Saltwater Fly Fishing

One of the most common queries I get is around my approach to saltwater fly fishing. So here is a quick introduction.

I use 2 set-ups for most of my saltwater fly fishing. A 9ft 5wt with full floating line. This is my go-to kit when fishing over very shallow clean ground in clear water. One reason for this is the lighter outfit is less likely to spook fish. Another is that the flies I typically use here are small, similar to the size of most trout flies. Another plus is that this outfit doubles up as a mullet rod so I can target both species at the same time.

The other outfit I use is a 9ft 9wt. My personal favourite is the Mackenzie FX1 Salt rod. I have a few different lines that I use on this rod. Mostly I use a Rio Outbound Short coldwater line in intermediate and I also carry the full float in the same line (for surface flies). Another line I use is an OPST shooting head with various density tips. I find this line great for really big flies.

The majority of the time I am using the 9wt is for casting larger flies and or fishing over rougher ground. I also use it in estuaries in channels with a strong current.

Crafty Flies for Bass

Tied up a batch of sea bass flies for a friend the other day.  I started with some deceiver type flies like the one below.

bass 5

Then I tied a few larger flies along the lines of the hollow semper.  The thing with most saltwater flies is they never really look like baitfish when they are dry.  But try running the tap on them for a few moments and then look at them when wet.  The transformation can be astounding and this is when these flies come to life.

bass 3

Many saltwater flies like those above are tied with bucktail.  This is a great material but you can tie some with softer materials too.  I also tied my friend a few flies using Craft Fur.  Despite appearances, there is nothing overly complicated in tying any of these saltwater flies.

craft fur 1

It is always a good idea to have some bright coloured flies for different light and water conditions.  Try something like the fire orange craft fur fly below!

craft fur 2