With our new Blackfly Lodge opening this past March, we have had both some wonderful guests and some wonderful fishing, inshore and offshore.
Edward Johnston of Leisure Time Travel Inc. visited us a few days ago and had a great time. He has written a review of the Lodge and of Schooner Bay and I would like to share it with you.
Click on this link to read Ed’s fine article
I was going to write a themed article which was supposed to be about “Kayaks”. Well, that doesn’t matter to me very much because I really don’t like fishing out of a kayak all that much. The thing I don’t like about kayak fishing …..is kayak fishing. Where’s the motor, this is way too much work.
So this month’s theme is “terminal tackle”. First off, that doesn’t sound good to me. Terminal means “the end” so I guess that must be the stuff at the end of your line. Does that mean at the end of your fly line or the end of your leader? It doesn’t matter, let’s talk about fishing flies.
Flies are those precious little colorful assemblages tied on a hook combined in a collage made up of any combination of chicken feathers, synthetic fibers, animal skins, flashy plastic or exotic selections pulled off the shelf of the local craft store. This organic piece of sculpture ( hook is not organic), when finished, should resemble one of the three things most saltwater fish will eat….a shrimp a crab or another little fish. This is of course unless you’re trying to catch a freshwater fish which will eat anything that flies or crawls. Sometimes they are “one-in-the-same” as many of those insects are called different things as they grow from a little nymph to a flying insect. This is all very complicated and you could use an advanced degree in entomology just to figure out how to “match the hatch” as they say. “Matching the hatch” is a freshwater fishing term meaning that you should pick a fly that resembles what insect is hatching on the river and therefore the fish are eating. This selection process actually applies to saltwater fly selection in that if you see a spray of shrimp in front of a wake you can be pretty sure that whatever it is that is making that wake is eating little shrimp. In fly fishing, you’re always trying to figure out what fly you have best matches what the fish are eating. Crabs and little baitfish can be harder to detect!
There are “crabby flats” and there are “shrimpy flats”! OK, how do you decide which is which? An old timer once told me to go to a flat at low tide and see where the birds are feeding. When the tide comes back in, go back there and that’s where you will find the fish. This advice is remarkably accurate PLUS, while you’re out there watching the birds you can look closely to see if there are any crabs buried in the sand or mud and note what color they are. This is where learning to tie your own flies comes in handy.
For “fishy flats” or fly casting in deeper water where you don’t know what the fish are eating, you have to go with a technique called “blind casting”. This is the most boring kind of fly fishing according to most true fly fishermen…. but it works.
So to put all of this advice in a nutshell, the challenge to terminal tackle for a fly fisherman is simply to fool a fish into biting your fly. It’s not the fight or seeing how big of a fish you can catch with the smallest rod possible, it’s the eat.