"When I'm with the one I'm with, I love the one I'm with." Or
so says an old song. The same applies to fly fishing. When I'm
standing on a lovely trout stream with bugs in the air — and
sipping trout in the water — I couldn't think of anywhere I would
Or waist-deep in the salt, casting to elusive Pacific Salmon I
hope will be there ... another ball game entirely. But when I'm
there — I couldn't think of doing anything else.
Two different worlds.
How fortunate to have lived in places where trout were plentiful
and co-operative. And to have learned the techniques and casting
requirements to be successful.
Then we moved to the Pacific Northwest. Trout and resident
insects are not plentiful. We stopped fly fishing. It was not that
there are no trout. There are a few rivers (mostly steelhead
rivers) and lots of lakes. But what we were used to, and loved,
was moving water with a good trout population. Certainly not
available close to home or that easily accessible.
So we became fish-less in Seattle. Until a local fly-shop owner
talked me into teaching a fly casting class with him. I did not own a
fly rod larger than a 6 weight. That would not do, he insisted, and I
became the owner of a G Loomis 7wt. IMX. I also did not know
how to double haul. Another requirement.
Eventually my husband, JC, and I were fully outfitted for the
salt, and were out there casting with the best of them. And we
caught salmon. It is not the same as trout fishing, but it has it's
Saltwater fish are larger, faster, and stronger than their
freshwater cousins. And while our possible 'catch' is not as varied
as it would be in warm water, it is exciting.
What brings this to mind, is the-yet-another exposure to
saltwater fly fishing we had on our recent trip. We had spent a
week or so in the Bahamas, at Deep Water Cay chasing bonefish.
Wind, and cold weather did limit our success. Bonefishing is similiar
to dry fly fishing, in that you are sight fishing. Presentation and
stealth do count. It's a neat experience.
But once back in Floridia, we had an invitation to fish with
Captain Scott Hamilton. Some of you may recognize the name
from an article he did for FAOL on fly fishing for snook. (Scott is
also known to visit the Chat Room as BlueH2OFly.)
I must admit, I am a bit of a snob. Fly fishing in my mind is
small rods, floating lines and dry flies. The saltwater salmon fishing
we do really doesn't quite qualify as fly fishing. After all, we use
sink-tip lines, and very big wet flies. So why do I do it? Because it
Well, time for some more education! Now we are talking really
big rods — 12 weight — and even bigger, very wet flies. And you
know what? We had a blast! Scott is a terrific guide, gentleman,
infinitely patient, and a superb boatman.
And we caught fish. Beautiful big Jacks. Fighting, running,
tear-your-gear- up fish. We had doubles on at least twice. Scott
directed the action, boated and released the fish — and smiled on
cue for photos. What a trip!
It is fly fishing? Well, we used fly rods, fly lines, and flies. The
variety of fish available was huge. It for me, was the best part of
Am I hooked on fishing warm saltwater? You bet! More than
my local cold salt water? Well not when I'm here. Does it replace
trout fishing? Of course not. But ... and this is the big one, as fly
fishers we have wonderful opportunities to fish for a variety of fish
in lots of places. I don't mean just the trip of a lifetime to warm
exotic places, or the trek to Alaska for record salmon either.
How many varieties of fish do you have locally, or within
comfortable driving distances you have not fished for? Are there
nasty, toothy fish out there that would give you one heck of a
fight? How about smaller lake fish? Or pan fish?
Expand your world. Learn new techniques. Find new challenges.
You could be missing some great fun. ~ LadyFisher
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