One thing I want to do before I depart this mortal coil.
Fishing the Salt Marshes around Charleston, SC on a warm January weekend.
Over on MidCurrent is an amazing piece of vintage footage of what may well be the first marlin recorded on fly fishing gear.
The clip includes some of the most incredible jump sequences ever captured on film.
A must see.
Saltwater fly-fishing gets a lot of press. An exciting branch of our sport it is too. Marlin on a fly rod - tuna, sharks and yellowtail kingfish too. But maybe all these stories of going toe to toe with big game fish on the specialist gear required, rather than encouraging people into this sport, has actually discouraged them?
This may be especially true when many articles talk about complicated leader set-ups and the like. Most of this stuff is about complying with the rules to register record fish. If you are not chasing records, or fishing in a contest, none of these rules apply.
Here is some good news – just as in all other aspects of fishing – there are horses for courses. Fact is the majority of fishermen have never, and may never, go fishing for big-game fish, whether with big-game fishing gear or on a fly rod.
In fact it is highly likely that the majority of big-game fishermen have never and will never chase big-game fish with a fly rod. Fishing for big-game fish with a fly rod is a specialised branch of a sport that is already specialised.
Salt water fly-fishing is not necessarily about catching big-game fish on fly rods: for most, it is about catching exciting fish like kahawai, trevally, snapper and smaller yellowtail kingfish on fly rods.
Here is some even better news – the gear for catching these exciting fish can be the same gear that you could use to catch trout as well.
Here is what you need to chase snapper, kahawai, small kingfish, trevally, and the like in salt water.
There is a good article on setting the hook in Shallow Water Angler. “Most of us work so hard on our fly-casting fundamentals that closing the deal once a fish takes the fly seems an afterthought. How many times have you heard a fellow fly fisher bemoan a botched hook-set after a perfect presentation or a hair-raising strike? It boils down to poor fundamentals—how you stand, where your rod-tip is, and what you do with your line hand.”
While this story is primarily aimed at saltwater fly-fishing anglers the sections devoted to striking with the rod-tip close to the water and pulling back with the line –hand is great advice for all fly-fishers in fresh or saltwater. I have been a strong advocate for this method of striking.
The one divergence that a fresh water angler may have with that recommended in the article is that the author recommends pointing the rod-tip at the fly, and this is good advice where current is not usually an issue. But in freshwater where currents can bend the line, the rod should be pointed in the direction the line is coming off the rod-tip. If the rod is not pointing in the direction of the line you run the real risk of just lifting slack line off the surface of the water and not setting the hook.
The kahawai is a truly wonderful sportfish found only in New Zealand and Australia (where it is often called ‘salmon’ for no obvious reason.)
I have over the last few weeks spent some time chasing kahawai on fly fishing and light spinning gear and re-igniting my respect for the fighting qualities of this fish. (Between dodging the almost never ending run of strong winds that have dogged our Spring and Summer.)
For the full story on this fish head to the link