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.

Sight-Fishing Waters
The Surf

By Alan Caolo, Rhode Island

Sight-fishing beaches are spectacular. They come in many sizes but most often they are long - interlocking land and sea for miles with restless surf. The in unquestionably the most challenging environment in which to sight-fish. It is also the most exciting and a consistent producer of trophy stripers.

Ideal sight-fishing beach

Sight-fishing beaches are perfect for wade-fishermen. Their direct contact with the open sea ensures surf, clean water and an intertidal zone, all elements for making them productive sight-fishing beaches. Working from a skiff here is both ineffective and unsafe. Wading is the only way to effectively stalk your quarry and maneuver in this dynamic environment while making complex presentations to fast-moving targets.

The surf is an exhilarating, high-skill environment for sight-fishers. This is perhaps the most athletic fly-fishing there is. Fishing the surf often calls for miles of brisk wading, both out of the water in soft sand and in knee-deep wash. Occasionally, anglers may remain stationary for long periods by posting-up, but more often they burn calories and they're not afraid to get wet. Unlike other sight-fishing waters, anglers frequently spot fish well beyond casting range and are able to successively reposition themselves for several presentation to the same fish.

The surf is by far the most sensitive sight-fishing environment to adverse natural and human influences. In addition to the usual factors of wind, sun and water clarity, beaches are also at the mercy of the open sea through incoming waves and by widespread human activity. The pristine features that make a beach a sight-fishing beach are the same ingredients that make these shorelines ideal for beach-goers of all sorts. If the surf has a pitfall it is its vulnerability to the ocean, weather and excessive human activity.

Bathers are usually unaware of the stripers around them, which often feed around their legs and feet. These swimmers are understandably not fond of hooked lures being cast in their direction and hence they pose an obstacle for fly-fishers. A continuous stream of pedestrians along the water's edge adds yet another variable that anglers must remain aware of as far as the backcast is concerned. Sight-fishing on popular beaches at the height of the season may be more bother than it's worth, especially on beaches that cater to sunbathers and discourage fishermen during the day. Exercising your right to fish in public waters below the high-tide line (that is the law in most Northeast states) on state-run or privately maintained beaches where life guards are on duty is generally more hassle than it's worth however. These beaches are far less crowded in the off-seasons of June and September when the fishing is perhaps best anyway.

Fishable swell

Above all else, it is important to be constantly aware that the Northeasts' spectacular beaches are for everyone. Anglers must keep this in mind, regardless of where and when the fish show up. Prudent anglers who carefully work around bathers and beach-walkers are rarely bothered and instead they are often cheered by galleries of fascinated onlookers when they hook, play and release a trophy striper. When beaches become so crowded that fishing becomes frustrating it is a wise anglers who elects to put the rod down and spend a day observing his quarry to better understand its behavior in preparation for another day. ~ Alan Caolo

Credits: Excerpt and photo from Sight-Fishing for Striped Bass Fly-Fishing Strategies for Inshore, Offshore and the Surf, by Alan Caolo, Published by Frank Amato Publications. We appreciate use premission.

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