Fly Fishing for Mako Sharks

June 4, 2013
Fast, Strong, Lethal, Elegant: Fly-anglers could all agree that these adjectives best describe mako sharks.
Ranging up to 1,000 pounds, makos represent for fly-fishermen primarily accidental encounters offshore.
Conway Bowman’s entry into the mako shark world may have started in a small aluminum skiff, but out of that boat, he learned what it took to build a business around a relatively untouched fishery. Since then, the fishery has grown in popularity and in turn has helped protect the mako population. His style of fishing isn’t for the weak of heart; makos are fast and strong and will give willing fly-anglers the thrill of their life.
Mako Inspiration: The offshore fly-fishing chapter in Nick Curcione’s The Orvis Guide to Saltwater Fly Fishing included a brief section about mako sharks and served as Conway Bowman’s primary inspiration to master the fishery.
Hand Saver: One hopes it goes without saying that you never want to lip a mako shark. Be smart and safe when removing flies from boatside fish, and use a dehooker — always!
Mako Toad: Years ago, a buzz began in south Florida around a fly called the Tarpon Toad. This pattern’s popularity spread rapidly and eventually got the creative juices of tier Zino Nakasuji flowing. After numerous versions and lots of testing, he turned out the Mako Toad.

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