Salt Water Fly Fishing Tips

Salt Water Fly Fishing Tips
Popularized during the 1970s, salt water fly fishing references date to the 19th century. Along the shores of North America, targeted species include tarpon, striped bass, skipjack, sheepshead, mullet, bonefish and redfish, among others. Like its fresh water cousin, fly fishing in the sea involves the use of a lure, known as a fly, without the use of live or dead bait or sinkers. Before casting at your favorite beach, a few tips might increase your level of enjoyment.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Step 1
Choose a 9-foot, 10 weight rod with fast action for greater sensitivity and further casts. Seek a reel that is saltwater proof and use flies with stainless steel hooks as sea water is highly corrosive. Rinse all tackle with fresh water after every use.
Step 2
Wear proper gear to ensure your comfort. Start with a pair of polarized sunglasses to reduce glare and the chances eye injury due to UVA and UVB rays.Wear insulated wading gear for shore casting and for boat fishing opt for boots constructed from Gortex to keep the water out and provide support. Consider a back brace if spending long hours fishing.
Step 3
Bring a pair of binoculars to aid in spotting birds, a common sign that fish can be found nearby.
Step 4
Wear stripping guards to protect your stripping finger, the finger that is used to retrieve line, from saltwater which due to friction can quickly injure your skin.
Step 5
Consult tide guides for situations that may have an impact on fish behavior such as the ebb and flooding during tidal changes. Search marine maps for topography that draws fish such as the mouth of channels where they open on to flat areas.
Step 6
Match the fly being used to the species you are casting for. For example, shrimp and crab patterns work well for redfish and bonefish, while eel and menhadden patterns take striped bass and bluefish.
Step 7
Avoid fishing in areas where winds are blowing from offshore towards the shallows as debris will be pushed towards shore making it difficult for fish to see food they might normally strike. Choose the leeward side whenever possible to compensate for wind direction.
Step 8
Aim to begin fishing when the tide is at its lowest point and continue fishing while stepping back as the tide rises. Fish during this time to target fish that are seeking warmer water or grassy flats where food sources are more abundant.

Tips & Warnings

If salt water fly fishing for the first time, remember that a catch here may be sufficiently larger than you might be used to. Larger fish bring the possibility of a snapped rod. Prepare for this ahead of time by rigging two rods.

Article Written By Mike Biscoe

Mike Biscoe has been writing since 2009. Focusing on travel, sports and entertainment topics, he has credits in various online publications including LIVESTRONG.COM and Trails. He often writes articles covering uncommon travel destinations from firsthand experience. Biscoe holds a Certificate of Completion in acting from the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts.

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