Browns or Bonefish


Andros BonefishN

Big Hole River 424 cfs

Now which would you prefer? Both these pics were sent to me today. The bonefish was caught yesterday by my friend from Denmark. Morton was on the west side of Andros Island with his favorite Bahamian guide. Quite an impressive bonefish. They  were on a flat the guide called, “Land of Giants” and I can see why it is so named.

Now the brown trout was caught today by my friend and fellow outfitter Doug. This fish was caught on a large articulated streamer and it measured 23 inches. It was caught right here on the Big Hole River. You might also say on the west side, meaning it was just west of my place

The bonefish weighed 8.5 pounds. So we come to the question of which you would prefer to catch? This is a tough one but I have to go with the bonefish. A boney this size has you in your backing in just a couple seconds. When you finally get back to your fly line he will make another run just as far and fast as the first.

On the pic of the bonefish check out the conditions there on the west side. Not a ripple on the water and blue sky.

So which would you prefer to catch? Let me know.



  1. Both would be my choice, bone in the winter , brown summer

  2. Hmmm……
    Miss North Carolina or Miss Minnesota?
    Tough choices in life.
    Beggars can’t be choosers.
    I’ll take either over where I am today….

  3. J.P. Mischkot

    Going to have to say Bone. Nothing like walking a flat hunting tails! Besides if you’re fishing Andros you can be sure that a conch salad, and a hanky-panky is within driving distance and that my friends is something that is an invaluable experience alone.

  4. I won’t discriminate!! But If I had to choose I would go Brown. I don’t like nice weather though.

  5. Wow what a question. I love both so much. Wally has the right idea. But, I would have to say the brown cause I can be on the river in 5 hours and be fishing. It takes two days and a lot of money to catch that big bone!!!!

  6. I’ve fished for both (here, Andros, etc.), and I find it more challenging to catch a 23″ wild brown trout than what looks to be a decent sized bone. So going by that, I would say the brown is the more ‘prized’ catch. But in my opinion, the most memorable fish caught are too closely tied to the context — the whole trip — not just the fish. My first permit was 12 lbs, Florida Keys, tough as it gets, I’ll never forget that feeling. Much more thrilling to me than the five 100 pound tarpon I got last year (3 in 3 casts, they were on the eat big time). The crazy thick 24″ brown sight-fished on a size 16 pmd emerger (upper Smith River) more thrilling by leaps and bounds vs the 28″ rainbow in Duck Lake (they can’t spawn but sitting on a redd, you just pester the crap out of them and then they eat. Yee haw — not). In short: if the story behind the brown involved a crazy float with a buddy, snow squalls, a bottle of whiskey — it wins. If the bonefish was caught while 10 below back home, feet in flip flops for the first time in months, a Kalik in the cooler — the bone wins. In fact, forget the fish — either trip wins!

  7. Hands down……Andros. nuff’ said.u

  8. Mike Guckenberg

    Tom, I’ll take Miss Minnesota as that’s where I live.

    However, when it comes to either of these fish, I’ll take the Brown. In my opinion, there is nothing better than catching a Brown on the Big Hole, especially with Al as your guide (I promise he didn’t pay me to write that). Both are very nice fish.

  9. Big Brown or Big Bone – hmmmm had to mull it over….. Bones win out

    tie breakers being the fight plus the cold Kaliks and conch salad celebration put Bones over the top. nice debate!

  10. I tend to agree with David’s comment regarding “context”. In fact, I don’t generally remember the individual fish, but rather the day, the place, the people, and all of elements that we might consider background.
    Using my imagination though, I can create a more adventurous, memorable story around the Bone than the Brown.

  11. Wow. What a choice. Hmmm. How nice that the guys are smiling so nicely on the other end of those fish. An avid flyfisherwoman says that both experiences are very unique, but getting to the river in just a few minutes makes Montana flyfishing just so incredible. I am looking forward to going bone fishing soon and eagerly await the finesse of it. There. Bonefishing ocassionally, brown all the time.

  12. over the years caught lots of big bones (8 lbs plus} but very few browns or rainbows of that size, bones have the weather going for them, trout the rarity of catching a really big one. Watching a big brown smash a big bug on the surface or stop a streamer with feeling of hooking a big log is as good as it gets.

  13. Photo opportunity I would say Brown, what an amazing fish, the variations in color and body never gets old, when it comes to the fight and the challenge…The bone wins

  14. 23″ brown? Twenty Three? Really…? Beautiful fish none the less. Doug is awesome at photos.

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