I thought it might be interesting to comb through the different outfitters/lodges/guides to see who recommends what when it comes to flies one should have in your box when fishing a particular destination. To keep as much to an apples/apples comparison as possible I am looking only at Grand Bahama.
On GBI, one of the venerable players is the North Riding Point Club. I’m sure lots of folks book them, and they probably book direct too, but for this particular exercise I looked at the listing by The Fly Shop, my one time local shop (I moved). They seem to be fans of the “everything” philosophy… here is what they say you should have…
~ McVay Gotcha # 6 – # 2
~ Clouser Minnows #6 & #4 (chartreuse/white) (tan/white) (pink/white)
~ Crazy Charlies #6 (silver, amber, crystal pink, crystal chartreuse)
~ Mini Puff (with and without bead chain eyes) #6, # 4 (pink, tan/orange, chartreuse)
~ Chico’s Bonefish Special #4
~ Raghead Crab #8,
~ Miheves Flats Fly #6 (tan, brown)
~ Rabbit-strip Gotcha #4 or #6
~ Shane’s Psycho Puff #4
~ Tuxedo Gotcha #6
~ Flats Rabbit #6
~ Bone Voyage #6
~ Magnum Mantis #2 – 6, (tan, olive)
~ Big Bone
Wow… I better get tying!
Grand Bahama Bonefishing, and outfit I don’t know (but then, I wouldn’t, anyway). is more minimalistic… basically they say #4-6, Gotchas, Crazy Charlies, Clousers, Puffs, Horrors.
Hmmm… maybe I DON’T need to get tying.
The Blog for Deep Water Cay just gives an idea of what the top flies were… lots of #2’s in there… Gotcha’s, Mantis Shrimp, Bonefish Scampi. The blog was last updated in 2008, so don’t go and bookmark it just yet.
Flyfish Travel books Pelican Bay on GBI and they go with “everything” philosophy as well… here is what they say you should stock you box(es) with:
Bonefish Flies: We recommend at least six dozen bonefish flies for the week in varying weights and sizes.
* #2-4 Clouser Minnows in Gotcha, Gold Shiner, Silver Shiner
* #2-6 Gotcha, Gold Gotcha
* #4-6 Krystal Charlie’s in Gold and White
* #4-6 Horrors* #4-6 Tan Yarn Crabs
* #4-6 Tan or Golden Mantis Shrimp
* #4 Orange Christmas Island Special
* #4-6 Tan/Orange Bonefish Puffs
* #4-6 Crazy Charlies in Tan/Gold, Tan/Pearl and Gold
* #6 Moose Turd
* #4 Borski’s Super Swimming Shrimp
* #2-4 Rabbit strip bonefish flies in brown, tan, white and pin
So, what’s a guy to do? It seems the basic take away is #4-6 with a few #2’s. Colors muted, with a couple bright ones. Six dozen flies does seem a tad overdoing it (or massively overdoing it unless you hire a fly caddy).
The one item lightly touched on was weight (see the pun there? Yeah… I’m pretty punny). From barbell to mono is the range and folks in the know say that often weight is the key issue.
I think I’m pretty much on the minimalist side of fly selection, so we’ll see if that works for me. In trout fishing if they won’t eat a PT, Poopah, zebra midge or ugly bug, I’m not going to waste my time on them and I’ll just move 15 feet and cast to the fish that will. Of course, bonefishing might be a little bit more complicated… just a wee, tiny bit.