Fly Fishing for Bonefish by Dick Brown

Okay, ready to saddle up? We’re off on another bonefish book tour. So far we have covered the first and the largest such books ever done. Now let’s do what I believe to be the most popular title. I’m referring to Fly Fishing for Bonefish by Dick Brown.

Published by Lyons & Burford in 1993, this work had a good deal going for it. It arrived at a time saltwater fly fishing was exploding on the scene; it is very comprehensive, the author writes well; is highly experienced, and today Dick is seen by many as the leading authority on the subject.

Sizewise this effort has the standard 7″x 9″ dimensions and runs 334 pages in length. It contains numerous B&W photographs and 16 color plates, five of which display flies. At release it would set you back $35 in hardbound, but today can be found in paper around $18. And I imagine used copies are even less. By the way since this time Dick has done a book solely devote to bonefish flies. Regrettably I do not own a copy to review. Perhap at another point, I’ll fix that.

Chapters include pretty much what one would expect – what bonefish eat, reading the water, picking flies, casting,  hooking, equipment,  and so on.  All are informative but I especially like the chapter on selecting flies. Here the author delves into “Matching the Hatch”  so to speak, offering opinions on the  importance of fly size, color, and action. Then he takes it a step further, giving guidance on how to pick flies for various locations, various conditions and even the size and sophistication level of the fish you’re targeting. Wow.  And ends by naming 70 effective patterns.

Dick also covers a number of bonefish destinations, although not in the world-wide scope we saw from Randall Kaufmann. Rather he sticks to the Bahamas, Florida, and the Gulf of Mexico. Still this will amply serve most bonefish anglers. And finishing things off, there is a chapter of additional angling opinions by 11 recognized bonefish experts, including none other than Stanley Babson’s guide “Bonefish Joe” Cleary. Nice touch. Worth the money.

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