Everybody should experience bonefish at least once in their life, and chances are if you do it once, you’ll be chomping at the bit to do it all over again and again. My first bonefish experience took place 25 years ago in the Bahamas and I’ve been hopelessly addicted ever since. Their speed, strength and iridescent beauty leave a lasting impression for a fish that’s often not much bigger than the trout we catch around here. Bonefish flies are numerous and varied, tailored to specific locales and habitats, though they share a lot of commonalities.
Most bonefish flies are designed to ride hook point up so you can fish on or near the bottom with little risk of snagging up. Most are on the smaller side and strive to imitate the shrimp, crabs and small flats organisms bonefish regularly consume. In many situations, the Squimp may be every bit as good as a Crazy Charlie, Gotcha or any other tried and true flats pattern but there are a few things I’ve really come to love about it. I like that its overall color scheme matches most of the flats I fish. It’s subtle and not overly flashy for those days when fish are put off by too much flash. I like its meatiness as a pattern with depth and body, as well as the fact that despite using a little bigger brass eye much of the time, the dubbed construction seems to soften the landing of this fly so it doesn’t hit the water with a resounding splash that scatters spooky bonefish in all directions.
The Squimp is also a proven pattern for permit, which is really nice in places like Belize where you may encounter bonefish and permit overlapping in the same waters. Like most great flies they are also pretty straightforward to tie, which should earn them a spot in the box of every flats angler. I typically tie these from #4-#8 and vary the eye weight from size small lead eyes down to medium bead chain to cover a range of water depths and conditions. Tie a few Squimps before your next flats destination trip. They are likely to earn their weight in silver.
Hook: #4 Gamakatsu SL45
Thread: 140 Denier Tan Ultra Thread
Eyes: Small yellow Pseudo Eyes
Tail: Tan Arctic Fox & Orange Crazy Legs
Body: Craft Fur as dubbing
Wing: Tan Artic Fox/Rootbeer Krystal Flash
Legs: Orange Crazy Legs
Confluence Beer Pairing: Sometimes when you really need a warm up, beer just doesn’t cut the mustard and it’s time to reach for something a little more potent. Our December beverage pairing is Trader Joe’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon. This bottle of smooth caramelly goodness costs about the same as a six pack of decent beer anyway, is a darn impressive bourbon for the price and warrants a visit to the James St. Trader Joes despite the crappy parking and overcrowded shopping experience.