Earlier this fall, while enjoying a round of Kaliks and conch salad after a day of flailing away on the flats, Andros South guest, Gordon Macleod presented us with an opportunity – A couple of flies, immitating something in the vicinity of a crab, tied with a buyoant closed-celled foam body.. That’s right, a dry fly, for bonefish.
We’ve heard murmurs of bonefish in other areas in the Caribbean targeting flies on the surface, with the assumption of the fish feeding on crabs and other prey that regularly fall into the water from mangrove shoots. However, to our knowledge, it had yet to be seen on Andros. After all, a quick look at a bonefish’s mouth is sound evidence that it has evolved to feed on the bottom, not on the surface.
Those of you who know your humble editor are well aware that such a challenge is far too enticing to turn down, and with little hesitation we took our floating meals to the flats. And, wouldn’t you know.. It worked! Not once, not twice, but many times. Seriously, we couldn’t make that up.
Why are we telling you this you might ask? Is it to inspire you to fill your boxes with the hottest new bonefish fly? Hardly. Trust us, targeting bonefish on the surface is a good way to take a challenging but aggressive species and turn them into a frustrating (and nearly impossible) quarry. Is it to illustrate just how willing our bonefish on South Andros really are? Well, maybe a little..
However, the real reason we thought it worthwhile to share our little adventure is to emphasize that in any avenue of fly fishing, it pays to experiement! The first person to cast a fly into the ocean was likely looked at as over-optimistic. The first person to target a bonefish, a fish that relies on its superior sense of smell to find food, with a fly tied with nothing but hair and tinsel was probably viewed as a bit silly. Staple flies such as the gotcha, clouser minnow, wooly bugger, and many others were likely first viewed by some as rediculous.. And look at us now.
Use 2017 as an opportunity to try something new. Tap into your adventurous side. Find out what doesn’t work. It’s one of the most rewarding facets of fly fishing.