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Saltwater Fly Fishing Bonefish, Tarpon, Redfish, Permit, False Albacore, Striped Bass, etc...

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Old 09-21-2011, 05:48 AM
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Default New to Saltwater

As if I don't have enough to do learning the ins and outs of trout fishing, I couldn't pass up a Redington Crosswater 9' 9wt outfit from Sierra Trading Post on closeout for about $70!
Living in RI, I am surrounded by saltwater, and I live about five minutes from the Seekonk River.
So I stopped by the School St pier on my way home from work yesterday to practice casting this monster . After razzing me a bit, one of the locals pointed out a great spot for me to wade along the bank, and informed me that there are lots of porgie and skipjacks that come right up into that spot, when the tide is right.

My question is, has anyone caught either of these on a fly rod? I have had some limited surf casting in my past (my old man, every beach vacation growing up), but am not familier with either of these species. My goal is to get out to the Charlestown Breachway in October for stripers, but I'm hoping this would be a good spot to practice and still catch a few fish.
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:01 AM
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Default Re: New to Saltwater

Good deal on those rods! I bought 2 of them, one for my son & one for me as a back-up rod. Hard to pass up at that price!

I've caught Porgy's on bait, but not on flies. However, I would guess that if those species are present, so might others. Stripers have moved in along the shorelines & into many of the rivers down here in the Chesapeake, so perhaps you'll experience the same.

A good general rule of thumb in saltwater is use imitations of the prevalent prey, or at least the available prey. Not really match the hatch, but that works well too sometimes. I've fished in tidalwater most of my life and have never found it necessary to get too specific with imitations. Any predatory species present will generally be looking for opportunities & will except what is offered if you can get it to them, but there are times they'll key in on specific prey. Then matching the basic coloration & size is necessary.

You'll want a good selection of flies that imitate what's there. You can't go wrong with Lefty's Deceivers, Clouser Deep Minnows, Half & Half's, Seaducers, Bendbacks, and some surface lures like poppers & gurglers for a well rounded selection. There are many good fly patterns you can use in saltwater, but these have been around for a long time & consistently produce.

You'll want colors that mimic local baitfish, including bay anchovies, bunker, & sand eels, as well as shrimp or crabs to start with. But also some variety of both light & dark. Sizes can range from #2 up to about 3/0 which will work fine with that 9 wt. Anything bigger will be more difficult to cast, and there's usually little need to go smaller for the majority of mid to northern Atlantic coastal fishing. I go down to size 4 shrimp patterns sometimes, but I'm usually fishing for perch & I'll use a 6 wt.

Welcome to the salt! Hope this helps get you started! Anything I can do to help just ask!
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:40 AM
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Default Re: New to Saltwater

By skipjacks I think they mean snapper blues which are a great fly rod quarry. Better on a 6wt than with a big SW rod though. Their big brother and sister blues, known as choppers, are ever more fun on the fly.
A porgie is better known as a scup. They're bottom dwelling panfish, very abundant this time of year. You can catch them on the fly but usually they're incidental and most often caught with bait.
Also, in Rhode Island the menhaden is known as the "pogie". They're a filter feeder and prey rather than predator. But if you see schools of the young of the year, called peanuts, that's a good sign that there's game fish staking them. Most likely bluefish this time of year in your area.

You might be interested in that Harold Gibbs of Barrington is generally considered to be the father of modern NE saltwater fly fishing and his home waters were the Warren and Barrington rivers. During WWII when rationing kept him from traveling to the Maritimes to fish for Atlantic salmon, he and his brother Frank started tying flies and fishing for striped bass locally.
His "Gibb's striper fly" is considered a SW classic

http://www.edmitchelloutdoors.com/Ar...ld%20Gibbs.pdf

Click the image to open in full size.
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Last edited by Rip Tide; 09-21-2011 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 09-21-2011, 10:36 AM
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Default Re: New to Saltwater

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjim5589 View Post
Welcome to the salt! Hope this helps get you started! Anything I can do to help just ask!
Much obliged, and thanks for the good info! I will be needing all the advice I can get. Yes, the rod was a good deal- the reel is a little flimsy- feeling, but I figure at that price, it was worth it just for the line and rod alone. I went w/ the 9wt to have a bigger rod for surf and wind, but I guess I could break out my 6wt for this particular area and it's smaller fish.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rip Tide View Post
By skipjacks I think they mean snapper blues which are a great fly rod quarry. Better on a 6wt than with a big SW rod though. Their big brother and sister blues, known as choppers, are ever more fun on the fly.
A porgie is better known as a scup. They're bottom dwelling panfish, very abundant this time of year. You can catch them on the fly but usually they're incidental and most often caught with bait.
Also, in Rhode Island the menhaden is known as the "pogie". They're a filter feeder and prey rather than predator. But if you see schools of the young of the year, called peanuts, that's a good sign that there's game fish staking them. Most likely bluefish this time of year in your area.

You might be interested in that Harold Gibbs of Barrington is generally considered to be the father of modern NE saltwater fly fishing and his home waters were the Warren and Barrington rivers. During WWII when rationing kept him from traveling to the Maritimes to fish for Atlantic salmon, he and his brother Frank started tying flies and fishing for striped bass locally.
His "Gibb's striper fly" is considered a SW classic
Rip, once again you have provided a wealth of info for me. Now that you mention it, he may have been saying "Pogie" instead of "Porgie". As a non-native RI'er, sometimes I miss things when a thicker local accent is in play :

A little poking around on the internet produced this article on Harold Gibbs. Fascinating guy! I am always interested in the local history of my adopted state http://www.edmitchelloutdoors.com/Ar...ld%20Gibbs.pdf

I am not a fly tier (yet), but will try to track some of these down. In the meantime I will experiment w/ my 6wt, as well, and post my results.

---------- Post added at 11:36 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:23 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rip Tide View Post
His "Gibb's striper fly" is considered a SW classic

http://www.edmitchelloutdoors.com/Ar...ld%20Gibbs.pdf
Ha!! I read this post on my phone, and didn't realize you posted the exact same link...
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Old 09-21-2011, 11:25 AM
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Default Re: New to Saltwater

I don't usually fish 'east bay' but Colt SP is a good shore location for blues. Somewhere I have a map of other east bay sites that I'll look for, but I've fished the SP and it's consistent this time of year.

Snappers especially, but bluefish in general like "fast food". You can't strip your line fast enough. Blues have excellent eyesight and strong predatory instincts so faster is better every time (except when they're "daisy chaining")

Also, don't forget the wire and watch your fingers
You should be able to find "knot-able" (64 strand) wire at any local tackle shop.

---------- Post added at 12:25 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:53 AM ----------

These are the maps that I was thinking of.

Daytripper's Guide: Access Guide Introduction
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Old 09-21-2011, 01:55 PM
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Default Re: New to Saltwater

That is a very useful map. Some of these I knew about, some of them not. Looks like I have l have quite a bit to explore.

So let me ask a question: let's assume there are snappers or schoolie stripers or both, and this is in calm tidal water where the Blackstone River dumps into water coming in from the Bay. Should my rig look like this?
Fly-->Wire (in case of blues/snapper) -->Tapered Leader (or straight mono?)--> Fly Line

What size fly for this scenario? I picked up a couple of Clousers and Deceivers, and I believe they are 2/0. Is that too big for this?
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Old 09-21-2011, 02:34 PM
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Default Re: New to Saltwater

Assuming you're using a floating line, the tapered leader is fine, as long as it's heavy enough to turn over the flies. I usually keep mine less than 8 ft long, and use one closer to 6 ft a lot. These fish are not often line shy.

I tie my own leaders I try to have the butt section of leader about the same diameter as the end of fly line. So for example, if it's .029, that's what I'll start with, which for the line I use is 50 lb test.

A 15lb tippet will work, and for this size fish any of the knottable wire leaders will work. I generally use about 6 to 8 inches of 30lb or less, and prefer 10 to 15lb wire. The more wire you use the more weight, and it's just to keep them from biting the fly off. I know some guys who only use 4 inches of wire. Blues will often strike the knots, so you'll lose some flies anyway, no matter what you use.

If you're using a full sinking line, the straight leader will work, I like 20 lb test, but have used 15lb. 3 to 4 feet is all that's needed. For a sink tip, I still use the tapered leader. Generally, the heavier the fly, the shorter the leader.

I use Yozuri Hybid for making my leaders. I also use it on some of my bait casters, so this way I'm only buying one type of line. It's worked well for me.

2/0 is a good general purpose size for many salt species, even the smaller schoolies & snappers will eat it, and it should not be a problem casting it with that 9 wt. It's the size I use them most.
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Old 09-21-2011, 04:33 PM
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Default Re: New to Saltwater

You don't really need wire for snappers, but if you go without for mid to large sized blues, you will loose flies.
Blue fish will rip apart flies no matter the size of the fish so if you can find some cheap that would be best. Even the seaducers that bigjim mentioned would be good and you can often find them for next to nothing. Stripers won't touch them but they're good for blues.
Size 2 would be good for snappers but your 2/0 flies would be good for anything much larger. 1/0 is a good all around compromise size and easier to cast than the 2/0. Yeah it makes a difference.

You say you don't tie, but especially when it come to bluefish, it's best if you make your own. You can get away with using the most simply made flies as long as they're tied rock solid. That's a quality you can't buy.
This time of year a fly like a high-tie will catch more than it's share of fish and tied with a drop of superglue at every step will last longer and catch more fish than any fancy store-bought.

High-ties are nothing more than 4 or more bunches of hair (I usually use craft fur) tied from to rear to front along the top of the hook shank
A good fly to represent the "peanuts"

Click the image to open in full size.


Another simple but effective fly is the "blonde"
Hair tail, wrapped body of yarn (or almost anything, I use Christmas tinsel) and a single clump of hair for the wing.. Bucktail is best but you can sub most anything.. Halloween wig hair works great.

Click the image to open in full size.

---------- Post added at 05:33 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:58 PM ----------

Quote:
So let me ask a question: let's assume there are snappers or schoolie stripers or both, and this is in calm tidal water where the Blackstone River dumps into water coming in from the Bay....
Ya know what, except for casting practice, you should move down state away from Seekonk River. Excepting if there's huge schools of peanuts to attract the game fish, there's never going to be much action there.
I fished a lot in the Warwick/E.Greenwich area a couple of years ago when I was there daily with time to kill. I'd recommend that you stick to east bay.
Along the E. Prov bike path is good, but down into the Barrington/ Bristol area near the rivers is better.

I've fished all (?) of the S.county beaches during the fall migration and it's hit or miss, but when it's "hit' it's fantastic.
The hardest part is controlling the "buck fever"
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Old 09-22-2011, 12:01 PM
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Default Re: New to Saltwater

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Originally Posted by Rip Tide View Post
Ya know what, except for casting practice, you should move down state away from Seekonk River
I will be doing that, most definitely. I am really just trying to make the most out of my neighborhood waters, that's all. I've got two small kids at home, and I commute back and forth to Boston every day, so I don't always have time for longer trips at the moment. A couple of hours is a lot right now

I am watching a couple of used fly tying setups on ebay right now. Those high-ties look relatively simple, and maybe I can make a few of those. Went over to Orvis at lunch yesterday, and passed on the Puglisi $8 flies for now
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Old 09-22-2011, 01:32 PM
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Default Re: New to Saltwater

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... and passed on the Puglisi $8 flies for now
This is why I buy $.50 Trout flies but tie ALL my saltwater flies. The imitation factor on a saltwater fly for most species in the Northeast isn't that important. Stripers, Blues, Snappers, even Fluke are aggressive feeders and we don't have the clear waters that Bonefish fishermen run into. Use plenty of flash, my staple colors are:

Black and Purple at night
Chartreuse/White
Olive/White
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