The fly rod is the first choice for most anglers stalking bonefish on the Andros flats, but spin tackle is welcomed and effective, as well.
Eight-weight fly rods matched to weight-forward floating line and a nine foot leader with a 10- or 12-lb. class tippet are the choice on the Andros flats. A ten-weight rod rigged with a large crab fly is handy for the occasional permit sighting.
Andros guides opt for flies such as the Peterson’s Spawning Shrimp, Clouser Deep Minnows in brown over whites and Super Gotcha. And they should be size 1 and size 2—noticeably larger than the size 4 and 6 flies popular on other bonefish grounds. Guides also recommend long, slow, smooth strips of the fly rather than short jerky hops practised on other bonefish grounds.
When making a long cast, anglers are advised to form a ‘circle’ with the index finger and thumb of the line handling hand for the fly line to shoot through. This allows the caster to begin stripping the fly line immediately after the fly hits the water. Strikes often come on the drop or at the moment the fly hits the bottom.
Another tip for Andros is to keep the fly in the water. Bonefish are frequently hooked out of large schools at Andros. If the fly suddenly pulls out during the fight, the guides urge casters not to give up. Instead, strip the fly again because it is likely that another fish out of the school will pick it up.