Casting A Fly To Bonefish
Fly fishing for bonefish can be expensive. You can travel to some very exotic
places and pay a lot of money for transportation, room, meals, guides, flies, gear,
etc. Many angler become frustrated with the result or their success after having
spent a lot of money and time. It can be very different than what one was
originally expecting. It pays to do some homework and planning. Being prepared
with cause you less embarrassment. A bone fishing trip can turn out great if you
spend some time preparing for it.
Casting to a bonefish is very different than casting to trout. It would be closer to
casting nymphs to trout than anything but even that is quite different. One thing
is being prepared for wind. That is normal when you are bone fishing. Most
anglers who have never fished for bonefish, think they need to learn to cast a
long ways. That isn't necessarily true. About forty feet is probably normal. Many
are caught much in closer than that. It would be rare you would need to make a
cast over fifty feet. Trying to cast too far is a mistake. It is much better to be
accurate. In fact, that is the most important thing of all.
The problem is that most cast are complicated by having a short time to cast.
You need to be prepared to cast quickly. Again, there will probably be some wind
involved that is going to be a factor in your accuracy. The more you practice
making cast between thirty and fifty feet, when the wind is blowing, the better
your odds of catching bonefish when you do get the opportunity. You should be
able to consistently hit a target of less than two feet in diameter.
Don't expect to make many false cast. That is bad for two reasons. It may spook
the fish and it takes time. One false cast should be the most you ever make. Its
best if you can cast without any false cast but most of the time one is okay
provided it isn't made over the fish or where the line cast a shadow over the fish.
If you possible can, practice on the water. It doesn't have to be saltwater. Any still
water with a bottom that is shallow will work. You will want to practice with some
weighted boneflsh flies and some light ones. You want to be able to see your fly
sink. The idea is to get used to the time it takes the particular fly to sink. You
would be better off if the water you are practicing in had weeds on the bottom in
some areas and was clear of vegetation in others. That's what you will face under
real conditions in most cases.
If you water is clear you want the fly to go to the bottom. When you strip it in, it
should make little puffs or clouds from the mud or sand, whichever you are
fishing over. That attracts bonefish and makes them think they are seeing a
shrimp or crab. When there is weeds or grass on the bottom, you don't want the
fly to sink to the bottom. First of all, you will hang the fly most likely. Bonefish
can't see a fly that sinks down in the grass or vegetation. You should keep it just
above the grass and that is the importance of practicing your cast using the
same flies you will be fishing with. You want to learn to time the sink rates of the
different flies. The water depths vary on the flats and you need to be prepared to
fish various depths.
If you will practice casting under windy conditions within the range of thirty to fifty
feet and learn the sink rates of the flies you plan on using, you will be far better
prepared to catch bonefish when you do get the opportunity.
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
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