Top Five Reasons Bonefishing is Better than Trout Fishing

I can already see the emails from people not understanding that I’m saying this tongue-in-cheek… that is unfortunate, but I’m going to plow on ahead anyway.

Reason #5 – No stream access fights

You can reach a flat, you can fish a flat and you don’t have Huey Lewis and Charles Schwab trying to kick you off lands that are actually your birthright.

Reason #4 – No ice in the guides

There is no such thing as de-icing your guides while bonefishing because it never freezes in those places. That’s always nice… not freezing.

Reason #3 – No stinky waders, no leaky waders

After a season of hard trout fishing there are two things I’ve learned to expect from my waders. First, they’ll stink like something died in them… in the sun… and stayed dead, rotting, in the sun for a number of days. Secondly, they would do a really crappy job of keeping the water out (this could be because of my poor choice in waders, I admit).

Reason #2 – No tiny flies

Man, I hate a #22 sized midge pattern. I really hate the tippets that you have to use to fish a #22 midge pattern. I have a 5x hook-set. Pretty much anything less and I’m going to pop the fly off. While bonefishing I’m mostly using 16 pound fluoro. I like 16 pound fluoro.

Reason #1 – The song of the drag

As a trout angler you have few chances to really hear your reel sing. Sure, you may end up catching a 22″ bow in heavy water and you may have a little line taken out. You probably will not see all your line scream through your guides at a totally unreasonable speed. You just don’t have that… unless you get your line caught on the propeller or something. It turns out having your line pulled like that, having it ripped fishward by a fish swimming in just inches of water… well… it is kind of awesome.

It isn’t an exhaustive list and I could easily have added “for me” onto the title, but that wouldn’t get people all freaked out and in the end would be less amusing for us all.

I trout fish more than I bonefish… at least 5:1 and likely more than that. I love trout and the places I fish for them. I love the feel of my waders (when they are not full of holes) and the familiar feeling of the wading belt, wading staff, net, chest pack. The feeling of a trout on the line. The sound of the water running over rocks. The evergreens and the dippers and waterfalls and gray, overcast days. I really do love it.

It is true that there are some people that would pick trout over bonefish if given side-by-side opportunities (of course there are people that would pick strawberry over chocolate too, as crazy as that sounds). I won’t argue here that they are wrong (although I think we all know that they are). I know that I’d pick bonefish for the reasons listed above and a couple dozen more.

See you on the trout stream.

Me. On my way to fish for trout.

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  1. “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain an idea without accepting it” – Aristotle.

    Some people just need to chillax a little. And choose chocolate. Always chocolate.

  2. Reason #6 – Alternate Species
    When you are bonefishing and there are no bonefish around because of tides or because you spooked them all, you can simply cast out to deeper water and catch something, barracuda, jacks, snappers or who knows. When you are trout fishing, if there are no trout around or you spooked them all, you know what you will catch? Nothing, or maybe a sucker.

  3. I like you’re thinking Bjorn, but seems like kind of a lazy list to me. Surely there are 5 things that you love about Bone fishing, those things that moved your 4wt into the back of the closet and had you scanning Orbit for deals to the Bahamas, was it really that you were sick of “stinky waders”?

    Anyway, I like the idea of this list, just not sure it is written from the heart (except for #1). Seems like a more than a few strawmen here…

    First off, out here in the Rocky Mountain West, where I fish, oh 60-80 days a year, I wear my waders maybe 5 times all year. They are maybe the most overrated piece of fishing equipment made. Some high boots or even chacos do the trick 95% of the time. So that elimates reason #3. Second, while we might get ice in the guides occassionally, again, not a major problem. Saying ice-laden guides is an everday factor in trout fishing is like saying hurricanes are an everyday factor in bonefishing. (And I’d take icey guides over hurricane, anyday).

  4. valid points Soren and I can agree… there was some laziness in there likely. I really do hate small flies though and I really do love the sing of the drag.

    Really, I still love trout fishing.

  5. Is there a trout that will pull 150 m (thats about 190 yards i think) of backing in its first run ! i dont think so, Bloody vest wearers !

  6. After 10 years living in Hawaii, catching thousands of bonefish up to 14 pounds, gimme trout anytime. At least the big, wild New Zealand trout I can catch around my home in Turangi. It is rare to have a bonefish run out even 100 yards, unless you have no drag at all, and their fighting style is not nearly as interesting as a hot rainbow or a clever steamroller of a big brown. I have had big NZ trout run almost as far as many bonefish, plus they jump, change direction, dive into weeds, and around stumps, etc. I dont mind the waders, but rarely use them, and I love all the intricasies of the many fly styles and sizes one has to choose from, and the art of creating clever flys that get bites, or even better, drys that entice trout to rise. The flats can be lovely, but still hard to beat walking a stream, each pool holding mystery, and seeing a big trout feeding calmly in clear water. And trout are downright gorgeous, all colored up, compared to the steely gleam of a bonefish. And most of all, I am totally smitten with brook trout, those big male green backed squaretailed orange bellied speckled wonders of nature. Hard to beat!
    I am off to New zealand next month, and can hardly wait!
    Louie the Fish!

  7. You nailed it! I am going out friday to catch browns “They are a spawning” it will be cold I will be in chest waders. I will probable slip and fall in the snow. all good fun! but give me a big bones!! oh yes making my reel sing, and yes I have had over 100 yard runs, right into the backing. The weather ohohh- give me some sun and sand. nothing like it!
    I am feeling a little guilty because I wear my fly vest fishing any time? I guess it more of a security blanket?

  8. Yeah. Bones. I’ll take a 5lb bone over a 1/2 pound brown anyday. Chicks in bikinis if you go to Los Roques. No chicks in bikinis on the Great Lakes tribs. Nope, none.

  9. Just came back from Andros, Bahamas yesterday. I live in Sarasota FL but no bones this far north. I have fished trout, steelhead, coho and all the sea trout, redfish and striped bass, but pound for pound nothing is better than a bone. Plus the weather is much better!

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