Although there are thousands of existing bonefish patterns, spend any amount of time around dyed-in-the-wool bone fishermen and you will find that that the Pareto principle (also known as the 80–20 rule) definitely holds true. Only a small assortment of proven patterns earn a spot their fly boxes, no matter where they intend on fishing. Friends, guides, travel literature and most importantly personal on the flats experience have narrowed my list of must have bonefish flies down to 7 essential patterns... in no particular order. Ververka's Mantis Shrimp, Cownes Bonefish Scampi, McVay's Gotcha, Owen's 90 Percenter, Chicone's Tranqu-Hill-izer and Bone Appetit and Ginevri's Avalon have all proven to be highly productive for Andros Island in the Bahamas. Understanding where the fly was intended to be fished, what factors led the designer to choose the materials he did, and why the pattern has evolved helps to give you the whole picture. Interviews with the fly’s designer will give you a peek into the heads of some of these innovative tiers and should help you to understand how they think and create new patterns as well as gives you a insider's perspective, valuable insight, and hopefully encouragement to create your own unique patterns.
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Drew Chicone is a Fly Designer, Photographer, Author, Instructor and Materials Expert whose passion for the sport has led him to the salty waters of Southwest Florida. He has lived and breathed the sport since he was tall enough to sit at the vise and his fly creations are both well known and in high demand among Florida guides. Drew’s has been a FFF Certified Casting Instructor, and commercial fly tier for many years. His patterns are sold in numerous fly shops and have appeared in several publications and online articles including Fly fishing in Saltwater Magazine, This is Fly Magazine, and Angelo Peluso's newest book Saltwater Flies of the Southeast and Gulf Coast. Recently Drew has partnered with Stackpole Books to publish his latest work Feather Brain - How to design better saltwater flies. He is a member of the Dyna-King Pro Tyer Team, Clear Cure Goo Pro Tyer Team, as well as a Royalty Tyer for the Orvis Company.
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