There is no doubt that being able to make the cast is THE most important component of your bonefishing repertoire. Running extremely close behind are…
– Listening to the guide’s instructions regarding target location
– Getting a bead on the fish before you start your cast
– Compensating for wind, particularly when it’s at your back
– Being prepared to adjust casting direction on command
– Lifting your line gently off the water during recasts
– Keeping a close eye on the fly after it lands
– Clearing slack line before you start stripping
– Keeping a close eye on the fish as you strip
– Setting the hook with a long strip right after the fish dips its head to eat
– Not lifting the rod tip until after hook set
– Clearing line on the first run
– Keeping an eye on the shark that’s keeping an eye on the bonefish you just hooked
And that is not, by any stretch of the imagination, an exhaustive list, particularly when it comes to what I don’t do right after I actually make the cast. I’m still tallying up lost flies as a result.
We spent the day with Josie Sands, the elder statesman of the Andros South guiding crew. He specializes in big prowlers, usually found alone or in pairs, and often from long distances. It is not uncommon for this guy to call a spot at 80 feet or more, expecting an attempt. He isn’t shy about letting you know what you’ve done wrong either. I can’t say I got rattled, but I can say I didn’t meet my own expectations, let alone his.
Putting it all together, consistently, is now the focus. There are a lot more of these…
…to be had (photo courtesy of The Chum).
MG signing off (having requested another day with Josie, because I know he’ll make me a better fisherman)