Today we present you with a super clever tip (and some well deserved snarkiness) courtesy of long-time Deneki pal, Michael Gracie, on how to quickly change the weight of your bonefish fly while on the water.
Take it away Michael!
Adjusting Fly Weight on the Water
The Shea’s Bonefish Buttah has become one of my go-to flats flies. I don’t suggest it just for South Andros, nor do I intimate just for bonefish; it’s a large profile shrimp pattern that has just the right blend of fibers, color, and fish maddening antennae to look alive. And we all know prowling flats critters love alive.
I say this without bias. I mean I don’t even like Kyle Shea. Who would? He gets to spend winters on South Andros Island. Meh. (Reminder to myself to sock him square in the nose next time I see him).
Back on the serious track.. Yeah, the Bonefish Buttah kicks it, and it’s primary value is it looks big but lands soft. It sinks slow, fluttering (and screaming) meaty goodness until it hits bottom and looks for somewhere to hide. Perfect for skinny water. That can also be it’s handicap.
We’ve all been presented with situations where we are poling along a shallow flat, and all of a sudden we happen upon two feet. Fish are sighted, but the fly just doesn’t hit bottom quick enough. So we change flies, something we are loath to do considering we already have something tied on that we’re confident in. You’re not at the tying vise, but this is where having a spool of 0.015 lead wire comes in really, REALLY handy. Here’s how:
- Pull three to four inches of wire off the spool.
- Start your wrap just below the eye, beginning with the wire around the midway point of its length and make a few wraps there.
- Wind the ends of the wire around each bean chain eye and tuck the ends in close to the body.
- With your fingernail, push the wire that have strayed onto the eyes in close to the body.
- Put a drop of UV Knot Sense on the wraps.
- Finally, wait thirty seconds until the adhesive dries, then cast to a pig in several feet of water. Your special fly will now drop quickly right down in front of it’s face. Snort snort … hookup!
With this other worldly brilliant – or maybe just common sense – fly-fishing hack, you won’t need to change your fly the next time the depth changes. The rig should last numerous casts, and one to two fish; not bad for a minute of your time, as well as the piece of mind that you are fishing your favorite fly regardless of depth.
A spool of wire can be had for about four bucks at most any fly shop. About the same cake as I spent per fly to corner the market on Shea’s Bonefish Buttah online last week.
MG signing off (to keep my Buttahs tied on, no matter how deep the water is).
Patrick V says
To add to the snarkiness…Michael, while your rigging that thing, I’ll throw my weighted Borski’s slider on and then you can have the second shot… ;p
Yea, but my turn will be a take-my-time, wind-in-my-face, 70-ish footer on the fish’s nose, which I promptly break off seconds after hookset.
So you might as well just stay on deck Pat. Because you know listening to Josie yell at me just isn’t any fun for you. And I know you like to have fun.
Patrick V says
Well played friend well played…look forward to sharing a boat again :0)
Steve Jenkins says
I’ve been a dry fly guy my whole life, but I’m studying up for a bonefish trip. So forgive me if this is a stupid question. Wouldn’t be easier to just add a sinker or some tungsten putty to your tippet?
Reed Guice says
Steve Jenkins of bamboo rod building fame? If so, wondering what you might build for bonefish.
@ Steve – If you do that the weight will hit bottom before the fly, and the fly will dangle off bottom, unnatural to fish used to digging for their prey. Even if you put the weight close to the fly, say up against the hook eye, the fly will (probably) list and the hook will (again, probably) snag bottom during the strip. Last but not least, a dense, compact piece of potentially insecure weight is not the type of thing you want zipping by your head at 100+ mph. Flies sting enough on their own.