FIBFest continues

There is some good stuff trickling out of FIBFest and the place to see it is Michael Gracie’s blog.

Another FIBFest participant is Deeter from the Fly Talk blog over at Field and Stream.  In that latest installment he makes the claim that bonefish are the perfect species for a fly rod.  Now, that may be overstating somewhat, although the number of folks in the comments section that think carp are actually the finest fly rod species tells me that his readers and I probably don’t share too many rivers together.

Bonefish are a fantastic fly rodding species to be sure.  Perfect?  I’d think the trout is still the species most suited for fly rods… from a 2 wt. on a mountain stream to a 20 pound steelhead, the trout covers a lot of bases… dries, nymphs, streamers… rivers, lakes, creeks, lagoons.

No, I’d say the bonefish is more of a niche species.  It is for folks that like the hunt, the visual search  for the fish.  It has way more to do with the stalking than the rod, in my totally BS opinion.

I’d still trade 100 trout for a single bonefish and a dozen days on my mountain rivers for a day on the flats.  Just say’n.

This is not the perfect species for the fly rod.

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  1. Fishing Reports Addict

    trout? bonefish? try a redfish. heck there all fun. nice fishing report.

  2. I can’t really address this (since I’m incredibly biased), but I will address what some guy said:
    “I’m not buyin it. Salt water fishing takes expensive, saltwater gear, and you need to care for it every time you get done fishing. It takes special clothing to cope with the heat..wind is a constant reality on the flats. Way to far away for me here in Idaho, and I like the looks of a trout vs. a fish with a sucker mouth.”

    WTF?!?! I was gonna address this on the FlyTalk site (where I nabbed that quote), but it required a login soooo….

    1. How is saltwater gear more expensive than fresh? I mean, you can drop just as much on either, in my experience.
    2. If you do own saltwater rated gear, you really don’t have to do much other than spray the stuff down with fresh water after… which you should do no matter where you fish.
    3. Special clothing? This is so stupid it practically drools. How are a pair of shorts and a lightweight shirt more expensive than waders?
    4. There’s wind everywhere, dude. If you can’t deal with the wind on a stream or river, then your limiting yourself anyways. Wind is a blessing because it forces us to improve our craft to levels we never thought possible, to make the most out of our feeble (and yes, expensive) gear.
    5. Trout are dumb. Yup, you heard me. They’ve gotta be for people like that to catch them… just sayin’.

  3. bonefishbjorn

    If you don’t live near the fish, it is expensive just from a travel perspective. Seems most of the places with bones don’t let you camp, so, lodging and air add up fast. That puts a 5 day trip at about a grand without too much trying.

    From a gear perspective, I think you are on to something. With $700 waders, 3 different kinds of wading boots, a float tube, three or for different rod weights, two or three lines for each weight, a spectrum of flies in sizes #24 to #4… it all starts turning into serious money.

    Folks have been convinced that you can’t catch anything worth catching in the salt with a rod under $500, or that if you do, it is somehow an insult to the fish. With rods from Sage hitting $700 or more and reels almost as expensive, saltwater fishing can be about as expensive as you’d like it to be. Of course, you can catch a bonefish on a TFO Rod that is $180 without Hemingway or Ted Williams rolling over in their graves.

    Trout are dumb… sometimes.

  4. So, it’s down to simple demographics, then. Since more people live near trout, trout are (on average) cheaper to fish for. I guess I can see that, but the thing is, it’d cost me almost as much to go trout fishing as it would for someone in Ohio to go bonefish. (N.B. I said “almost”.) I mean, a plane ticket, rental car, camping gear (which I don’t own so would have to buy) or motel, waders, teeny-tiny flies, etc. I’d also probably want a guide the first few times since (despite my former comments) I have no actual idea how to catch a trout. In fact–full disclosure here–I’ve only ever cast at 1 trout in my life, and no, it didn’t take the fly (which, in my defense, was actually a bonefish fly cause that was the smallest fly I had on me).

    As for expensive gear, sure, I fish Winston rods now, but only cause I can afford them as a guide (and they’re freakin’ amazing sticks), but one of my favorite bonefish rods is an old Redington Classic with 1 broken guide that I shoved back under the guide wraps and crazy-glued in place, cork so cheap it feels like I’m holding a dry-rotted branch, and a full-flex, fast action (which you almost never see on a well designed rod). I think I dropped like $125 on that beauty and she’s still kickin’ ass and takin’ names, as they say.

    Finally, there are inexpensive bonefishing options if you look for them. I once shared a house on the beach in the Bahamas with 3 buddies for $80 a night TOTAL. 2 beds, kitchen, bath, AC on the beach for $80/night US. Lemmee see, that’s a grand total of $20/night per person–the price of a decent bar tab.

    PS Sorry for the rant, you’re right and bonefish are dumb too…sometimes.

  5. bonefishbjorn

    No worries… it all does come down to where you live. I know I could do a cheap trip if I could rope any of my fishing buddies into a trip, but either are trout guys, steelhead guys or get to go to Los Roques for free… so, I end up going when I can go (which is not often) and traveling solo is expensive. A lot of my friends now have little kids, which also limits the ability to take to the skies in search of bonefish. Share a hotel room, a rental car and a guide and the numbers start dropping in a hurry. I know of trips that are pretty cheap, but the fishing is so-so as well, from what I can gather.

    I’m lucky to live in a State with a lot of public water… really good public water.

    You ever make it out to Northern California, I’ll get you on a trout. After stuff in the salt, you might be a bit underwhelmed. They are pretty though and they can pull, but the strength of a bonefish… 5 mph vs. 25 mph… the pull of a bonefish is really something exceptional.

  6. Dude, thanks for the offer. Still want to fish with you someday. I’m trying to put together a small DIY trip to one of the more deserted islands of the Bahamas. Just a few guys who love wading for bones and are more about the whole experience than just whacking a bunch of fish. If you want I’ll keep you in the loop. If not, we’ll get there some day.

    Tight lines.

  7. bonefishbjorn

    well, I know a hell of a lot more about trout than I do bonefish. I’ve caught thousands of them. It is a very different game. I was talking to Captain Perry in Grand Bahama and he said he went trout fishing once and he didn’t like it. The pull of saltwater fish just can’t compare. Sure, a steelhead pulls really hard, but its strength comes from the fish’s time in the salt.

    I’d love to hear about that trip. Who knows if I could make it… but it all depends on when and where and if my folks can watch my daughter. If the stars align, I could do it.

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