It’s been a while since we’ve ran a comprehensive list of our favorite bonefish flies for South Andros. While we still use many of the same patterns, we’ve developed a few more favorites for our flats, and today we tell you about those favorites.
Our fishery is pretty unique when compared to other bonefishing locations. For whatever reason, our bonefish really like flies that are an odd combination of big and light, which is not often the case in other areas of the world.
With that said, our bonefish also receive very little fishing pressure, so many other flies are likely to catch fish. It’s a creative fly tyer’s paradise! Nonetheless, here are some of our favorites and why.
- Tan Gotcha. It’s no secret that bonefish love a standard tan and pearl Gotcha. The Gotcha has probably caught more bonefish around the world than any other fly pattern, and South Andros is no exception. We fish a lot of whitish/tan sandy flats, so tan is our go to color. As mentioned above, our fish tend to like flies that are big and light, so we lean toward a size 2 hook that is tied with bead chain, not lead eyes.
- Rubber Legged Gotcha. Improving upon the ever-productive tan gotcha, we’ve found adding some hot-tipped rubber legs makes for a killer fly on South Andros. Our fish tend to really like rubber legs, as well as subtle hints of orange, and we’ve found this to be a great fly for aggressive or schooling bonefish. Hit the link for tying instructions!
- Shea’s Bonefish Buttah. Developed by our own Kyle Shea specifically for our flats on South Andros, the Bonefish Buttah incorporates just about everything we like in our bonefish flies – Large profile, hints of orange, rubber legs, and the like. It takes on a really shrimpy appearance in the water and works well in just about all conditions. For full fly tying instructions on the Bonefish Buttah, click here!
- Veverka’s Mantis Shrimp. We’ve been fishing Bob Veverka’s Mantis Shrimp for years on South Andros with great success. The rubber legs provide great movement to entice aggressive fish, yet the fly is subtle enough to catch even the spookiest bonefish. We fish the Mantis Shrimp in sizes 2-4 depending on water depth. A great all around bonefish fly.
- Spawning Mantis Shrimp. We’ve grown really fond of this variation of the Veverka’s Mantis Shrimp. It’s like a Mantis Shrimp on steroids and it’s becoming our first choice when we reach into our box. For tying instructions, click here!
- Peterson’s Spawning Shrimp. The Peterson’s Spawning Shrimp provides some of the best action out of any bonefish fly we’ve fished. With long rubber legs, a large profile, and a bright orange spawning sac, it’s no surprise why it works so well on South Andros. Because it incorporates a lot of materials, it’s also traditionally tied with lead eyes making for a great option when fishing deeper water. Sizes 2-4 seem to work best.
- Bonefish Junk. With bonefish, barracuda, sharks, and many other predators roaming the flats, not much survives if it doesn’t blend in really well. Therefore, when fishing over turtle grass or other vegetation, we like to have a fly with a ‘mottled’ look that better imitates what a shrimp might look like in such an environment. The Bonefish Junk (dark) does a good job at this, and when paired up with rubber legs, makes for a killer fly anywhere on South Andros. Once again, size 2 is our choice here.
- Cathy’s Fleeing Crab. You’ve probably noticed that most of our favorite flies are ‘shrimpy.’ Well, bonefish eat crabs too, especially big bonefish, so we like to have a few crab patterns on us at all times. While most of the time we like light flies for the shallow flats on South Andros, there are occasions where a heavier fly can be advantageous such as windy days or deeper water (say, 3 feet deep). This fly incorporates lead eyes for a little extra weight and we like it in sizes 2-4. Plus, you never know when a rogue permit might come along, and a crab fly is a great option.
- Umpqua Tandem ‘Cuda Fly. We know, it’s not a bonefish fly, but most of our guests like to take a shot or two at a barracuda in between bonefish. The Umpqua Tandem ‘Cuda fly is one of the only commercial ‘cuda flies we’re aware of and we’ve seen plenty of barracuda taken on them!