nmbrowncom is offline
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i have to agree with juro regarding time in monomoy. while each species is different, spotting them, whether on monomoy or bahamas is the first challange, then the wind i would say. both places tend to have sandy bottoms but the feeding forage and thus the flies and lines(almost strictly floating) are quite different in the bahamas. and there are numerous predators(sharks and barracuda) to contend with and plan for in the bahamas. and there are mangroves for them to run into in some areas. like any fish they have their peculerarities. i would strongly suggest that you get a guide. as juro correctly says, the learning curve will be reduced greatly. all of that said, i have seen you fish the flats in monomoy and have no doubt that the learning curve would be less than a day for you, if that.
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Old 10-01-2006, 11:44 PM
mugsy mugsy is offline
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FishHawk,

If I were in your shoes, and I was a couple of years ago, knowing what I know now - I would worry a lot less about the learning curve and a lot more about the consequences of picking up a serious addiction!!! Run now!!!!! and never look back! Save yourself the thousands of dollars, the nights when you can't fall asleep because you can't get the tailing bones out of your mind, the hours spent tying 'squimps', the lost productive time at work dreaming about a 10 lb bone tipping on your fly...................

If you insist on succumbing to this delightful addiction, the learning curve is part of the fun, screw-ups just make you want to do more of it, just like the successes do. The great thing about Acklins is you get a lot of shots. Also from experience, I can tell you that time spent with Bob Bergquist is time well spent.
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Old 10-02-2006, 08:01 AM
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Jim Miller Jim Miller is offline
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FishHawk
you have all the skills .... just need to adapt them to a slightly new game!
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Old 10-02-2006, 09:13 AM
Eddie Eddie is offline
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The learning curve is not really an issue. If you have the time and the money....what are you waiting for!
Book some flights and get Randal Kauffmans bone fish book to tide you over. Nice pictures.
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Old 10-02-2006, 02:04 PM
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In my opinion you must have the opportunity to make mistakes when learning to bonefish.
Yes you will spook them by casting on their heads or behind them. But you will get better.

What I mean by that is: go somewhere first where there are a reasonable number of fish.
Do not go to the Florida Keys as it takes a long time to learn there.
I have not been to Acklins but it sounds good.

The other thing is if you go to somewhere where there are lots and lots of fish you may find it too easy and not really learn. Most places in the Bahamas have a reasonable number of fish.

Pete
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Old 10-02-2006, 05:59 PM
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Good advice from everyone especially Pete's comment. Pick a location with plenty of fish where you'll get loads of shots and don't beat yourself up.

First challenge is seeing the fish - big schools are fairly easy but tuning in to individual bigger fish in time to make a good presentation takes a bit of time. They aren't quite so easy to spot as Stripers.

Blowing a few casts, getting a few refusals, panicking and busting off the first couple of strikes, all of these and many more bumps and bruises make up the learning process. Acklins sounds like a perfect destination.
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Old 10-02-2006, 08:46 PM
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Go to this link for some great bonefishing tips--a must read for any beginner. Not meant to be a plug--it's just very helpful for those getting started, and even those who've done it a few times. What do you guys think? Everyone agree with these tips? Any more to add?

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Last edited by juro; 10-03-2006 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 10-03-2006, 07:28 AM
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Read Dick Browns, "Flyfishing for Bonefish".
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Old 10-03-2006, 09:01 AM
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Even if Vince won't give himself a plug, I will. I went to Eleuthera solo in February for 5 days. Fished with a guide two mornings and on my own the rest of the time. While I didn't get huge numbers of fish ( hooked probably 25 or so, landed about 15), i had a blast and will do it again in '07. No question, the hardest part is seeing the fish, particularly in the grass. I found I could see their eyes first a lot of the time when they were crusing in the grass. Of course, if you can see their eyes, it may be too late.

Casting for me was not an issue, once I got over the initial "buck fever". The distances and wind conditions compared to a normal day of striper fishing were not a problem at all. I did find that I fished better wading than from a boat, only because I spotted the fish better at my own pace.

The first morning I fished on my own, I hooked a very nice fish right of the bat. I heard the fish tailing before I saw it.

As for the fighting part, if you've fought blues, albies, salmon, it's just a different fight, but line management and turning the fishing is still line and management and turning the fish.

And yeah, it's an addiction.
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Old 10-03-2006, 09:28 AM
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Vince -

Just to be clear your tips are welcome just not the hyperlink to a commercial site. Cut and paste is cool.
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