Go-To Flies for Ascension Bay
I don’t care where you fish or how many flies you have in your box, chances are your guide will take one look at your fly selection and ask if you brought more. So here’s a list of five must-have flies for your next visit to the Yucatan flats.
Rag Head Crab – Umpqua and Casa Blanca Rag Head Crab – Rainy’s
The Rag Head is hands down the most go-to crab fly for guides and avid anglers in Ascension Bay for chasing permit in all ranges of water depth. Tan and white are must haves in sizes 2, 4, and 6. More permit have been taking on the Rag Head in Ascension Bay than on any other fly in the world. You better have a few!
Squimp – Umpqua
This is always a guide favorite when schools of small to medium permit are in the area. Fished in primarily a size 6 with quick strips both in the bay and oceanside.
EP Micro Crab (Sand)
The majority of anglers chasing bonefish in Ascension Bay are advised to fish some sort of a Crazy Charlie or any smaller shrimp pattern. Although extremely effective in most scenarios, I’ve found fishing this micro crab beneficial for several reasons. First, the fly lands extremely soft and quiet in shallow water. Second, the profile is large enough to grab the fish’s attention from a distance so you don’t have to be spot on with presentation. Next, the larger bonefish seem to prefer the crab. Finally, fishing a crab to a bonefish the same way you would to a permit will train an angler to the subtleties and strategies of fishing a crab fly on an easier playing field. Once you’ve mastered the crab presentation to a few tailed up bonefish, it’s time to grab the Rag Head and start chasing palometa!
Tarpon SP Finger Mullet
When conditions pan out and your guide takes you oceanside, you don’t want to leave the dock without a large tarpon fly with a little weight to it. The finger mullet is a good fly, but what you’re looking for is a 4-6 inch fly with a little weight to it. The weight will help throw the larger fly into the wind and also to get the fly down to the fish in deeper water. Use short twitchy strips once the fly is front of the fish, and then use a long hard hookset with a few extra whacks to make sure you bury that hook!
Triple Threat Tarpon – Umpqua
This is a great backcountry tarpon fly for fishing mostly shallow water conditions. The color is perfect for clear water lagoons and edges of mixed water where bay resident tarpon like to hunt. Not too bright and not too natural — just right for the silver king.