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Thread: Saltwater newbie

  1. Default Saltwater newbie

    First of all if there is a similar thread to this, please direct me to it! I searched around, but I didnt see anything that answered my questions...

    Im recently into fly fishing, freshwater...thing is though, I was raised on saltwater fishing with spinning rods. I love fly fishing though, its so...elegant, and its so much more fun than sitting with a peice of fish on the end of a line.

    My question is, I live in the San Diego area, and so of course there is a lot of saltwater fishing close by, and as far as freshwater fly fishing goes, there is only lakes close by, and of course some small creeks, but as far as moving water goes the closest real river is two hours away. So, saltwater would seem like a viable alternative in between trips to the mountains

    But of course I really have no idea where to start. There are tons of lagoons and estuaries around, are these viable areas for fly fishing? There was always bass and halibut lurking around in there...
    I have mostly seen people fly fishing in the surf, so I dont know really where to start.

    As far as gear goes, I have read that you need heavier weight poles and line for saltwater. Is this just for the surf fishing, or would it be needed for fishing lagoons and other still water, assuming that is a viable option?

    Just trying to figure out if there is a way I can get a line in the water a little more often

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Central Florida

    Default Re: Saltwater newbie

    Hi sdgreg,

    I think you are correct that Saltwater Fly Fishing would be a good target in San Diego. How to get started is always complexing for a beginner fly fisher. I did a quick Google search for "San Diego Fly Fishing" and got a bunch of fly fishing leads. There are at least two clubs and I suggest you join one. There is also the San Diego Fly Shop and while it is small they seem to have a lot of gear. A fly fishing shop is always a good source of information. Just make sure you buy some things from them.

    So here are some things to consider.

    1. If you are not a good caster take some lessons. Saltwater generally requires longer cast so knowing how to haul is important. One of the local clubs may offer casting lessons to the members. A club is also a quick way to learn where to fish. They usually organize club fishing and go to places that you can expect to catch fish.

    2. Using all the local sources of information you need to decide what your target fish is going to be. If you have access to a boat this will influence what you want to fish for. Your target fish will help determine what gear you need to acquire. This forum will be a big help in picking out your gear after you know what you are fishing for.

    3. If none of this works for you find a local guide that fishes for your target fish. You will learn in one trip a lot more than you can with trial and error trips. If you don't have a boat try to find a guide that has walking trips. Many guides will do either one according to what is available in your area.

    4. Find someone to fish with even if they are a beginner like your self. It can be fun learning together. If you can find an experience fly fisher then that is even better.

    The important thing is to have fun and get out into the outdoors.


  3. Default Re: Saltwater newbie

    Thanks, Frank.
    I have been down to SD Fly Shop, the guys there are really cool and have helped me out with getting started in freswater fly fishing and tying. I bought most of my tying supplies from them, as well as my leaders and tippets.

    I want to look into joining a club. I think that'd be a good idea.
    I have a friend who I usually go fishing with, hes pretty good and is teaching me the tricks on casting 'stalking' fish and other stuff... But neither of us know anything about salt fly fishing.

    Thanks for the info and the help!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Saltwater newbie


    Frank gave you great advice-

    There’s ton’s of SW fishing available, with a lot of options- surf fishing for surf perch corbina from the beaches, a shot at halibut and sea bass in the bay, all kinds of stuff in the kelp beds if you rent a kayak, and big stuff offshore.

    You’d want to match your rod weight to the kind of fishing you’ll be doing—the guys at the shop can set you up- but I think a minimum of a 7 weight would be good for in terms of versatility – 6-7 weights are typically used for surf perch from shore, but a heavier 7-10 weights are used if you’re going to be venturing out in a kayak or boat inshore- and heavier still if you’re talking up tangling with big stuff offshore. The shop can steer you towards a good outfit based on the type of fishing you’l be doing the most. Depending on the type of fishing you'll be doing there might be some specialized gear-- like a shooting basket to hold slack fly line if you're fishing in the surf (easy to make yourself), and they can help with selection of flies and lines, again based on what you're chasing.

    The guys at the San Diego fly shop have a great reputation and they’ll be a great resource for you. They have a surf school coming up Oct 3’rd for 100 bucks that sounds like it would be a great investment to get you off to a good start. They also seem very wired in to the local fishing, and there’s a lot of info on their site.

    I’ve never fished with him, but Capt. Conway Bowman also has an excellent reputation and offers a bunch of guided trips for everything from mako off shore, to kayak fishing and inshore (boat trips) in the kelp beds and surf fishing from shore for stuff like surf perch and you might consider splitting the cost of a full or ½ day with your buddy with him or thru the SD fly shop. It would be a great way to get some pointers, especially if you plan to do a lot of fishing on your own from rented kayaks of shore. He also offers “schools” at a reasonable cost.

    Good luck and keep asking questions!


  5. Default Re: Saltwater newbie

    The salinity will really only change as water evaporates. This will be dependent upon water movement, if the tank is open or closed top, lights, etc. Once the tank is set up and you have a feel for the tank a 7 day stint should not be that big of a deal.IMO the auto feeder is not very useful. Most marine fish wont touch a flake or pellet.A pair of ocellaris should do fine in there, but no more. Other options include the pseudochomis and some of the dwarf gobies. If you are thinking about clowns with an anemone, be sure your water chemistry is stable and you have the proper lighting.I would recommend about 20 pounds of rock. It can vary depending on they type of rock, but that should be good.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Saltwater newbie

    I agree with Frank on this.

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