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.

The Outer Banks

By Jimmy Jacobs

Whenever saltwater fishing in North Carolina is mentioned, most anglers think immediate of the Outer Banks, which span Currituck, Dare, Hyde, and Carteret Counties. Stretching from the Virginia border southward along Bodie, Hatteras, Ocracoke, and Portsmouth Islands, then along the Core Banks to Cape Lookout, this 170-mile strand of barrier islands offers some of the most highly rated and best-publicized saltwater angling on the eastern seaboard. Whether you are surf-casting, wading shallow flats, or fishing from a boat at inlets, the Outer Banks provide plenty of opportunities for tangling with bull red drum, seatrout, flounder, striped bass, bluefish, and pompano. Although spotting a fly-caster in this area is a rarity, may of the locations with the best fishing are accessible to fly-fishermen.

Outer Banks

For anglers used to fishing other portions of the South Atlantic Coast, the Outer Banks do hold some surprises. While most other areas of the coast have palm trees and palmettos along the shore, on the Outer Banks the oceanside vegetation is composed of pine, cedar, and yaupon holly. The miles of windblown sand dunes and beaches on these islands are beautiful, but they are also desolate places. Finding a site to be along while fishing takes very little effort here, especially to the south of the community of Nags Head on Bodie Island. South of this point, with the exception of several small villages on Cape Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands, all of the Outer Banks are within the Hatteras or Cape Lookout National Seashore and remain undeveloped . Usually some walking is involved in reaching fishing sites, especially on the beaches. Be aware, however that crossing the environmentally sensitive sand dunes should only be done at designated walkovers. Violation of this rule can get you ca hefty fine anywhere on the Outer Banks.

The only road connecting the Outer Banks is two-lane NC 12, which is carried across Oregon Inlet from Bodie Island to Hatteras Island on the Hebert C. Bonner Bridge. When the road reaches Hatteras Inlet, however, a free state-run automobile ferry is the only connection to the northern end of Ocracoke Island. The ferry covers 5 miles of water and takes 40 minutes to make the crossing.

Once you are in the village of Ocracoke at the southern end of that island, your links back to the mainland are via a couple of toll automobile ferries. One makes the 2 1/4 hours to the southwest to Cedar Island and the mainland via US 70. Making reservations in advance for either of these is a very good idea, particularly during the summer vacation months. Otherwise, since there are very limited accommodations on this part of the Outer Banks, if the ferries are booked up you could face a very long drive back to the north to get off the islands.

Weather conditions need to be considered when planning a fishing trip to the Outer Banks. From blazing summer heat to frigid northeast gales in the winter, this shoreline is one of extremes. Storm warnings should be heeded here, whether they are for winter gales, tropical squalls in the spring or late-summer hurricanes. The Outer Banks are no place to be caught off guard by ugly weather!

Fly-Fishing the South Atlantic Coast

Obviously, given the inconvenience of travel and problems with the weather, the fact that anglers flock to this part of the Old North State's coast suggests that the fishing must be very good. It is a suggestion that proves to be right on the money! ~ Jimmy Jacobs

Credits: Excerpt from Fly-Fishing the South Atlantic Coast by Jimmy Jacobs, published by BackCountry Guides, a division of the Countryman Press, Woodstock, Vermont. We appreciate use permission.

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