Welcome to The Bonefish Flat

There's a stiff wind in your face as you squint in the sun trying to see what the guide sees. "Bonefish at 12 o'clock about 90 feet, do you see it, mon?" You don't and keep squinting, your hat pulled low to keep the sun out of your eyes. "Bonefish at 11 o'clock 70 feet out. Come on man, do you see it?" As the guide is calmly shifting the skiff into position, this time you spot the fish, "I got, it," you reply.

"OK, Mon, Bonefish 50 feet at 10 o'clock. Cast when you're ready."

Cast when you're ready. And with that you drop your fly, roll out a cast, false cast once, and then...

Welcome to the bonefish flat.

Monday, June 29, 2009


I just watched Drift the movie which seems to be a joint collaboration between Tom Bie of the Drake Magazine and Jim Klug who runs Yellow Dog Fly Fishing travel company.  This is the best fly fishing movie I've seen since In Search of a Rising Tide.  

The film follows several vignettes including steelheading and trout fishing on the Deschutes River in Maupin, Oregon.  Permit fishing in Belize with Brian O'Keefe is included and it was amazing. Also, bonefishing with the legendary Charlie Smith on Andros Island and tailwater fishing in Utah, Colorado, and Montana.  It finishes off with some fishing in Kashmir.  

It does a great job really highlighting some of the best fly fishing destinations in the world.  I highly recommend checking it out.  It's available online at Drakemag.com and available on Netflix.  

Check it out. 

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Top Ten Saltwater Fly Fishers

I thought I'd put together a list of my top ten favorite saltwater flyfishers so here you go:

1. Lefty 
2. Flip
3.  Brian O'Keefe
4. Chico Fernandez
5. Stu Apte
6. Jose Wejebe
7. Andy Mill
8. Charlie Smith
9. Dick Brown
10. Del Brown

There are lots of other great's out there, but thought i would start with my list.  If you don't know any of these guys, google their names or check out the library.  Many have written some great books.  

Monday, June 22, 2009

Bonefishing in the Chesapeake Bay

Ok, so are there are no bonefish in the bay.  But, my flat away from the real flats this father's day weekend was the Chesapeake Bay.  I fished for about two hours but that was long enough to catch a 14 inch Rockfish.  

The rod of choice was my trusty S3S with a teeny 350 loaded onto my Abel 3.  A chartreuse and white clouser tied by yours truly seemed to fool the fish.  

The trick is to get the fly down low and that's why I like Teeny sinking lines.  Jim Teeny practically (or maybe actually!!) invented the sink tip line.  I like casting the 350 on my 9wt better than an 8 wt.  I just think it casts better, but either would do.  If you have a stout 7 go for it.  

Saturday, June 13, 2009

There's Only One Bonefish

Ok, so I've seen some different articles floating around calling carp the "poor man's bonefish."  I also saw a Walker's Cay Chronicles episode with my fly fishing hero Flip Pallot and Dave Whitlock, who is certainly one of the greats of our sport, talking about fishing for golden bones in the Great Lakes.  

Look everyone, there is only ONE bonefish.  Carp are great and a worthy target to throw a fly at, but bonefish are bonefish.  

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Shout Out To Scott Fly Rods

I'm a big fan of the Scott S3S series fly rod.  On my recent trip to the Bahamas, I used my Scott S3S 9 weight to tear it up.  One thought on the fast action rods which everyone says you need.  When you're practicing your cast's in your backyard, I've always thought why do I need this much power.  When you're trying to cast 50 feet in a 20 mph wind, you'll understand.  

Monday, June 8, 2009

Gotcha Fly

It seems the Gotcha fly is the go to fly for the Carribean, and in particular the Bahamas. I like to tie mine with a rabbit zonker strip for the wing and two pieces of sili legs for instead of mylar tube for the butt. Here is a link of how to tie one http://www.flyfishinsalt.com/techniques/fly-tying-bench/mcvays-gotcha-37291.html

The truth is, most bonefish in the Carribean aren't too picky. Much more important is that you have them tied in different weights with heavy lead eyes, bead chains, and "blind." Feel free to experiement by adding different "adjectives" like more sili legs, rabbit, or different colors.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Lodge vs. DIY Bonefish Trip

There are lots of ways you can plan for your trip.  The easy way is to call Yellow Dog, Frontiers, The Fly Shop, or another reputable fly fishing travel agent and have them tell you where to go.  You book it, show up, and catch fish.  

This is great if you have a little extra cash, you're just too busy to get into the specifics, or you haven't done your homework.  

I tend to do things a little bit different on my bonefish flat.  I opt for the "Barta" way, which is the hard way.  I like to research several locations.  Find independent guides and book them myself.  I check out tides, moons, etc. and try to put my trip together.  This can be stressful, but very rewarding and you can save some dough.