Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My Favorite Bonefish Flat

It's on the north side of Vieques, Puerto Rico, a few miles from the island's main town of Isabel Segunda.  You have to park you car and walk half a mile down the beach, which is almost always empty, especially in the morning when the fish seem to tail the most.  It's not a big flat, about the size of two football fields, and it doesn't hold a lot of fish.  There's a resident school that calls it home and sometimes you'll see two or three dozen tails, but usually less.  They're spooky but no worse than the bones in the Keys, even though the locals don't fish for them because they're not good to eat.  You can sometimes spot a permit there, too, but always further out by the reef where the waves are breaking and it's too dangerous to wade.  Permit are like that, just a bit too smart when someone with a fly rod is in the neighborhood.  Sometimes the bonefish on this flat are that smart, too, but not all the time.  If you get there just after the sun rises and stand real still about fifty feet off the beach, the school will be there.  Your fly has to be small and light.and you might only get one good shot but if you put it right on them they'll eat.  You have to stip quick and it's a mad rush once they once they spot the fly but one always finds they hook.  The next few minutes are typical bonefish, screaming drag, furious reeling, exhausted fish at your feet.  No different on this flat on Vieques than one in the Keys or the Bahamas or Belize or the Seychelles.  There aren't many sharks in this part of the Caribbean so that's a bonus when you watch your fish swim away.  The school usually spooks after one gets pulled from the ranks and that never really bothered me.  My fishing was done and I'd walk back up the beach and be home in time for breakfast.