Aug 12

For the Ladies – Bonefishing School

The folks at Deneki are hosting a bonefishing school for women down at Andros South.


At the school will be Kara Armano and Bruce Chard, as well as the guides and good folk at Andros South.

Building on the success of our very popular Bonefishing School program, our Women’s School will be co-hosted by Kara Armano and Bruce Chard.  You’ll get hands-on instruction from the best in the business, plenty of time on the legendary flats of Andros Island, and the company of a bunch of women who love fishing as much as you do – what could be better?

Now, I think my future Mrs. Bonefishonthebrain might not be totally set for this just yet and won’t have the vacation time anyway, but man… how fantastic would it be for her to have a safe and supportive place to connect with the flats and the fish that live there?

I’ve been to Andros South and it is still a place I keep close to my heart/soul. The wildness of the place and the beauty of the countryside are really mind-numbing.

Hope it fills up and creates some lasting impressions.

Andros South, for the ladies.

Oct 11

Bruce Chard + Fly Fisherman + Blog

Hey… here’s something you might not know… Bruce Chard has been given the reigns over at the Fly Fisherman website of a saltwater blog.

Lots of good content showing up there. Check it out.

Lots of good advice and technical information to be found there.

Mar 11

Thinking about casting…

Andros South is in… 21 days (until I leave, 22 until I get there) and I’m starting to think about getting that new Rise 8 wt. out on the grass field at the local school.  It is occurring to me that I need a little bit of stick time before I am presented with my first cruising bonefish or 2011.

Hey buddy, I'm not going to go cast myself, ya know!

I found this bit on the Deneki site from Bruce Chard about casting in the wind.  Thought it was worth reading again (as I’m pretty sure I posted this when it first went up back in 2009.

Here is a little except from a piece I wrote about my Grand Slam down at El Pescador.  It highlights a couple of really, really bad casts I put out after some bonefish…

As I stood on the deck, thinking back just a few minutes to me botching a good permit shot, the guide spotted two bonefish cruising the mangroves. I was very conscience that I had a 10 weight in my hand and I was thinking that the presentation would be too heavy. It is a dangerous thing, thinking. I made the first cast to the bones and tried to ease up on the power so the line wouldn’t smack on the water. Totally underpowered, the cast landed in a heap. I cast again, but my head was too much in the game and the result was the same.

My friend Shane, who is a certified casting instructor, couldn’t hold his tongue. “Those are the two worst casts I’ve ever seen you make.” he said. It was pure truth. Those casts were just horrible. I couldn’t help but give a little laugh at the ridiculousness of the casting and the degree to which I could rain on my own parade. It was also glad that Shane had just shown that he wouldn’t hold back the truth and when you are out there to learn, you need the truth.

Yeah… maybe I should get out sooner rather than later to chip off the rust.

Dec 10

Bonefish Leaders, Bruce Chard and Deneki

Some great stuff from Deneki’s Bonefish School, run by Bruce Chard.

A conversation with Bruce Chard at Andros South a couple weeks back got us thinking that there’s a really a lot to saltwater leader design and construction, so we asked Bruce to sit down and talk us through how and why he makes the leaders that he uses for bonefish.

via Bonefish Leaders | Design and Construction by Bruce Chard.

Apr 10

Interview with Bruce Chard

Bruce Chard is a guide, instructor and designer of fly lines (and probably more).  He was featured in the fly fishing movie “Rise” and is a fixture of the Florida bonefishing and saltwater scene.

Bruce, doing what Bruce does.

I saw you on “Rise” and thought it was a great film.  Do you have any up coming film projects?

At this time I am in the middle of my busy season guiding full time every day for Giant tarpon, permit and bonefish in the Florida Keys.  This will continue till August every day.  I will be working on many new projects but don’t have any time frame as to when they will actually be done.  Stay tuned to my blog and Website for updates on the many small videos and informational posts that will be on my blog for upcoming DVDs and Books. On bonefishing.  I am currently booking spots for my hosted fly fishing bonefishing school trip to the famous Andros South Bonefish Lodge on South Andros Bahamas.  These trips are tons of fun and offer learning experiences all week long with me.  Something you can’t get by going on your own.  For dates check out my web site at WWW.BRUCECHARD.COM

You have a series of saltwater fishing schools, including one for bonefish.  Is there one aspect of bonefishing that you find most beginners really struggle with?

Beginners usually struggle the most with the fly casting and getting used to actually seeing the fish.  Both are obviously extremely important for the success of catching bonefish.  All there is needed to fix both is experience and a good instructor and good patient guide.  These aspects also extend well past the beginners but the dedication to the sport from the individual will change these issues promptly.  The more you put into it ( time practicing and time fishing) the more you will get out of it ( like actually catching more fish).

I fished your bonefish line on my last trip (Grand Bahama) and really liked it.  It did get me wondering… how does someone get their own bonefishing line?  What was it you wanted your line to do that other lines on the market weren’t doing?

I was given the opportunity to design my own lines from Jim Teeny himself.  I have known Jimmy since I first started guiding in the Keys over 18 years ago now.  We have fished together for years and he saw how dedicated to the sport of fly fishing I was and to the actual fly fishing industry.  The angle of having some new upcoming young salt water fly fishing talent in his lineup of professional series fly lines something that was needed and wanted in his company.  So he asked me to design the Chard Series of lines.

What went into the thought of designing the lines are the fact that most casters have a hard time forming tight loops consistently.  Then there is always a lack of power in the casting system making it difficult for whatever power that was there to make it all the way to the leader and fly to roll out straight (which is very important in salt water fly presentation).  The reasons it was tuff for the power had a hard time getting that far was most of the fly lines on the market for salt at that time had a very long front taper taking power away from the system gradually.  Then when the power got to the leader there was not much left to roll out the leader and fly straight.  Using longer leaders combined with heavier flies made this issue even more prevalent.  Loaded with this information I then chopped off the front taper making it only 18 inches (most where 6-8ft at the time).  This unloaded mega power straight from the belly of the line right into the longer leaders that we use and into the heavier flies and the then rolled over more consistently even into stronger winds.  A little over sizing on the Head of the line, lengthening the rear taper and thinning the running line where also major changes in the line from others that where on the market at the time that allowed the line to perform superior to all other salt lines to this day still.  You can order Chard Lines from me personally if you like.  Check out my website for more information on them and email me for any order requests of questions.

Mr. Bonefish, chillax'n

The bonefish angler these days has so many options… the Bahamas, Hawaii, Belize, Venezuela, Christmas Island… what is it about the Florida Keys that makes it a special?

The main asset of the Florida Keys bone fishery is the pure average size of our Bones.  Nowhere else can you find a larger average size bonefish.  Our fish average 7-9 pounds with many 10 pounders caught all the time.  The reason for so many large bonefish calling the Keys home is plentiful amount of large shrimp and crabs that can fatten these big pigs up.  We have an unreal variety of thick turtle grass flats, hard coral flats, huge sweeping mud bottom grass flats, and endless deep water access to all these luscious. Super strong current helps keep the flats alive with nutrients.  All these reason add up to some of the best largest bone fishing in the world!

Florida bones have a reputation for being educated.  Do you have a tip or two for going after those educated fish?

Our Florida Bones are not hard to catch.  They are harder to catch than anywhere else but not hard to catch.  The biggest reason that bones are not caught in Florida is that the presentation is not good enough, and you don’t get as many opportunities so you have to make the shots you get count.  Not to many anglers are good enough to put the fly in the right spot consistently enough.   Everywhere else in the world there are usually many more opportunities to have shots at bones and then if you screw up and hit them in the head 9 times out of 10 they turn over upside down and eat the fly anyway.  Not in Florida.  It’s the NFL for bone fisherman.  But if you can cast and present the fly where it needs to be you can catch many bonefish in Florida no problem.

A favorite question of mine… when you are on the water a lot, you see things… odd things, unusual things, funny things… is there something you’ve seen out there on the water that was particularly interesting or memorable?

Well one night I was night tarpon fishing with Jim Teeny.  We had jumped 28 tarpon in 5 hours and we were just about to head in for the night.  I said to Jimmy make one more cast buddy and we will head back to the dock.  Jimmy then said no problem there Bruce just let me catch this permit on this next cast and we can head in no problem (giggling).  Jimmy makes a cast and then hooks up right away. Mind you I have never ever ever ever seen a permit caught on fly at night.  My first thought was here we go another big tarpon so I crank up the engine and get prepared to chase him down.  Well this fish didn’t run like a tarpon.  This fish didn’t jump either.  This fish ended up being a 12 pound permit!  Unreal!  I have never seen anyone call a permit on a blind cast either.  Pretty sweet fishing story!

What’s your favorite bonefishing rig (rod/reel)?

My favorite bonefishing set up is a 7wt Ross World Wide FW 9ft fly rod with a Ross Arius #4 reel, lined with a Bruce Chard Professional Series 8wt bonefish line, and a 12ft hard mono tapered leader from 27LB to 13LB mono then a smaller diameter Seaguar Grand Max 18Lb Flouro Tippit.

What’s your sense of the health of Florida bonefishing stocks?

I think the Florida bonefish stocks are looking great for the Keys.  We are learning how much these bones actually travel.  Our fish will travel great distances in a short amount of time. Weather changes seem to move the fish more than any other reason.  Cold fronts in the winter make these fish move quick and far for some reason.  Also there has been some proof that Florida Bones are in this are for the mixture of fresh water from the everglades and nutrient loaded waters from the gulfstream.  These water mixtures apparently make supreme breeding water conditions.

Thanks Bruce.  Keep up the good work.

Apr 10

Deneki Cold to the Bone

Deneki Outdoors owns and operates the Andros South lodge.  Back in January when Florida was seeing dead snook, tarpon and bonefish from icy weather the folks down in Andros were still fishing, although with an extra layer of clothes.

In this blog post on the Deneki Outdoors site, Andrew shares some thoughts on cold weather bonefishing (here’s the secret, it might just mean a shot at a beeeeg bonefish).

Cool water bone, photo by Louis Cahill, angler Bruce Chard

Jan 10

My Toolbox for GBI

OK… I have all my rods/reels/lines.  I’m ready… now the weather just has to cooperate.

Rods... not "poles." Never "poles."

The 7 weight
Rod: TFO Axiom
Reel: Okuma Helios
Line: SA Bonefish Line

The 8 weight
Rod: TFO Clouser
Reel: TFO Large Arbor
Line: Teeny Bruce Chard Bonefish

The 8/9 weight
Rod: Albright GP
Reel: Ross CLA 5
Line: Teeny Flip Pallot Bonefish

Dec 09

Getting Geared Up

My Bahamas trip is coming up… well, in a month, but still, I’m gathering the gear I need.  I’ve decided what rods and reels I’ll be sporting.  Here’s the deets:

Rod #1

  • 8 wt. TFO Clouser 8’9″ 4 pc. – My local fly shop (Off the Hook) is making me a deal on this rod and from the folks I’ve talked to it seems like a really sweet stick.  It is intended to throw big bugs and heavy lines, so we’ll see how it does with the Rio Bonefish line I have coming for it. I’ve read that the folks who have used it have not missed those missing 3 inches.
  • TFO Large Arbor – A sweet, sweet looking reel.
  • Rio Bonefish Line Bruce Chard Bonefish Line by Teeny– 8 wt – Have not cast this line yet.  I was going to fish the Rio line but talked to a guy who had his Rio line basically fall apart on him down in Belize.  So, I switched to the Bruce Chard line.

The reel is in the mail

Rod #2

  • 8/9 wt. Albright GP 9′ 4 pc. – I cast this rod a little down in Vallarta, but never with the line/flies that I’d be using on the flats.
  • Ross CLA 5 – I used this last trip on my 10′ 9wt. Good, solid reel capable of hanging in there with a dream-size bonefish.
  • Scientific Angler Bonefish Line – 9 wt. – Used this line last year.  It feels a little heavy for shallow water situations, but part of that may have been the rod.  We’ll see.


Now, I would have also brought my St. Croix Legend Ultra, but  it was stolen in Mexico… so… well, that makes it impossible to do that see.  I guess I could invent a time machine, but I’m kind of busy raising my daughter and tying flies.

Oct 09

Deneki Shares Bruce Chard's Set-Up

Bruce Chard is a flats guide of some reputation (the good kind from what I gather).  He teaches a bonefishing school in connection with Deneki Outdoors, so he has some bonefishy knowledge to drop.  Deneki recently tweeted a link to Bruce’s gear… all the way down to the knots.

I don’t know Bruce, but I think we’d get along.  His rod is a Ross Worldwide Essence FW 7wt.  That’s a $220 rod.  The Sage Xi3 may be a hell of a rod, but at $695 it is also spendy.  Now, we usually associate Ross with reels, but they entered the rod business a few years ago and their rods have been scoring pretty well by “those that know.”  Ross is also “Made in the USA,” which makes them a rare bird indeed these days.

Bruce also prefers the non-slip loop knot as his tippet-to-fly knot.  I just learned the knot and used it to catch a few fish out of the Truckee River throwing streamers last weekend.  Pretty easy knot and one I know I should have been using for ages.

Some info on Bruce’s school…

Time for School!

Doesn't that look like a nice place for class?

I would probably like this…