Fly Fishing Encyclopedia

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SALTWATER FISHING

The permit, Trachinotus falcatus, is found in the warm tropical waters of the western Atlantic, particularly the coasts of the Bahamas and southern Florida. Its habits are similar to the bonefish, feeding in the shallows on crabs and crustaceans as well as shellfish and sea urchins. They are known to grow to over 50lb, so a robust fly fishing set up is called for including a reel with substantial backing. They are considered one of the finest light-tackle game fish and their deep body construction ensures that they will fight exceptionally hard. Use similar fishing equipment to that required for bonefish.

The common factor in all fish of interest to the marine fly fisher is that they move into the shallows to feed. This is normally at high tide, so the fishing is limited to a few hours each side of that time. Most successful locations are already well known by reputation, so a few questions in the area angling shop should set you on the right path. Look for areas with a shallow sandy coverage for most fish, preferably with an eel grass or similar flora. Other species will be found in the sluggish shallows in estuaries.

There are some additional precautions to bear in mind when saltwater fly fishing. You must realise that your favourite fly rod and reel may not be designed for use in a saltwater environment. The furnishings of some rods and the mechanics of many fly reels are definitely not designed to withstand the corrosive effect of sea water. Always ensure that the equipment you are intending to use is rated for this harsh situation. You can't just take your favourite 7 weight fly rod to the seaside and expect it to cope with what is likely to come along. I watched my favourite rod break in half when I tried it! It was never designed to hold on to the thirty pounder that was on the other end. That's the expensive way to learn from your mistakes.