4 days and counting! It won't be long now .... and you know, just for good measure it snowed again today. So, it's really - I mean it's really time to head South for some Bonefish, Permit and, maybe if I'm lucky, a stray Tarpon.
I've been tying up some Bonefish patterns that have worked well for me before. Nothing special, just some flats staples, like Crazy Charlies, Gotchas and Horrors; in different sizes and colors.
The fish where we're going aren't large, but they're plentiful, so I've been tying #6's and #8's; even a few #10's.
As a lot of you know; perhaps all of you, one thing really shapes most of the bonefish patterns - the desire the have the hook pointing up on the bottom, so as to avoid snags in the coral and the sea grass.
Two people have contributed most to achieving that goal. Pete Perinchief, who developed the reverse-wing Horror pattern; realizing that if there is a wing on a fly, then in bouyant saltwater, that wing is probably going to be the last thing to hit the bottom, since the fly floats down on the wing. Bob Nauheim, who develped the original "Charlie" pattern; a pattern with eyes tied on top of the hook. Coupled with the reverse-wing, the top-mounted eyes insure that the fly will land on its back - with the hook sticking up.
Here are some of the patterns that I've been tying this past week. I tie them fast, since it's really a combination of color, size and the action that you put on the fly that gets the fish's attention. So, if they look a little sloppy, that's the reason.
Here's the original Horror pattern; tied in a couple of colors. I'm using a Mustad 34007 hook in 6's and 8's for most of the patterns. This fly is easy to tie and consists of Danville's flat waxed nylon in the appropriate color, fine chenile and Craft Fur in the color that you think will work best on the flats bottom.
The original Horrow; still a good pattern in my opinion:
And a "shrimped-up" variant:
And next, the parade of Crazy Charlies; probably my favorite Bonefish pattern; because it delivers, consistently. This is also an easy pattern to tie up. The thread is the Danville's above, the body is 4-6 strands of Crystal Flash in whatever color you want to use, the rib is clear UTC vinyl rib, in either medium or nymph size, the eyes are silver bead chain and the wing is Craft Fur.
Here's one in pink with a tan wing:
If I want them to sink slower, then I use plastic eyes, give them a dot of Testor's enamel paint and then hit them with a coat of SHHAN:
If I want them to sink faster, then I use silver-plated lead dumbbells:
Here's a version know as the Yucatan Charlie; just add a tail of Craft Fur and you're there:
And here's one that I call the "Crystal Blue Persuasion"; works well in bright sunlight on speckled bottoms:
I have lots of Charlies; in colors to match what I expect to find for flats bottoms.
Here's another pattern. This is a Gotcha, a Jim McVay pattern that has a lot in common with the Charlies. The hook is the same, as is the thread, the body is Pearl Diamond Braid in the color of your choice, the tail is Crystal Flash and the wing is, again, Craft Fur.
And, in tan:
And, all together, in the box. About 80 flies; hope they're good for at least 80 fish!
I'll post a report on where we go when I get back. Wish me luck; I always need it!