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.

Fishing Fever - Part III
New Bern's Speckled Trout Action

By Capt. Doug Sinclair

Historic New Bern, North Carolina
When you drive from Smithfield to New Bern on I-70 you'll pass some nice countryside and you'll cross the winding Neuse River many times until you reach the beautiful city of New Bern. This city is named after Bern, Switzerland and the exit ramps from the highway are adorned with large black bear symbols. These are also evident in town where storefronts and shops display flags with black bears on a field of gold and red.

The city is edged as a peninsula flanked to the east by the Neuse River and to the South and West by the Trent. The downtown area is a must see with it's historic district, the Tyron Palace, many hotels and B&Bs on Pollock Street with direct access to the water, a variety of outstanding restaurants and the most friendly people anywhere, and that's an undisputed fact.

Founded in 1710, New Bern was settled by Swiss and German adventurers led by Baron Christopher de Graffenried from Switzerland. Royal Governor William Tryon made this seaport the colonial capitol. His restored 18th-century capitol and residence, Tryon Palace, dominates a thirteen-acre garden complex that includes several historical landmarks in the heart of the city.

Sun Rise on the Neuse

A major port and trading center in the 1800's, New Bern was captured and occupied by the Union Army after a fierce battle on March 14, 1862. New Bern has three historic districts with homes, stores, and churches dating as far back as the early 18th century. In fact, there are 36 individual listings and more than 150 sites included in the National Register of Historic Places.

New Bern's colorful history includes many fascinating facts. The least considered is the fabulous fishing. With all this water, it is understandable how boating and fishing could be a great connector for people here. Access to the water is unbelievable. There are public ramps in Union Park downtown or Lawson Creek Park about a mile away, has two sets of 4 ramps each.

This is one of my favorite places to take clients. The Neuse and the Trent offer some awesome fishing for the fly angler. In the winter stripers (called Rock) and spotted sea trout (called specks) dominate the angling scene. These two predator fish are so abundant that I once I saw them so thick it seemed like you could walk across the river on their backs.

Greg Released 17 Trout in 3 Hours

From the Railroad bridge down to Goose Creek and across to Slocum Creek the speckled trout fishing is the best I've ever seen anywhere, except for maybe Louisiana. I was with a friend of mine on several occasions where we caught and released more than 100 speckled trout in a short 12-week period from mid-February to April. I caught more specs in 3 months than I ever have fishing in Florida over the past 10 years. These specs run about 2-4 pounds. They aren't as big as the Florida gator trout (5-8 pounds) but there are many more of them to catch. And, this speckled trout action repeats itself in the fall when the migratory fish make their way back up the Neuse into the creeks to spawn.

In the winter, the trout are down in about 4 feet or deeper. They rarely take flies or even lures at the surface. The flies that work best include the DS Fire Tiger, DS Croaker or DS Nicky. The DS Nicky fly was named for Nicky Adams of New Bern. A well-known local character and fisherman, Nicky's favorite lure is the Texas Chicken and he loves his Nicky fly as well. This fly is responsible for 95% of his hook ups and a favorite of mine. The fly is tied using green ice chenille and polar fibre hair. The flash is called Gliss'n Glow by Fishient. It is tied on C71SS-SS Mustad circle hook with a 30# Mason hard type weed guard. These flies are available from Custom Marine (www.nccustommarine.com).

DS Nicky tied on a 1/0 C71SS Mustad

Talk with any guide in the Sunshine State and they will tell you, the honest ones will, that catching 3-5 sea trout on fly on a charter is a great day. How does catching 15-20 compare? You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure it out. But the specs are not the only fish out there, as Bill Townsend of Maine found out on a 3-day charter with me in Mid-March. He caught and landed the most beautiful striper (rock). It was a 9-pounder (see Cabin Fever) that he caught on a 7-weight fly rod. This was an absolutely gorgeous fish. Rock are plentiful as well. Capt Fred Slann of New Bern took me to some of his choice locations. Whether you want specs or rock, the fly-fishing action is tremendous.

Next time we'll talk about the Redfish (puppy drum), Spanish, Flounder, more trout and rock, as we stage down the river towards Pamlico Sound.

Please don't teach your trash to swim ~ Doug.

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.

Previous Fly Fishing The Salt Articles

[ HOME ]

[ Search ] [ Contact FAOL ] [ Media Kit ]

FlyAnglersOnline.com © Notice