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Favorite Bonefish flies

2704 Views 4 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Mike
I'm curious as to what your favorite bonefish flies are, and why.

On light-colored sand flats, and sand flats with sparse, or clumps of, seagrass, I prefer a McVay Gotcha in the low light hours of morning and evening, and a blond (or tan) and white clouser (usually in fly fur). Both imitate shrimp, but I think the Gotcha can be a bit too flashy during high light hours of mid-day.

Second choice, and an especially good fly for large bones, is a cream and tan Del Brown yarn crab. I learned a ways back to tie the claws and legs shorter than normal, because bones tended to bite and tear at the claws and legs rather than take the whole fly. The closer to the color of the natural sand the better.

On darker grass flats, I really like the Fernandez snapping shrimp. It is dark, so similar like the shrimp on the flat, rides hook point up, so won't get snagged, and turns bones in their tracks.

When bones are feeding on schools of glass minnows and anchovies, the white Crazy Charlie or charteuse and white clouser comes out. The chartreuse and white clouser can also be a good fly for casting off edges of the flat if you suspect bones are cruising deep.

Anyone else have favorites?

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Aaron -

The only flies I really used a lot in two visits to the Keys were:

felt crab, crazy charlie, whitlock shrimp and gotcha's

I stuck mostly to the crazy charlie but the dull colored whitlock shrimp did the best for me on patchy bottoms.

I would sure like more time to explore the flats. I am targeting next winter with the wife, somewhere in the Bahamas in the deep of winter.
Aaron (10-17-2000 07:52 p.m.):
I'm curious as to what your favorite bonefish flies are, and why.

I think that the most productive Bonefish Fly that I have thrown is the Gotcha. However, during my July trip to Harbour Island, I enjoyed three incredible day's of fishing using a pink and white version of Jim's Goldeneye Shrimp on the sand flats (even at tailers), and the traditional Jim's Golden eye over marl. The only draw back is if you prefer to fish Mud's or deep channels (which I do not).

Mike -

I've been lucky enough to do the Keys bonefish trip a couple of times, what an awesome fishery. I saw fish mudding almost every afternoon/evening over at that public access (Annie's?) on Matecumbe. Never caught one from that spot, but boy were they kicking up some silt! I did get one on the hard shoal just to the right though.

It seemed when they were in the mud there was nothing on the flat. I see you do not prefer to fish them in the mud but what is the best method for these fish in the event that it's one's only choice sometimes?
In regards to mudding - usually the preferred tactic is to use a Big Heavy Fly and work the top end of the mud. Sometimes taking twenty too thirty shot's at the same general area. The Fish will be rooting in the mud and since you cannot see them you just have to hope they lift their snouts out of the sand and see your fly.

If you are talking about "little mud's" or "puff's" you have too follow the string of puff's to the Bonefish (sometimes 300 - 400 feet) - in my experience the little puffs are usually made by "Big Fish" and well worth the stalk.

I have not fished the Key's, even though I live in Florida - The Bahamas are too close, too productive, and cost about the same if you plan on flying from the Tampa area.

Tight Loops,

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