Given just how fast, smart and likely to spook bonefish are known to be, the ability to present your fly quickly and inconspicuously is always key to bringing a big bone in.
Beyond having an excellent casting technique and being able to quickly adapt to changes in environmental conditions, you also have to develop a solid ready position. Following are a few tips to help you get started.
Kick Off Your Shoes
Well, don’t exactly kick your shoes off, but do make sure that your feet are bare. Once shoeless, you’ll be a lot less likely to muddle your cast by stepping on your own fly line. This will also give you good contact with the boat, better balance, and a greater ability to make changes in your position without making loud, thumping noises on the boat bottom.
Strip Off A Reasonable Amount Of Line
Strip off a reasonable amount of line. You should additionally pull off one or two more strips. This way, you won’t be in danger of having your cast come up short, especially if you spot a bone that’s a considerable distance away. Keep in mind, however, that stripping off too much line will invariably increase the risk of having it all get tangled.
Dump Your Line
The line should then be dumped and stripped into the boat’s center. When line is stripped off the reel directly into a pile at the boat bottom, the coils wind up facing the right direction. This means that the line will be pulled from the bottom of the pile whenever you lengthen your cast, thereby increasing the likelihood of tangles. Thus, you should pull out the amount of line you need, cast out long, and then strip it all back in. The result is a coil that will pull right from the top, rather than the bottom.
Get Your Rod Loaded And Ready
You want to have a rod-length of line just outside of the rod tip. This way, it will already be nearly loaded at the start of your cast. Any more than a rod-length, however, will decrease your control while standing on deck.
Your Leader Should Be Held Just Above Your Fly
To make sure that the fly drops smoothly at the start of your cast, hold your leader right above it. Another important thing to remember is that bones have a very keen sense of smell. Due to this fact, you want to limit the amount of contact that your fly has with your skin. Things like sweat, sunscreen, and tobacco odors can easily alert your prey to your presence.
Grab The Fly At The Hook’s Bend
The bend of your hook is the best place to hold the fly. This will give you total awareness of your fly at all times. When you hold your fly at the hook’s bend, you won’t have to worry about snagging your own pocket when setting your cast up, or having the fly get wrapped around the leader or line.