Fishipedia Top 5: Bonefish flies you should never be without

July 14th, 2011| 1 Comment

Endless patterns, different sizes, assorted weights – choosing bonefish flies can be a baffling thing…

Fly BoxOf course, the reality of fly-fishing for bonefish is that presentation is often far more important than selection. If you can put the fly in the right place at the right time, with a degree of precision and subtlety, most flies should get the job done. To that end, the weight of fly is often of more consequence than the pattern – as is the quality of your casting.

We all like to experiment with different styles, but if I had to rely on just five different bonefish flies forever more, these would be at the top of my shopping/tying list:

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GotchaGotcha
I’ve been lucky enough to fish the Bahamas a few times in the last couple of years, and I’d say 90% of my fish have been taken on Gotchas. If I could only ever use one fly pattern again, I’d grab a bunch of these in different weights and sizes, and be happy in almost any situation. A proven winner.

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Crazy CharlieCrazy Charlie
The godfather of bonefish flies, and the place where it all started. Taking its name from legendary Andros guide, Charlie Smith, this lightly-dressed shrimp pattern can be fished in ultra lightweight styles for skinny-water situations or with heavier eyes in deeper water. A great all-rounder and a must for all fly boxes.

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Bonefish BittersBonefish Bitters
Invented by Craig Matthews in the 80s, this is a great option for those occasions when you suspect the fish are in the mood for crab. Durable and easy to tie, this is also a highly effective pattern for permit – and that can’t be a bad thing. I’ve always got a few of these in my box.

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Pink PuffPink Puff
First tied by Captain Neil Bohannon in the 70s, this is a deadly pattern for tailing fish in skinny water. The soft head is the key to its stealthiness, softening the impact of the fly on the water’s surface, creating a minimum of disturbance. Colourful and lightweight, it’s my go-to fly for spooky fish.
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SimranSimran
This pimped-out version of the classic Gotcha has won plenty of fans in recent years. The addition of rabbit fur makes it breathe and pulse, adding vibrancy and life, while the heavy eyes make it ideal for deeper water. A proven hit with big fish all over the world.

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>>> Your top bonefish fly not in our list? Let us know what you would have included below…

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  1. avatar
    Mark Cheney says

    Mantis shrimp

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