We’re right smack in the middle of spring bonefishing season, so we thought it was time for a little conversation about bonefish flies.
We’ve told you about some of our favorite bonefish flies to use on South Andros. The beauty of bonefishing is that, in most places with low angling pressure, bonefish are not incredibly selective, so that means…we get to fish flies that we like!
What’s your favorite bonefish fly?
We know that you use different flies in deep water and shallow water, on dark bottoms and light bottoms, on Christmas Island and Andros Island. We just want to know, all else being equal, if you could tie one bonefish fly on right now, what would it be? Why?
Leave us a comment and let us know!
My first “Andros” bonefish was on the first cast at the first tailer we saw on the first day of our first trip. A concoction of natural rabbit fur, orange thread, and rubber legs, my choice is easy. I call it the Andros Special and it will be the first fly I throw this May when we return to Andros.
Bjorn Stromsness says
I’d tie a gotcha with a bright orange nose. Just one of the many, many gotcha variations. For some reason, bones seem to key on that orange… some think it has to do with the color of the egg sacks of shrimp. Whatever it is, it is bonefish candy.
Corbin Fletcher says
They love the DL Gold Bug
Bill Taylor says
I agree that bones seem to like a bit of orange, but if I could use only one fly it would be a #4 standard Gotcha.
Derry Ryan says
I have to give my vote to Borskis Super Swimming Shrimp. I find it most effective for tailers & cruisers in shallow water. It lands softly and stays visible. It took my biggest bonefish to date in hard windy conditions last fall in GB ~ a 13 lber. Now an evev bigger fan.
Tom Cawthon says
Gotcha variation with the addition of rubber legs.
Great comments guys – thanks for weighing in. I’d probably go with Veverka’s Mantis Shrimp, but then again a rubber legged Gotcha of some flavor has caught me a lot of fish down South…
Mark Davis says
I like the Bonefish Special by Chico Fernandez. It seems to represent a lot of different fish food and I have caught several different species on it on the same day. It also has orange in the tail!
Frank Dalziel says
Have used different versions of the “Gotcha” all over. Would be pretty happy with a boxfull – different sizes and weights. Some tied medium and some very sparse.
Scott Baker-McGarva weighed in on Facebook with Torrie’s Lunchtime – a local creation.
Paul Bodenshot says
Your reports are always enjoyable. Look forward to them all the time. Keep em’ coming.
Thanks Paul – we appreciate the good words!
My personal version of Vaverka’s amazing creation which I’ve dubbed The Usual… as in, “what’d you get im on? The usual.” (see here: http://www.fish-bones.com/images/flies_usual.jpg) I’ve caught sooo many bones on it now that it’s a must have for my box anywhere. First bone I hooked in the Keys (on the famous Shell Key flat, no less) was a 12-pound monster that at that little fly in like point-five seconds and then left town. In smaller versions I’ve taken Bahamian and Honduran bones with it, as well as the super spooky fish on Little Cayman’s ultra-shallow flats.
Ooops. That url shouldn’t have a “)” at the end. It should be: http://www.fish-bones.com/images/flies_usual.jpg
mike ginsburg says
by far the favorite is the Spawning Shrimp
Frank Ogden says
One bonefish fly for all the waters mentioned. It would have to be a Gotcha ( in different sizes and weights) . ” Don’t leave home without some.”
Ok, apologies for the the gratuitous self-promotion, but here’s my favorite bonefish fly. Period: http://flatswalker.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/TheUsual_550px.jpg
Granted, the Gotcha is a close second, as is some kind of small crab pattern, say tan w/ a little pink in there somewhere on a strong #6 hook.
Of course, the best fish I’ve caught so far are have been on the venerable Clouser Minnow, tied w/ Gotcha colors: Tan wing, white belly, pink head and lots of gold flash. Tie all that on a #2 Mustad Big Game Light and add some heavy lead eyes and you’ve got one killer bonefish fly. Killer.
Rod Hamilton says
Without a doubt it would be Greg’s Flats Fly.
Had a lot of success with this fly throughout the Bahama’s and in Mexico in smaller sizes. I tie the split tail like the original using white calf tail as well as tan calf tail when fishing darker bottoms.
Gordon Morse says
The spawning shrimp…ie rubber legs and the yolk sack…..difficult to tie but Orvis do a very good one. This fly is a bonefish magnet…. a hungry bone will chase anything but for the picky ones and all the rest, this fly has made more difference to hook-ups than ANY fly in ANY flyfishing discipline…simply, it is unfair.
GD Hauff says
Three syllables. “White Tiger”, brilliant!
Chris Helm says
Favorite bonefish fly is a Jessie Special that I demonstrate on my Bonefish Flies DVD. It is easy to tie and I only use one color. Have been fishing this fly since 1991. It has an orange Krystal Flash tail, salmon color
Kreinik flat 1/16″ braid, five Sili Legs in Pumpkin/orange tip, and orange dubbing around the bead chain eyes. If I only could take one fly for bones this would be the one. Make sure to use 70 denier Gel Spun thread with some Brush On Zap a Gap around the bead chain eyes. Use a 70 denier orange thread for the remainder of the fly. This fly has proven itself over
and over again. One of my customers even caught a 25 lb. permit on The Jessie Special in Belize.
Just got back from the Exumas where the bones were totally keyed on the Christmas Island Special in orange & pearl #4 or #6. They ignored Greg’s Flats and Mantis patterns. The Bahamas are a long way from Christmas Island, but I guess the bones don’t know that.
Anchovies.. in Los roques its the best!1