OK, you’re going to chase Andros Island bonefish over the next 6 months, and you’re trying to decide which flies to bring along. We’ve written quite a few posts on the topic of bonefish flies, but today we’ll keep it simple.
South Andros Bonefish Flies – Three Things to Look For
- No weedguard. Here’s an element of bonefish fly design we’ve never addressed before! Your flies for South Andros don’t need weedguards. Weedguards can keep your fly from snagging up on deeper, grassy-bottom flats – but we don’t have many deeper, grassy-bottom flats. Since weedguards can also lower your hookup rate we generally don’t recommend them. In fact, if we come across some flies with weedguards we tend to snip them off before they go in the box.
- Big but light. South Andros bonefish are big, and big fish tend to like bigger meals. At the same time, though, we fish a lot of really shallow water since our fish tend not to be spooky. Most commercially available bonefish flies that are big enough for our bigger bonefish were tied with the Florida Keys in mind – in the Keys they often fish for bonefish in ~3 feet of water, so those flies are way too heavy for our flats on South Andros. Your go-to fly for South Andros is a #2 with bead chain eyes. A small fly is a #4 with small bead chain eyes. A big fly is a 1/0 with small lead eyes.
- Rubber legs. Maybe it’s because they look like shrimp legs, or maybe it’s because they look like baby crab claws, or maybe it’s because they just waggle around and look crazy…we don’t know for sure but whatever the reason, South Andros bonefish love flies tied with rubber legs (or sili legs, or hackle tips as legs). Take pretty much any bonefish fly and add rubber legs to it, and it’ll work better on South Andros Island. The one exception to this rule would be small, light flies tied specifically for spooky fish in less than 6 inches of water.