Bonefish are by far the most popular and exiting light tackle inshore species available to fly anglers. Its blistering run melts off backing, sending it ripping across shallow flats creating a jet like sound as its mercury silver body bounces light off the tropical skies.
We focus on the coral atolls of St Brandons and the. St Brandons hold undoubtedly the best bone fishing in the world. Huge numbers of bonefish inhabit these flats with the average size of the fish being 6lbs and plenty fish between 8lbs and 10lbs.
A day with close to 50 Bonefish is not uncommon in the St Brandons, with fish in the ten pound plus range being frequently spotted.
FlyCastaway guides have spent countless hours on all these atolls learning the areas and tidal patterns, providing anglers with the opportunity to land the”Big One’. The flats are generally hard and form the ideal platform to wade and stalk for Bonefish.
Bonefish live in the tropical and sub tropical waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. They move on and off the flats with the tides to feed on a variety of crustaceans and other small flats-dwelling species.
Tackle and Techniques
Four piece rods are also better for travel purpose as you can take them as hand luggage. When choosing a reel, one should look for a high quality saltwater reel with a smooth drag that can fit a full weight forward warm saltwater floating line to match the weight of the rod, together with about 250 yards of 20-30 lbs backing. We use tapered leaders ranging from 9 to 12 foot with a tippet breaking strength of 15lbs.
- Fly Rod: Quick action 9 foot 9 wt fly rod. We prefer a 9wt rod because of the average size of the Bonefish in there areas. This also helps in landing the fish quickly, minimizing the amount of the stress the fish goes through during the fight.
- Reel & Backing: High quality saltwater series reel loaded with 300 meters of 50 60 lbs braid. A Bimini Twist to Double Surgions should be tied into the braid, following which the fly line and backing should be joined using the loop to loop method.
- Fly Lines: Weight forward 9 weight saltwater floating line 30lbs braided loops nail knotted on both ends.
- Leaders: Fluorocarbon tapered leaders ranging from 9 to 12 foot and 15lb – 17lb
- Flies: Gotchas, Pillow talks, Green Machines, Golden Knights, Spawning Shrimps and Fleeing Crabs tied in natural colour combinations of sand and tan on Gamagkatsu No 2 – SC12S and No 6 SL11-3H. FlyCastaway has however narrowed and evolved the patterns to be location specific. (Link to fly patterns and order form)
- Boots: A good quality thick rubber soled boot with ankle support.
- Gravel guards: A good idea to prevent sand penetrating your boots.
- Sunglasses: Dark amber
All our fishing is done by wading on the flats and sight casting to bonefish. They are spotted with the help of a good pair of polarized glasses. The fish are led by a couple of feet so you don’t spook them and short sharp erratic strips are best. The hook must be set by a light line strike as well as a side movement of the rod. The hook point penetrates far better than a lifting rod strike and results in less fish being lost. Fishing for bones at St Brandons and the Seychelles can at times be ridiculously easy and at other times more challenging so casts can range anything from 10 feet to 110 feet.
Before leaving on your trip you will be briefed in detail by the FlyCastaway guides as to exactly what fly patterns you are going to need and how you should prepare your tackle. For all our destinations we have compiled a comprehensive tackle list.