Preparing for Your Bonefishing Trip: Wading
Protect Your Feet with a good pair of wading shoes or boots designed for flats fishing, a few pairs of wet wading socks, and don’t forget to break in your shoes. Wading shoes and socks will help to keep sand out and reduce blister forming friction, as well as giving support for a day of wading. But, if the first time you put on your wading shoes in the Bahamas, it’ll be a long week. Break in your shoes by wearing them around the house for an hour or two a couple times per week. It’s much better than blisters or sore arches. Do Not wear last years sneakers with cotton socks or open sandals – your feet will thank you.
Find a Comfortable lumbar pack or chest/sling pack. Bigger is not always better. The pack should have the essentials (flies, leader and tippet material, nippers, hook file, pliers / hemostats, light rain jacket, camera, water bottle, and maybe your lunch / snack) but not packed full so it disturbs your casting.
Wading is Exercise and it can be a lot of work, especially at a destination like Grey’s Point Inn, South Caicos or the Seychelles where there are extensive flats and you might wade all day. Some flats are firm and easy to wade, while others can be slightly soft or have uneven bottoms, which make walking more difficult. To be sure you’re physically prepared for long wading sessions, schedule long walks or hikes months before your trip. It’s also a great way to find some more remote areas on your local waters, so don’t forget your rod and a box flies!
A Little Practice Casting can make the difference between getting your fly to that 9-pound bonefish, or watching it leave a rooster tail as it runs for deeper water. The majority of shots at bonefish while wading happen between 40’ – 60’, so accuracy and versatility are more important than speed and distance (but the later can also be helpful). The best practice casting is to targets in that 40’ – 60’ range, from different angles (click here to see a diagram of the casting clock). Be sure that you’re not just casting with the wind at your back – knowing how to handle wind blowing in your face or from your right / left will make getting your fly in the right place much easier. Don’t forget to practice your casting while wearing your pack!
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