Bonefish in The Turks are typically found in shallow, clear saltwater flats, and they feed on a variety of small crustaceans, mollusks, and fish. When fly fishing for bonefish, it’s important to use a fly that imitates these types of food sources and that is small, lightweight, and subtle.
There are many different flies that can be effective for bonefish, and the best one will depend on the specific conditions you are fishing in and the preferences of the bonefish you are targeting. Some popular options include:
- Crab flies: These flies mimic small crabs, which are a major food source for bonefish. They are typically tied with a mix of natural and synthetic materials, and normally fished on the bottom kicking up sand to attract attention.
- Shrimp flies: Like crab flies, shrimp flies mimic a key food source for bonefish. They are usually tied with natural materials like rabbit fur or deer hair and retrieved with more of a jigging motion
- Clouser minnows: These flies are versatile streamers that are effective for many different species of fish, including bonefish. Tied with a combination of natural and synthetic materials the tyer can be creative in terms of size of wing, colour combinations and flash
- Gotcha flies: This is a specific type of fly that is designed specifically for bonefish. It is usually tied with a mix of natural and synthetic materials and is designed to imitate a variety of small crustaceans and mollusks.
- Crazy Charlie: This is a classic – and famous – bonefish fly that is designed to mimic small, sand-colored crustaceans. It should always hold prime position in the fly box on the flats
- Merkin: This is a type of crab fly that is designed to mimic small, tan-colored crabs. Less well known but can be deadly on cloudy days
- Tingler: This fly is designed to imitate the small, transparent shrimp that are a major food source for bonefish. It is typically tied with synthetic materials and a variety of colours
- Gotcha: Another classic !!! Smaller and sparser is often the best choice with this bonefish favorite. Any colour you like (but pink/white is one of the best combinations)
- Del’s Merkin: This fly is a variation of the classic merkin, but with a different color combination or materials.
- Permit flies: Some anglers also use permit flies, which are large, flashy flies that mimic larger crustaceans and mollusks. These flies are typically used when targeting larger bonefish, or when fishing in areas where the bonefish are particularly selective and in deeper water
In general, when fly fishing for bonefish, it’s a good idea to start with a small, subtle fly and then gradually work your way up to larger, more flashy patterns if the bonefish are not responding. When fishing for bonefish, it’s important to remember that these fish can be very selective and that different flies may work better in different conditions. So, it’s a good idea to have a variety of flies in your fly box and to be prepared to switch up your fly selection based on the conditions and the behavior of the fish. It’s also important to pay attention to the tides and to the time of day, as bonefish tend to feed more actively during certain tides and at certain times of the day.