To be successful when targeting early season bass or sea trout or indeed throughout the variable summer season in Ireland then your presentation or depth of fishing is going to be key. Slow steady retrieves are often the norm while fishing as close to the bottom as possible. At the early times of year bass are still somewhat lethargic and still in their energy conserving mode. Their noses are down as they root through muddy estuary bottoms in search of small marine worms and other tiny invertebrates. Here is where a variety of sinking and intermediate lines or sink tips will greatly add to your success not only in the early part of the season but throughout the summer as well!
Many fly fishers however don't carry the right equipment, in this case lines, to get the job done. As we grow in the sport the majority of us have spent our time or money accumulating a wide assortment of flies that we have to choose from. Deceivers, clousers, poppers, half and half’s, on and on and on they goin so many different colours…we've already discussed this in part 5 and 4.
If you're like some fly fishers I know you probably have so many flies that you can't find room in your box to carry them all. You probably also carry many flies that have never been cast into the water at all. These are the flies we label for that "just in case scenario", or "I like it so much i dont want to fish with it".
With the new season now getting underway I think it is time for many of us to change our way of thinking or the approach that we take. We need to start to measure how effective our time spent fly fishing at sea actually is. Do you keep a mental note of any of your success? Or do you just move along casting and casting, putting in another bad day where you say the fish weren't there or they weren't hungry or the sky was too blue ?
Or does this sound familiar? The fly fisher next to you is catching fish and you are not. You cast just about every fly in your box but each one yields the same result, nothing. Or how about this, you move from a spot and another fisher comes along steps in and catches a fish on the very first cast.
I think all of us can honestly say that at least one of these scenarios has happened to each one of us sometime in our fly fishing adventures. I know they have to me and it can be rather frustration especially if the angler repeats the catch. Dont worry though, there arent that many saltwater flyfishers for this to become a normal occurrence!
So what is the answer? What should go through your head when you are not producing fish and you know that you should be? One of the big keys to your success in saltwater fly-fishing is going to rest with your presentation at different depths. You will need to look at two components of your presentation that are important. One is the retrieve that you are using and the other is putting the fly in the right place. In other words putting the fly where the fish are. Which of these is more important? Well, I think it is safe to say that putting the fly where the fish are should be your first and most important consideration. If you have the correct retrieve but there are no fish anywhere near your fly then good luck, because you are going to need it.
I would recommend the following lines as essentials for the Irish saltwater flyfisher to cover all presentations at many depths.
Rio Outbound - #9F
Rio Outbound - #9I
Rio Outbound - #9S (rate as needed)
Rio Aqualux Striper Bass line -(Recommended)
Scientific Anglers saltwater mastery series fast and slow sinking lines plus a floater
Jim Teeny - Ts-350sw
Jim Teeny - Ts-450sw
Jim Teeny - Xd- 300
Alternativley and often more simple and cost effective
Custom built shooting heads or sink tips
Next month (September) - where should I fish?