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 2

By Capt. Doug Sinclair

Publisher's Note: If you missed Part 1 of Show Time, click HERE.

Weather closed down our attempts to finish the first 4-part-series in New Smyrna Beach. The Redfish segment was done - thanks to my good friend and fellow guide Capt. Denny Mialki. That was late October 2001. Thirteen inches of rain and two weather fronts turned the bite OFF! And for the next three weeks charters and hook ups were difficult.

"Captain!" came the voice over the phone. I knew it was Henry and I figured he had a new plan. It was early November and the trout were just starting to make their move onto the flats. We had clear skies and light winds. Perfect for saltwater fly-fishing. And, perfect, so I thought, for completing the shows.

"Mark Nickels (DOA Lures) can film with you. We will film him for trout in the morning of the first day. You can do the trout on fly in the afternoon. Then Day 2 morning you can do snook on fly and baby tarpon with JB (Brazelton of Redington) in the afternoon. This will be great because Mark has an Action Craft."

Mark and Blair Wiggins with a DOA Redfish

'Mark's got a new boat?' I thought to myself. Great!! I knew Mark had a Dolphin, which is unmistakablly Mark. However, I wasn't going to follow that one with Henry. He had a new plan, figured the weather component (an important issue) and figured how to get everyone to Stuart. We would meet at Rufus' place in Palm City, using it as a home base. Our schedules were kind of crazy. Mark would be coming up from the Everglades after filming a show for Addictive Fishing with Blair Wiggins, Henry would drive east from North Port, Chad would drive down from Jacksonville after filming an NBA game, and I would drive south from New Smyrna after my last charter.

Gray Mullet fly for early morning snook

I had all the equipment for the fly-fishing segments, plus JB would be bringing some new sticks from Redington. I packed the fly box with Gray Mullet, Redhead Mullet, and JB's Mullet and Hot Lips flies for use in top water applications. The KG Bucktail and Brent's Killer were reserved for bottom predators, mostly trout. Mark, of course, had everything he needed in the Dolphin, which was a floating experimental station for his lures.

Doug's Salty Muddler It all seemed so simple. Hook up the Trout on DOAs in the Morning. Do the fly-fishing show for trout in the afternoon. Mark would work as a spotter for the snook and baby tarpon on the next day and we would complete three shows in two days. Wow!

What could go wrong? Everything!

Day 1.

Led Zepplin came screaming over the radio at 4 am. I nearly hit the ceiling. I was startled. Immediately everyone in the cabin was up and getting ready for the shoot. Someone turned the coffee pot on and we went about our chores while it puttered and spit away on the counter.

The night before, we packed all the cameras in the truck and stoked up the chargers on the Lenco Trolling Tabs. The fly equipment was in the cabin and now it was transported to the boat along with other gear.

Back in the cabin, we slurped down our coffee and each grabbed a breakfast bar to munch on. Not a real hearty breakfast, but something to get us going. When you are filming a show, eating breakfast is the last thing on your mind.

Mark met us at the main lodge and headed north to a ramp on the east side of the Indian River just past the Nuclear Power Plant. Man you should have seen the security around that place. We finally arrived at the launch site, readied the boats, and we were off.

We motored south, past the power plant, to an area marked by approach platforms, part of the security surrounding that place. These platforms are spaced about 100 yards apart and serve as resting stations for tired pelicans.

Henry and Mark in my Boat

At 5 am it was still dark on the river. We approached the towers carefully. There was enough light to make them out. We made a turn heading east into a small cove. The surface was busting with mullet. And, it looked like this would be our bonanza. The first hook up happened with a orange tail DOA shrimp. An 8-pound bluefish stretched Henry's line. He was really excited. An 8-pound blue on 8-pound line is a thrill on light tackle. Then there were more hookups. They came fast and furiously. Both boats with four lines stretched. These were mostly jack cravelle and more bluefish. But this was a good sign (?) to start the day.

Over the next three hours we continuously caught bluefish, spanish mackerel, jacks, ladyfish, flounder, mangrove snapper, redfish, pinfish and one pelican (which we captured and dislodged a new lure Mark was testing). Except for the flounder, all fish were released to the Indian River. By noontime our arms were ready to fall off. Not one trout. So we fished and fished and fished. After fishing about 40 miles of coastline on both sides of the river, we fished some more. We looked high and low for those trout. After all this was a "trout show". We couldn't find one trout. We fished HARD for 10 hours with no lunch break. I figure we caught and released more than 200 fish, mostly jacks in the 4 to 7 pound range. At 6 pm we headed back to the dock and figured we would do better on Day 2 for the Snook and Baby Tarpon.

The interesting thing is that retrieving a DOA Lure is very similar to retrieving a fly line. So I learned a lot about the DOA products and how easy they are to fish. They are irresistible to most fish. I'm sure it stands with trout although we never saw or caught one on either DOAs or Flies.

"JB, it's Doug. Are we all set for the Snook tomorrow morning?"

"Yeah, no problem. The plan is to launch just south of Stuart and head for Seawall A."

"Great!" Came my reply. And we headed for the cabins and a hot shower and some dinner. I was starved. Remember Murphy's Law? "If something can go wrong, it will."

I envisioned the hook ups of Snook the next morning and then the Baby Tarpon for the afternoon. I was excited. Stay tuned for Part 3, "The Snook and Tarpon Show."

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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