What is it about the bonefish?
Ahh, the bonefish–perhaps the most sought-after fish on the flats. Ask 5 fly fishers why they adore the bonefish and you might well get 5 different answers. The drag-screaming runs they incite are the stuff of our wildest dreams. Photos of their homes adorn the covers of vacation brochures and most of the pages inside. The challenge they present is unmatched. The thrill of spotting a silver tail as it emerges from the crystal water is heart-stopping. Landing a perfect cast gingerly just ahead of a cruiser is perhaps the greatest accomplishment in all of fly fishing. Spooking the fish of a lifetime provides just the slice of humble pie an arrogant angler needs. Whatever it is that you’re searching for, chances are you can find it with the bonefish.
Are you hyped? So am I! Ready to go? You bet! So what flies should we bring along? STOP.
For the bonefish, perhaps more than for any other fish, this is simply not the way to dive in. Proper gear, approach, spotting, casting, and other things are far more important. Anyone who has fished for these silver bullets can attest to that fact.
Nevertheless, I’ve promised a primer on slimming your fly box. Besides, despite all that we know to be true, as fly fishers, we can’t help but think first of what we’re going to cast to our targets. The how inevitably comes later. So that’s what we’re here today to discuss.
As with most of our pieces, we preach simplicity. The acronym K.I.S.S. stands for “keep it simple, stupid” and we believe that this mantra couldn’t hold truer anywhere else than with fly selection for the bonefish. Let’s dive in.