Last Updated on January 7, 2022 by Eric Bonneman
Saltwater fly fishing is often the next evolution for many fishermen’s quest to find and catch saltwater sport fish. Fly fishing adds art, precision techniques, and new skills to the repertoire of the traditional saltwater angler. Additionally, many fly anglers begin tying their own flies, catching fish on self-tied flies is one of the pinnacles of a fly fisherman’s quest.
Fly fishing often includes a component of sight fishing. Scanning the flats or inshore creeks and bays for fish, reading the situation, and making judgment calls on how best to present your fly to the fish. This process requires a stealthy approach and precise presentation. It can be a beautiful challenge.
Crystal River is an excellent location for fly fishing for a variety of saltwater species. Target species include redfish, trout, snook, and tarpon depending on the season. Practically any fish that is caught on artificial lures, can be caught on fly. Our area features shallow crystal clear grass flats that extend for miles, along with backwater creeks and ponds to provide wind protection for anglers and a warmer water refuge for fish in the cooler months.
Saltwater fly fishing has an entirely different set of gear than freshwater fly fishing. Typically, saltwater fish will be larger and more aggressive than freshwater fish. The flies and lines that are used will be heavier and require a longer, stiffer rod to cast effectively. The size and strength of the gear will need to be matched to the target species. Generally, an 8wt fly rod, with a matching reel provides a good start for most inshore fish. However, if we are targeting large species such as tarpon or cobia, a much heavier 10 to 12 weight setup will be needed to ensure the quickest possible fight, improving the odds of the fish swimming off to fight another day.
The most important aspect of preparing for a saltwater fly fishing trip is to practice fly casting, and the double haul is the preferred casting technique. The double hall technique increases line speed to help anglers make effective cases in wind, with a heavier fly, and reach fish at a far distance with accuracy. Prospective saltwater fly anglers are well served by having a basic understanding of using this technique.
If you are looking for a fly fishing charter, you most likely already have some familiarity with saltwater fishing and fly casting. However, you do not need to be a seasoned fly angler to have a successful trip with Capt. Louie. Capt Louie is the Nature Coast’s only Certified Fly Casting Instructor and he takes pride in helping all his fly anglers with basic fundamentals, fly selection, advanced techniques and fly presentation.
The upcoming spring and summer seasons are ideal times of year to catch a variety of fish in the Crystal River area. Check your calendars and book your fly fishing adventure with Capt Louie.