The world’s best bonefish fly

For years now the consensus among professional guides in the Bahamas for the best bonefsh 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.”

Capt. Vaughn's Gotcha

My fly box is loaded with these incredibly dependable flies and 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….(1) after two drinks it should live up to it’s name and (2) there should be rum involved.

The other candidate for world’s best bonefish fly, in my opinion, would be Veverka’s Mantis Shrimp….Bob Veverka that is. 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 4’s 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 they’ll eat consistently. The lodges on Andros are big believers in this fly also.

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

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