Lines: A tropical WF floating line matching your Bonefish rod and a Tropical WF floating line matching your Permit and Tarpon rod.
Bonefish: Bonefish flies should be light and preferably with a weed guard for fishing the pancakes. Famous patterns such as the Clouser Minow, Crazy Charlie, Bonefish Special, Gotcha, Mini-Puff, Christmas Island Special and small crabs tied on hooks #4 or #6, sand and light-brown (unweighted eyes). The “Gummy Minnow” is a killer in Los Roques and you don’t come here without a good stash of these.
Permit: Crabs in various shapes and sizes. Rag Head Crab, Brown Special, Velcro Crab and Del´s Merkin tied on hooks #2 and #4 are the standard recommendations for Los Roques.
Tarpon: Our favorite the tarpon toad in various colors and sizes, as well as the classics Black Death and various bunny streamers. Big size Gummy Minnows are also popular among the local Tarpon inhabitants
Snook: Deceiver patterns, Streamers, Tarpon Toads, and Poppers.
Keys to success in Los Roques
Venezuela’s largest marine park, El Parque Nacional Los Roques, is hands down one of the most consistent bonefish fisheries on the planet. Truly a classic with a twist! May it be the variety that is by far more than just world class wading for bonefish, or the breathtaking setting with hundreds of picturesque keys and fishing spots, even non fishing partners will be left in awe of the sheer beauty of the place. With good numbers of bonefish found and a wide range of other species to go for, with firm sandy flats on which wading is positively encouraged, coupled with the ability to fish here in every month of the year, Los Roques is a fishery that should be considered an evergreen.
Another rather unique feature to Los Roques is the thick and sheer endless amounts of minnows. Bonefish are opportunistic feeders and their diet consists pretty much of everything that live on the flats they patrol. The number and average size the Los Roques Bonefish come in goes hand in hand with the minnows that they hunt down. In fact these fish put a lot more attitude into their daily feast – much more like a full-on predatory fish would do. As a result of this high protein diet, Los Roques Bonefish, Tarpon and other predatory inhabitants are heavier on the same length than in most other places.
Minnow imitations are obviously the top scoring flies on the Archipelago both for Bonefish and Tarpon (but also a myriad of other species). One of the dominating patterns has always been the “Soft Minnow” – a pattern originally designed by Blane Chocklett to entice local smallmouth bass into a bite. Today, the Soft Minnow serves as an icon for Los Roques and it shouldn’t be missing in any fly anglers assortment who’s planning a trip there. Rumor has it that the bonefish on the main island have become weary of them – the big old fish in particular. Well, this is partly true. The sporting virtues of Los Roques attracts anglers from all over the globe and it takes a little more attention to the details when the islands are taken over by fly anglers. The refusals seen from bigger fish is caused by fishing pressure rather than from the pattern itself! If ten other fellow anglers are roaming the main island with a soft minnow, it shouldn’t really be your weapon of choice – as soon as you leave the main island though, to fish one of the countless keys, the pattern will live up it’s reputation again. With the following 10 patterns one can rest assured that at least the fly question is taken out of the equation:
Softy Minnow (Brown/Green/Pearl Back)
– Los Roques Minnow Grey/Green
– Los Roques Tarpon Minnow
– Softy Minnow Bluewater
– Cuban Shrimp Light Tan
– Skinny Shrimp Tan
– Pink Flash Charlie
– Xmas Island Special Pink (Killer for Parrotfish)
– Sand Prawn (Killer for Triggerfish)
– Bitters Amber