Sinking Lines in the Salt

  • By: Chico Fernandez
  • Photography by: Louis Cahill
  • and Chico Fernandez
Sea Trout

Going fishing is an adventure, and no matter how long you’ve fished, you never know what awaits you. And this is part of the thrill, sometimes.

Once, on a flight to Belize, I looked down and all I saw were whitecaps, even on the shallow flats. A few minutes later we were on the small island of Ambergris Caye; the wind that met us had to be over 20 miles per hour, with stronger gusts. This was not good for any kind of fishing, but for a group of fly fishermen looking for bonefish, it was terrible.

That evening I gathered the small group before dinner and suggested they think of fishing some of the creeks and rivers in the area. They offer great protection against the wind and a variety of fish species to chase. But the group was set on bonefish. They had thought about bones for months, and they couldn’t give them up. I understood.

The Logic of Bonefish Leaders

  • By: Chico Fernandez
  • Photography by: Jim Butler
Casting Bonefish Leaders

For the third day in a row I had set my alarm for 5 a.m, and after a quick cup of café con leche I drove across the then-small city of Miami (this was in the early ’60s), over three bridges and onto Key Biscayne. Then, after a left turn onto a narrow, partially hidden, sandy road, I parked under a large seagrape tree, a tree I had parked under many times before. From there, just a quarter-mile walk along the beach brought me to the northeast shore of the key, where I looked out on a large, open flat facing the ocean.

Permit Pursuits

  • By: Chico Fernandez
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It’s often said that the weather never gets too hot for permit on the flats. Even in the high heat of summer, when most bonefishing is done early and late in the day, permit are seen tailing during the middle of the day, in weather that is too hot for many fly fishers—particularly if you come from up north and are not used to 90-plus temperatures and high humidity.

Subtle Barbs

  • By: Chico Fernandez
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Finding the right amount of barb for your hooks will ensure better hookups and more fish landed.

Mack Attacks

  • By: Chico Fernandez
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"I cast again, saw the fly plop on the surface and a fish break to take it right away. I set the hook and the line flew through my fingers at lighting speed. I knew I had a nice-size mackerel, for sure."