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YourBobersDown

New Guy

6 posts in this topic

I am looking into beginning to fly fish. I am wondering if anyone has a good place to start. To be completely honest I am starting from scratch and hoping to be able to do a little bone fishing in Mexico in April. I will be picking up a setup this week so any help on what to look for would be excellent.

Thanks,

Mitch

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A good place to start would be searching throughout threads in this forum. There have been numerous threads all about helping new flyfishermen throughout the years. Other than that I would suggest heading down to your local fly shop. They are going to be the best source of info for whatever you wish to do in the flyfishing world.

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I know that the Maplewood Library has a bunch of flyfishing & flytying books. You may have to wait for me to return some of them. \:\)

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quickstrike had some good advice regarding searching through old threads on here for some starter information. Also, go to the library or bookstore and read a few books. There are some great resources out there that should get you started in the right direction. Next, practice, practice, practice. The only way you will get better is to spend tim eon the water and practice casting, and working on the more difficult techniques like the doublehaul.

Not trying to burst yor bubble already, but unless you are some sort of prolific fly fishing natural, I doubt two months of learning how to fly fish will prepare you to fish for bonefish in April. Sight fishing for bonefish takes an incredible amount of skill, and as many on here will attest, takes some experience casting to these fish. It can be done with limited experience, but it will be extremely difficult and not very rewarding. Plus it's a good way to cheese off a guide (if you use one). There have been trout fishing veterans who struggle fishing the flats, mostly because they are not able to perform single and double hauls with accuracy. It's hard. That being said, get as much time with the rod between now and then, and enjoy your trip to Mexico!

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Bonefish eh? I happen to know a little about that.

If you're not leaving until April, you have time to learn enough to catch a bonefish. You'll be hooked though. And spending ever increasing amounts of money on your new habit. Make sure your wife understands!

A little secret is that bonefish aren't really hard to catch with a fair to good guide. And you need a guide to start. Unless somebody shows you a fish, you'll never learn to see them. That's a fact. Other than that, here's a few pointers:

1. Read the following: Bonefishing, Randall Kaufman: or Fly-Fishing for Bonefish, Chico Fernandez. Don't skip this step. This is going to be expensive. You need the knowledge.

2. Get a fast action eight weight and over line it with a nine weight line. That's nine weight tropical WF floating line. It'll help get you a little distance while you're learning. Get the best reel you can afford - salt water tested with the best drag money can buy. Get a large arbor that can hold 200 yards 20 lb backing. You'll need at least 100 yards of it. If a little lucky, all of it.

3. Get the best, most expensive sunglasses you can afford. I see there's some Smith AO folks here. I'm a Costa Del Mar guy myself. Try the Frigate. I just bought and like. Brown lenses and the most polarizing you can get. There's no scrimping here. They're essential. You get what you pay for.

4. Do your shopping at a fly shop. Go to MN Fly Angler in Fridley. They will help. And ask them for an assortment of flies as well. They'll know what to use.

5. Practice casting. You'll need to cast accurately 40-45 feet on the snow. That's harder than it sounds for a beginner. 40-45 feet on the snow is going to translate to 35 feet on the ocean. You'll need every foot of it. Unless you're some sort of prodigy, that's the best you can expect. Practice getting that 45 foot cast off with only one or two false casts. The fewer the better. And make sure you can hit inside a hula hoop nearly every time. Practice at all points of the clock.

6. Tell your guide you are a complete novice and are looking for experience and a good time. Don't sugarcoat the situation. It'll just frustrate you and the guide. They really want to see you catch fish.

7. SUNSCREEN. Put on liberally right when you get out of your morning shower. Even on your balls. Yo' shiny Minnesota azz gonna burn baby burn. Don't forget your ears and wear a big hat with a dark brim.

8. Do everything your guide asks. They know things you never will. This style of fishing is absolutely not like any other you have tried. Be prepared to tip him handsomely if we pull this off.

9. Post on this site when you get back. One drag ripping run and you'll be a poet.

Craig

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Craig hit the nail on the head. The books he listed are the best. Not to mention they have great photos that make you want to read them every winter!!

There is no need to get an overly expensive reel with a fancy drag system. You can do fine with a basic real in the $100-200 range, without spending the big $$ on the saltwater specific reels that are out there. It just had to be enough quality that it's made from a high quality aluminum, otherwise you'll have oxidation problems. I'm a fan of Ross reels myself, but there are many other that work just as well. I use the same reel for Bonefish as I do for smallmouth and small pike. When using your standard reel in the salt, the only thing you need to do is make sure you give it a nice bath every night when your done.

You'll want to get a pair of Flats Shoes or "Booties". I've known some people top go out wading wiht just sandals, but I wouldn't recomend it. When you get a fish on the line, the last thin you want to do is keep looking down to make sure you don't bump/cut your big toe on a peice of coral. I got a pair for $40 at a large outdoor store, and they have lasted me for years.

Sun protection is also critical to having fun. Aside from the health risks of burning, it's just no fun sitting in a boat with no shade while your in pain. A large brimmed hat, a light and vented long sleeve fishing shirt (you can always roll up the sleeves) and a pair of pants that you can zip off the legs to make shorts are great. The ride to the flats in the morning can be chilly so this stuff doubles as warmth and sun protection later in the day.

The only other advice I have is to get your guides opinion on flies before you buy any. As with most areas, Mexico really has some regional flies with the most significant factor being size. Many of the books have fly suggestions for each region, but it seems that suggestions for Mexico tend to be larger than what I've borrowed (and caught more fish on) from the guide. In fact, in Cozumel, most of my fish were on #8 and #10. On an 8 wt rod, it almost felt like I was throwing a #22 midge!

Good luck and be carefull. As I'm sure Craig will agree......It only takes one bonefish taking you on a 100 yard run to leave the sound of that screeming reel in you mind forever. You'll be addicted for life!!!!!

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