This week I’ve therefore been plodding on with my fly tying. I’ve started to realise that I’m now tying flies for specific flats rather than generic ‘bonefishy’ patterns. Obviously this comes with experience of the particular destination gained over the last few years. Perhaps of interest is that the flies I’m producing cannot be purchased in a shop – not that there’s anything particularly special or skilful about the flies I tie. The main difference is the use of weed guards – trying to find a standard Gotcha or Crazy Charlie tied with one is difficult, add in some specifics about colour and weight and it’s impossible to find exactly what I actually require. Looking through my tropics fly boxes I’d guess that 30-40% of my flies have weed guards, probably reflecting my preference for fishing the slightly rougher areas – after all the more nooks and crannies there are on a flat the more places there are for prey species to inhabit, and more prey means more bonefish.
That said, I do need to get a move on and tie a boxful of flies to the best ‘generic’ saltwater pattern – the chartreuse/white Clouser. The fact that I have so few left after last year implies we used them a lot and lost them. I think the majority of these losses can be attributed to barracuda. If I’m blind casting, for example targeting snapper from a deep hole or a pier in the evening then my absolute number one choice of fly is the Clouser. Unfortunately when fished without a wire the cuda love it too, as such losses are inevitable. However they are quick and easy to tie so knocking up a couple of dozen each should be achievable before we go. Last year I managed to land a baby tarpon on one, so hopefully we’ll get some nice surprises this year also before the cudas have them away.