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.

Watch That Line

By Capt. Doug Sinclair

"You aren't watching that backcast."

"Yes, I am."

"Then you saw that Osprey drop the mullet."


Jerad looked back quickly to see the Osprey. Just six feet off the water it dropped a huge mullet from its talons. The splash was evident as the bird swung upward above the water. This was a rare sight. One I'd never witnessed. The fish must have been too heavy. The timing was perfect.


How critical can you get of a 14-year old fly angler? Not to critical. Dennis and I taught Jerad to double haul a 9-wt Redfly. He has become our club's youngest member and one of the most dedicated for his age. Once after picking up some shirts that his mom embroidered for our club, he asked to see me fly cast. I picked a four-piece Redington I always carry in my truck. After stringing it, I started doing steeple casts over their roof and out between two palm trees. At that moment Jerad knew he would be a fly fisherman. But his mom wanted to be sure this wasn't a fad.

That was on a Saturday. I gave him one lesson in his yard and let him borrow the rod. Three weeks later, after a visit from Dennis and another lesson and countless hours reading books from the library, I was surprised to see him double hauling 80 feet of line. He wanted this so badly that he read books, watched videotapes, and improved his comprehension skills so much that his school grades improved as well. I think Jerad's mom was pleased that 20 older fly anglers took responsibility for his well being and provided support as his surrogate father, giving him advice and such. Actually we were having just as much fun because Jerad reminds us of how we started in our youth, although Jerad is a lot better.

Watching the backcast

When Jerad got really good, he also got a little sloppy, like the rest of us. One thing about him, he has taught his friends about fly-fishing, fly-casting, and fly tying. Remember all the leftover fly tying gear I Willed to JC? Well I gave it to Jerad. I hope I said he was a natural, because he is. I was there when he caught his first spotted sea trout and placed fourth in the One Fly Tournament. His eyes lit up like lighthouse beacons. Jerad was on cloud nine for weeks. Then we started a group of junior fly casters. Since then he has been out fishing everyone including boating a nice snook last week.

His interest in our sport is what clubs are all about. Bringing a new generation of anglers to learn the skills and experiences of us old farts.

"Dennis doesn't watch his back cast."

"His neck bothers him," I said.

"My neck doesn't bother me," replied Dennis.

"Then you should watch your backcast too."

Some novice casters think that watching the fly line as it travels behind them is "cheating" or marks them as beginners. Most experienced casters watch their backcasts. Watching the fly line helps you to understand the rhythm of a cast, and it lets you see what you are doing wrong, or what the wind is doing to the line.

Watch the tip of your rod and the follow the first haul (left hand) back to the cork and then haul again (double haul) coming back on the forward cast. That's all you need; one back cast and one forward cast, hauling in both directions. Let the rod do the work.

Catch/Release: it's the right thing to do. ~ Doug.

About Doug:
Doug is a USCG Licensed Captain and fly-fishing guide from New Smyrna Beach, FL a member of CCA, FFF, AFF, APCA, FOWA, the Action Craft Saltwater Team, and the Orvis and Redington Pro-Guide Program. He can be reached at 386-679-5814.

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