On recent island trips to Abaco's Green Turtle Cay and Grand Cayman, a finesse fly had to be utilized to outsmart the surprisingly-not-so-unspoiled bonefish...The Cayman Sleek!
With a general gold theme to the fly, the body is comprised of pearl mylar cord, golden bead chain eyes, brown tan craft fur tail, and butt, along with olive spotted rubber legs out the back. The profile facilitates a soft and quiet landing while still having a favorable size for larger bonefish. A large slide strip or tick-tick-slide retrieve works best for this fly.
During these recent trips to the Cayman Islands and Green Turtle Cay, the crew got stumped at the pickiness of these bonefish and had to think outside the box. Bonefish were being targeted on sand, grass, and marl flats, and this fly did the job. Casts that lead fish by 6ft or more were required not to spook fish, and these fish seemed to have seen a million gotchas and crazy charlies in their lifetime. In addition, not many crabs were seen on these particularly targeted flats, so we knew we had to use shrimp. Bonefish ranged from 2 lbs to 10 lbs on the very same flat, so we had to have something appealing to all sizes.
Then go for Cayman Sleek, which performed very well in low-light conditions. In Green Turtle Cay specifically, these bonefish were tailing happily at sunset + low tide. The 'Sleek allowed for a closer cast, and long sliding strips led to effective results (as pictured below). The Cayman beach flats were quite different than Abaco, in which the water was cloudier. Shore-cruising and tailing bonefish were targeted, and this fly was equally effective in being predated by bonefish in cloudier water conditions.
When tying this pattern, be sure to pinch up the craft fur to give it more of a popping shrimp presentation. Crystal flash can also be used along with the craft fur if targeting bonefish in deeper and murkier water. This pattern can be tied on a size 2 or 4 hook.
Next time you target smarter bonefish in unique destinations, think outside the box and tie on a Cayman Sleek!
In the meantime,
We invite you to take in a few other Flats Nation Podcast Episodes to help "Scratch that Fishing Itch" when working or traveling and you cannot hitch up the Skiff and go, on these links:
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Tight Lines, and God Bless!
Christian and the Team