The World’s Best Bonefish Fly


Gotcha-flyBy: Vaughn Cochran

For years now the consensus among professional guides in the Bahamas on the best bonefish fly has been the Gotcha—a famous fly with a great story to go with it.

I’ve always heard it this way. When Ted McVay and his son Jim were staying at the Andros Island Bonefish Club, Jim snipped some strands of carpet from the interior of their taxi as they were heading to the lodge and used them to tie a new fly. Every time a bonefish ate the fly, guide Rupert Leadon would say, “Gotcha.”

My fly box is loaded with these incredibly dependable flies. There are many, many colors now available since Ted tied the original, but the tan/pearl color works best for me. I always bring size 2 through 8 with bead chain eyes and another full set with lead eyes. And remember, the sink rate goal is for the bonefish fly to hit the bottom in two to three seconds no matter what the water depth is. No eyes required for tailers in really shallow water.

At the Black Fly Bonefish Club in Abaco, we’re thinking of naming our official welcoming drink the Gotcha. We just haven’t figured out what the ingredients should be. Two things we do know: one, after two drinks it should live up to its name, and, two, there should be rum involved.

The other candidate for world’s best bonefish fly, in my opinion, would be Veverka’s (Bob Veverka, that is) Mantis Shrimp. Bob’s quest for the missing go-to fly yielded this tan beauty that we sell in the Black Fly Outfitter by the dozens. I use 4s mostly, but we sell size 2 and 6 just as well. On some Bahamian Islands that I have been to, namely Mayaguana, the Mantis Shrimp is the only thing bonefish will eat consistently. The lodges on Andros are big believers in this fly also.

This gives me an idea. Send me your favorite fly choices and we’ll build the ultimate bonefish fly box.

Send your suggestions to blackflyoutfitter@gmail.com.

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