Monday, January 29, 2007

Fly Fish with Mel: How to Equip for a Trip to Maldives - Flies

Now that we've covered our weapons, we need ammunition. Just what kind of flies do you need for a trip to the Maldives?

If you brought just 3 types of flies, you'd still be able to enjoy a successful trip. Crazy Charlies in the sizes of #2 - #8 will catch you just about any reef species including groupers, snappers, wrasse, flute fish, etc...and of course, the grand prize, Bonefish.

#2 - #2/0 Clouser Minnows, will get you the same specturm of fish as a Crazy Charlie. Yes! Even bonefish. But you should be able to illicit strikes from much larger giant and bluefin trevallies.

Crustaceans form a major part of the diet of the many creatures of the flats. So a crab fly from #2 - #1/0 will draw the attention of many a hungry piscatorial adversary. And if the stars are shining on you, perhaps even a chance to hook up the highly regarded Permit.

These are but just 3 patterns that a proven on the flats of the Maldives. Our group has used a whole gamut of fly patterns except the very first fly to have ever caught a bonefish, a Royal Wulff. Some of our industrious members have even designed some original patterns.

The Carrot, a fly that is basically a Crazy Charlie with an epoxy body. Thus named for it's orange body and green wing. Used in exactly the same way as a Crazy Charlie.

I tied a Sea-bugger and even caught a squid with it. It is a derivative of a woolly bugger. I tie it with a red conehead and red and white chenille and hackles. I got the idea from the successful red-head trolling lures.

Some of the other flies that have been used include: the Bonefish Special, Surf Candy, Deceiver, Whistler, Pink Thing and the list goes on.

The next question is..."How many flies do I need?"

As a norm, we will bring along about 100 - 200 flies for a 9 - 11 day trip. All of them are packed into a few boxes that we keep aboard the motherboat. Each day we pick out a winning combination and pack them into waterproof fly boxes. These are the ones that we will work with through the course of the day's fishing.

So if you are adventurous, bring any fly pattern that you'd like to try and see what you can pull from the depths. But you can still always pack a few dozen of the proven flies to make sure you have stories to tell when you return.