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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey all,
I'm headed to the middle keys in early July
Looking for a guide for a few days for some bone fishing and an Everglades mission.
My leads have come up dry
Diy info greatly appreciated as well
I'm bringing my outcast commander so i will be slightly mobile
Tips will be rewarded with a south sound cutthroat trip on the Grady if you would like
Thank you
Nate
 

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I met Captain Gabe Nyblad on Christmas Island this winter, and he guides the Keys. He might be too far south from your hotel? We did not fish together, but his group had good things to say about his angling skills. From our conversation he seemed like a good guide for permit, tarpon, bonefish, etc.

http://www.tailchasincharters.com/

hey all,
I'm headed to the middle keys in early July
Looking for a guide for a few days for some bone fishing and an Everglades mission.
My leads have come up dry
Diy info greatly appreciated as well
I'm bringing my outcast commander so i will be slightly mobile
Tips will be rewarded with a south sound cutthroat trip on the Grady if you would like
Thank you
Nate
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Dime
Key west is an hour away from our shack on grassy key so it is not too far
We might stay a few days down there as well
I have to re read Thomas Mcguaine now
Cheers
 

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These guys are more in the area of Marathon or Bahia Honda. Its a bit of a ways from getting to everglades but can get you into tarpon, sharks, etc.
Dave Wiley 305 942-6210
Chris Morrison 305 393-2353
With your yak launch at Bahia honda state park, there are some good areas around there to fish
 

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It's never the gear; it's all you.
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Nothing wrong with DIY bonefishing. Do some intel groundwork of the target location/s first. Then contact flyfishermen from the area thru their local FF orgs. Some of them would be happy to fish with you (as opposed to guiding you) in exchange for beers and/or fishing stories. That's what I did around the Cape Canaveral area last fall. A very decent flyfisherman from Space Coast took me to a hidden protected waterfowl estuarine sanctuary where we chased (in my case) tarpon from his kayaks from dawn until we left a little after noon. Cost me a couple of beers. And I made a new friend in the process.

My suggestion for flies/tactics:

-Sizes 2-6
-Gotchas, Crazy Charlies, and sand crabs in tan/olive/light pink
-Unweighted/lightly-weighted/weighted varieties
-"Leggy" versions (Loco legs) sometimes work when nothing else does
-Vary your retrieve: for bigger bones (5 lbs+), one strip when they're 3-5 ft away from the fly is all you need. Most big bones (from my experience) spook if you strip or twitch the fly when they're checking it out already
-For smaller bones, strip, twitch, hop does not matter---they'll eat it (the legendary difficulty of landing bonefish only work for BIG bonefish, 5 lbs or heavier; the smaller ones will eat anything as long as you don't cast the fly on top of them)
-HOWEVER, catching big bonefish by sight-casting on your own is as difficult as catching a sight-casted wild steelhead...I know because I average only ONE hog every week here in Oahu where I fish for them exclusively 4x/week, averaging 4 hours each trip. That's countless casts into the wind per hog.

All these tips I am giving you are from my own experience. I experimented a lot (flies, retrieves, tippet length, etc.) to finally refine my technique where I can confidently declare, "I will PROBABLY catch a big bone today." That's better than, "Man, I WISH I could get a bonefish to eat my fly" when I first got here.

Good luck!

For inspiration, I enclose this picture of my first ever bonefish here. It was around 7 lbs.
Fin Organism Underwater Fish Marine biology
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Great advice fisharmy,
Definately planning on lots of diy fishing
I have bought some books and a chart of the middle keys
My little boat will allow some access to the backcountry
Lots of species that I have never caught swim down there so it should be fun
Thanks again for all the tips
 

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This work thing keeps getting in the way
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Nothing wrong with DIY bonefishing. Do some intel groundwork of the target location/s first. Then contact flyfishermen from the area thru their local FF orgs. Some of them would be happy to fish with you (as opposed to guiding you) in exchange for beers and/or fishing stories. That's what I did around the Cape Canaveral area last fall. A very decent flyfisherman from Space Coast took me to a hidden protected waterfowl estuarine sanctuary where we chased (in my case) tarpon from his kayaks from dawn until we left a little after noon. Cost me a couple of beers. And I made a new friend in the process.

My suggestion for flies/tactics:

-Sizes 2-6
-Gotchas, Crazy Charlies, and sand crabs in tan/olive/light pink
-Unweighted/lightly-weighted/weighted varieties
-"Leggy" versions (Loco legs) sometimes work when nothing else does
-Vary your retrieve: for bigger bones (5 lbs+), one strip when they're 3-5 ft away from the fly is all you need. Most big bones (from my experience) spook if you strip or twitch the fly when they're checking it out already
-For smaller bones, strip, twitch, hop does not matter---they'll eat it (the legendary difficulty of landing bonefish only work for BIG bonefish, 5 lbs or heavier; the smaller ones will eat anything as long as you don't cast the fly on top of them)
-HOWEVER, catching big bonefish by sight-casting on your own is as difficult as catching a sight-casted wild steelhead...I know because I average only ONE hog every week here in Oahu where I fish for them exclusively 4x/week, averaging 4 hours each trip. That's countless casts into the wind per hog.

All these tips I am giving you are from my own experience. I experimented a lot (flies, retrieves, tippet length, etc.) to finally refine my technique where I can confidently declare, "I will PROBABLY catch a big bone today." That's better than, "Man, I WISH I could get a bonefish to eat my fly" when I first got here.

Good luck!

For inspiration, I enclose this picture of my first ever bonefish here. It was around 7 lbs. View attachment 118020
Fisharmy were you fishing Mosquito Lagoon? My parents bought a home about 2 miles away and have not been yet to visit. Nice to hear that there may be some opportunities for me to fish. Dad has a small yak that my help or is it accessible as a wade fishery
 

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It's never the gear; it's all you.
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Fisharmy were you fishing Mosquito Lagoon? My parents bought a home about 2 miles away and have not been yet to visit. Nice to hear that there may be some opportunities for me to fish. Dad has a small yak that my help or is it accessible as a wade fishery
I was fishing around that area. Sorry---my buddy made me promise to never reveal the location. Check out high-res images of Mosquito Lagoon and surrounding waterways. Those creeks are packed with fishy critters. My advice though, if you're unfamiliar with the freshwater or brackish spots you intend to fish anywhere in Florida, use a kayak. Gators are a real hazard.
 

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I was fishing around that area. Sorry---my buddy made me promise to never reveal the location. Check out high-res images of Mosquito Lagoon and surrounding waterways. Those creeks are packed with fishy critters. My advice though, if you're unfamiliar with the freshwater or brackish spots you intend to fish anywhere in Florida, use a kayak. Gators are a real hazard.
Born and raised in S Fl until my early 20's, so familiar with the toothy critters. There are so many now, cant believe how I never had any trouble. They love marshmellows
Mainly fished upper & middle Keys, so not educated on that area. Dad has a guide friend which I will utilize for a day
 

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Nothing wrong with DIY bonefishing. Do some intel groundwork of the target location/s first. Then contact flyfishermen from the area thru their local FF orgs. Some of them would be happy to fish with you (as opposed to guiding you) in exchange for beers and/or fishing stories. That's what I did around the Cape Canaveral area last fall. A very decent flyfisherman from Space Coast took me to a hidden protected waterfowl estuarine sanctuary where we chased (in my case) tarpon from his kayaks from dawn until we left a little after noon. Cost me a couple of beers. And I made a new friend in the process.

My suggestion for flies/tactics:

-Sizes 2-6
-Gotchas, Crazy Charlies, and sand crabs in tan/olive/light pink
-Unweighted/lightly-weighted/weighted varieties
-"Leggy" versions (Loco legs) sometimes work when nothing else does
-Vary your retrieve: for bigger bones (5 lbs+), one strip when they're 3-5 ft away from the fly is all you need. Most big bones (from my experience) spook if you strip or twitch the fly when they're checking it out already
-For smaller bones, strip, twitch, hop does not matter---they'll eat it (the legendary difficulty of landing bonefish only work for BIG bonefish, 5 lbs or heavier; the smaller ones will eat anything as long as you don't cast the fly on top of them)
-HOWEVER, catching big bonefish by sight-casting on your own is as difficult as catching a sight-casted wild steelhead...I know because I average only ONE hog every week here in Oahu where I fish for them exclusively 4x/week, averaging 4 hours each trip. That's countless casts into the wind per hog.

All these tips I am giving you are from my own experience. I experimented a lot (flies, retrieves, tippet length, etc.) to finally refine my technique where I can confidently declare, "I will PROBABLY catch a big bone today." That's better than, "Man, I WISH I could get a bonefish to eat my fly" when I first got here.

Good luck!

For inspiration, I enclose this picture of my first ever bonefish here. It was around 7 lbs. View attachment 118020
Fisharmy, thanks for the info.

I was a bit surprised about your suggestion to make only one retrieve for big bones.
If i make one retrieve and my fly is lying motionless on the sand, i would be quite surprised if a bone would take it.

Prior to fishing bones in cenral america, every source i read emphasized the spookiness of the species. While there, however, i stood in shock witnessing very large bones stealing sprat from the bucket of a local fisherman in two feet of water who was unsucessful in trying to shoo them away.
 

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Fisharmy, thanks for the info.

I was a bit surprised about your suggestion to make only one retrieve for big bones.
If i make one retrieve and my fly is lying motionless on the sand, i would be quite surprised if a bone would take it.

Prior to fishing bones in cenral america, every source i read emphasized the spookiness of the species. While there, however, i stood in shock witnessing very large bones stealing sprat from the bucket of a local fisherman in two feet of water who was unsucessful in trying to shoo them away.
Good points. Let me address them based on my observation---

I use lively materials for my fly (crazy legs, marabout hackle, etc) that undulate, shimmer and/or "tremble" with the water movement. So, even if it's sitting "still" on the bottom, there's still "life" indicators that SOMETIMES entice weary bones hovering inches from it. I realized that within a foot of a bonefish, its prey (crab, shrimp, worm, etc) has NO CHANCE to outrun the bonefish. Its only play left is to cease any movement whatsoever or bury itself in the sand. Thus, I strip once to get the bone's attention, then, STOP, play possum, and HOPE the hog sucks it in. Stripping or twitching that "hiding shrimp" is unnatural; that's a suicidal shrimp.

As for bonefish's "learned" behaviour (like you mentioned above with the sprat), I've observed similar behaviour when bathers are in the water where I fish in Oahu: huge lunkers are within twenty feet (!) of them, lazily feeding without a care in the world. HOWEVER, when I or other flyfishermen proceed to commence our "stealthy" bone-stalk crouch to cast, we can't even get closer to forty feet sometimes. They even bolt at the sound of our footsteps on wavy days.

By the way, these are just observation on my part. Like I mentioned before, I tend to experiment a lot in my approach and my fly patterns. And the above only applies to big bones. The dinky ones like suicidal shrimp and crab that goes 40 miles-an-hour on quick bursts... underwater.
 

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Good points. Let me address them based on my observation---

I use lively materials for my fly (crazy legs, marabout hackle, etc) that undulate, shimmer and/or "tremble" with the water movement. So, even if it's sitting "still" on the bottom, there's still "life" indicators that SOMETIMES entice weary bones hovering inches from it. I realized that within a foot of a bonefish, its prey (crab, shrimp, worm, etc) has NO CHANCE to outrun the bonefish. Its only play left is to cease any movement whatsoever or bury itself in the sand. Thus, I strip once to get the bone's attention, then, STOP, play possum, and HOPE the hog sucks it in. Stripping or twitching that "hiding shrimp" is unnatural; that's a suicidal shrimp.

As for bonefish's "learned" behaviour (like you mentioned above with the sprat), I've observed similar behaviour when bathers are in the water where I fish in Oahu: huge lunkers are within twenty feet (!) of them, lazily feeding without a care in the world. HOWEVER, when I or other flyfishermen proceed to commence our "stealthy" bone-stalk crouch to cast, we can't even get closer to forty feet sometimes. They even bolt at the sound of our footsteps on wavy days.

By the way, these are just observation on my part. Like I mentioned before, I tend to experiment a lot in my approach and my fly patterns. And the above only applies to big bones. The dinky ones like suicidal shrimp and crab that goes 40 miles-an-hour on quick bursts... underwater.
Very informative, fisharmy, thanks for sharing.
I look forward to experimenting with your methods.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Of all the fishable water in southern Florida, I have to admit that I'm pretty fired up to fish some urban canals. I have always enjoyed fly fishing out of context. Peacock bass and cichlids, what a trip.
Tying some bushy and leggy bonefish flies
Thanks again for all the knowledge everyone.
 
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