Jim McVay on a trip to Andros Island in the Bahamas developed one of the best bonefish flies of all time, the Gotcha bonefish fly. The Gotcha bonefish fly will work for any place that bonefish swim. Its design is simple, and really should be considered a style, along with the Crazy Charlie. Each tyer likes to add his or her own little embellishments, and one of the most common is to add rubber legs. Adding orange tipped rubber legs is absolutely deadly for the Bahamas and other destinations.
I’m more than anal about my hooks and constantly testing to find the best hook, not just for the perfect Gotcha bonefish fly, but for any of my bonefish flies, like my GB Shrimp pattern for example. Because Gotchas are commonly fished where double-digit bonefish roam, I like to tie my flies with a solid hook like the Daichi X452, and a #4 is really versatile for most places.
You can tie the fly in any color combination, but tan or cream is by far and away the most common color for the wing. Add whatever color of crazy legs you want. Keep the flash to a minimum, and you’re set to go. As with all flats or carp flies, you need to have flies of varying weights, so make sure to have a bunch of the same size with bead chain and lead. A final note on rubber legs, a common trend is to have a seemingly dozens of rubber legs on bonefish flies. I have found this to cause more problems than anything. The rubber legs get tangled around the hook or tangle with the other materials and cause the fly to look unnatural. I’ll take a fly that lands natural 100% over a fly that has a little bit more movement with a bunch of rubber legs. Just don’t overdo it with rubber legs on your Hot Legs Gotcha bonefish fly.
- Hook: Daiichi X452 #4 (#1/0-8)
- Thread: Danville’s Flat Waxed Nylon (fl. pink, 210 denier) or UTC 140 (fl. shell pink)
- Eyes: Bead Chain (large = 5/32) use whatever weight you like for various conditions.
- Tail: Mylar Tubing (large, pearl)
- Body: Diamond/Sparkle Braid (pearl)
- Legs: Crazy Legs (pearl orange tipped)
- Wing: Polar Fiber (for profile), Select Craft Fur (tan, sand, cream for a bit more movement), Arctic Fox (tan) Works too.
- Flash: Krystal Flash (pearl 5-10 strands folded)
- Lacquer: Zap-a-gap (brushable)