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


Bonefish are creatures of the flats. They respond to the primordial rhythms of the tides, charging and retreating over beds of bright sand and blankets of turtle grass. They are sleek and slender, shy and suspicious. They blend in perfectly with the turquoise waters and the shimmering bottom; their silver sides reflecting all giving them the ability to seemingly change color.

Bonefishing combines the best of hunting and fishing. You must have the visual concentration and patience to find the fish and a hunter's stalking ability to get within casting range. Your cast must then deliver the fly quietly and precisely. You must entice the fish, with a proper retrieve, to accept and eat your fly. You must develop a feel for the hookset. In bonefishing rarely is blind luck rewarded. Usually, the fisherman with the most skills catches the most fish.

The reward for all this concentration and applied technique is the hookup. The magical moment when that ghostly shadow is attached to your casting arm. The run is explosive and blazing. You struggle for control; your line rattling through the guides in a demonstration of pure power; 50, 100, then 150 yards of backing evaporate into the mix of sizzling tropical heat and turquoise gin clear water.

This is bonefishing. For many anglers, after all the trout, salmon, tarpon, and sailfish, the bonefish is still the ultimate quarry. The bonefish, Albula vulpes, the white fox, brings anglers back to the flats time and time again, year after year. Many words have been written about why we do it but its really just "damn good fun".

What follows are a few hints to improve your bonefishing. If you are an expert we invite your suggestions and additions. If you are a novice we will be happy to clarify any of these recommendations.

Here's to bonefish tails shimmering and twinkling in the sunlight, delicate casts and screaming runs.

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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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