Archive for the ‘fishing tackle’ Category

Go Small. Go Light. Go Weedless.

October 11, 2013

Bonefish on Grass Flats

Go Small.  Go Light.  Go Weedless.

by Chip Bates

You can encounter tailing fish on any fertile bottom, but weedy bottoms hold the most prey, therefore the most fish. Big fish seem more comfortable feeding in the shallows over a dark bottom.  Click here for tips on Shallow Water, Tailing Fish.

The end of the outgoing and beginning of the incoming brings the skinniest water that’s when you’ll find fish tailing over the weeds. To catch them, you’ll need a fly that doesn’t “plop” when it hits the water: go small.

A tailing fish is focused on a small area.  Frequently he’ll create a cloud of sand or mud where he’s feeding. You must put the fly in the area where’s he’s rooting, a matter of inches from his nose. You must throw a fly that doesn’t spook him when it lands: go light.

Once the fly lands in front of the fish, let it sink, then give it the tiniest of strips: go weedless.

Without a weed guard, your fly will invariably snag on grass and stripping a fly that’s hooked on a weed is like drag on a dry fly.  Click Here for Tips on Tailing Fish over Weedy Bottoms.

There are loads of excellent flies for bonefishing in skinny water, but our number one fly is the Bunny Bone when we need to go small, light or weedless.  Having a variety of Bunny Bones in your fly box is a necessity, especially when wading for bonefish.  Tan or brown (tied with tan or pink thread) rabbit fur tail with a little gold Mylar and mono eyes are top producing colors.  It’s also a great fly in slightly deeper water with small or medium bead chain eyes, instead of mono.  Try adding crazy legs and don’t forget the weed guard!  Click here for more information on tying bonefish flies, including the Bunny Bone.

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Easy Bonefish Leaders

August 25, 2011

We really like the “half again” leader formula – it’s easy to remember, turns over bonefish flies nicely, and can be easily adjusted to fit a variety of conditions.  Especially for Bonefishing, we find that the simpler the leader the better.  The “half-again” leader starts with a long butt, then half again, half again.

For example, a 5’ butt of 30-lb, 2 1/2 ’ section of 20-lb, 15” of 15-lb plus 27” tippet of 12 lb gives you an 11-foot leader. 

We recommend clear leader material such as Mason, Maxima Clear (not “Maxima Chameleon” or “Ultra Green”) Ande, Rio Saltwater IGFA or other brands designed for use in salt water.  The stiffness of Mason makes a good transition between fly line and leader, improving the ability of the leader to turn over the fly. Maxima, Ande and Rio are thinner than Mason,if you prefer a softer material.  Bring spools of 30-lb., 20-lb., 15-lb., 12-lb., 10-lb., and 8-lb. Mono.

Chip Bates with a nice 12 pound Bahamas Bonefish
Chip ties his own, you should too!

Standard leader length is 9 – 12 feet.  On a windy day, shorten your leader to 7 – 9 feet.  On a calm day, lengthen your leader to 12 – 14 feet (or more).  In either case, test out how your leader turns over the fly under the conditions that day and make any necessary adjustments.

Don’t Forget:  Check your leader regularly for wind knots or abrasion and replace if worn or weakened.

You can find more on leaders, like using Flourocarbon, why we recommend it and what knots to use, as well as other helpful information about bonefishing in the Bahamas in our “Bahamas Bonefishing What to Bring List”.

Bonefish Fly Patterns – preface excerpt

May 24, 2011

The following is from the preface to the second edition of Bonefish Fly Patterns by Dick Brown.  There are some great bonefish flies included in this edition that we’ve been recommending to our clients, specifically the Simram and the Bully Special (by Bully Bevins of North Riding Point Club – one of our favorites).  Check out the image of Trodella’s Ghost, it’s like a modernized version of our favorite skinny water bonefish fly – the Bunny Bone!

 This revised edition of Bonefish Fly Patterns contains forty-seven new flies that were not in the original 1996 edition. Some are recent patterns created by new flats anglers with fresh, inquisitive eyes—like Victor Trodella’s killer Ghost tailing fly and Omeko Glinton’s Meko Special. Others like Eric Peterson’s Spawning Shrimp, Vic Gaspeny’s Threadhead, Rick Simonsen’s Simram, and Patrick Dorsy’s Kwan and Bone Slappa are creations of skilled flats veterans willing to pass along the exact recipes of go-to favorites they’ve relied on for winning tournaments. Still others are well-known classics that I simply could not get into the original book for one reason or another—like the Horror and the Mini-Puff, which have produced on flats around the world for decades. A few new creations, like the Toad and the Slinky Toad, were developed in response to the significant findings of recent bonefish feeding studies that have established the importance of newly discovered prey forms in the diet of Florida and Bahamian bonefish—especially the gulf toadfish. Four—the Bastard Crab, Big Ugly, Merkwan, and Bunny Crab—come from Bonefish & Tarpon Trust’s Aaron Adams, who is both a marine research scientist and an avid angler. Finally, several new entries, like the Skok/Boyle Reverend Laing fly, the Bevin’s Bully Special, and Trodella’s Ghost, were driven by new tying materials and new uses of existing materials, which have enabled tiers to find novel solutions to old bonefish challenges like flash intensity and splash impact.

 Reprinted from Bonefish Fly Patterns, 2nd Edition by Dick Brown, ©2011. Published by Lyons Press an imprint of Globe Pequot Press, Guilford, CT

looks a lot like a Bunny Bone

Trodella’s Ghost Fly Photo: © 2011 Dick Brown

Traveling with Fishing Tackle

May 19, 2011

As a travel agency specializing in international fishing travel, we’re regularly asked how to travel with fishing tackle.  We recommend 100% of the time that traveling anglers pack expensive reels and flies in their carry on luggage to avoid them being delayed, lost or stolen while in route to your fishing destination.  Also, despite not fitting into the airline usual “carry on requirements”, most airlines are allowing small cases of 3, 4 or 5 piece fly rods as carry-ons, as long as they fit in the overhead compartment (please check with your individual airline for their specific policies).  Metal objects (such as pliers, scissors, snips, pocket knives, screwdrivers, etc) that could be considered dangerous, should be packed in your checked luggage to avoid delays and possible confiscation at security checkpoints. 

The Travel Security Administration (TSA), the governmental body providing the manpower and regulations at our airports security checkpoints allow specialty fishing gear (like reels and flies) to be packed in check luggage.  We recommend that anyone traveling with fishing tackle visit the TSA website and carry a printed copy of the document entitled: “Traveling with Special Items – Hunting and Fishing” with their carry luggage / E-Tickets.

Also, we recommend investigating a fishing equipment specific carry on bag, like the Fishpond Dakota Carry On Rod & Reel Case


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