New to saltwater fly fishing
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New to saltwater fly fishing

Discussion in 'Saltwater Fly Fishing Forum' started by Clarkyboy74, Apr 26, 2020.

  1. Clarkyboy74

    Clarkyboy74 Member

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    Hey all, hope you are coping with the lockdown. I live in Folkestone, Kent and hoping to try my hand at saltwater fly fishing. I was just hoping some of you may have some hints/tips/advice regarding location and setup etc. Look forward to your responses. Cheers
     
  2. Matthew Pierce

    Matthew Pierce Member

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    Here are some ideas based on my experiences with mackerel, pollack and bass (I'm assuming that's what you're interested in - for mullet read posts on here by MulletFly):

    Conditions and timing:
    • In your area coloured water might be an issue. IMHO your chances will be better in the clear water conditions you get after a spell of Northerly breezes. You can catch fish in murky water but it must make it harder for them to see the fly unless it lands close to them - I have always found these conditions less productive.
    • Try and fish when baitfish are close to shore, usually then the mackerel and bass will turn up to attack them at some point.
    • Dawn and dusk are very good times to fish, but you need to take into account the tide as well of course on your local marks.
    Casting:
    • It is worth working on your casting so you can throw a long line.
    • Long casting in itself is not always needed, and sometimes you can catch fish very close, but in windy conditions you will need the same skills just to cast a moderate distance.
    • Often, long casting is needed though, e.g. to get out past a band of colour close in, or just to cover more water.
    Tackle:
    • Really we should start with the fly and work back from that to the line needed to cast it and the rod needed to cast that.
    • Fly patterns - it's important to match fly size to the bait fish (pic below shows one of my flies alongside some sandeels out of a mackerel I caught), in your area you may find whitebait (sprat & herring fry) are more prevalent in which case use appropriate patterns (BTW - I would avoid leaded flies e.g. clousers as they are difficult to cast; if you really need them to fish deep then try and cast with a wide loop or use the oval cast).
    • Mostly I use flies 8-12 cm long which cast fine on a #8 or #7 outfit - ideally go for the #8 as it will cast better in the wind, but if you already have a #7 outfit then start with that (it will be nicer to play fish on).
    • A weight forward floating, intermediate or slow sink line should do you for most situations fishing up to a few feet deep; intermediate perhaps a better all round choice as it will cast slightly better being denser, it is less obtrusive and will also let you fish that bit deeper when needed
    • A line tray is essential to keep loose line out of floating weed, rocks, barnacles etc.
    • Rods, reels and flies all need to be swabbed down with soapy water after use to prevent corrosion.
    Bear in mind fly fishing has definite limitations when compared with lure fishing for example - casting range is reduced, it is more affected by wind, it needs room behind for the backcast (which rules out some marks altogether) and it is less stealthy when you need to stand up a bit to get the backcast clear of obstructions.

    Also, be ready for a challenge when you start out. It can be difficult to cast and control the line in wind and waves. On the other hand, breaking hooks on rocks or shingle is easy.

    Push through the pain barrier and it can be very rewarding!

    Cheers,

    Matthew
    P8180031.JPG
     
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  3. Nee Deep

    Nee Deep Member

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    Very good advice from Matthew but you will notice that he doesn't give out locations. It is the mantra of all serious lure and fly guys that they never disclose specifics and quite rightly so. Even more prevalent is the apparent secrecy exercised by all fly guys, the journey is the single most important element, there are no shortcuts, belligerency and obstinacy to do the legwork and learn by trial and error, ultimately it will fashion you into a much more successful and dare I say it - happier and satisfiied angler in the long term.

    When I started doing this stuff (served my apprenticeship on bait then lure before) I didnt know anyone who was doing the same, I spent the first year or so with the wrong gear and approach but rather unwittingly I was learning along the way. The elation on catching my first fish on a home tie was such a rush. Over the years that followed I met kindred spirits, we learned from friendships that were slow in developing and trust hard earned to the point that we collectively grew in knowledge and experience. To this day some 20 years from the beginning we are still very close and meetup regularly. We still keep some stuff back, our banker marks and techniques which have been learned over many miles trudging and years on the water.

    I've met and helped many newbies over the years (locations not shared), sadly only a handful persisted, the vast majority fell by the wayside, often because they wanted quick success - this rarely happens. This is probably not what you want to hear, please don't view the lack of data and my negativity as a secretive non reponse but to really get the best from SWFF you got to work out a lot of it by your own efforts and an awful lot of blanks.

    It is probably the hardest route to catching fish, the way of the fly but if and when you succeed through your own endeavours, you'll find the knowledge gained will stand you in good stead wherever you cast a line and whatever method you choose, lure fly or bait. In fact Ive learned more about catching fish using the fly than I ever did previously using other methods
     
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  4. Graysie32

    Graysie32 Member

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    I think the guys above have covered pretty much everything - with regards to casting the big breakthrough for me was learning to double haul. Plenty of videos on YouTube.
     
  5. Clarkyboy74

    Clarkyboy74 Member

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    Thank you so much everyone for your advice and insights. Very kind of you to take the time to respond...
     
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