Middle keys bonefish
What kind of flies should i use for bones and other inshore fish in the middle to lower keys? I am heading down there in 2 weeks for my first time
I'm down here fishing now. Worked off of Long Key early yesterday. Crazy Charlies in off white and pink both produced a couple fish.
Today we're going to work off the backside of Sugarloaf, depending on the wind.
hahahaha.....I thought I was the only one to still use a charlie, and in your exact colors. In size 2 they were 100% my go-to fly for chummed bonefish......and they never failed, so why change? I use a charlie for all my Keys bonefishing. But there are so many patterns out there (mostly designed to catch bonefishermen, not bonefish.....)
I'd like to make an observation, since I have just recently been doing a lot more bonefishing, albeit not in the Keys. This is that the reason people go (say) "3 for 6" on bonefish, instead of "5 for 6," or better.....is because of the style of fly they use. So many patterns have long wings on them (the original snapping shrimp pattern comes to mind) I just can't help but think that some of the "misses," aren't due to short takes.
In Mexico, I use a variation of the bunny gotcha. The tail is very short and the rabbit fur is nothing more than a 1/8" square, tied behind the #4 hook. This done, the fur does not extend much past the hook bend and the fly is deadly, even on an all-white bottom. When I first discovered the gotcha, I left it as it was and had many short takes. With "my" gotcha, I'm darned near 100%.
EDIT: Fltsfshr.....If you went to the Barracudas, what's it like back there now? According to Google Earth, most of the turtle grass that used to carpet the back side is gone and there is a lot more sand. Looks like you could pole that area and the visibility in terms of seeing the fish is much improved. But with the loss of the grass, do the fish still show? Starting in the next couple of days are some killer late afternoon tides for bonefish and permit back there!!! Tight lines.
Fishing the Marathon/Big Pine area for the last decade plus, I've grown very fond of a #2 Gotcha (with a red head rather than pink) for bones. Permit are also willing (sometimes!) to eat the fly as well.
Try a yellow head and put some yellow anywhere else you can get away with....maybe the tail. I'm always looking for a fly that will readily take both species.
Originally Posted by WPHorn
In Mexico, orange and tan are the magic colors for some unknown reason. In the next rats that I tie, I'm going to make that color substitution for a comparison. Maybe we'll see just how "universal," the permits' seeming affinity (in the Keys) for yellow, really is.
Funny that you referenced yellow. Usually tie the Gotcha with a bright red head and a gold krystal flash tail. Discovered this combination works like a charm in the Andros Bights. And my biggest fly rod perm -- 35 lbs -- ate this combo in the Middle Keys. Maybe the gold is close to yellow -- in the fish's eye. I've heard too that the original Gotcha used yellow krystal flash over the craft fur wing. May have to try some yellow head versions.
We fished the Puglisi mantis shrimp in white and tan with pretty good luck. Also, don't be afraid to go big; that way you can cover your bases for permit should one swim by.
Sounds like I need to tie some yellow as well ;)
Flies for Bonefish in the Florida Keys Islomrada to Key West
Here is a link to my bonefishing information website for Do It Yourself flats fishing the Florida Keys. I call it threebone because of catching 3 bonefish in one day a few times, by roadside wading. I would say it is the best informational fishing guide for bonefish I have seen. I wish I had found this website, when I started bonefishing.
Originally Posted by T-rav
Those are all good places to fish on your own with or without a boat. Your descriptions are dead on.
We used to camp on Long Key and ladder fish. I still like the flats there. You get everything coming across.
Greatly Appreciated Feedback
Thanks for your comment. Bonefishing is a passion of mine.
Originally Posted by fltsfshr