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.

Fly Fishing Expert Drowns

By Capt. Doug Sinclair, New Smyrna Beach, Florida

"A well-known fly-fishing expert and guide died yesterday when he and a client fell into the waters off Edgartown, Massachusetts. Kenneth Schwam, 46, was dragged under water by a current and drowned off the Fuller Street Beach in Edgartown, as he was attempting to return to shore," according to Edgartown Police. "The unnamed client made it to shore and called police." This is a very sad situation and one that may have been avoided.

For the better part of three years I've watched fly anglers brave the surf in search of saltwater game fish. It utterly amazes me. The risks that are taken just to get that line a few more feet into the Atlantic is scary. I often wonder if they really could learn to use that Spey rod well they wouldn't even need to get there toes wet. Properly executed casts with a Spey rod can shoot line more than 150 feet. You can't do that with conventional spinning gear. I know you are saying, "Who is he kidding." Well, I have seen Lefty and Nick do this many, many times. It is all technique. Hey, I'm getting a little off the topic here.

Wading precautions applies to all surf-fisherman, not just fly anglers. Never, never, never under estimate the power of the surf, especially undercurrents and in Florida our rip currents. Rip currents are caused by water rushing down channels created between sandbars only empty into a major channel leading back to the sea. Old Salts refer to these as "holes". It is where all the baitfish will be sucked along, while the predators wait for the bait to coming flying by. Like a natural chum line.

An angler, or swimmer, can rarely swim against this current. It's impossible to swim against. And, result in many deaths each year. Remember the article on "Friend or Foe?" Respect the Ocean.

Let's talk a minute about waders. There are many brands and there is a great range in prices. In Florida we use breathable waders. Principally because the water is hot. Our surf temperatures can be in the high 80s, so insulated waders are not a good idea. In areas where the water is colder, (anything below 65F degrees will cause hypothermia) insulated waders are used.

I personally don't like waders. All I can think about is this large tube where water can collect and if enough goes in there, well you figure it out. Most chest waders have suspenders. Yup, to keep them up. Most chest waders come with a belt. I see anglers out all the time, but without a belt. The principal around having the belt is, if you fall in your legs will float, because the belt keeps the water out, and the air and rubber provides floatation. But if the upper part of your body is heavier than your feet, the only part of you on top of the water will be your feet. So that part I don't really understand.

The best advice is: BE CAREFUL! If you are going to wade fish, don't let the water get higher than your thighs. And, if you are going to hop across sandbars be sure you have a tide chart, watch, and the common sense to return to the beach before the tide comes in and traps you were you don't want to be.

A word from the LadyFisher here, she tells me the tide change in the Pacific Northwest can be as much as 13 feet! And yes, the tide currents set up channels there too. Fish are not more important than your life. BE CAREFUL!

Practice Catch & Release and don't teach your trash to swim ~ Doug ~ Doug Sinclair

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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