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By Ron Mc
JW FunGuy wrote:Yep, sorry I took a quick look and didn’t catch the dorsal fin. But to both, Damn!

I’ve stalked them, tied crab imitations, not nearly as nice as yours, watched them from 10 feet follow it, follow it...and find something else! I thought they were just meet eaters. Like I was offering veggie burgers at a barbecue cook off!

here's one that came home on white-chartreuse-olive hi-tie, marker 60 pass at LHL on a falling tide.
I'm fishing a Teeny TS-250 sinking line down and across in the current
Give me a river and a teeny line, and I'll turn it into fish - the pass, btw is about chest-deep.
It's also a lot less work to blind-fish a teeny line if the water is deep enough for it - one back-cast gets all your line speed, and shooting out 60-70' is no effort.

but yeah, when you're standing over them presenting a fly, black drum will reject a half-dozen presentations before they decide to eat one.

The Green Island spec on the previous page, we were catching big sheepshead on the flat before we got there. They're like UPS trucks on the flats trying to get back to deep water.
Last edited by Ron Mc on Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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By Angler
Lifelong Fly Fisherman here too. Love to tie my own too. Salt and Fresh Spring and Fall in the flats, and Summer time up high in the Rockies ;)

Love working the backwaters down in AP or marshes in GISP and a few different places in Galveston Bay and around Bolivar.

My fav rod for inshore and near shore salt is 9’ for 9 wt Loomis Full Wells and a Tibor Riptide Reel. Tie my own Bimini Tippet Leaders on floating Rio line. Fav Salt “Fly” is one I don’t make myself: The Dupree Spoon Fly (Horbley is close second). Also love to use Colorful deer hair and flash minnow imitations and weighted to get him to bob like a jig head for me on varied retrieves.

Freshwater is a different story...I love ALL my children ;)
Very fond of wild trout at higher elevations and willing to work for em. Like technical situations, gin clear water and long 6-7x leaders. Gotten fond of Hopper dropper setup but also love to dredge areas with heavier leader and big fuzzy weighted Woolly Booger’s to coax bigger trout.

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By Ron Mc
I have a soapbox about weighted flies, so sooner or later I'm going to climb on it.
Fly rods and fly lines weren't made to throw them - fly casting was invented to pull along a weightless, air-resistant fly.
Aside from the fact they hinge when you're trying to cast (don't hit yourself in the head), heavily weighted flies yo-yo up and down when you strip to retrieve, which bait never do (excepting earthworms) - ok, and shrimp evade in every direction.
Instead, baitfish hover at one depth and evade side to side, like a dog-walking lure.
People who are discovering Tobin's TSL grasswalker on their bait rigs are also discovering they're getting literally 10 times as many strikes with this lure compared to any other - because it acts more like a baitfish than all the lead they're used to throwing.

Even sight-fishing big specs over green lights in a canal using the smallest wildeye shad, they will not bite the lure jigged up and down, but will eat it if you walk it side-to-side.
BTW, submerged canal lights are a great place to watch the action and learn how all baits swim - shrimp, crabs.

I tie my flies with no more weight than bead chain (which is for keeling hook-up), and fish them on sinking lines - the combination behaves more like real bait, are sensible to cast, and catch many more fish. The first thing you discover - immediately - with a sinking line is they slice the wind, cast farther and with less effort than a floating line.
In the water, they make the straightest possible vector between your rod tip and hook point. Another advantage to sinking lines, you fish 5' leaders.
Subsurface, you're always fishing by feel - the smaller diameter of sinking lines gives them less friction in the water, so fish don't feel the line resistance, and you feel the fish better.

In the salt, I only use a floating line for the skinniest redfish water - this is what they're made for and make sense. Farthest backwater, grass. I use nylon leaders to float, and fluoro tippet to drop the fly to the grazing zone.

Knee-deep to waist-deep, I'm fishing a slime line (intermediate or neutral density sinker). Slime lines are perfect for hovering a no-lead fly in a zone just above mid-column, pretty much independent of your retrieve rate.
Deeper than that, or strong current, I'm fishing a teeny line.
Just a rat red, but here's the slime line and kicking shrimp fly in the thigh-deep hole by the duck blind on LHL.
Slime lines are also transparent.

Again, if you're trout fishing right, lead in your rig makes sense, because you're always pulling up. But in the salt, you're always pulling across the water column.

That said, I use Teeny T130 for bottom-bouncing big rainbows in wide slow water - same technique I use for white bass and flounder.

T130 is the ultimate stealth line for sight-fishing big river bass.
I've watched them follow the mudballs of a bottom-bounced fly on the flagstone and slam their head sideways on the bottom 4 or 5 times trying to eat my cats whisker.

Same as nymph fishing with lead, when you're fishing a sinking line, you begin every cast with a roll cast, to bring everything to the surface before you lift it to back-cast (though usually nymph fishing, I don't back-cast at all and just fish the roll cast)
Last edited by Ron Mc on Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:51 am, edited 2 times in total.
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By JW FunGuy
Ron you can jump on your soap box any time! :D that was great.
So how many rods do you carry? Or do you just decide what method you are going to fish that day and seek out the appropriate water?
The sinking line makes perfect sense, plus I, like most, hate casting lead. I have a sinking line for trout that is only a 6wt. I guess I could wait for a calm day and play with it. I probably should and that would guarantee that I would finally hook into that monster I have been waiting for, a 6wt rod and an old Orvis Battenkill Mark IV reel! Yeehaw!
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By Ron Mc
Watch jimteeny.com for T- and TS-series lines to restock - supposed to happen this month.
I would recommend a TS-150 for your 6-wt, and you can also use it in freshwater.
Also buy their 4' T-series tapered leaders and add your own fluroro tippet.
Also note, teeny lines barely take 1/4" on a spool, so you need a lot of backing.
The way these lines slice through the wind, you don't care. Take one to the LHL gazebo, cross the channel, stake out, wade, and fish the marker 60 pass on a falling tide - if you want to blind-fish a fly rod and impress your friends, this is how to do it.
If there's no tide current, you'll still catch every nursery trout that lives there.
also fish the Aransas channel slope - count down depth before you begin your retrieve.

From a kayak, I plan the day in detail by the tide, wind, and structure.
I carry two rigged rods - one may be a fly rod - maybe not.
In my bow hold I have a 3-pc fly rod and 3-pc baitcaster, to stake and rig as needed.
I carry a spare baitcast reel, and carry fly lines on spare reels or spools. I always have floating line, slime line, and TS-250.
Paddling out, if a fly rod is rigged, it's rigged with a slime line, because I can get the 5' leader out quickly, unless I know I'm heading straight to skinny water. Usually, though for skinny water, I'll stake-out the boat and wade, which also lets me change line to a floating line if I need to.

Note on the teeny line in saltwater, you have to use a nail knot. I use a foot of maxima leader butt with a loop.
This lets me loop on teeny tapered leaders, or my tooth-fish leader, which is more butt (4') with 2' of 12-lb braided wire tied with an allbright knot. Use the latter for jacks and mackerel, and simply attach my fly with a crimp sleeve - not as elegant as bimini twist on single-strand wire, but it takes 3 seconds.

for my freshwater T130, I use a zap splice - glides over every bottom
Warmwater, I'm always fishing the T130, unless I switch to a floating line + slider.
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By JW FunGuy
Thanks for that Teeny explanation. When you talked about it earlier I was thinking “what? A smaller line than the rod calls for?” I don’t get out much! :D
Those actually look really interesting. The TS-250 says it’s for a 6-8wt. So I could cast it on my 6 at Sage and my 8wt salt rod and it would cast the same? The site doesn’t really go into much detail.
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By Ron Mc
oh yeah - TS-250 is a rocketship, but it does sink faster than the TS-150.
TS-250 will load a little slower on your 6-wt, and load a little faster on your 8-wt, but you'll love casting/shooting/fishing it.
It's a little much for our rivers, but good in a strong tide current for anything over waist deep, and good for lake fishing.
Killer for schooling fish jumping shad on the lake - what I originally bought my first fly rod for.
It's a great choice for white bass and stripers in a big river.

I use my Teeny T130 in hill country rivers everywhere from riffles (rod tip up) to bottom-bouncing.

On my Sage RPLX 7, in the surf with a shooting basket, I've shot the TS-250 140' including 25' of backing - on every cast that day - I tie clean Allbright knots.
This is also using one last extra false cast just for line speed.
Take it to the jetties. Fishing from a boat back toward the jetties.
I've targeted mid-column spanish mackerel in blackwater at the jetties, where we could see the sand bottom 25' down - could also see a freight-train of smacks making a sine-wave through the full water column. In that case, counting down to let the line sink for 15 seconds before beginning a chernobyl strip retrieve - rod under arm, continuous strip with two hands.

Teeny T-series lines are spliced shooting heads. When the line changes color in your hand, you're in the running line, and can't false cast out any more line (the cast will collapse if you try, because the running line can't turn over the head), but you shoot the line from there (as if you were casting weight on a spinning rod).
I've never watched the Teeny video that comes with the line, but it will describe that.
Learning this line will also make you cast better with any line, because it will make you understand how to load the rod and when to shoot the line.
The numbers are the grain-weight of the shooting head - 24' on the T-series lines, and 30' on the TS-series.
I've stood looking at my line as it was shooting through the guides and wondering if it was ever going to stop.

I retrieve it with the rod tip in the water. When you feel a bump, lift the rod. If it's the bottom, you'll lift the line off the bottom. If it's a fish, you're hooked up.

Here's a deep wide spot on the Guadalupe with a nice current where I swing wet flies for rainbows on the T-130 -
- you can just make out the submerged gravel bar tailout - my line is pointing right at it.
Just upriver from that is a big still hole where I strip streamers on the T-130
Last edited by Ron Mc on Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:35 am, edited 2 times in total.
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By JW FunGuy
Ha! I know exactly where that is. I live across 306 from there and walked there yesterday with my dog!
Do you get commission on those lines? You should. :D
Thanks again for all your information. I’m hoping to get out next week, I’ve got a huge case of Cabin Fever!
By Denny1
JW FunGuy wrote:I was just curious as to how many of y’all fish salt with a fly rod? I hear a lot about various baits and lures but not much about fishing with a fly rod.
I know we have a section on fly tackle, tying etc but that is not necessarily saltwater related. So chime in and be counted! :D

Count me in as a salt and freshwater fly fisherman.
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By karstopo
Denny1 wrote:
JW FunGuy wrote:I was just curious as to how many of y’all fish salt with a fly rod? I hear a lot about various baits and lures but not much about fishing with a fly rod.
I know we have a section on fly tackle, tying etc but that is not necessarily saltwater related. So chime in and be counted! :D

Count me in as a salt and freshwater fly fisherman.

Good to hear it. Fly fishing is just another way to get at the fish. I sort of thought of it as mysterious and something people mostly did for coldwater trout before I got into it, but it really is just fishing like fishing with bait or lures. Like any other way, there’s ways to fly fish that vary. I almost never use anything but floating line and flies that have various levels of buoyancy. That might keep me from fishing areas where the fish are hanging deep, but thankfully, there’s tons of fish to catch in water that’s relatively shallow.

If you enjoy it, and catching fish certainly helps with that, there’s no wrong way to go about it. Weight your flies however you want. Fish sinking line or not. There’s no dogma , even if some people try to say otherwise, or governing authority outside of certain rules to comply with it you are seeking tippet class records and such. Fly fishing records are sort of stupid anyway as flies are just little lures or handmade lures and shouldn’t have there own classification or a separate body of records. Some jurisdictions have barbless hooks and things along those lines, but the saltwater around Texas has no such requirements.

It’s just fishing and no better or worse than any other way. It doesn’t cost any more than any other way. It doesn’t require fancy gear. It doesn’t require mad casting skills. You don’t have to take lessons to do it. Find the fish and they will take a reasonably presented fly much of the time just like they will a paddle tail or a spoon or a topwater or whatever. I sometimes hate how complicated it’s made out to be in some circles and how one needs an $800 rod and a $700 reel to have a shot at success. Learn to find fish however you can and by whatever way you can and that’s the big part of any fishing success. If you want to invest money, invest in that and not some fancy rod or reel or line.
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By Ron Mc
There's certainly no reason not to learn from others' experience. Could be the same senses that let you read water and fish sign also let you pick up gems of wisdom from others.

A long-ago trip to the San Juan (15-hour overnight run, somebody has to stay up with the driver) and then zig-zag east along the CO/NM border to the Sangre de Cristos, with Billy Trimble, Alan Bray and Walter Zock, opened my eyes in a big way. By Coleman lantern light they were cranking out size 24 midges - I just held out my midge box and kept pouring their scotch. Carpet strike indicators and 3-fly, dry, attractor, tiny dropper rig on the San Juan - splitting fish evenly between the 3 flies - was something I didn't know and the essence of that stuck with me on every tailwater trout outing since. Though when we got to deep pocketwater on the Conejos, my Teeny line drifts and high-sticking, a skill I brought with me, were a decided advantage over Alan's lead-headed jigs on a floating line.

There are fishing situations where conventional tackle has a decided advantage - most of them involve casting 150' every cast and doing it all day without wearing yourself out - too much or too soon. Fly rods usually don't fit here.

Where fly fishing has a decided advantage is where stealth presentation is required, and where small bait imitations are accepted first. Fly fishing has a decided advantage for any close-in fishing. Luckily, that includes standing over redfish, black drum and big specs in skinny water. When Billy gave a presentation to a GRTU general meeting on fishing the salt focusing on skinny water, he mentioned rigging floating line with nylon leaders and fluoro tippet, because the nylon leader floats above the grass, and the fluoro tippet drops your fly to the fish. That stuck with me.
My preferred skinny water salt rig is a furled leader tied from nylon mono, with looped-on fluoro tippet - it turns over most anything, and if you keep it dry by sparing your casts, it doesn't even float, it sits on the water surface tension.
On Stealth, Gary Borger said natural selection applies to fish. Brave fish never grow up - they become food. Big fish got that way by being cowards. And he's right - only one out of 100 fish hatched make it to adulthood - the rest are food for other fish and birds. This is why you spare your casts and catch a fish every 3rd cast.

Certainly I learned a lot of what I learned by plugging away. But taking someone else's wisdom and applying it while you're plugging away makes you learn better and faster.

When I joined Frank Smethurst for 2-1/2 days on my home Guadalupe tailwater, filming an episode of Trout Unlimited On the Rise that aired on ESPN, he dropped as a joke that when he absolutely positively has to catch a fish right now for the camera, he ties on an Otters Milking Egg plastic egg. It became part of my standard slow-water nymphing technique to use a needle to slide my leader through an Otter's Milking egg attractor, slide up a bare hook, and tie on tippet for a tiny midge dropper. In fast water I'm going to swing wet flies, because I love it.
This little girl is on the bare hook, after she bit the Otter's Milking egg it slid up to the split shot, and at the bottom center of the photo, if you squint, you can see my size 22 midge dropper.
Then there are fly rod techniques that can't be duplicated on conventional tackle - most times. Two of those involve sinking lines. I mentioned water column hovering. While you can do this with weight and a continuously smooth retrieve - you're stuck with that retrieve rate. Picking the right sinking line lets you do it easily with a fly rod. Again, Tobin's new TSL grasswalker is a lure that lets you duplicate water column hovering with a slow moving lure on conventional tackle

While you can certainly duplicate bottom bouncing to some degree on conventional tackle, it's a whole lot more reliable on a fly rod with a Teeny line. I did it once way long ago - I was 16 - with UL spinning tackle fishing white bass on a summer night from a boat dock in a sandy cove. Threw out my lure as far as I could and stripped line from the spool into the lake. Sat down on the dock for 5 minutes to let the whole thing sink. Bottom bouncing the lure home followed the exact path the white bass were taking to the dock light. Guess what - I caught a white bass every 3rd cast (and put 17 on the stringer).

When I took Kevin Townsend to my beloved cypress tunnels to film an episode of KT Diaries, chasing endemic Guadalupe bass, he fished a floating line, I fished my T130. Maybe both of us are a little hard headed, but we sure had a good time.

Most white bass fishermen don't even realize a white bass run lasts 9 to 12 weeks, because the only time they catch fish is when schools of white bass are moving upriver and pushing schools of shad in front of them. That's a great time to fish. But between those times, there are stationary pods of fish, and late in the run, there are harems of small females being led around by a big smart male who's too aloof to be fooled by a roadrunner. I've caught 5 four-year-old male white bass in my life - 19 to 20 inches, and 5 lbs.
On an outing with friends, these are just my 2-y-o males - I released everything else. I also caught the other 4 for my limit while I was letting my friends fillet their pick from my stringer. Don't worry, white bass are the ultimate freshwater meat fish. They are impossible to eradicate, fecund, the females laying up to a half-million eggs, they normally only live 3 years, and are such voracious predators they deplete the food base that other species could also be eating.
Speaking of aloof, stripers in the river - they won't hit a stripped fly, but only a natural swing in the current - so Teeny line, and set up your drift so the line begins its swing in front of their faces - at least where you think they are from reading the water.
Yes, there's a tackle industry that tries to earn their fishing time by convincing you that you need a new $700 rod every year, because what you were fishing last year has been made obsolete by this new wonder.
Me, there was a time I had 3 fly rods, graphite with mated disc drag reels. I had given my first Orvis Green Mountain starter 7-1/2' glass rod combo to my nephew. I found myself catching big rainbow after big rainbow, not enjoying it, and wondering why I was harassing the fish -
- I was jaded and ready to quit.
So I began buying up vintage tackle for a Whole Lot Less money than new tackle. The short glass rods of the 70s fit in places new 9' rods won't, like hill country creeks, and one advantage of those old mid-length rods is fishing from a kayak.
Fortunately, the industry has also caught on to this with new glass rod offerings, but unfortunately, Cabela's hasn't restocked their 7-1/2' CGR 7/8.
The first time I hooked a 20" rainbow in fast water on old cane and a click-pawl reel, it was, oh, crap, what am I going to do now - and I remembered why we do this in the first place.

A little good speculating also doesn't hurt. I can trace the purchase of this 1917 Hardy St. George to an original $50 reel that I turned, and a couple more to get here.
ImageIt was a joy to fish, and I loved it. But after 4 years, its value had doubled, was burning a hole in my pocket, and I sold it for the exact price of my (then) new Tarpon, which I rigged for my daughter and me to tandem.
That brought me to this forum.
Last edited by Ron Mc on Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:32 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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By karstopo
It’s all good and valuable to hear about the different fly lines and techniques and I would never want it any other way. There’s countless books and other media on various ways to go about fly fishing in a wide range of environments and I doubt anyone could ever exhaust all the material. Ron has certainly presented a lot of food for thought and given valuable information and I think that’s great, that’s is, at least how I see it, the whole reason for the existence and value of forums. Anyone that’s into fly fishing or thinking about fly fishing can dig into any aspect of it as deep as they wish.

I think it was on TKF I learned about fishing under a popping cork with gulp or a tail. I tried it, but found I absolutely hate fishing that way in spite of the fact that it might or can or does work. If I had to fish only that way, I’d give up fishing. I even caught fish doing it that way, but for me, fishing under a cork holds zero appeal. But for those that love fishing that way, dig in and enjoy. Fish however makes you happy and as long as one follows the law, spirit and letter, why would I care how you like to go about it.

The main information, since we are sharing our experiences and perspectives, that I’m trying to get across is make any fishing, fly fishing included, your own. If you want to be the most comprehensive fly fisherman out there, be that. If you want to go on an occasional sight cast excursion, do that. I read that 85% of fly fishing folks don’t tie their own flies but rather purchase them from a shop or other vendor. Tying flies, at least for me, is a big part of the fun. But I get it that it isn’t fun for many and would be an absolute burden for most.

Don’t let the fact that you will never know it all, no one person does, or read so much about this or that rod or line or leader or technique stop you from taking the first step. It’s only as complicated as you make it.
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By Ron Mc
I understand exactly what you're saying, also bro.
The industry marketing hype isn't designed to turn new fishers away - though that's often the result - but it is designed to pander to the egos of repeat buyers. Also to send business the way of other members of the industry with the goal of them sending some business back.
And it often has that effect - this is not me giving advice, this is me feigning - you need casting lessons, you need guide time, you need hyper-expensive pro-shop tackle.

While all of these, especially the guide time can be good things, you don't need any of that to take up fly fishing.
I began fly fishing reading the two leaves on the fold-up flyer that came with a Berkley 510 reel (couldn't afford a Medalist). It had cartoon drawings of a guy making a back-cast, and another of the clown's forward cast - that was it. But it's enough like loading a spinning rod, you can figure it out.
I also don't focus on a distinction between any kind of fishing and fly fishing - to me, it's breathing, and certainly my girls were raised breathing fishing.

My actual advice is you don't need to learn how to cast, you need to learn how to fish. The main thing any beginner needs to learn with a fly rod and they can't learn until they get to the water is how to roll cast.
When I took my daughters to the river, they learned how to fish and catch fish. With a fly rod, they learned how to roll cast.
From watching me, they chose when to add back-cast + shoot to their fishing, and then I offered pointers.
If you want a pointer right now, don't break your wrist - anything you do with your wrist is English on the end of the line and leader, and it's what causes slapping the water on a back-cast. You can make it so you can't possibly bend you wrist, by turning your hand so you can't see your thumbnail - i.e., turn the reel toward your face. Now you can't break your wrist, and your cast is in your elbow and shoulder (credit to Lefty Kreh). The fly rod equivalent of wax-on-wax-off is paint the ceiling.
Your cast should be like painting the ceiling with a broomstick - whatever line you draw with the rod tip is the loop your line is going to make. A narrow loop puts the most energy in your cast and will get you through the wind, a wide loop slows it down and will let you make a soft presentation.
Always, always hold the line in your other hand (except when you're shooting out line) - this is what loads the rod on the cast. When you begin to feel how the rod loads, you will begin to lengthen and control your cast, not in your casting arm, but in your line arm, by pulling on the line to load the rod at the right time, a process called haul. (The rhythm of haul is exactly 2X the rhythm of your rod arm, which is why they call it double haul).

Hey - if you already know how to fish, you're over three-fourths of the way there in advance.
The greatest mistake I see beginning fly fishers make on the water is go out with a fly rod and cast and cast and cast. Cast farther, cast farther - that's not going to catch fish - it's going to put them down, chase them away. Work on getting close in to the fishing, fly rod in hand, and making a stealthy presentation. This is what lets you make those necessary 6 presentations to a black drum who thinks you're a bird in a funny hat.

Last edited by Ron Mc on Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:07 am, edited 5 times in total.
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By JW FunGuy
Thanks you guys!
The thing that is great about all of this is that if someone is wanting to learn they can glean some information from somebody else that has LOTS of experience. Sure you can go out and whip the water into submission until you eventually get the feel of what a good cast and a good presentation feels like, buy equipment that probably is not suited for the location or water you are fishing but looked really good on paper. But to have fisherman that are willing to share the vast knowledge they have accumulated through years of practice is priceless! :clap:
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By karstopo
JW FunGuy wrote:Thanks you guys!
The thing that is great about all of this is that if someone is wanting to learn they can glean some information from somebody else that has LOTS of experience. Sure you can go out and whip the water into submission until you eventually get the feel of what a good cast and a good presentation feels like, buy equipment that probably is not suited for the location or water you are fishing but looked really good on paper. But to have fisherman that are willing to share the vast knowledge they have accumulated through years of practice is priceless! :clap:

It took a while for me to pull the trigger on ever trying fly fishing here in the salt. I wasn't a fly fisherman at all at the time and my experience amounted to holding a rod and flailing away some a few times over a course of years. I was aware for a few years that people fly fished the salt around here, the greater Galveston area, but there was so much information out there on various forums it was difficult to sift the wheat from the chaff.

It was a trip to Colorado, a borrowed 4 weight, and a pond at 8,500 feet asl stocked with rainbow trout that got me to thinking I could make this work in the salt. I made a commitment to myself that I would catch a sighted redfish on the fly. I bought a 7 weight combo off STP that was complete with line and even a leader. I felt like I could locate the redfish and sure enough just minutes into the paddle I see a slot up shallow in a marsh. I could only somewhat accurately cast about 30-40 feet at the time, the fly line was absolutely junk was part of the problem and my terrible form was the rest. Anyway, miraculously, I cast well enough to get the take and a mid slot red immediately puts on the after burners in the other direction parting the weak tippet before I could react and let off pressure with my off hand.

There were so many missteps on my part, but I eventually got another slot one November out along the shoreline of Salt Lake in the BNWR. That fish was such a thrill, seeing the school of redfish coming along the shoreline, trying to maneuver the kayak to the right distance, making a cast out in front of the school, watching a redfish surge forward and suck in the fly. It was hooked and so was I. That fish turned out to be 28" and 9.5# and took me well into the backing. I had never experienced a fight like that with a redfish as it kept on trying to pull me into the shell and I just had a terrible time trying to get in in.

There were other missteps and challenges, but I got to where I enjoyed working them out and no doubt I turned to forums and YouTube for ideas on casting, leaders, flies, fly line, rods, etc. I was never a club type of person and don't particularly enjoy group settings or fishing with random folks or guides so I didn't see the need to start that up then. I still look at multiple fly-fishing forums for ideas. I've gotten to where some ideas make sense and some less so and some that might work just aren't attractive to me. I have come to realize there's often multiple options to approach a fishery or situation. There's a ton to learn from folks that fish lures that applies to fly fishing.

Anyhow, learn how you learn best. Join a group if that's your thing. Seek out other fly fishing folks, spend time on the water with them and pick their brains or just sort through the information and get out there and have a go at it. Hire a guide or casting instructor or don't. I've really gotten to where its the process of being out on the water and figuring out the approach is just so much fun. I like puzzles, games, planning and strategy and fly fishing hits all those points very well.
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By Ron Mc
speaking of new high-tech tackle - or not.
Here's an old Harnell glass 7-wt I picked up just for reds from a kayak. Luckily, it's in great shape for its 50 years.
The logic of this rod choice is not casting distance, but in-close control and quickness sitting in a kayak.
going to match it with this Valentine 375 from the '80s.
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By timbo
I've lived in Southeast Tennessee for the last 12 years. I've most of the rivers around here for rainbow, brown, and recently brookies. So far, my best is a 24inch rainbow caught on the Ravenfork River near Cherokee North Carolina.

I'd dearly love to catch a redfish or speck on a fly rod. I fish mostly with a 5 wt and 6-7 tippet.
I will be in Galveston mid to late August staying at the RV resort. I'll have my kayak and an 8 wt to try and catch my first saltwater fish. I may drive down to PA to try my luck there for a few days. Any pointers would be appreciated!
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By Ron Mc
Timbo, I spent a month on a project in Kingsport. My favorite spot on the weekends was Beaverdam Creek.
Had to drive through VA to get there, and it was wall-to-wall fishermen in VA. As soon as you crossed the state line back into TN, had it all to myself. Also to fish in VA was $35 trout stamp plus $15/day OOS license. In TN, the OOS license was only $5/day (and no stamp).

Check some of the references on this thread for wading access on Mustang Island

Here are some good references for Corpus
http://www.corpusfishing.com/messageboa ... hp?t=37852
By Kayak Kid
I agree with Karstopo....,somewhat. Personally, I enjoy all forms of fishing. Whether a worm under a cork on a cane poll or a light weight sailfish rod trolling a properly hooked two pound baitfish, it's all enjoyable and rewarding. Through the years....,the many years....of fishing, I have discovered that the reason I love fishing so much...,is not necessarily the catching of fish. So much more is offered by the fishing experience than simply a limit of fish.

As such, fly fishing...,for me...,offers so much more than any other form of fishing. To me, it's like comparing week-end baseball to week-end golf. Both of these enjoyable sports take practice and experience, but the variables and challenges of golf, far exceed that of baseball.

After over 70 years of fly fishing, and having accepted it as my new 'profession' after retiring fifteen years ago, I thought I knew most of what I needed to know about the activity. Reading, for instance, Ron Mc's suggestions on improving one's fly fishing has made it clear that I knew far less than I was aware of. There I always something new to learn about the sport/passion.

As to the expense of fly fishing, I don't believe that is a myth so much as a mis interpreted opinion. One need spend no more than what he can afford In order to enjoy the sport and catch fish. Personally, however, I prefer a fly rod that is very well balanced, and a fly reel that is built and performs like a fine watch. It's all a question of priorities, as is true of most things in this life.

So, I think fly fishing is something special. I think there is so much more to it than other forms of fishing. A personal thing, of course, but one that I feel has merit for those who appreciate greater challenge, a little zen in their lives, meeting other fly fishing 'purists', fishing in the most beautifully scenic areas in this country, enjoys excessive tinkering, and loves to work with their hands. I always get a thrill when I make that all too rare 'perfectly' placed fly. I can't help feeling a sense of accomplishment each time I manage to tempt a wary fish to eat a fly that I tied the night before.
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By timbo
I've fished in Virginia and you are correct, the licenses are pricey. There is some good fishing there though. I usually fish the South Holston or Wautauga if I'm in the area. My "home" waters are the Hiwassee River (prettiest river gorge in Tennessee) and I also don't live too far from the Smokys so I can fish Little River and several smaller creeks in the back country. In saltwater you look for stingays, the Smokys you watch for bears! :wink:
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By Ron Mc
I was staying across the highway from the S. Holston tailwater, and could have fished there, but I loved the tightly overhung creek.
There was an 18" hen rolling in her pocketwater. Impossible to present to with a cast where she was settled because of the overhang. The tree she was under leaned at 45 degrees over the creek. I laid across the trunk and daubed my fly above her pocket - she took it on the swing.

Sight-fishing memories are the best - I could go on with a girl on the Dolores below McPhee reservoir (CO) - she was giggling sipping midges. When I hooked her up, she sat on the bottom in disbelief. I had some tricky wading to lift my line off the boulders in her pocket, and she ran from boulder to boulder until I netted her.
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By JW FunGuy
So what is that quote from H.D. Thoreau? “Most people go fishing all their lives without knowing that it’s not the fish they are after.”
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By karstopo
JW FunGuy wrote:So what is that quote from H.D. Thoreau? “Most people go fishing all their lives without knowing that it’s not the fish they are after.”

Misquotation: Many men fish all their lives without ever realizing that it is not the fish they are after.

Michael Baughman wrote in his A River Seen Right (Lyons Press, 1995) p. 156, clearly paraphrasing and not quoting: “I think it was in Walden where he wrote that a lot of men fish all their lives without ever realizing that fish isn’t really what they’re after.” Baughman may have been paraphrasing from Thoreau’s Journal, January 26, 1853:

It is remarkable that many men will go with eagerness to Walden Pond in the winter to fish for pickerel and yet not seem to care for the landscape. Of course it cannot be merely for the pickerel they may catch; there is some adventure in it; but any love of nature which they may feel is certainly very slight and indefinite. They call it going a-fishing, and so indeed it is, though perchance, their natures know better. Now I go a-fishing and a-hunting every day, but omit the fish and the game, which are the least important part. I have learned to do without them. They were indispensable only as long as I was a boy. I am encouraged when I see a dozen villagers drawn to Walden Pond to spend a day in fishing through the ice, and suspect that I have more fellows than I knew, but I am disappointed and surprised to find that they lay so much stress on the fish which they catch or fail to catch, and on nothing else, as if there were nothing else to be caught.

The closest parallel in a non-Thoreau text is from E.T. Brown’s Not Without Prejudice: Essays on Assorted Subjects (Melbourne: Cheshire, 1955) p. 142: “When they go fishing, it is not really fish they are after. It is a philosophic meditation.”
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