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bonefishing hawaii:

woolly bugger fun.


so no real reason why i haven’t been blogging... just lazy and spending (perhaps too much) time enjoying this beautiful weather we’ve been having lately out on the water.  bonefishing has been trending toward great at most (not all) places around the island and seems to be getting to the happy "everybody catches" time once again.  fortunately for me my favorite places to fish have not been that great and have become more for guys who love to fish rather than catch.  i say fortunately because i enjoy being alone in vast stretches of ocean more than catching fish.  i have been doing this kind of fishing for many moons now and over the years you learn that there is nothing that will clear out an area faster than poor fishing (poor catching i should say, to me, there is always good fishing).  there are so many fun things about fly fishing other than actually catching fish and i’ve always been (in everything i do) more of a seeker of fun than anything else.  for me, catching fish is an ancillary part to having fun.


so since the last blog i’ve been doing the normal bonefishing stuff and somehow got it in my head to catch bones using woolly buggers.  why do the same thing everytime out when you can do something different?  i mentioned it to my good friend craig and, as with all my crazy ideas, he was all in and also thought it would be uber fun.  so we got to tying woolly buggers the first fly most tyers learn to tie although i think the first fly i learned to tie was the montana stonefly (now that i think about it that fly would catch bones too... stay tuned).   anyway, i had no doubt that bones would eat a woolly bugger.  after all what doesn’t eat woolly buggers and what won’t a bonefish eat?  the short answer is that wooley buggers will catch everything and bonefish will eat anything and woolly buggers are a part of anything and bonefish are a part of everything.<  i knew that the hook would be suspect but, i wanted to fish a fly that was as close to the run of the mill standard plain ‘ole woolly bugger as possible.  so the only thing i added to mine was a weed guard to try to extend the life of the relatively fragile fly hook in our rough reef conditions.


craig was in the mood, and so was i, to do a little two handed bombing so we took our buggers to a bombing spot and had at it.  i fished an 8119-4 tcx switchabel switch reel, sa .030 intermediate running line, an airflo skagit switch 480gr as well as the new airflo skagit intermediate 480gr.  craig broke out his tfo 12’6” 6wt. tfo pro (which was recently redesigned by our friend nick and is now called the pandion series) a pate bonefish reel, rio slickshooter 50lb. running line, and a rio 450gr. skagit flight head.  to the end of that we attached rio intermediate tips, six feet of 20lb. tippet and, of course, our woolly buggers.  two set ups that can really sling some line and boy did we ever.  i had to add a conehead to my tippet to get the bugger down as it was pretty windy and there was a bit of a swell.


we covered some major water with our two handed setups with no grabs (like i said earlier, the spot has not been fishing well).  i stopped to take a break and change my skagit head when out of the corner of my eye i saw craig's rod doubled over.  i changed my head made a cast and reeled up my line and craig was still on and bringing the fish in.  i thought he had it then his line went slack and he was left with a bugger with a straightened hook.  i thought it was cool how long he had the fish on.  i think he was real close to getting it.  after much more casting and covering water i hooked one that absolutely crushed the fly at full speed.  i haven’t experienced that full bore eat in a long time.  i held on to it for as long as i could before my hook suffered the same fate as craig’s did earlier.  after that i fished a regular bonefish fly for the rest of the day for “scientific purposes” and because i had already straightened the hooks on all of the buggers that i tied.  i had a feeling there just weren’t many fish around and we didn’t get any bites woolly bugger or otherwise for the rest of the day.  still, it was one of my best days on the water in a while.  just a great day covering water with one of my favorite guys to fish with, doing something a little different, a little outside the box, and maybe a little ridiculous.  that's where the fun is and craig, he gets what it’s all about...  it’s all about the fishing.  i’ll see you on the water.


suns out, waters clear, trades are brisk and fish are around doing their thang.


i go out a lot with doug "the catcher" on his slaughterhousing bones missions. the other day the guy broke the head off of his fly line on a fish and fished the rest of the day with a leader tied to what was left of his running line and caught fish with that too.  suffice to say that he has a slightly different view on what makes fly fishing "fun" than i do, but we do have lots of fun keeping each other in check.


orange and tan woolly bugger.  the coral got these before the bones did.


olive and brown bugger pre bone.


olive and brown bugger post bone.


this bone was caught the day before.  it was caught sight fishing so, you know... it doesn't count. hah!  i love it! make sure to have fun out there!  good times.



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