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.

It's Show Time: Part 1

By Capt. Doug Sinclair

There are many fishing shows on the tube these days, many are quite similar going to the same spots, fishing for the same fish week in, week out. Well, in a few months everyone will get to see an all-new show called "Fishing the Flats".

Back in August, I started a correspondence with Henry Waszczuk, the host of Fins & Skins, a Toronto-based TV show that has been producing for almost 20 years and has one of the longest running fishing shows on television today. Fins & Skins Classic Adventures and Extreme Adventures lives up to its reputation as one of the most entertaining shows that has a unique mix between the sports celebrity guest, some great fishing and a round of golf. Known worldwide for tackling every species of game fish, each week Henry leads you on unforgettable journeys to the best fishing and golf destinations in the world!

I know that Al Campbell is reeling in his seat. He wrote me once when I told him about an idea to combine fishing and golf. He said, "You're bad. Very bad!" Then there was Castwell with his Gulp column. Wow! Someone else thought of this too. I'm vindicated! I started a program called "Flies & Birdies." Imagine taking strokes off your golf game by learning to fly fish. So here you are Henry's original program is called Fins & Skins. How cool can you get.

Who would figure this would develop into a great new friendship. So you can imagine it didn't take too much coaxing when Henry asked, "I'm doing this new flats show on FOX Sports Network. Are you interested?" Without really thinking about it, I said yes. Hey, 80 IGFA world records in Mosquito Lagoon should rate some publicity.

Host Henry and bonefish

'Fishing the Flats' focuses on only strong fighting shallow water fish in the warm waters of Mexico and Caribbean. Locations will include Florida (New Smyrna Beach's Mosquito Lagoon), Turks & Cacaos, Cayman Island and Bahamas. Host Henry Waszczuk explores shallow water fishing for some of the most dynamic saltwater fish that can be caught on rod and reel. Just sit back and watch high-jumping tarpon that weigh over 100 pounds, bonefish that scream every bit of line off reel, head-shaking snook, bull headed redfish that just won't give up, huge shark that will test any anglers skill and then there are the smaller yet powerful jacks, snapper, triggerfish and more.

Henry's Redfish This all sounded so cool. My excitement was undeniable. I called a couple of guides who specialize in saltwater fly fishing and asked them to join me as a team. Yes, they were excited. But, you know there is always a cloud lurking out there. Getting prepared for a TV special is no picnic. This type of special takes a lot of time, preparation, coordination of people, boats, sponsors, lodging, facilities, and so on. It took three months to get prepared for this project. And, it was loaded with obstacles including postponements due to weather, uncooperative fish, and some shortfalls on getting equipment. One of the days was devoted to spotted sea trout. We caught everything except trout including Spanish, Blues, Ladyfish (big ones), Jacks, Flounder, Jacks, did I say Jacks. Well, we caught Jacks and Jacks and Jacks. And when we couldn't catch any more Jacks, we caught more Jacks. Your arm can fall off from successive hook ups of 25-pound jacks on 8-weight fly rods. I'll tell you about it next time.

Another line gets stretched on a Jack Cravelle

Early into the project, Henry sent me his 'wish list.' He needed six reds, six trout, six snook, a barracuda, another large predator, some jacks (oh, did we catch jacks), a partridge in a pear tree and any other game fish that would make up the 13 shows. Let me tell you something about Henry that most people don't know. He will not cull fish for a show. Some specials show the host catching fish after fish after fish. Usually this is the same fish photographed from different angles, bait and lures put in different sides of the lips. It is because when you are doing a show and the camera is running everything has to work including catching fish, regardless of conditions. We sat under a tarp while it rained for three hours.

Henry's shows are live and the fish are caught when you see the clip. They are not stuffed in a live well for filming later. You want some pressure? Let me tell you how difficult it is to catch 6 HUGE redfish for a show. Then find and hook up the same number and size for the other game fish. First you have to find them. They don't ever seem to want to stay in one place. And, if weather conditions change, then so does the playing field. But we managed. The most cooperating day was when we filmed the Saltwater Fly Fishing Academyat Sugar Mill Country Club in New Smyrna Beach. We had 20 students all whaling away with lines. Casting into the ponds. It was beautiful. Imagine 20 Redington Rods and Reels, of course out of sync, but casting nonetheless.

Students at Sugar Mill CC

As usually our star students were catching bass and specks. No hitches there. No pressure either. Just a relaxed afternoon on the casting range. Nobody noticed the FOX Sports Cameraman Chad Breedlove. That was on Saturday and the day before we were startled by the news that our boat manufacturer had sold the boat to be used for the filming. But, on a moment's notice and one call, I placed to Hal Chitham, Hells Bay Boat Works in Titusville saved our butts by providing us with two boats.

Sunday afternoon we attempted to film the redfish sequences and were able to capture some in the northern part of the lagoon, but not enough to make a show (remember the wish list). On Monday, Capt. Denny Mialki was the featured guide and rounded out completed hookups and releases of more than 9 redfish. That's when the front pulled in. Like someone shutting off the lights the bite was gone. Figure if four guides including the host are fishing REALLY hard for 5 hours and can't hook up, then no one can hook up. Now it was Denny who saved our hinnies.

Monday afternoon was put on hold due to weather. We would resume on Tuesday. On Tuesday the front moved in and the fishing was off for the next week and a half. So we had to reschedule everything.

Variety is the key to the success and popularity of Henry's ongoing TV productions. Man, did we have variety. Wait till you here about our next sequence filming. I guarantee you are in for some great fishing adventures. Henry has traveled the world and in this series, he highlights the top fishing and golf destinations. He has also been known to catch some pretty big fish too!

Stay tuned. There is more to come in Part Two. 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. Doug is also a Sponsor here on FAOL.

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