SALTWATER FISHING ON FLY
Taking the first step to commiting to catching your first saltwater fish on a fly rod can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Saltwater fly fishing is a very intense sport and the Florida Keys may be the most challenging, but with the proper preparation it is also one of the most rewarding experiences in fishing, and that’s why I want to share some tips to help you prepare to catch your first fish on fly.
I think the number one best step for success is to find a guide that you feel comfortable spending the day with. Your first fish on fly is hard enough so you want to be sure that you are with a guide you are going to enjoy fishing with. Spend time on the phone with the guide and tell him exactly what you want to do. The most difficult thing for some people is to properly explain to your guide your talent level. Tell the guide exactly what your abilities are, and ask him what you should expect to be able to target with those abilities. It would be great to step on a skiff for the first time and catch a grand slam on fly, but that very rarely ever happens. That being said there are an amazing amount of species surrounding the Florida Keys, and many of them are extremely willing to eat a fly. There is no fish in saltwater that is not fun to catch. Start the day off with some of those fish that are a little less glamorous, but are aggressive eaters. This will not only boost your confidence but will help you get the kinks out.
My second tip starts way before your trip. This step is preparation. Guides do not expect you to be the best angler on the planet, but it is nice to have someone who has put in the time practicing, and is willing to learn throughout the day. Learn to double haul very well. This will allow you to make longer casts and do so quickly. Learn to cast with the fewest backcasts as possible. I much prefer a client that is a quick caster with fewer back cast, over an angler who can cast to backing. Of course accuracy is important and will make your day on the water much better. The more prepared the angler is, the smoother things will go and you will have the opportunity to catch many more fish.
ARTICLE BY CAPTAIN SHAFTER JOHNSTON