I am from the Solomons Area and have been fishing fresh water for many years now. Mostly for bass. My career brought me to southern Maryland and it is hard to find fresh water around here so I decided to expand to saltwater. What types of fish can be caught in the area on a fly rod? I am assuming of course rock fish but what about white perch, spot and maybe croaker? I don't have access to a boat so I have to fish from shore. Any pointers or tips you can provide?
Saltwater fishing is totally new to me. I have a 8wt. rod/reel/line combo with intermediate sinking striper line. I am assuming clouser minnows would get the job done. chartreuse and white?
I used to live in Portsmouth VA. and fished over on the Peninsula (Eastern Shore) for sea trout. The best places were coves and any estuary where a stream came in. Along the surf the bluefish run and they can make for an exciting day. Tossing into the surf and letting the fly swing with the drift I have caught fish I couldn't identify. Flounder will grab a weighted fly drug along the bottom, I've gotten them here in AK. and down in VA. both.
Goggle your tides and fish with the incoming tide and stay with it until the tide is on the drop. When the fishing slacks off it's time to go. If you have time get on Rt. 13 across the Bay Bridge at Annapolis and go down the peninsula. I've fished beach's from the Assateaque Bay / Island area down to Accomac and had great days. My favorite was Toms Beach in the Assateaque Island State Park.
Welcome to the forum Robert, I never became a hard core salt guy because I kept driving north west into the Blue Ridge Mountains chasing the trout every chance I had.
Not that I fish in your area, but here in southern NewEngland these are the flies that I consider essentials. They're all standards and in different variations they're all you'll ever need. If I were to choose one single saltwater fly, it easily be the deceiver.
The gurglar isn't as important as the others but too much fun to leave behind
You've got great advice from Ard (Hardyreels) and Paul (Riptide). I also chase striped bass, but a little further north here in NY on Long Island.
As Rip Tide said, just a basic assortment of flies- a fistfull of some clousers and deceivers and you'll be in business.
Another thing you'll want to add though is a stripping basket to hold your loose fly line out of the water-- this is the amount of line you expect to shoot on your casts when wading. The shooting basket will add a lot of distance to your casts since it will reduce the amount of friction you'd have to overcome to rip the line out of the water before sending it through the guides-- because you'll be using a sinking/intermediate line, you'd have to pull the slack line through several inches of water as you false cast before you can get it in the air. Even with a floating fly line, a shooting basket is helpful because the current will grab your slack line. It also keeps your slack line from getting caught in seaweed etc. You can buy a shooting basket, but you can also very easily make them yourself and save $. Here's a youtube video of a semi elaborate one--
I just use a regular rubbermaid dishpan with a hole in the top of the rim on each of the short sides and a shock cord with 2 hooks. The shock cord goes around my back, each hook goes in the hole of one of the short sides and done. No drain holes, no screw type things sticking up to reduce tangles etc. That way I can also use the shooting basket to throw wet stuff in the back of the truck.
Scout around and look for inlets, jetties, flats next to deep channels/drop offs and other places with structure that might hold fish. Points of land are a good place to target since you can usually move around to find a place where the wind isn't in your teeth. Google earth can be a big help to find spots to explore. And keep an eye out for areas where folks might be casting stuff from shore like bucktails, tins, Bombers or other light plugs with light 9' spinning rods (as opposed to the big sticks used in the high surf)-- these are often perfect fly rod spots. Local tackle shops and weekly fishing rags can also give you some idea of places to target and will have tide and current tables. (Note that you'll generally want to fish moving water ie current, and the timing of tides and currents can be quite different.) This time of year, your best bet is probably going to be periods of low light-- dawn, dusk, and night.
If there's a possibility you'll be out after dark, at a minimum you'll want a small water proof flash light on a lanyard you can wear around your neck hands free or a water proof head or neck light. After your eyes adjust to the darkness, there's usually plenty of ambient light, but you'll want a flashlight or lamp on occasion.
It would be a good idea to start a log also- to record spots you fished, moon phase, tide stages and prevailing wind, presence/type of bait in the water, fish caught by you or others, birds crashing bait etc. Over time you'll notice patterns - where/when to fish under different conditions
This time of year the fishing can be tough--- but it should be getting better soon as towards the end of the month into the fall. Striped bass (rockfish), bluefish, fluke (summer flounder), weakfish, and towards september you may also have occasional shots at schools of false albacore, spanish mackeral and bonito.
More than anything though don't get frustrated and put your time in. More than likely you'll run into many fishless days, especially in mid summer-- but then one day you'll find yourself in the right place at the right time and all "heck" will break loose.
You've already gotten some great advise! Since you're shore bound, you should spend some time browsing the MD DNR website. There's information there that shows state & county Parks & boat ramps which have shore fishing available. (They used to publish a paper map of parks & ramps, but I'm not sure if they still do.) Google Maps will help locate them & the satellite feature will help show you a truer image of the actual conditions you might encounter. At least I've found it to be some help at times.
Near Solomon's, right where the Rt 2 & 4 bridge crosses the Patuxent River, there is a fishing pier, but I don't know if there's anywhere to fly fish. I've been down there many times but have never fished at that location. There is also (or was, 9/11 changed a lot of things) some shore fishing access on the bay side, up near Calvert Cliff's. Surf fishing used to be allowed, but again, I don't know how well you might do with a fly rod. I've fished there many years ago, but was using surf equipment & bait. If it's within possibility, getting some type of watercraft would give you a lot more options. Kayak's or canoes would be a good choice, and even a belly boat can be used in many locations. Wading is very limited all over the state in tidal water, primarily due to access limitations & mud or silt bottoms not suited for wading.
At one time or another I've fished all over the state, but never did a lot of fly fishing in Southern MD. Most of the fishing I get to do now is primarily in locations on the Eastern Shore side. I live up near Annapolis!
Feel free to contact me if you have questions, I may not be able to answer all of them, but perhaps I can get you headed in the right direction.
And, for flies, add some Seaducers too!
One more thing, US Rt 13 does not cross the bay bridge! Rt 13 runs north & south on the eastern shore side of MD from the MD/VA line on the south end, and the MD/DE line on the north! US RT 50/301 crosses the bridge near Annapolis! If you wish to use Rt 13, it crosses RT 50 @ Salisbury, MD. ( I drive a tractor trailer for a living!)
Ard, I knew what you meant, but that could get very confusing to a newb to this area!
Wow!! Thank you guys for all the great information!
I plan to pursue Largemouth for a few more weeks and then progress to getting out on the saltwater. I am also trying to perfect my casting more to deal with the stronger winds and longer casts I will have to make. Great advice on the basket, I never knew why people used them. Thanks!
I also plan to purchase a boat in spring so hopefully I won't be shore bound for too long.
Again I really appreciate the advice since saltwater fishing is VERY new to me.
You might want to ask for a little advice at Bunky's in Solomons or the Tackle Box in Lexington Park. I doubt you'll get much information for fly fishing, but you may get some good current local information. I hate to say it, but on my side of Drum Point the fishing has been terrible, part of the problem being that it's so shallow really far out. I spend a lot of time in the area but have never fly fished there (fly fishing newbie). Also, you might want to get a chart so you can get an idea for water depths.
I fished that area for years. Plenty of good fresh water opportunities if you look. St. Mary's lake and Wheatley lake are the 2 major lakes for bass. If you have access to NAS Pax River there are ponds there. The base also has access to good saltwater fishing. Goose creek inlet is where I have caught stripers on the fly from shore.
Check out this website: I will PM it to you
It is a member's only site but if you IM the moderator and tell him a member referred you he should give you access. Why is this site important to you? Well there are a lot of diehards on there. I have fished with at least 12 members and many are looking for someone to occupy the back seat of the boat. All that they ask in return is that you post your fishing outings often and include as much info as possible without revealing your honey holes.
If you fish trout there is the pond at Calvert cliffs and the park pond in Hughesville. Myrtle grove also has trout along with cats, bass, crappie and pickerel. If you yellow perch fish then head over to Allen's Fresh. The neds run early in the spring.
If you are looking for a drive then head up to Fletcher's Boat House in Georgetown. They rent rowboats. You can catch shad in the river along with rockfish, walleye, bass, cats & panfish.
If you can get a boat in the Patuxent river, head to the feeder creeks in the fall. You can catch a bunch of white perch. I use beetle spins to fool them but flies may work as well.