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Saltwater Flies for Inshore and Offshore
We may be located in the Midwest but we know our way around the saltwater too. Pat Ehlers, owner of The Fly Fishers has been hosting groups to saltwater destinations for over 30 years and has fished for everything on the flats as well as bluewater species like sailfish with a fly rod. Sons Jared and Tanner Ehlers of The Fly Fishers have been to many of these destinations too. From the flats of the Caribbean to the waters of Christmas Island, if that’s where you’re going we can get you set up.
Flies for Saltwater Fishing
Like trout fishing, we are often matching the hatch on saltwater flats. Shrimp and crab flies make up the bulk of flats flies for bonefish and permit and we stock plenty of patterns and sizes. Flats flies are typically chosen on 2 premises:
- Size and sink rate
You want to pick a pattern that isn’t too heavy to spook a fish in shallow water when cast but not so light that it takes too long to sink to the bottom before the fish swims up to it. Color selection is easy. Light bottom equals light-colored flies, dark bottom like turtle grass equals a darker fly usually olive to match the grass.
We also stock many tarpon flies for those of you that chase tarpon along with many baitfish patterns in different sizes for everything from snook and snappers in the mangroves to large jacks and tuna in the ocean.
Rods and Reels for Saltwater Fishing
Saltwater rods demand the most performance in fly rods. High-performance rods are in order to deal with quick casts that may be long and with the ever-present wind. The rods need to be strong enough to handle often large and strong fish too. We sell the best fly rod brands on the planet so you can have confidence in our products.
It is often said in freshwater fly fishing circles that the reel is just a place to store line. That’s not the case with saltwater fishing. Reels need to handle the problems of being exposed to saltwater and its corrosive effects. Bar stock aluminum and anodized finishes are in order. Strong drags are also a must. Even small bonefish are capable of ripping off 50-yard or more runs and stronger fish like permit and tarpon are even more demanding. A reel’s backing capacity is also an important factor. Flats fishing typically require 100 to 200 or more yards depending on your quarry.
Saltwater Fishing Techniques
Casting is the most important part of fishing the flats. You need to cast accurately, quietly at longer distances and usually while dealing with the wind. Seeing the fish before casting to it is about as important as your casting. This is a stalking game. First-timers, you need to pay some dues, and experienced saltwater folks you know what I’m talking about. Unless you live near inshore fisheries and have spent time on the water we suggest either hiring a guide or booking at a saltwater destination lodge. We have hosted trips we run and work very closely with Frontiers Travel, the premier fishing travel agency, to many of these destinations. We will be happy to assist you in doing this. Call Pat at the shop and he can personally help you get going.