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.

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

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

 Getting Started In Fly Fishing

Getting Started In Fly Fishing

Getting Started In Fly Fishing

Huk Waypoint Collection

Huk Waypoint Collection

Huk's new Waypoint Collection fishing apparel is conservation-minded by using recycled water bottles.

George Daniels Hauling Tuck Cast

George Daniels Hauling Tuck Cast

George Daniels Hauling Tuck Cast

Scientific Anglers Amplitude Infinity

Scientific Anglers Amplitude Infinity

Scientific Anglers Amplitude Infinity

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Fish are cold-blooded, so their body temperature reflects that of the water in which they swim. Trout

Temps for Trout: How to Catch Fish that Behave Hot n Cold

Hilary Hutcheson - July 15, 2020

Fish are cold-blooded, so their body temperature reflects that of the water in which they swim.

Best Panfish Flies Flies

Best Panfish Flies

Skip Morris

Best Panfish Flies

The push for native trout preservation is at the forefront of fisheries management in the West. Trout

Rainbow Trout Suppression on the South Fork of the Snake River

Boots Allen - June 25, 2020

The push for native trout preservation is at the forefront of fisheries management in the West.

See More Trending Articles

More Saltwater

With these three Saltwater Fly Casting skills you'll be better armed to meet any conditions on the flats, when the pressure is on, and your guide whispers 'two permit at 2 o'clock, 40 feet.' Saltwater

Saltwater Fly Casting

Bruce Chard - November 19, 2015

With these three Saltwater Fly Casting skills you'll be better armed to meet any conditions on...

Exploring the rising tide of Cuban flats fishing. Saltwater

Cuban flats fishing

Geoff Mueller - May 31, 2015

Exploring the rising tide of Cuban flats fishing.

Running & gunning for the Northeast's Premier saltwater gamefish. Saltwater

The Shore Game

Alan Caolo - September 20, 2019

Running & gunning for the Northeast's Premier saltwater gamefish.

Dave Skok's tournament-winning, record-setting permit fly. Saltwater

Strong Arm Merkin

Nathaniel Linville with Dave Skok - September 07, 2019

Dave Skok's tournament-winning, record-setting permit fly.

See More Saltwater

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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

Get Digital Access.

All Fly Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now