Welcome to Salt Water Fly Fishing

Welcome to Fly Fishing The Salt! If you are just discovering the joys of fly fishing the salt (or salt chuck as some call it) here you will find information to steer you in the right direction. Tips on what equipment to use, why, where and how to fish. And we will try to include a little inspiration to get you going. For the experienced salt water angler, there will be personal stories about real fishermen and their experiences, tips on what flies for which fish and techniques that work. Your stories and articles are also most welcome. Share the knowledge and adventure. Pass it on! This is for you.


That's Why They Call It Mosquito Lagoon

By Capt. Doug Sinclair, New Smyrna Beach, Florida

It was Sunday a couple of weeks ago when I received a call from David Di Girolamo. He was visiting his in-laws in Edgewater and wanted to book a charter. I do love those calls. This is great time of year to venture in the lagoon for reds and trout. I figured we could get an early start and be back before afternoon showers.

Trust old Mother-Nature to throw a wrench into our plans. All weekend it rained. Monday was the same thing. Tuesday was supposed to clear with thunderstorms in the afternoon. David called and asked if I could pick him and Beth up at the Hacienda del Rio Boat Dock, which I hesitated on but agreed to. This dock put us 1 mile north of River Breeze Ramp and 4 miles from Georges Bank in Mosquito Lagoon.

Actually Mosquito Lagoon's boundaries run north to Government Cut, so theoretically we could go another half mile north and cut through Blue Hole and fish a big circle east and then back through the mangroves to Georges. I don't normally take this tact because the lagoon has a tendency to start getting choppy around 11 am. But the plans were made and we would do well as long as Mother-Nature would cooperate.

My other concern were the insects, mosquitoes and no-seeums. Most of the time I worry about no-seeums because they bite and they are extremely annoying. They are just the insect to ruin an otherwise great fishing day. Most anglers who venture south to fish our backwaters don't realize the magnitude of our insect population.

In the old days we just doused ourselves with anything containing DEET. You would smell like rotten fish and even the dogs would steer clear. Only problem is that DEET will eat away at your fishing rods (the graphite ones - aren't they all graphite now) and lines. This isn't as much of a problem if you use your sticks once a year, but where guides use their rods everyday a build up of DEET can be expensive.

You won't find DEET in products on my boat. Up until three months ago you had to bear the bugs. Once you are running out on the water they aren't as bad as at the ramp. The other reason I don't keep products with DEET is that a lot of young kids go fishing with their parents, and a lot of new parents don't want to infect their infants. Such was the case with David and Beth. So it was a good thing that I was picking them up at their dock. They could see me motoring up the river and get quickly into the boat.

However a serious fact remains, West Nile Virus has been reported in every state east of the Mississippi River. Two horses in Florida have died and one man in Volusia County. The threat is real and we each have a responsibility to protect our charter clients and ourselves from contracting this some times fatal disease.

"DEET is one of the safest, most reliable products on the market. Researchers are constantly searching for new repellents and during the past 40 years, nothing has come close to DEET in terms of repellent efficacy against biting arthropods (insects and ticks)." Jonathan F. Day, Professor of Medical Entomology, University of Florida, Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory.

In 1951, The U.S. Government developed a poison called DEET that would ward off and in some cases kill insects on contact. That same year the EPA approved of its use (how convenient). DEET also kills grass, dissolves paint, and rots human flesh. A friend of mine told me that on his trip to Kenya, the guides said to put the DEET on their clothes but not on their skin. Obviously the concentration levels of DEET have a lot to do with their effectiveness. DEET is not a safe alternative to preserving our environment. It is hazardous to your health. "Induce vomiting if swallowed," the label says.

Bottom line - DEET is out! Just recently in Ormond Beach, Florida, a doctor and nurse developed an all natural alternative that mixes Vitamins F, A, C, E, Aloe Vera and lots of Citronella (a natural insect repellent - I have the stuff growing in my backyard) and Orange Oil. The other, and almost equally important function of this product is it is PABA free and provides protection from UVA/UVB and has an SPF of 30. I often wondered why they (the chemical companies) couldn't bottle citronella. Now they have. The product is called All Sport and it doesn't stain either.

A couple of months ago I started using ALL Sport and testing it in the Lagoon and Tomoka River, especially after a drenching rainstorm. It took about 10 minutes for the insect repellent to kick in. With a hint of citrus aroma - a pleasant smell, the product seemed to work well. I couldn't wait to test it on a sunny day, if it ever stopped raining long enough for the sun to appear. My trial period worked fabulous and now it was time to introduce All Sport to my unsuspecting clients.

David and Beth DiGirolamo

When I arrived at the dock, the mosquito swarms were light. I picked up David and Beth and we motored north to Blue Hole. I figured we could fish the oyster bar and maybe score on some snook or trout. After an hour and no takers, I moved us through some mangroves and out to the old Shipyard Channel, north of Government Cut. We fished the tail out of Cedar Creek and still no bites, but a lot of pushes were evident along the grass line. We headed out again and I noticed a thunderhead moving southwest from below Tiger Shoals. I thought that we might have a chance if I headed for Georges Bank. I got us up on plane and made the 5 mile run from Pumkin Point, south towards the Shotgun. I rounded the corner at the ICW and Marker 13A and headed south towards Marker 19. But the lagoon was starting to kick up its water so I turned around and headed back up the Shotgun for Pegg's Flat.

The wind was blowing out of the east and I would make a run up the flat and then drift back out. This worked for a while and the drift pace was perfect. I made small adjustments from the poling platform and we worked the edges from the back of the flat. I saw a couple of redfish but no trout, and no hookups. About half way down the flat the wind picked up. I looked to the east and was surprised to find a wedge of awesome storm clouds.

Concerned about our situation, instinctively I thought of where to get out of the weather. I thought seriously about taking them back, but the dark cloud mass was in the direction of Shipyard Channel and I didn't want to take them into the storm. There was another front just to the south. Finally I figured our best spot was the old slew across from Plantation Island and up against the west facing tree line. This would take the wind out of the picture and maybe a lay up out of harms way. The fish bite was off anyway. So we brought in the rods and we were under way again. I shot up the Shotgun heading northeast and then made the turn down the East Channel. At the second crab trap I made my swing into the slew.

The water was dead flat calm. The air was still. There was activity on the grass line. Hey the fishing was going to improve. And, the bugs were out in force. To keep David and Beth from getting eaten alive, it was time for the ultimate test of All Sport. After about ten minutes the product seemed to throw up an invisible shield. You could see them land on your arm and then take off. No one got bit and the location proved successful. The storms moved around us and the fishing was great. We caught some keeper Flounder and Trout. Beth made sandwiches and still no bugs came to feast on our parade. The sun felt good and with our combination sunscreen and insect repellent we were safe. What a great day after all.

Now it is your turn to try All Sport. All Sport has all the Fed approvals and also their patent on the formula. They went through the approval cycles fairly quickly - 3 years. You can check out their website at http://www.allsport-health.com or contact Dean Tate at 386-673-5252. Tell them Capt. Doug sent you. I know that the product is available at Rudy's of Lake Ontario in Oswego (NY), Magic Outfitters in San Antonio (TX), or John B's Fly Shop in Stuart (FL). Way to go All Sport!

Protect yourself from the sun and insect borne diseases. And, please don't teach your trash to swim. ~ Doug Sinclair

About Doug:

Capt. Doug Sinclair has relocated from New Smyrna Beach, Florida to Grantsboro, NC. He specializes in fly-fishing and light tackle charters. Doug charters the Coastal Carolina area of New Bern or Oriental. Catch him on the web at www.flyfishacademy.net or call him at (252) 745-3500. Doug is also a Sponsor here on FAOL.


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