The 10 Best Bonefish Flies
Bonefish are perhaps the most well-known flats species. They're plentiful, often found in large schools, and put up a thrilling fight on a fly rod. Bones offer novice saltwater anglers ample targets and (relatively) easy fishing to boost confidence before targeting some of the more elusive flats species. That being said, at times they can be picky and offer exciting challenges on a fly rod.
If you're looking for the best fly rod for Bonefish, we've covered that here. Plus, which fly line works best and which fly reel is the best tool for the job. If you're looking for Bonefish lodges (particularly in Mexico) check out our lodge offerings here. Finally, if you are here for fly recommendations, read on to see which flies made our list of the top 10 Bonefish flies.
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- The Crazy Charlie is one of the most popular Bonefish flies... and for good reason. It's a simple pattern that imitates a shrimp and fools fish time and time again.
- The Gotcha is similar to the Crazy Charlie with a few key differences in materials. This fly offers a slightly larger profile and a little more movement in the water which can be deadly when fished in the right scenario.
- This rubber-legged Shrimp/Crab crossover is efficient at kicking up sand on the flats and creating a commotion the fish can't resist. The rubber legs provide tons of action but beware: this fly lands a lot harder on the water than the two listed above which means it's not always the best choice for spooky fish.
- The Bonefish Bitters is a small crab-like fly that combines an epoxy-based head, rubber legs, and a deer-hair wing for proven results on the Bonefish flats. This is one of the oldest Bonefish flies on the list and features a proven design that's sure to increase your chances of success during your next flats fishing outing.
- The Squimp is a productive pattern for Bonefish and Permit feeding on small crabs and shrimp. The rubber legs provide a lot of action in the water and the soft craft fur creates plenty of movement.
- The orange tuft helps this fly imitate a shrimp in spawning mode and Bonefish key in on the bright color almost anywhere. This is a great pattern in muddy water and shows up well on the flats.
- Sometimes, Bonefish prefer a simple pattern - no rubber legs, no bright colors, just a plain old shrimp. While this pattern does have some catchy elements, it's a great one when you find yourself over-complicating the game and just want to get back to the basics.
- Similar to the EP Spawning Shrimp, this fly imitates a Mantis Shrimp in spawning mode. A thin body and smaller profile help this fly land softly to fool finicky fish.
- If you're targeting larger Bonefish feeding on baitfish, the Bonefish Slider features a deer hair head that pushes water and a small baitfish profile to fool predatory Bones. This fly, while a great one for Bonefish, has other applications, too, and works when targeting Snook and other flats species.
- Another Mantis pattern, this time to imitate shrimp not in spawning mode, Veverka's Mantis is a simple and effective fly. Rubber legs give it shrimp-like action in the water but the profile is small and sparse so it lands softly. This is a great pattern for spooky fish.
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