With countless years of experience and a strong familiarity with the local flats and the fish that swim in them, your guide is by far, the best resource that you’ll have when heading out to catch bonefish. The importance of trusting and listening to your bonefishing guide cannot be overstated. With his help, you’ll spot more fish, have a greater opportunity to position yourself and cast correctly and learn lots of valuable information for future outings.
Interacting With Your Guide
Establishing a good rapport with your guide will help you get your trip off to an optimal start. Although some guides know the local flats like the backs of their own hands, this doesn’t mean that they’ll be the best guides for you. Being able to mesh with your guide will play a greater role in determining how beneficial your relationship can be. Thus, try connecting with him in order to get advice on which rods, lines and tackle to pack before heading out.
On The Boat
When you’re out on the flats, you’ll stand on the front deck with your fly in one hand and your rod in the other. Your guide will stand on the poling tower to scan the waters for fish. You can trail a bit of line in the water while you wait for directives from your guide, but be careful to avoid trailing more line than you can pick up and cast comfortably. Fish will always be on the move. Move your eyes slowly and laterally across the water. Search for nervous water, bulges, waves and signs of exposed tails.
Cast Only When Your Guide Tells You To
Casting before your guide tells you to will defeat the purpose of having a guide, especially on your first few trips. Your guide is going to put the boat in the best position so that you are completely clear of your fly. When he does tell you to cast, he’ll use the dial of a clock to reference the direction and give you a casting distance. Although you might not see the fish, listen to what your guide says as this will allow you to take advantage of every opportunity. It is also a good idea to focus on interpreting the language of your guide, especially in terms of how he tells you to cast. Know what he means when suggesting directions, casting styles and distance. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when the opportunity presents itself.
Don’t Let Your Ego Get In The Way
Listening to your guide will allow for an active and invaluable learning experience. Although a little criticism is bound to come during your outings, try not to take it personally. Bonefishing guides have a unique brand of fishing that has it own, unique set of challenges. Given the learning curve, you’ll need to rely on your guide to show you the required techniques. Not only will your willingness to trust and learn from your guide allow for success on your current trip, but it will also prepare you for greater success in the future.
The two most important rules of fishing with a guide are:
Rule # 1 – Trust your guide.
Rule # 2 – Trust your guide.
Enjoy & Tight Lines!!