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  1. #1

    Default newbe to the salt

    I have a 8wt or 9wt outfit, 1floating and 1 sinking line, I'v fished for trout for 20yrs . I would like to try salt water fly fishing. I will fish the surf and back lagoons. What flys and what waigth tippet leaders would i use. One guy told me to just tie 3' of 20 or 15 lb test to fly line . please help, I can't wait to fish.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: newbe to the salt

    Hey Hunter1, you'll have a blast fly fishing in SW -- and you have a big head start on a lot of folks since you've been at it already chasing trout-- so you'll have the casting mechanics and all the other basics down.

    Leaders for SW are generally a lot less complicated than the ones used for trout, and you can get away with pretty simple ones in most cases. (Down the road at some point depending on what you chase you'll want to learn stuff like bimini twists, and attaching heavy mono or wire bite tippets, but for now keep it simple).

    For the sinking line, a straight shot of 3' of 15-20lb mono--- and it can be regular Ande fishing line as opposed to special tippet, should be fine.

    For the floating line you could probably get away with the same straight shot of mono, just a little longer at 6' or so. A better setup that will turn over a bit better to lay out your flies at the end of the cast (and one i typically use up here in the NE for stripers on a floater) would a simple 9' leader that you can easily make using a 4-3-2 formula--- for an 8 or 9 weight:

    butt 4' of 35-40lb mono
    mid section 3' of 25-30 lb mono
    tippet 2' of 15-20lb mono

    In SW, you never know what you may run into, so it's generally a good idea to keep a weak link somewhere in your leader (usually the tippet) at a lower lb test than the lb test of your backing--- that way if you do get broken off by a hot fish (or jet skier ) or get snagged on the bottom in deep water, you have a better chance of getting your fly line back. So for example if you have 20lb backing, use 15lb tippet, if your backing is 30lb you can go up to 20lb.

    As far as flies, without knowing where you are or what you're fishing for, it would be hard to beat a couple chartreuse over white clousers in size 2 and some olive or blue over white deceivers size 1 or so, since they'll work just about anywhere for anything-- at least some of the time, and they'll be easy to throw with an 8-9 weight--

    But let us know where you live and what fish you'll be chasing--- and let us know if you tie flies. There are tons of patterns--- and some of them are super easy and use inexpensive materials. You'll basically want to end up with an assortment of flies that will do 3 things:

    -Have a selection that will cover you for the range of most common baits in size and profile-- this will depend on where you are and what you're fishing for. This might range from mostly baitfish imitations from 2”-10” for here in the NE to a selection of stuff that imitates shrimp, crabs, and 2-6” baitfish for FL.

    -Cover the water column from top to bottom

    -Cover special situations you're likely to run into (not every special situation)-- these will vary depending on what you're chasing and where you're fishing examples - might be weedless flies for fishing in grass or over oyster beds.

    Let us know what you’re chasing and folks can give you a lot more specifics. And tell us a bit more about how you plan to fish—although there can be epic days, fishing from the surf can be tough—often the wind will be in your face, and getting a good presentation in a current that sweeps along the beach and with waves, and sand beaches often don’t have a lot of holding structure for fish. You might be better off fishing on the inside of inlets, sheltered bays on the backside of barrier beaches, or flats.

  3. #3

    Default Re: newbe to the salt

    Hi, Peregrines. i'll be fishing on asssateague island Virginia 1st week in oct 2010. also chincoteauge island, Assateague i have atlantic ocean on one side and salt marshes and bay on other side.Local shop said blues, stripers, kingfish, and reds should be running then.Would this help you with my fly selection, When should i use the sinking line and the floating. I'll be fishing from the beach , no boat.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    quiet corner, ct

    Default Re: newbe to the salt

    I could add to Mark's post that you might want to buy or make a stripping basket. They're very handy in most conditions and I rarely fish without one.
    I saw a great design for a homemade in the last Midcurrent email. Can't find it now. It used plastic rivets for the fingers.... the things that attach car trim.

    Don't buy one of the folding baskets, they're not worth the aggravation.
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements.” --- Horace Kephart

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: newbe to the salt

    Quote Originally Posted by hunter1 View Post
    Hi, Peregrines. i'll be fishing on asssateague island Virginia 1st week in oct 2010. also chincoteauge island, Assateague i have atlantic ocean on one side and salt marshes and bay on other side.Local shop said blues, stripers, kingfish, and reds should be running then.Would this help you with my fly selection, When should i use the sinking line and the floating. I'll be fishing from the beach , no boat.
    Those flies are a good choice-- maybe adding a few others-- something like a size 1/0 crease fly or popper for top water-- it might help to draw fish (especially blues) to you, and they're fun to fish. Another thing you might want to add is something about 2- 2 1/2" long with a white belly and tan back to imitate bay anchovies (often referred to as "rain bait" or "white bait") that should be pouring out of the back bays. They often form dense schools that get crashed by stripers and blue fish, but also bring in false albacore, spanish macks and bonito. A couple size 2 or 4 flies in those colors (tan over white) Examples of patterns that would be good imitations are Surf Candies or stuff like "Bonito Bunny's", "Skok's Mushmouth", or (God forbid) "Gummy Minnows".

    Clousers are a good imitation for sandeels, and you'd want to fish them close to the bottom, ideally puffing up some sand or mud as it falls. They'll catch summer flounder (fluke) too in addition to stuff like channel bass, rockfish (stripers) and blues. And Deceivers are also a good choice for a wide range of fish, with a generic baitfish shape that imitates a wide range of bait.

    As far as sinker or floater, if you're wading for the most part the slope off should be gradual enough to use the floater most of the time. Save the sinker for fishing drop offs, and if there are some areas like cuts or channels that you can reach deeper water (by bridges as an example), cast up tide to allow the fly to sink as deep as you can get it, and let it swing it in the current.

    Rip Tide's advice about a shooting basket is also key--- you'll get much more distance on your cast if you're not trying to rip slack floating line off the water surface--- and trying to rip slack SINKING fly line out of the water is almost impossible.

    Again I would plan on targeting the back bays and inlets especially if you have "high surf" conditions out front- but if you have relatively calm conditions it might be fishable with a fly rod. Although it can bust loose anytime, often the best fishing is during periods of low light as fish come into the shallows to feed, and during periods of moving water as opposed to slack current. Timing for current (horizontal movement of water) and tides (vertical movement of water) may often vary by several hours, especially around inlets, meaning that you may still have incoming water (current) long after high tide, so try and get a sense of the timing of daily currents/tides from a local bait and tackle shop once you're down there. And as you probably know the ocean is also strongly influenced by the moon phases, with the highest high tides and lowest low tides and strongest cutrrents on (and in the few days before/after) the New Moon (around Oct 6-7) and Full Moons (Oct 22).

    With the strong currents like you're likely to have, there's likely to be rip currents that form on certain stages of tides--- they might be off points, off flats that feed into a channel, off tips of jetties or bridge abutments-- these are prime places to find feeding fish. You might want to do the google earth thing to look for likely spots they might occur, and to look for them while you're down there. Keep an eye out for birds dive bombing the surface too-- usually that's a sure sign that bait is being chased to the surface by feeding fish below them, and especially this time of year it can go from not a bird in sight one second to a bazillion diving birds screaming over acres of boiling water the next.

    Here's a link to a post that might help with some info:
    New to saltwater, need help?

    And if you tie let us know -- we can give you some ideas for easy patterns.

  6. #6

    Default Re: newbe to the salt

    I want to thank you all, all your advise will be taken, I do have a plastic stripping basket some one gave me. So if i have it right, fishing from the beach in the surf, it's better to use a intermeadiate sinking line, back bays use the floater. I really can't wait now.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: newbe to the salt

    You should be fine with either a floater or an intermediate in either situation.

    The Intermediate sinks slow enough that it will be fine on the flats too unless they're really shallow. If you had a fast sinking line that might be a useful for deep water close to shore like channel edges etc. but would probably not be as useful in gradually sloping sand beaches and wadeable flats.

    An intermediate will get you below the surface chop, but is not as easy to mend (if you have a sweeping current to the left or right), and it's more difficult to lift line out of the water for casts (either slack line at your feet, or lifting line out of your rod tip to reposition the fly) because of the added resistance you'll get from trying to pull it through several inches of water. It will help to get you fly a bit deeper, I generally use a short leader of straight 20lb mono (3-4") with an intermediate.

    A floater will allow you to mend easier but will be affected by wave action.

    So "six of one, half dozen of the other"-- pick the one you can cast the best and go at it.

  8. Default Re: newbe to the salt

    Might want to make SURE your tippet break-weight is LESS THAN your backing break-weight.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: newbe to the salt

    Hey Wajdi- welcome to the forum-- I see this is your 1st post. Hope you stick around- make yourself at home here.

  10. Default Re: newbe to the salt

    worthwhile podcast on SW fishing in the fall.

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