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#11900968 - 10/26/16 12:27 PM Saltwater fish can't be caught with a fly rod...
Froghunter Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 12/25/15
Posts: 119
That's the conclusion that I have come to. 5 trips,2 states,bloody fingers and over 30 hours on a rod to catch 1 6" trout. I have a good rod and a box full of the "correct" flies to use and nothing happens. I fished Seadrift here in Texas, fort Myers Florida and key largo in a state park within the past month.

I can fly fish ponds, lakes and rivers and catch fish all day long but add a little salt and I'm wasting my time. I'm frustrated to the point of considering selling my 8wt.

What am I doing wrong??????

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#11901136 - 10/26/16 01:47 PM Re: Saltwater fish can't be caught with a fly rod... [Re: Froghunter]
karstopo Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 05/22/16
Posts: 108
Loc: Brazoria County
That's a tough stretch of fishing. Are you fishing any particular type of structure? Reefs, grassy shorelines, beachfront, marsh drains, all of the above? Are seeing any sign of predator fish? Tailing, scared bait, birds working? Are you primarily wading? Boat? Have you fished with others nearby? Are they catching fish?

The last dedicated fly fishing outing I went on was not this past Saturday but the one before that. I was in a secondary bay on the upper Texas Coast. Tides levels were medium, light winds, and redfish were right up against a grassy shoreline and trout were near shell reef. I just stayed close to the shoreline and kept on the lookout for sign of fish or actual fish. Shoreline fishing I tend to keep moving until I spot activity. Then I try to get the pattern of what the fish is doing: is it moving down the shoreline, is it focused on one little stretch and circling around over and over? If it is the circling pattern, I'll stake out and try to cast in front of it when it appears again. If the fish are cruising and feeding down a shoreline, I'll paddle up ahead and try to stake out and lay the fly out in the path of the fish and strip when they come into range.

This past Saturday I was in a marsh with my daughter and we each had kayaks. I was more focused on getting her on fish and staying close to her than fishing. I did see a nice pod of reds and we paddled over and she pulled a slot from that ( dead shrimp) and caught a few other assorted fish later on in the morning. I did fly cast some and only managed a small flounder.

The order of fishing for me is try to spot actual fish or definitive sign of feeding fish. Hit a couple of shorelines or areas and keep moving slowly looking for anything promising. Mud boils, scared bait, bait clustered over submerged shell and avoid the areas away from shell. Days that nothing seems to be showing( I could have missed it) I will resort to fishing structure. Reef margins often hold fish especially with moving water. Gaps in reef with moving water are often good. Wind blown bay and marsh shorelines hold fish. Edges of channels and drop offs are good places to try. In some bays away from the major passes, tides can be weak. The best chance for moving water can be wind generated currents along a wind blow shoreline. I seldom ever just blind cast to unknown structure. Sandy spots in areas with marine grasses are good. Any minor depth change.

I don't know if this helps or if this is basically what you were doing. No fish or little fish days for me work like this. One, I see nothing promising to sight cast to and various structure yields nothing. I chalk this up to the fish just aren't there or aren't feeding. I'm Not sure how to fix the above scenario. There are other days the fish are there and feeding, I just mess up the stalk, the cast, use the wrong fly, or mess up the hook set, line management, the fight, something. Those days definitely happen to me, especially in the summer when it's really hot and uncomfortable or if it's really windy.

November has been a good month in my relatively short time of fly fishing. I picked up my first slot to hand at 28" in November 2013 and my best one to date landed (funny how that's played out). If Seadrift is anything like the areas around Brazoria County there ought to be redfish in the marsh and shallow bays and they are usually aggressively feeding. You may have just been at the wrong place at the wrong time on those previous trips.

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#11901337 - 10/26/16 02:49 PM Re: Saltwater fish can't be caught with a fly rod... [Re: Froghunter]
Froghunter Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 12/25/15
Posts: 119
Every one of those trips were wade fishing. I fished all the areas you mentioned even casting into panic stricken bait schools. However I think my biggest flaw is I'm 100% blind casting into murky water.(except Florida) I have yet to see a fish. What really eats me up is my sons are with me catching fish. I can switch to my bait caster and immediately start pulling in fish.

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#11901500 - 10/26/16 04:15 PM Re: Saltwater fish can't be caught with a fly rod... [Re: Froghunter]
karstopo Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 05/22/16
Posts: 108
Loc: Brazoria County
That's tough. What lures were working? I usually fish with conventional tackle guys. We've fished side by side, sometimes throwing to a very small zone, and will sometimes both catch fish at a similar rate, but sometimes one or the other does better. If they are doing better I try different flies or presentation. But you probably did that. I have some heavy tungsten beaded flies that I use if they are doing well slow bouncing jig heads off the bottom. A shrimp pattern and a mud minnow. I put a Pyrex rattle in the shrimp pattern to help in murky water.

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#11904321 - 10/27/16 10:11 PM Re: Saltwater fish can't be caught with a fly rod... [Re: Froghunter]
Meadowlark Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 11/04/04
Posts: 2869
Loc: East Texas
Originally Posted By: Froghunter
... However I think my biggest flaw is I'm 100% blind casting into murky water.(except Florida) ...


I fly fish saltwater a lot...but almost never blind casting.

IMO, the essence of saltwater fly fishing is sight casting. Beating the water blindly with fly gear just does not compare in efficiency, effectivity, and enjoyment to stalking your fish, making a great practiced presentation, executing the strip set and landing the fish.

It never gets old and is thrilling every time.

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#11904386 - 10/27/16 11:40 PM Re: Saltwater fish can't be caught with a fly rod... [Re: karstopo]
robert hunter Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 06/14/10
Posts: 3353
Originally Posted By: karstopo
That's a tough stretch of fishing. Are you fishing any particular type of structure? Reefs, grassy shorelines, beachfront, marsh drains, all of the above? Are seeing any sign of predator fish? Tailing, scared bait, birds working? Are you primarily wading? Boat? Have you fished with others nearby? Are they catching fish?

The last dedicated fly fishing outing I went on was not this past Saturday but the one before that. I was in a secondary bay on the upper Texas Coast. Tides levels were medium, light winds, and redfish were right up against a grassy shoreline and trout were near shell reef. I just stayed close to the shoreline and kept on the lookout for sign of fish or actual fish. Shoreline fishing I tend to keep moving until I spot activity. Then I try to get the pattern of what the fish is doing: is it moving down the shoreline, is it focused on one little stretch and circling around over and over? If it is the circling pattern, I'll stake out and try to cast in front of it when it appears again. If the fish are cruising and feeding down a shoreline, I'll paddle up ahead and try to stake out and lay the fly out in the path of the fish and strip when they come into range.

This past Saturday I was in a marsh with my daughter and we each had kayaks. I was more focused on getting her on fish and staying close to her than fishing. I did see a nice pod of reds and we paddled over and she pulled a slot from that ( dead shrimp) and caught a few other assorted fish later on in the morning. I did fly cast some and only managed a small flounder.

The order of fishing for me is try to spot actual fish or definitive sign of feeding fish. Hit a couple of shorelines or areas and keep moving slowly looking for anything promising. Mud boils, scared bait, bait clustered over submerged shell and avoid the areas away from shell. Days that nothing seems to be showing( I could have missed it) I will resort to fishing structure. Reef margins often hold fish especially with moving water. Gaps in reef with moving water are often good. Wind blown bay and marsh shorelines hold fish. Edges of channels and drop offs are good places to try. In some bays away from the major passes, tides can be weak. The best chance for moving water can be wind generated currents along a wind blow shoreline. I seldom ever just blind cast to unknown structure. Sandy spots in areas with marine grasses are good. Any minor depth change.

I don't know if this helps or if this is basically what you were doing. No fish or little fish days for me work like this. One, I see nothing promising to sight cast to and various structure yields nothing. I chalk this up to the fish just aren't there or aren't feeding. I'm Not sure how to fix the above scenario. There are other days the fish are there and feeding, I just mess up the stalk, the cast, use the wrong fly, or mess up the hook set, line management, the fight, something. Those days definitely happen to me, especially in the summer when it's really hot and uncomfortable or if it's really windy.

November has been a good month in my relatively short time of fly fishing. I picked up my first slot to hand at 28" in November 2013 and my best one to date landed (funny how that's played out). If Seadrift is anything like the areas around Brazoria County there ought to be redfish in the marsh and shallow bays and they are usually aggressively feeding. You may have just been at the wrong place at the wrong time on those previous trips.
^one of the best responses I've seen in a while!
_________________________

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#11905048 - 10/28/16 11:36 AM Re: Saltwater fish can't be caught with a fly rod... [Re: Froghunter]
Linecaster Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/23/06
Posts: 1064
Loc: Richardson TX
What Karstopo pointed out is basically fish structure which applies to most fishing situations.
_________________________


In the beginning God created. Gen. 1:1
All things were made by him and without him was not anything made. John 1:3

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#11906212 - 10/29/16 05:29 AM Re: Saltwater fish can't be caught with a fly rod... [Re: Froghunter]
karstopo Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 05/22/16
Posts: 108
Loc: Brazoria County
Originally Posted By: Froghunter
Every one of those trips were wade fishing. I fished all the areas you mentioned even casting into panic stricken bait schools. However I think my biggest flaw is I'm 100% blind casting into murky water.(except Florida) I have yet to see a fish. What really eats me up is my sons are with me catching fish. I can switch to my bait caster and immediately start pulling in fish.


If there were schools of panic stricken bait, I call that strong sign. I wouldn't call that blind casting, but whatever you call it, it's a great spot for trying flies. I fish this kind of sign in upper Texas coast murky water and generally do well casting to panicked bait. But after a few casts with no result, I'm usually thinking about trying something different fly pattern wise. But the bait is your target. If you can tell from where the bait is radiating from, that's where I put my fly. Sometimes you have to be very quick or risk losing the trail, so to speak.

I really don't know what structure y'all were fishing. I do know, like y'all were doing, that I fish with conventional tackle friends all the time and there are many places where the fish catching zone is very narrow. The fly or jig head with tail or plug or whatever they are using must be placed in a small targeted area. We have literally been staked out or anchored 20' apart and casting to a 20' zone or even less. Moving water, a hump of reef, a seam, a drop off. But it you are hitting your spots, the fly pattern is right on depth, color, size and movement, you get into a fish about every cast type of situation. There is nothing blind about that except you aren't actually seeing the fish until sometime in the fight. But there is skill involved in this. It's not just blindly flailing a fly rod around and hoping for the best. You have to understand how the water is moving, the bottom contours, how the predator fish likes to set up its ambush.

You can limit your casts to only an actual sighted fish. That really cuts down the casting you will be doing and your chances when you fish areas with water visibilties that hover around a foot much of the year. The fish are in murky water, they are feeding in murky water at least some of the time, they leave traces of their movements, they leave sign, they cause disturbances. Think of it as being a tracker on a blood trail or a posse looking for the bad guys. The clues are there.

I was with an accomplish tracker of elk. We took a walk in the elk inhabited woods. It was amazing the things he could see and point out to me that I might have otherwise passed by without notice. Some of my Neanderthal Knuckle-dragging lure chunking friends are fantastic trackers of fish. They see things and fish and sign that many others would paddle or wade right by.

There's blind casting and there's also being blind to all the great sign of fish around. Not calling anyone out on this. I know I miss fish opportunities ever time I'm out because I failed to see them or their trail. You can just go and only fish clear water places, but I know we have fantastic fish in our murky water, that I'm catching them on flies every season of the year and almost none of them because I'm just blindly slinging flies out into featureless water. Whatever success I have definitely isn't because I'm a genius with a fly rod. It probably isn't my flies, although I work hard at getting the weight, size, shape, color, and movement right. It getting out and really observing the water almost constantly looking for the signal and filtering out the noise.

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#11908416 - 10/30/16 04:10 PM Re: Saltwater fish can't be caught with a fly rod... [Re: Froghunter]
Orvis Houston Ben Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 03/24/14
Posts: 88
My biggest advice to people is that you have to pay your dues. I've spent a lot of time blanking out, when i first got started. When i lived in North Texas I spent most of the time off wading Ray Roberts for carp, I believe that fishery made me a much better wade fisherman.
You have to be quiet and cover water at a good pace to find fish.

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