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Choosing Flies (11 of 21)

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Video Transcript:

In salt water, instead of imitating insects, we imitate prey like crustaceans and bait fish. They might range from tiny shrimp imitations for bonefish, permit and redfish to large bait fish flies that imitate such fish as herring and mullet. Crab flies are especially effective in shallow waters, as most game fish find it very hard to resist crab.

Of course, even with the right imitation, you have to imitate the behavior of the natural food, so presentation is as important as the fly pattern. Crabs and shrimps are best imitated with short strips with a pause in between, while bait fish and squid imitations are often moved more quickly.

Choosing flies for fish like bonefish and redfish isn't very difficult. A couple of things you need to remember; one is that you want to try to match the color of the bottom to the color of the fly, so on a white pale sand bottom like this, you're going to want a light colored fly. On a darker colored bottom, like that turtle grass behind me, you're going to want a darker fly.

The other thing you want to think about is sink rate. In shallow water, you want a fly that sinks slowly. If the fly sinks too quickly, it's going to catch up on the bottom and the fish aren't going to eat it. If the fly is medium depth, and by medium depth I mean about what I'm standing in here, then you're talking about a medium weighted fly. Then for deeper channels and places like that, you want a fly that sinks very quickly.

How do you do that? Well, on the shallow flies, you either put no eyes on them or a plastic eye. For the mid flats, mid depth flats, you want bead chain eye, which is hollow metal bead chain. And for the deeper flats, deeper channel and things like that, you want a fly with metal eyes, lead or solid metal.