Fly Fishing For Bonefish and Permit
Bonefish come into the flats on an incoming tide. They know that is when the most and
best food will be there for them. The ideal time for fly fishing for bonefish and permit is on
the crest of the tide. All tide charts will show this. You can get this information from the
Tides Section in our Learning Center. When the tide turns and starts to flood onto the
flats, schools of bonefish and permit will go there.
Getting the fish to eat your fly is a matter of placing it in front of the fish. You want to cast
close in front of the fish, but not real close to it, or you will spook it. Start retrieving the fly
and if it comes across or in front of the fish, your line will probably tighten from the take. It
is best to just keep stripping in line. Don't try to set the hook by jerking the rod. The fish
will usually set the hook for you if you just tighten up on it. It will probably not do anything
until it feels that sometime is wrong and then either a permit or bonefish will take off like a
bullet shot from a high powered rifle - well, maybe not quite that fast, but you get the
point. The fish are very fast, as fast as anything you will hook. The next thing you know,
about half of your backing will be gone. Fly fishing for bonefish or permit is a lot of fun.
Most of the time, the bonefish will catch up to the fly and just suck it in. You will usually
just feel a change in the tension of your line. That is about the only way to know if the fish
has taken your fly unless you happen to be able to see it. It is natural for most fisherman
to try to set the hook with their rod. Fly anglers are used to raising their rods to set the
hook on a nymph or dry fly. You should just keep on stripping the line when you feel a
fish take the fly. When you do that, the line will tighten and then you should strip-set the
line to bury the hook with the rod tip still pointed at the fish. When you think you have set
the hook good, by the stripping - hook setting action, you can raise the rod and fight the
fish. Most of the time the fish will let you know by taking off in a flash.
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