Winter and the Bonefish

Dave from Colorado came into town for a few days recently to get in some much need bow time.  He brought a quiver of fly rods and reels and had tied up some very tasty looking flies. Dave actually spends most of his time tying flies. As a matter of fact, that’s what he does–he ties flies.  He ties for some of the great fly shops in the country: Florida Keys Outfitters, Anglers All, Yellowstone Angler, just to name a few.  He is an innovator and designer of the piscatorial diet in all shapes and sizes from Browns to Marlin. Umpqua Feather merchants has him as one of their pro staff members and carries a variety of his flies.  One of my personal favorites: the Fishalicious.  It’s unfair to fish.

As some of you might do when you sit down to the tying vise, you visualize–ney–you fantasize about the fish that you might catch on that particular fly.  And when you tie more than 60 dozen flies a month, you just about go plumb crazy thinking about it.

Getting Dave on the bow and letting him take in the salt air was particularly rewarding for me.  With the winter weather upon us, I was expecting the worst but hoping for the best.  We had water temperatures hovering around the low 70’s for a while and once we had the tides lined up with some warmer water we were fortunate to have some happy schools of mudding and tailing bonefish in our sites.  While we tried casting with a small crab imitation, it just didn’t seem to be what they wanted.  After a change to a “Silly Toad” we had a taker on the first presentation of a school of approximately 20 bonefish that lined up and came right for us. After a couple of strips and a long strip to come tight, Dave used his brand new 8 weight Sage SALT to bring the fantasy to life.  After some photos and some big smiles, this typical Florida Keys bonefish of about 8-9 pounds was quickly released.

Typical Keys bonefish of 8-9 pounds

Typical Keys bonefish of 8-9 pounds