Through these Guides Eyes
The following fishing reports will consist of Inshore Saltwater (Fly) Fishing. It will include Tips, techniques, Habitat, Presentation, Baitology, Flies-Hooks, Moon Fazes, Flats, and even some highlights from last year's fishing reports. Some of which are pretty exciting.
May 1 Ill be on the Cape for the summer, so Ill also keep all of you posted on the latest. Some of the material will come straight from my past experience as chief instructor of the Orvis 2 Ã‚Â½ day saltwater fly fishing schools. Additional material will come from first hand knowledge, gained from my many years of eating, breathing, living and loving the, New England - Cape Cod Inshore Saltwater environment.
All of this material would not be possible if it was not for several mentors who have shared " some of " their lifetime of saltwater experiences with me. Thanks, Bob Benson (www.fishingthecape.com
) Rich Benson (The 2 brothers who exposed the incredible world class flats fishery-Monomoy Island, to all of us and are the Capes top- flats boat guides), Peter Alves, George Ryan (The Mayor of Monomoy), Chris Ryan and of course the great folks at Orvis! So, sit back, relax and enjoy this Truly World Class Destination Fishery!
How to Catch Big Bass on the Flats' in July and August
Fishing tactics and techniques must change at this time of the year. Care to learn?
The now "educated" residents have all graduated from high school and are now on their way to receiving their bachelor's degree on what is edible or not. These are our FUSSY fish! To me this is the most challenging and fun time of the year. We're seeing on the average of one to two hundred fish on the flats in a day under the right conditions. Thirty percent of them are big - ten to twenty pounds. Talk about mastering your technique of sight fishing on the sand flats. There's no such thing as an easy fish. All the pieces of the puzzle must come completely together to succeed on the flats. Longer leaders (I2 foot tapered 8 to 1 0 pounds), Fluorocarbon leaders, smaller flies (crab, shrimp and white and olive clousers), Leading fish by thirty to seventy-five feet. Knowing your water to determine exactly when in the tide they will show up on certain flats. Knowing structure, so the fish will be funneled by you, allowing you the most "shots." Believe it or not, we're catching lots of the big ones on bonefish flies. We're just showing them something different and helping with their education. Slowing down your retrieve and sometimes dead drifting the fly to a big sighted fish works. Lots of the time no retrieve at all using crabs is best and setting by sight is the answer. Achieving speed and accuracy in your casting skills is a must.
July 7- 8 Report
From the second we waded onto the flats in the early morning until we pulled ourselves away in the late afternoon, we were sighting large numbers of ten to twenty pound bass in one to three feet of water! Did we slay'em? I wish! Did we have the time of our lives trying to outsmart them? You betcha! All fish caught were done so on either the dropping or incoming tide. We cast to lots of big ones during slack tide but none were too eager to eat. They were only eating 1 Ã‚Â½ inch sand lances and 1 Ã‚Â½ inch shrimp.
Perfect day for sight fishing. I walked, walked and walked and saw
Lots of fish, fish, fish. More than I have seen in a while (400-Aprox.) Came to one creek and counted no less than 100, just hanging around feeding on the dropping in 3ft. water. Caught some, but got bored, no challenge, moved on. The most productive fly for me has been Toms rattle crab! Walked a short distance to where the creek empties into a tidal river and found 75 or so hanging around the drop-off. Decided to only present to the biggest bass and could not fool them, so moved on leaving them undisturbed and less educated, if there is such a thing this time of year. Normally you'll see 100-200 in a day if conditions are right and you know where they feed, travel at different stages of the tide. Monomoy is a huge vast area, which requires lots of T.O.W. to fish it proficiently, in my opinion. Knowing structure and currents, well help you figure out the routes they travel day after day and take the guess work out of it. Knowing the dominant bait and imitating it exactly will put you in the ballpark (silver sides and sand lances-1-3 in. long, half the thickness of a pencil. Use clear int. lines, long leaders and your rigged for most sight fishing situations this time of year. Hope this will help you the next time you visit my home away from home.
Try holding ten to fifteen feet of fly line outside the tip when sight casting to allow fewer false casts. Don't blind cast. If you can't see them, they are not there. The commotion generated from blind casting will surely spook any fish just out of sight that you may have had a shot at. Or what usually happens to me after I've made that eighty-foot cast, a nice bass comes by within twenty feet and swims under my line. Ha!
Try leading the fish by forty to fifty feet. Before casting, decide its projected path. Current direction, depth of water and contour of bottom are the keys to success in this determination. By leading the fish so far in advance you are allowing your fly to sink to eye level of the fish and tripling your chance of success. Hoping the fish will rise up to your fly is normally met with a refusal, unless you are lucky enough to be on a hot fish. Anytime you can make it easier for the fish to feed, so fish has to exert as little energy as possible, you'll triple your catch rate. Ever thought about using a 300 to 400 grain ORVIS depth-charge fly line in two to six feet of water to achieve this? I've been doing it for years (Thanks, Bob) and it's produced some real COWS!
Temperature of water is key. In the spring and early summer search out warmer water, you'll be rewarded with fish. In mid to late summer do the opposite.
Stay tuned for 2 more Flats articles
Happiest of Hooking;