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.

Keeps on Ticking

By Capt. Doug Sinclair, Grantsboro, NC.

It was June and the rains pelted us each day with no let up. How much could this old ground hold? The soil in North Carolina's Coastal Plain is best for farming because it holds moisture. It is a composite of decayed vegetation, deep black topsoil mixed with layers of yellow clay. You'll find drainage ditches just about everywhere. They serve two purposes. They drain off the access water that eventually finds its way into the Neuse River. And, it solves the problem of mosquito infestation which is nowhere near what I grew up with in Mosquito Lagoon.

Running charters in this weather is pretty bleak. There is so much fresh water that our saltwater species act lethargic and won't bite anything, let alone a fly. So naturally some time can be spent replenishing those fly stocks. One thing I have found is that the Borski Slider works as well in these waters as it did in New Smyrna Beach. In fact, it worked so well in a couple of creeks that we limited out almost every day on Flounder. But specs and redfish wouldn't touch it and it got me thinking about what Nicky Adams said one day.

"Why don't they make fly patterns like MirroLure colors?"

Of course my immediate response was something like, "well we have these rules for how flies are tied." Horse poopy! He stumbled on an idea that I should have discovered myself. The more I thought about this, the more it made sense. Think about the popular lure patterns that catch fish - why not!

My daddy used to use a Black/Orange lure called the 'rust bucket.' It worked about 99 percent of the time and it caught everything from Spanish to Redfish to Speckled Trout. "Walk the Dog!" he'd say to me. "Walk the dog."

I know it is hard to "walk the dog" with a fly, but it can be done. I have tied probably over 2,000 deer hair flies and foam head poppers for some outstanding popping action. These flies do similar things like leaving long bubble trails, noise and some of these poppers are so loud, they put the best lures to shame.

I tied so many flies one year that the ring on my Renzetti Traveler broke. I called Lilly Renzetti complaining about it. She asked me what size flies I was tieing. When I ever told her that I tied everything from #4s to 7/0 she gasped. "That vise is only made for hooks up #28 to 4/0." Oops! I came to find out that I was tieing flies that were too big for that vise, but I still like it anyway. That vise is light and the best in my opinion. Sympathetic to my whining, Lilly sent me a Cam for my traveler - now I was in heaven. It is just one beautifully designed vise.

My old Renzetti is now 6 years old and still ticking. I have tied another 700 flies since June. The greatest revelation came from Nicky and I found that 5 color patterns will work on most game fish in Eastern Carolina from the Neuse River to Harker's Island. These flies work great for everything from large mouth bass to Albacore. Now that is saying a lot for a fly. My favorite is the Nicky Chicken.

This fly is tied in three versions:

  • Floating

  • Submerged

  • Sinking

The color patterns are shown here in the submerged, BigEYE patterns. The flies, except for the submerged version, are relatively easy to tie. The sinking is the easiest because the dumbbell eyes are collared with large ice chenille. The Floating flies are spun deer hair and if you know what materials to use this fly works extremely well when the fish are hitting top water lures, "Walk the Dog."

All of these flies are made from Polar Fibre Hair, except the Gold Albie and this is probably the easiest fly to tie with Frizzy Fibre and Gold Mylar Cord. The Conehead Nicky has a brass conehead for weight and ice chenille collar with a hot pink, white and electric yellow tail.

These flies really work and you'll have a great time tying them. Well, it is back to the Renzetti for me. Hey, it looks like the sun is coming out. Until next time. ~ Capt. 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.

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