When you’re chasing bonefish on the flats, you should do whatever you can to minimize your false casts. When you recognize a potential shot at a fish, you need to get the fly out there quickly, and false casts are the enemy of getting your fly out there quickly.
There are more direct ways to communicate the point about false casts, though…
During our first season of operations at Andros South, your fearless editor had the opportunity to spend a day fishing the West Side with a senior statesman of the fishing lodge world who will remain nameless. This very experienced angler wasn’t the guide that day – he was a guest of ours and the two of us just went fishing together.
He’s a super guy and a truly great flats fisherman, but he gets awfully excited when giant bonefish swim at the boat. With your editor on the bow, our Dean of the Flats couldn’t help himself.
“Lay it down!”
“Too many false casts! Too many false casts!”
“You’re too late! Too many false casts! You missed him!”
“He’s right there! Lay it down!”
“Too many false casts! Too many false casts! Too many false casts!”
It wasn’t subtle, but the point was very well made. False casts are the enemy of quick presentation. If you can cast 40 feet, chances are you can cast 40 feet with no false casts, and you can catch an awful lot of bonefish at 40 feet (on South Andros, at least).
You’ll have much greater success if you minimize your false casts, and the number of false casts you need is probably lower than you think.
Mike Sigalet says
Would spey casting for Bone fish be a benefit? No false casts and shoot your line out quickly 50 to 80 feet.
thank you for allowing coments
Great question Mike – we’re always looking for new application for the spey rod!
I think bonefishing with a spey rod would be tough in most situations, for two reasons. The ‘white rabbit’ that happens during the sweep would spook most bonefish, and (for most of us at least) it would be really hard to be accurate enough with a spey cast.
I’d love to be proven wrong on this one!
I think if you were blindcasting muds then YES, other than that, I think Andrew has hit it on the head here.
Thought I’d revisit this after a (nearly) fishless day with an angler that kept “ripping” the water with his first cast. He was dragging the fly behind him and would rip the line off the water for the forward cast. Every time the bonefish would spook AWAY from the sound. Now, they don’t always do that, but it was a tough day and the fish were off. Toward the end of the day he took the point and was able to pick the line off the water quietly and catch his first bonefish on the fly.
Great in put as always, Davin – thanks!
No worries. I’ve found that if the fish are being forgiving, then you can do almost anything and still catch them, but it’s the tough days that test whether you’ve really got your game together or not. Good news is iff you can get into the habit–and it’s really just habit born of practice–of putting it together on the good days, the tough days get a whole lot easier!