One evening last month at Andros South, the conversation at the tiki bar turned to…you’ll never guess… bonefishing.
Our guide Torrie Bevans had swung by to chat, and a couple of anglers asked his thoughts on how to increase your chances with very big bonefish. Torrie had a pretty interesting observation about ‘leading’ bigger fish.
Now as folks who have done some flats fishing know, a bunch of variables factor in to how far you should lead a fish. The speed of the fish (lead more if he’s moving fast), the amount of wind (lead more on calm days), and the weight of your fly (lead more with a heavier fly) are all important factors.
Having already adjusted for those factors, though, Torrie’s point was that you should land your fly closer to bigger bonefish. It seems a little counter-intuitive maybe (big fish could be spookier, right?) – but his explanation makes sense. Big bonefish are old and smart. Do you really want to put your fly so far in front of a big, smart, old fish that he has plenty of time to notice it, swim up to it, scrutinize it from different angles and then make a decision whether or not to eat it?
In the words of Torrie – “Put it on him, mon. Don’t give him time to think about it!”
The next time you have a shot at a bruiser, give it a try. Be bold, land the fly close – and get ready for the big pull.