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Preface · Preparing to Cast · Seeing and Being Seen · When the Excitement Starts · The Hookset and After · When Day is Done

When Day is Done

When a bonefish follows a fly he will almost always take it. Other clues that a fish has taken your fly are: his dorsal fin or tail flutters or quivers, he flashes his side in the sun, the fish races a second fish to a spot or the fish scurries to another spot leaving his companion or school behind and most importantly, if he tips down and his tail comes out of the water. If any of these occur, chances are he has your fly. Count off one or two seconds and strip strike. Sometimes if you can't see the fish, you can feel your line vibrate or jump. In that case strip strike again.

If a fish follows closely but does not take your fly, change your retrieve: speed up, slow down or stop entirely. This change will often elicit a strike.

A bonefish can travel 26 m.p.h. for several hundred feet in six inches of water. Set your drag before you cast to a fish, and once hooked, get all the spare line safely out through the guides. Always fight a bonefish on the reel; to do otherwise invites disaster. Until the fish is on the reel, watch your line, not the fish.

After getting the line on the reel, hold your rod high. This will create a steeper angle and help the line get over coral and mangrove shoots, resulting in fewer break offs.

The harder you fight a bonefish, the harder he will pull back. If a fish gets tangled around a mangrove or in the weeds or coral, take all the pressure off the fish. Bonefish will usually stop. You can untangle your line and resume the fight.

Handle a landed fish as little as possible. Pinch the barbs on your hooks. Hemostats will often allow you not to have to touch the fish at all.

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Preface · Preparing to Cast · Seeing and Being Seen · When the Excitement Starts · The Hookset and After · When Day is Done


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