Waders
Footwear
Outerwear
Layering
Sportswear
Women's
Bag & Packs
Accessories
Rods & Reels
Fly Accessories
Wading
Jackets
Vests
Clothing
Baselayer
Accessories
Pack & Travel
Rods & Reels
Fly Accessories
Rod
Switch
Spey
Reels
Outfits
Lines
Luggage
Apparel
Accessories
Cross S1 Solutions
Reels
Single-Hand Rods
Double-Hand Rods
Kits
Lines
Apparel
Accessories
All
About Loop
Trout
Steelhead
Saltwater
Specialty
Apparel
All
Test Drive a Red Truck
Red Truck Resources
Pinot Noir
Syrah
Grenache
Summer White
Accessories
Fly Rod Outfits
Fly Accessories
All
Patagonia
Leland Gift Guide
Fly Rods
Reels
Lines
Wading
Clothing
Women's
Pack & Travel
Leland Fly Boxes
Accessories
Flies
Fly Tying
Media
Gift Card
About Leland
Learn to Fly Fish
Fly Fishing Gear
Places to Fly Fish
Sonoma
Sierra Nevada
New Zealand
British Columbia
Florida Keys
Artist Paul Waters
All
50% Off Redington
Rod Sale
Reel Sale
Line Sale
Wading Sale
Clothing Sale
Accessories Sale
Flies Sale
Tying Sale
Deal of the Day
Book Sale
DVD Sale
Leader - Tippet Sale
Leland Upgrade
Upgrade your Rods
Upgrade your Reels
Gear to Upgrade Too

Videos

Search Results
The History of Fly Rods
301
id::301
thumbnail::
desc::
itemprice::N/A
Price::
pricelevel::
baseprice::
Name::The History of Fly Rods
Rod Weight::
Rod Length::
Reel Line Weight::
Rod Action::
Series::
Featured::
Category::
Fishing::
Brand::
Rod Type::
Primary Color::
Size::
Line Weight::
type::infoitem
mediaimg::
url::http://www.lelandfly.com/In-Stock/Choosing-Fly-Gear/The-History-of-Fly-Rods.html
thumb::
detdesc::

  The Evolution of the Modern Fly Fishing Rod

From Macedonia to Montana, how did we wind up with today's technology?

 

Of all the thoughts that drift by when you're on the water, the history of the rod in your hand might not top the list. But with every cast, you are celebrating two millennia of fly rod history and innovation. And though the earliest recorded fly rods bore little resemblance to their contemporary kin, they satisfied the same fundamental desire: outwitting Mother Nature amid her most serene landscapes.

The earliest references to fly fishing rods date back to the book Aelian’s Natural History. Published in 200 AD by Roman angler Aelian, the two thousand year old text illustrates the Macedonian fishing technique in which red wool and homemade hooks were tied to wooden branches. The wood rods of this period were extremely stiff and heavy, little more than glorified tree bows that could weigh  upwards of 20 pounds. These cumbersome casters remained the standard even during the time of Izaak Walton, author of one of fly fishing's defining works, The Complete Angler.

History of Fly Rods in the 17th and 18th Century in Picture

In the 17th century, long and hefty branches began to evolve into more modern forms, with craftsmen hollowing fly rods to reduce their weight. Then came one of the most substantial developments in the history of the fly rods: as builders experimented with various types of wood and joined the pieces to create custom rods, the first ferrule systems came to be and made way for countless variations in fly rod tapers.

Materials varied geographically, but the Greenheart wood variety was a favorite as recently as the Hardy Fly Rods of the 1960s. Nothing, however, compared to the bamboo fly rods which gained great popularity in the 18th century for their lightweight composition and pliability. In 1845, an American violin maker named Samuel Phillipe created what is believed to be the first split cane fly fishing rod, encouraging many American anglers to develop new tapers and modify ferrule systems with this technique. The early split cane rods were 3 and 4 strip designs and after a few years, 6-strip rods were also introduced. According to some sources, Hiram Leonard, the founder of H.L. Leonard Rod Company, created the first 6-strip rods, but others argue that it was Samuel Phillipe’s friend, Charles Murphy, who introduced the concept.

 

Developments of Fly Rods in the 19th Century

Fly fishing gained huge popularity in the 19th century. This was also the time during which rod builders made immense progress in splitting cane and creating tapers using beveling machines, leading to the birth of companies such as South Bend, Hardy Brothers, and Montague. Split cane remained the most popular and widely used material for making fly fishing rods until the early part of the 20th century when fiberglass and new resins caught the attention of anglers and the industry. In 1946, a military researcher by the name of Dr. Howald broke his split cane rod and used a fiberglass tube to fix it. As a result, the Shakespeare Company launched the first commercial fiberglass rods and dubbed the rod making process the “Howald Process.” These rods featured a fiberglass “fabric” wrapped in a spiral around a steel mandrel. Strands of additional fiber, aligned with the axis of the mandrel, were placed over the fiberglass material.

 

The Transition from Fiberglass to Graphite in the Modern-day

Advancements in the construction of fiberglass fly fishing rods continued and greatly lowered manufacturing costs and the availability of the equipment to enthusiasts. Split cane started losing its practical popularity, but they continued to be manufactured by companies catering to more traditional anglers. The breakthrough that brought them to modern front was graphite fly fishing rods hit the market for the first time in 1973 (Fenwick and Hardy both claim to be the manufacturers of the first graphite rods). Within the next few years, a number of companies started taking part in the development and refinement of graphite fly rods. Graphite brought revolution to the fly fishing industry and deeply impacted the fishing styles that many fishermen now use today. Improvements in rod design and discovery of processes to create stronger, lightweight fly rods have all contributed to a successful and positive evolution of the present-day graphite fly fishing rods. Boron was also considered as a viable material to create rod blanks, but for now, graphite remains as the material of choice and is most likely to be in this status for some time.



Today's Fly Rods

We celebrate timeless fly rods with the Leland Sonoma Series, above. But there are some other cutting-edge options that we love as well. To view the latest advancements in graphite fly rod technology make sure to check out the new Loop Cross S1 Fly Rods. Both rods now use the 3M nano titanium resin system. This new resign not only makes fly rods lighter, but also greatly increases their break resistance.
featdesc::
video::[Error processing dynamic tag getCurrentAttribute("item","custitem_product_video") : record infoitem 301 not found]
sku::The History of Fly Rods
rating::0
Fly Category::
Fly Stage::
Fly Tying::
quantity::0
dealdaycont::
addtocart::
{{thumbnail}}
{{itemlink}}
{{desc}}
Regular Price: {{itemprice}}
Special Price: {{itemprice}}
{{addtocart}}
Log In to add this item to your Wish List.
What is a Tarpon
The Tarpon is a giant among saltwater game fish. Although it is not the largest game fish a fly angler can catch and release, it’s known as “the silver king” throughout the warm lagoons, estuaries, thick mangrove swamps, and saltwater flats of southeastern North America, the Caribbean, and northeastern coast of South America. The tarpon: saltwater royalty. Adult tarpon can easily reach 6 or 7 feet in length and can weigh well over 150 pounds.
79
id::79
thumbnail::125-lpp-tarpon.jpg
desc::The Tarpon is a giant among saltwater game fish. Although it is not the largest game fish a fly angler can catch and release, it’s known as “the silver king” throughout the warm lagoons, estuaries, thick mangrove swamps, and saltwater flats of southeastern North America, the Caribbean, and northeastern coast of South America. The tarpon: saltwater royalty. Adult tarpon can easily reach 6 or 7 feet in length and can weigh well over 150 pounds.
itemprice::N/A
Price::
pricelevel::
baseprice::
Name::What is a Tarpon
Rod Weight::
Rod Length::
Reel Line Weight::
Rod Action::
Series::
Featured::
Category::
Fishing::
Brand::
Rod Type::
Primary Color::
Size::
Line Weight::
type::infoitem
mediaimg::http://www.lelandfly.com/385-what-is-a-tarpon.jpg
url::http://www.lelandfly.com/In-Stock/Fly-Fishes/What-is-a-Tarpon.html
thumb::http://www.lelandfly.com/What-is-a-Tarpon-thumb.jpg
detdesc::

Megalops atlanticus
Archille Valenciennes, 1847
 

“Then the water split with a hissing sound to let out a great tarpon, long as a door, seemingly as wide, who shot up and up into the air … Five times he sprang toward the blue sky, and as many he plunged down with a thunderous crash. The reel screamed. The line sang. The rod, which I thought stiff as a tree, bent like a willow wand. The silver king came up far astern and sheered to the right in a long, wide curve, leaving behind a white wake.”

 
- Zane Grey, “Byme-by-tarpon.”


The tarpon is a giant among saltwater game fish. Although it is not the largest game fish a fly angler can catch and release, it’s known as “the silver king” throughout the warm lagoons, estuaries, thick mangrove swamps, and saltwater flats of southeastern North America, the Caribbean, and northeastern coast of South America. The tarpon: saltwater royalty. Adult tarpon can easily reach 6 or 7 feet in length and can weigh well over 150 pounds. The Megalops atlanticus is astonishingly powerful and is famous among anglers as the mythological silver beast that can walk on water. Tarpon, once hooked, are known for jumping and thrashing about, sometimes longer than 3 hours, their tails skitting across the flat.

The silver king, although caught by indigenous tribes in the Florida Keys probably as early as the 1700s, was officially discovered and named in 1847 by the French parasitologist Archille Valenciennes during his work with Georges Cuvier on their Natural History of Fish, a whopping 22-volume work published between 1828 and 1848. Valenciennes placed the tarpon within the genus Megalops (Greek for “large eye”) because of its prominent and daunting black eyes. Since the turn of the century, a great body of literature, historical and otherwise, has been developed on the subject of tarpon. Fly fishing for tarpon is now a wildly popular sporting pursuit among anglers from Georgia to the Florida Keys, and tarpon are also highly sought after throughout the coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. Recently, giant tarpon in the 300 pound class have been caught on fly tackle off the southwestern coast of Africa. Tarpon have been so popular in the Gulf region of the United States that in 1955, by act no. 564 of the Alabama state legislature, the “fighting tarpon” became the state’s official saltwater fish.

Rolling and dashing through skinny saltwater flats and estuaries tarpon inhabit a range of 49°N - 44°s, 99°w - 14°e, but they have been recorded as far north as Nova Scotia, along the Atlantic coast of Southern France, and as far south as Argentina. The tarpon uses the thin water of the saltwater flats to feed on smaller baitfish and crustaceans. The deeper water of the open ocean is the tarpon’s spawning grounds. The tarpon does have a counterpart native to the Pacific Ocean (Megalops cyprinoids or Indo-Pacific tarpon), but this tarpon is a much smaller fish and not prized among fly anglers.

Tarpon are an ancient fish that has survived 125 million years of evolutionary tumult. One of the oldest living species in the ocean, the tarpon carries an almost otherworldly presence. Just catching a glimpse of a rolling school of giant tarpon is an intimidating sight even to the most confident fly angler. The tarpon’s huge bucket-like jaws and large black eyes compliment its thick, powerful body. When tarpon clear the top water during a jump, their massive set of mirror-polished scales clatter and clack audibly with the tremendous force of the maneuver. The tarpon’s fins are a dark, steely gray and the tail is deeply forked, providing the silver king with a tremendous amount of underwater leverage and speed.
According to historical accounts dating from the late 1800s, anglers have been able to catch tarpon on artificial flies with reasonable success. Since then fly fishing for tarpon has steadily increased in popularity owing to rousing tales of madly fighting fish from such popular authors as Zane Grey and, more recently, Lefty Kreh. The rising interest in saltwater fly fishing, coupled with tarpon-specific articles and books by other fly fishing greats have fueled the rush to master tarpon on a fly. Today, there is now an extensive network of guides fly fishing exclusively for tarpon from Florida to South America, and a number of tournaments and other competitions celebrating fly fishing for tarpon have also cropped up in recent years.

Fly anglers should understand that there are three classes or sizes of tarpon: baby tarpon, midsize tarpon, and giant tarpon. Baby tarpon range from 5 to 40 pounds, midsize tarpon fill the 50 to 80 pound class, and the giant tarpon weighs in at an astonishing 100+ pounds. Anglers looking to chase tarpon on the fly should think seriously about which weight class they are after before they gear up and head on that tarpon trip of a lifetime. Smaller tarpon are often found cruising on the edges of saltwater flats and in brackish inland estuaries and mangrove swamps. Larger tarpon are usually found cruising and rolling in saltwater flats.

Baby and midsize tarpon offer quite a fighting challenge on an 8 weight or 9 weight outfit. Giant tarpon, however, require much heavier 11 or 12 weight outfits. Fast action fly fishing rods are popular among tarpon anglers for their ability to assist the caster in creating the long, accurate casts (often into heavy wind) required when sight casting for tarpon. It’s important to have top-notch fishing tools when stalking tarpon of any size in the saltwater flats; an angler, even on the best day, may only get 3 or 4 good casts at fish!

Fly Rods
Loop Cross S1
Loop Cross S1 12 Weight Tarpon Rod

As with any saltwater flats game fish, spotting a tarpon can be a challenge. Sunny conditions on saltwater flats can produce some of the world’s most visually taxing conditions, and the sheer brightness of the glare on the water can be overwhelming. A good pair of polarized sunglasses with copper photochromatic lenses can – on some days – be considered the saltwater fly angler’s most useful fishing tool. Yellow photochromatic lenses can be useful for morning light conditions, so if you plan to fish from dawn until dusk, consider two pairs of shades. (Experience in spotting tarpon, or a guide perched atop the polling platform of a specialized flats skiff will also help!)

All Day Polarized Sunglasses
Low Light Polarized Sunglasses

There is a recent movement among saltwater fly anglers who chase tarpon to “dredge” deeper channels and estuaries for tarpon of all size classes. This dredging method is anchored in common blind casting techniques familiar to striped bass fly anglers of the North American coasts. Dredging for tarpon with a sinking line can be productive, but remains a relatively new and unproven tactic in the quiver of tarpon fly fishers.

Deep Water Fly Line

Perhaps the easiest way to recognize the location of a single, pair, or school of tarpon is by the characteristic “rolling” action the species exhibits. The tarpon is equipped with a swim bladder, allowing them to survive and thrive in brackish swamps and saltwater flats as well as the open ocean. Tarpon will periodically appear at the water’s surface to take in a breath, filling their swim bladder before rolling back into the salty depths. This process, although graceful, can cause quite a stir. Fly anglers should be on the lookout for large boils and bubbles in the top water accompanied by a silvery flash – this is likely a rolling tarpon.

Large tarpon in saltwater flats will aggressively chase and take a well-presented fly, adding to the species’ storied place in saltwater game fish mythology. Tarpon will respond energetically to a fly moving directly away from them. Creating this effect can be achieved with a hook cast or a reach cast, both practiced techniques used by freshwater fly anglers. Saltwater flats can offer a fly angler some of the most challenging casting conditions on earth. Long, tuned, and accurate casts of 60 to 70 feet are often necessary. Once the fly is properly presented to the tarpon, the stripping game is on. Anglers will invariably disagree on which are the most effective methods for retrieving the fly when fly fishing for tarpon in the saltwater flats. In one conversation on the subject, one might hear “fast, slow, smooth, jerky” … often in the same breath. Never fear, a local guide will often know just how to play and move a fly to produce results; listen to what they have to say! Be patient though, as tarpon have been known to chase a well-presented and retrieved fly all the way to the boat before striking!

Brackish inland estuaries and mangrove swamps offer saltwater fly anglers amazing chances to cast to, catch and release baby tarpon. Some canal systems – especially in southwest Florida – provide excellent shelter for juvenile tarpon, even through the slow winter months. When fishing these environments, work streamers as close to the mangrove roots as possible. As the tide goes out, more and more of these mangrove roots will be exposed, leaving behind an excellent feeding shelf for baby tarpon. Remember: well-presented flies will move silver kings!



Simply hooking a tarpon can be an operatic experience in itself. The tarpon’s mouth is extremely hard and has been likened to tough construction-grade concrete. Subsequently, successful hook sets are almost more challenging than actually getting an aggressive tarpon to take a well-presented fly. Practice in firm and confident strip setting techniques is extremely important when fly fishing for tarpon. When a tarpon finally chomps the fly, and the hook is set, the fish will put on an impressive aerial acrobatics show. Seasoned tarpon anglers, when trading notes on a day’s work, will often proudly include the number of “fish jumped” as well as the number of fish landed. Tarpon are consistently observed jumping 3 or 4 feet above the water after a hook up. During this aggressive jumping and thrashing, fly, fly line, and tippet are at their most vulnerable point. It is extremely important to protect rigging and tackle by keeping the rod tip as low as possible during the initial few jumps. This process is called “bowing” to the fish, and it’s no secret, bowing to the silver king will minimize the chance of losing a tarpon to a snapped line or leader.

Tarpon fly anglers presented with the challenge of keeping a tail-walking silver king on the line have developed a number of rigging techniques designed to stand up to what many think are the toughest and wildest fighters in the salt. Taking a nod from the rigging standards employed by bill fish and tuna anglers, anglers in hot pursuit of monster tarpon have experimented with extremely complex, heavy rigs. The standard 9 foot tarpon leader, however, consists of a heavy 60 pound butt section, a section of 16 to 20 class tippet, and finally a short, one foot section of 60 to 100 pound mono shock tippet. This rig is the standard for many medium to large tarpon, but there are other options for the really large fish. Be sure to ask your local fly shop about the leaders you should have ready to go before you board the plane for your chosen tropical tarpon destination. Keeping this general rigging rule for tarpon fishing can be helpful: When traveling to far-flung destinations, bring your rigging with you. When traveling to the Florida Keys, a good guide should provide all you need to jump and land the tarpon of your dreams.

Tarpon Leaders

Do not head to the saltwater flats in search of tarpon armed with a sub-standard fly reel. The stress a tarpon can place on even the strongest rods, lines, and leaders is truly impressive – to say the very least. The fly reel is the mechanical link for your connection to the fish and if it goes south, so does your time on the water. Be sure to find a reel with an iron-clad drag system and a large arbor for easy line pick up. The reel should also be large enough to store between 200 and 250 yards of backing; if you find yourself connected to a rolling fish, you’ll use it.

Ultimate Tarpon Fly Reel

When at home along the saltwater flats, tarpon will hunt and feed mostly on baitfish. When migrating and spawning, tarpon are more likely to feed instinctively on smaller crustaceans. Regardless of the situation, however, tarpon will aggressively chase a well-presented fly. Large streamer patterns are the most effective flies for tarpon of all sizes, but some smaller crab and shrimp patterns will yield good results on days when the silver kings are on the move or in a more selective mood.

A favorite classic tarpon fly from Florida to the Bahamas is the Cockroach, developed by saltwater fly fishing legend Lefty Kreh. Other proven tarpon flies include Lefty’s Deceiver, the Clouser Minnow, and the Sea Habit. When tarpon are migrating or on the spawn, the Tarpon Shrimp, Tarpon Crab, and the Seaducer are another trio of useful tarpon flies to have on hand, and the Campeche Special is a brilliant fly for baby tarpon in the mangroves of Mexico’s Gulf Coast.

Tarpon offer fly anglers a unique challenge; discovering the proper blend of power, strategy, concentration, and finesse is crucial when on the flats or in the brackish water in search of rolling tarpon. The majesty of the tarpon survives in a heap of literature from Grey to Kreh, and with good reason. Holding court, the tarpon truly is the silver king of the flats, offering excited anglers throughout the tropics the sport, the drama, the epic struggle, and the joy of the great kings of mythology.

                                                           - Evan P. LeBon  
featdesc::
video::[Error processing dynamic tag getCurrentAttribute("item","custitem_product_video") : record infoitem 79 not found]
sku::What is a Tarpon
rating::0
Fly Category::
Fly Stage::
Fly Tying::
quantity::0
dealdaycont::
addtocart::
{{thumbnail}}
{{itemlink}}
{{desc}}
Regular Price: {{itemprice}}
Special Price: {{itemprice}}
{{addtocart}}
Log In to add this item to your Wish List.
What is a Bonefish
The bonefish has been called the “silver bullet of the flats” and rightfully so. This member of the Elopiformes order and close relative of the tarpon possesses lightning quickness and race car speed. In open water these fish have been clocked at nearly 23 miles per hour. This astounding physical ability has helped the bonefish survive 125 million years of evolution, solidifying its place among the earth’s most ancient species.
80
id::80
thumbnail::125-lpp-bonefish.jpg
desc::The bonefish has been called the “silver bullet of the flats” and rightfully so. This member of the Elopiformes order and close relative of the tarpon possesses lightning quickness and race car speed. In open water these fish have been clocked at nearly 23 miles per hour. This astounding physical ability has helped the bonefish survive 125 million years of evolution, solidifying its place among the earth’s most ancient species.
itemprice::N/A
Price::
pricelevel::
baseprice::
Name::What is a Bonefish
Rod Weight::
Rod Length::
Reel Line Weight::
Rod Action::
Series::
Featured::
Category::
Fishing::
Brand::
Rod Type::
Primary Color::
Size::
Line Weight::
type::infoitem
mediaimg::http://www.lelandfly.com/385-what-is-a-bonefish.jpg
url::http://www.lelandfly.com/In-Stock/Fly-Fishes/What-is-a-Bonefish.html
thumb::http://www.lelandfly.com/What-is-a-Bonefish-thumb.jpg
detdesc::

Albula vulpes

Pieter Bleeker, 1859


“Bonefish fight so hard that they almost deserve to get away.”


- Pete Perinchief, former Director of Bermuda’s

Fishing Information Bureau, 1964





The bonefish has been called the “silver bullet of the flats” and
rightfully so. This member of the Elopiformes order and close relative
of the tarpon possesses lightning quickness and race car speed. In open
water these fish have been clocked at nearly 23 miles per hour. This
astounding physical ability has helped the bonefish survive 125 million
years of evolution, solidifying its place among the earth’s most ancient
species. The bonefish is also clever and cunning, its name, Albula vulpes, literally means “white fox.”



The bonefish was first discovered and named by famed Dutch
ichthyologist, Pieter Bleeker, in 1859. Bleeker’s contribution to the
study of fish was more than prolific during his 18 year stint as a
medical officer in the Dutch East Indian Army from 1842 to 1860; his
famous treatise Atlas Ichthyologique provides a laboriously detailed
account of his work in Indonesia and includes notes on the bonefish.



Bleeker’s bonefish are incredibly nimble and skittish creatures. Native to saltwater
flats environments, bonefish can be found in nearly every tropical body
of water on the globe. The recorded range of the bonefish is 45°N -
31°s, 159°w - 35°w. Yet, despite their common occurrence and widely
distributed range, bonefish remain a difficult set of silvery fins to
catch, owing to their selective feeding, nearly perfect camouflage,
360-degree eyesight, and flat out speed in open water. The unique
sporting challenge offered by bonefish has brought a host of eager fly
anglers to the tropics in search of adventure and the chance to catch a
silver bullet.



Bonefish are a curiously primitive looking species. Masters of illusion,
bonefish sport a highly reflective set of scales that function as an
array of tiny mirrors, reflecting quite accurately the fish’s
ever-changing environment. The narrow and muscular bonefish is also
built with a tapered nose, leading to an extremely powerful mouth. The
species uses this mouth to root for its food in the coral and on the
sandy bottom of the saltwater flats it calls home, crushing prey with
its hard palate.



Emerging on the skinny water of the saltwater flats during periods of
tidal flux, bonefish dine on a rich diet of clams, shrimp, and crabs,
and they will rarely pass up the opportunity to snare even smaller
critters such as saltwater worms, snails, and baitfish. Locally,
bonefish will vary their feeding habits, sometimes turning into the tide
to sniff out their prey and at other times following prey into the
tidal direction. Fly anglers should be sure to understand their local
quarry prior to stalking bonefish – a local fly shop or guide service
can be invaluable in the pursuit of these mirrored torpedoes.



Tropical saltwater flats are often only a few inches deep and don’t
offer feeding bonefish much protection or cover. When digging for their
meals, bonefish are often forced to expose a good portion of their tail
above the water. Subsequently, bonefish will often be found “tailing”
either in
pairs or in larger schools. To spot a tailing bonefish or group of
bonefish, look for their deeply forked tails just above the waterline,
flashing brilliantly in the sunlight. Saltwater fly anglers will tell
you that there is nothing more exciting than crouching near a thick
patch of turtle grass in the middle of an expansive tropical flat and
spotting the glittering flash of a school of tailing bonefish!



Despite the classic tailing give-away, merely spotting a bonefish can
present quite a frustrating challenge to a fly angler. Many saltwater
flats have sandy bottoms, but others are composed of the mottled browns,
greens, and gold of thick turtle grass, making it very difficult to
glimpse a well-camouflaged fish. Saltwater fly anglers also look for
“cruising” or “mudding” bonefish. When looking for a cruising fish or
school, watch for quick flashes and shadows along the bottom of the
flat. Mudding bonefish will produce clouds and wide plumes of gray sand
as they hunt and dig for their prey. Looking for such a mud spot will
often yield good results.



A good pair of polarized sunglasses with copper or yellow photochromatic
lenses will ease the strain of this challenge. (Experience in spotting
bonefish, or a guide perched atop the polling platform of a specialized
flats boat will also help!)



Bonefish are particularly aware of the perils of the thin water in which
they feed. Such heightened awareness renders these fish extremely
skittish at the slightest sign of danger. Fly anglers must take extreme
care not to frighten feeding bonefish. This means maintaining a low
profile, keeping rod tips on the water, and being prepared to make long, directed, and accurate casts in a number of challenging conditions.



Saltwater flats fishing requires a confident cast, tight attention to
fly presentations, and a good working knowledge of local water and tidal
conditions. Bonefishing requires all of these along with a heavy dose
of concentration. Fly anglers chasing bonefish will most often be sight
casting for their quarry. When sight casting for bonefish it is
extremely important to understand the delicate mix of water and wind
conditions and distance to the fish. If the wind is high, an angler may
need to use a shorter leader and a heavier 9 weight rod and line to turn
over the fly and lay down a sixty foot cast. If conditions are calm and
the saltwater flat is glassy, a 14 or 15 foot leader and a lighter 7
weight rod may be necessary to avoid spooking the fish during
presentation of the fly.  However, if you were to choose just one fly rod to tackle all conditions, it should be a 9' #8 fly rod.  Our favorite bonefish fly rod is the Loop Cross S1 Flatsman 890-4...controlled distance, accuracy and strength.



Because bonefish are so wary, it is important to understand how the fish
is moving and where to place a cast. Saltwater flats anglers will often
lead a feeding bonefish by a generous 15 feet or more. The key to
presenting a fly to a bonefish is to make the fly appear to be moving
away from the fish. This may sound difficult, but can easily be achieved
with a simple hook cast or reach cast – both well-practiced casts in
the arsenal of trout and freshwater anglers.



Stripping line after such a cast is also important. Experiment with
longer and shorter strips with different pacing; pause and give the fly a
slight jerk and then strip in more line. Local guides will have a
favored technique and will tell you just what to do when you’ve spotted a fish and placed that perfect cast.



Hooksetting should also not be overlooked. Be sure to set the hook
firmly with a confident strip set as soon as you feel the subtle tug of a
bonefish at the end of the line. Freshwater anglers making the
transition to salt commonly make the mistake of lifting the rod tip
vertically to set the hook. This technique may work on Montana’s great
and storied Madison for big browns, but it won’t hook a bonefish. (Too
many anglers have bought their guides rounds of drinks back at the lodge
for lifting the tip instead of using a solid strip set. Don’t be a
statistic!)



For efficient fly delivery and better hook sets, the proper fly line is very important when bonefishing.  The Airflo Ridge Bonefish fly line
is the best fly line on the market today for saltwater flats fishing. 
With a patented coating of polyurethane, which is impervious to bug
repellant and sunscreen, this particular fly line will last many hard
seasons.  All other fly lines are constructed of PVC material and don't
react well to the likes of bug spray and sun screen.  The low-stretch
core of the Airflo Bonefish line provides more efficient casts.  And,
when "strip-setting" on a bonefish, this low-stretch core makes for
solid hook sets. 



Bonefish will readily take a well-presented fly, and will make several
long runs, usually taking a fly angler 150 yards deep into the backing.
Generally a bonefish will make about as many long, straight runs as its
weight in pounds. A 2-pound fish will make 2 long runs and a 4-pounder
will take you and your reel for a spin about 4 times. This is not by any
means a hard and fast rule, but something to keep in mind when it’s
time to strip set the hook and play that fish!



A raft of creative fly patterns has arrived on the tails of the bonefish
craze. Synthetics, foam, and flashy materials offer fly tiers a new
world of possible creations to toss into the salt. Crazy Charlies and
Bonefish Candy are effective patterns from Christmas Island to Los
Roques. One of the hottest and most productive bonefish flies around is
Bonefish Bitters, a modern epoxy-headed crustacean imitation developed
by Craig Matthews in the 1980s. Classics like the Gotcha and the
Bonefish Scampi as well as myriad crab patterns will also yield good
results on the saltwater flats.



Bonefish have provided fly anglers of all stripes and backgrounds with a
new and salty world of mystery, information, and excitement. Freshwater
anglers have enjoyed the challenge of learning new rigging, casting
techniques, and traveling to warmer more tropical destinations.
Saltwater anglers have enjoyed advancing the sport of fooling bonefish
with a fly and pushing the limits of saltwater flats fishing. Bonefish
are special creatures, and according to fly fishing legend, Lefty Kreh,
if left with only one choice, the bonefish would be his target. That’s
quite a bold marketing pitch, and one we’re hard-pressed to disagree
with. 





                                                                       - Evan P. LeBon

featdesc::
video::[Error processing dynamic tag getCurrentAttribute("item","custitem_product_video") : record infoitem 80 not found]
sku::What is a Bonefish
rating::0
Fly Category::
Fly Stage::
Fly Tying::
quantity::0
dealdaycont::
addtocart::
{{thumbnail}}
{{itemlink}}
{{desc}}
Regular Price: {{itemprice}}
Special Price: {{itemprice}}
{{addtocart}}
Log In to add this item to your Wish List.