When presenting a fly to a bonefish, your primary focus should always be getting the fly within their field of view as quickly as possible. After all, a fish can’t eat what it doesn’t see, right?
For bonefish, that field of view is generally on, or near, the bottom. Sure, bonefish will certainly feed throughout the entire water column, but more often than not, they’re looking down to feed. Therefore, many saltwater anglers agree that weight (and thus the sink rate) is the most important variable when selecting a fly for bonefish. The sink rate of the fly not only determines the depth at which the fly will be fished (or stripped), but it also becomes extremely important when deciding how far ahead to lead a fish when presenting the fly.
But how exactly can you be sure how fast your fly is sinking? Here’s a simple tip.
As you wander onto a flat, or anytime you change fly patterns, take a quick second to drop your fly in the water beside you. Watch it closely as it sinks to get an idea of how long it will take to reach the bottom at the general depth you’ll be fishing. Want a more accurate estimation? Try counting the seconds before it hits bottom.
Doing so will give you a better idea of how long it will take your fly to reach the target zone and allow you to lead a fish appropriately depending on the speed at which it is cruising at.