Saltwater Fly Fishing
It’s February, our rivers are choked with ice, Punxsutawney Phil has emerged and declared an early Spring, (which sounds nice, although it still doesn’t seem like there’s enough light in the day) and it’s that awkward time in the winter, where there’s a few warm days, just enough to take away any snow for sledding or snowmen. So, lets take away the winter blues for a bit and talk about Saltwater Fly Fishing. Saltwater Fly Fishing brings to mind two distinct fish species: Permit and Bonefish.
Permit are one of the most elusive, challenging fish to catch on a fly rod. When you catch one, you’ve really achieved something. Permit are known to be very choosy and spooky on the fly. Like most Fly-caught species, it trolls the ocean flats for food. Vacationing Permit Anglers can go years, even a lifetime, without actually hooking one. Most of the time the Permit are swimming at long casting distances from the fisherman, and distance erodes accuracy; even if the cast is accurate, the fly might hit the water in a just-so way that the Permit doesn’t like, and the only thing that will remain of the fish on the flat is an afterburner trail of sea sand. But when you do actually hook one, it’s a powerful swimmer—that elegant oval shape of their bodies cuts right through the water. When you land one, It’s amazing the way its scales reflect subtle colors you wouldn’t have though possible. They present an incredible portrait without even trying.
Bonefish on the other hand are plentiful, and, while it’s a difficult species to catch as well, it’s not as difficult. Bones are longish fish, with bright silver sides. Like Permit, it peruses ocean flats for crabs and shrimp or other fish. Like the Permit it’s an incredible fast, powerful swimmer. It does have to evade barracuda, shark, and even birds of prey. Bonefish are much more opportunistic eaters then permit, and, a well placed fly pattern could induce a strike. Fisherman on a good bonefish flat can catch a few or many every day. Bu the casts do need to be accurate, so if your planning a trip to catch either fish, remember to get in some practice before you go.