Today’s tip for bonefishing also applies to any situation when you’re presenting a fly with a single-handed rod.
As you’re false casting and lengthening line, your fly line slips through your fingers on your hauling hand when you shoot line (which you’re doing on both your forward cast and your back cast, right?). When you make your last forward cast to present your fly to the fish, don’t completely let go of your line – let it shoot through a little circle that you make on your hauling hand with your thumb and forefinger, and then pinch the line when your fly lands.
If you make your final haul, drop your line and throw your hauling hand backwards, you’re going to minimize resistance as your line shoots (and add a nice flourish in a casting competition). The problem with this is that you have absolutely no control when your fly hits the water. Your line line is dangling loose on your rod and you need to take time to ‘find’ the line again with your hauling hand, allowing you to strip line – pretty important for taking out slack, moving your fly and setting the hook.
This is particularly important when you’re fishing to tailing bonefish. If you land your fly right next to a happy feeding fish, he’ll often charge right over and crush it as soon as it hits the water. You need to be in a position to set the hook immediately, and that’s not going to happen if you’re fumbling around with your hauling hand trying to find your line. All too often these fish will eat and spit your fly before you have time to react, if you’re not in constant contact with your fly.
So when you make your shot in an actual fishing situation, don’t drop your line! Let it slide through the fingers on your hauling hand, pinch the line when your fly lands, and you’ll be ready to react immediately when the fish eats.