Landing Bonefish While Wading

Landing Bonefish While Wading

Landing Bonefish

Louis Cahill Photo

Trying to land salt water fish, even smaller ones like landing Bonefish, if done incorrectly can result in a lost fish or even a broken rod.  Let's talk about the does and don'ts.

  • Try to leave at least the whole leader and a couple feet of fly line outside the rod tip when making the attempt to land a bone while wading

  • Make a large arc with your rod high over your head.  To achieve this, extend your rod arm straight and upward behind you. Bend your wrist backwards to create a nice arc.  This helps to not stress the rod or rod tip which can cause breakage.
  • Reach for the leader with your line free hand while you guide the fish in towards you with your rod hand.  Sometimes using your rod hand thumb as a support to add guidance and direction is a great idea.
  • Once you get the leader in your line hand you can then relax your rod hand and allow the rod to straighten.

  • Then you can bend over while keeping the bonefish in the water and roll the fish over on its back.  This will calm the fish and make it easier to take the fly out.

If you try to land a bonefish with not enough line outside the rod tip, this action can put too much stress on the rod tip and may cause it to break.  Remember that the top half of the fly rod is designed to cast the line.  The bottom half of the rod is designed to fight the fish.  If you put the bend of the rod to close to the tip the rod might break.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You


How to Catch Smallmouth Bass on Topwater Flies

Dave Karczynski and Tim Landwehr

Modern methods for catching smallmouths on topwater flies.


Fly Fishing Community Stunned by Twin Slayings on Belize Saltwater Flat

Fly Fisherman Online Staff - June 27, 2019

The fly fishing communities in the U.S. and Belize are mourning after twin slayings that...

Fly Tying

Tying the Strong Arm Merkin

David W. Skok - July 09, 2019

Here are step-by-step instructions for tying the Strong Arm Merkin fly.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Basics: Rods

Fly rods are available in a variety of weights and lengths designed to be teamed up with the right reel and fly line.

A More Perfect Reel!

There's a new Hardy Perfect Reel that's even more perfect than the original (1927) Perfect--which was flawlessly hardy.

Bank Sipper

Jim McLennan catches a big Red Deer River brown trout rising in 10 inches of water.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Fly Tying

Best Panfish Flies

Skip Morris - October 17, 2016

Best Panfish Flies

United States

Indian Peaks Wilderness Area Colorado

Steven B. Schweitzer - May 03, 2016

Read about Colorado's backcountry fly fishing in " Indian Peaks Wilderness Area Colorado."


Top Drift Boats of 2019

John Fedorka - April 02, 2019

Drift boats help you search through miles of river quickly and effectively. Here's the top...

See More Stories

More Saltwater


Low-Impact Permit Fishing

Ross Purnell, Editor - November 17, 2017

If the flats permit fishing from his youth is going to be preserved, it has to start with...


Best Saltwater Fly Rods

Ross Purnell, Editor - January 28, 2014

Confidence-boosting rods & reels for challenging situations.


The Bonefish Migration Along Abaco Island

Oliver White - April 17, 2018

The annual bonefish migration which takes place along Abaco Island, is thriving because of...

See More Saltwater

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.