Inside the Mind of a Bonehound

Bonefish bloodhound Jose Bravo

I don’t care how far I have to go, I don’t care how long I have to sit on a plane, I don’t care how many arguments I have to go through at airports for them to let me bring my fly rods with my carry-on luggage.

Respect! That’s what I feel for these fish. Because they make my heart beat faster when I see them. Because I have fear of finding one so large I won’t be able to catch it.

I want to catch the biggest one; but, at the same time, I feel afraid of not being able to—that’s what makes my adrenaline burn.

Many people ask me: what is so special about those little fish that you chase so much? The answer can only be known by those who have walked the flats on a bonefish hunt.

I always want one more, and I know I’ll never have caught enough. It is not only about achieving a trophy, I just thoroughly enjoy the search for these exciting fish.

I don’t like to fish them in schools, nor in deep waters, much less without being able to see them. For me, that is to leave everything in the hands of chance, and I believe that chance is far from the friend of a sport fisherman. I like to track them, like a bloodhound, finding their way through the tracks they leave on their way. I like to analyze the tides, the current, the wind, the sunlight, the clouds, their food, depth, color, the hardness and the type of bottom.

What satisfaction I feel when it’s not by chance, but by logic that I encounter them. Finding them is my greatest achievement and that is why even if I don’t get to catch one, I am pleased to see him.

Jose Bravo Bonefish on Fly

I respect all the guides, they deserve my admiration and respect because they perform the hardest part of catching these fish. And that’s why I enjoy it so much more when I can find the fish without the help and commands of a guide. Of course, my practice of fishing them has allowed me to learn the details that this sport requires.

There are many details we do not know, and that’s why these fish always challenge what little bit of wisdom we have. They leave behind an after taste that tells us that what we know is full of exceptions, and the rules of the game can change at any time.

I am very fortunate to be able to walk on the same Earth as these fish exist upon, and I hope that life will allow me to continue my search for many more years.

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Jose Bravo with Bonefish

By: Jose David Bravo
@thepeacockbass on Instagram

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