If you are new to bonefishing, or flats fishing in general, I have some advice for you that could dramatically increase your conversion rate.
The guide says “cast, 50 feet, 10:00.”
Then… you wait for the guide to give further instructions.
Don’t wait. There are two things you need to do right away after the cast and you should probably do those things automatically.
1. Clear the slack from the line. – After you cast you might have some slack line on the water. All that line is going to have to be converted into a straight line before any “strip” is going to move your fly. If the guide says “Strip” and you are stripping the slack line, the fly isn’t moving and if the guide has said strip because he wants a strip, like, right NOW, well, you won’t be able to deliver on that. So, after the cast, before the guide tells you to do anything, make sure you strip in the slack line so that your first strip on the fly line actually moves the fly.
2. Rod tip pointed at the fly and touching the water. Be it fishing still water for trout or a flat for bones, there is nothing gained by having your rod tip 2 feet above the water. That line sagging from your rod tip is like a shock absorber depriving you of critical information about what is happening at the fly end of things. Don’t let that happen. Rod tip on or in the water and there is no slack. If you do Step #1 and the fish eats on the first strip, you’ll be on that fish.
I don’t give a lot of tactical advice because I’m still pretty green in the pursuit of bonefish. I love them more than I get to fish for them, but that also means I need every cast, every eat to be as effective as possible.
I have seen, too many times, someone cast when the guide says cast, but then not really clean things up or get ready. The guide isn’t watching you at this point, he’s watching the fish (you should be too, if you can see them) and when he says “STRIP!” he is expecting things to happen right then, not three or four strips later. You have a small window to get things right and the door on opportunity can slam closed pretty fast.
Again… I’m not an expert and I don’t mean to sound like one. I just want every trip to be successful, be it one of mine or one of yours.
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