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jayfack27

First On Fly - Red

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So this morning was cold as crap (for a fl native anyway), and pretty choppy for my gheenoe. Hit some creeks figuring the Reds would be warming up on the mud bottom. When it was still real cold nothing was happening. But later on when it warmed up the bite was on. Got 4 reds: 3 slot reds were on jig head, and 1 short on fly. My first fish on fly ever. It was pretty windy, and my cast was horrible when I got any distance. I positioned the gheenoe where I could forward cast down wind. Worked out well. I wish my cast was better I could have caught a lot more. But I ended up coming back to make sure I can watch the noles beat the gators.

 

For you other fly beginners like me, make sure your boat/kayak/whatever is nice and clean. If there is anything in near you, your fly line will find it. I fought with the cooler, rods, and tackle box all day trying to cast. I had several perfect opportunities and blew them getting snagged up on a rod or push pole holder or whatever.

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Thanks! its one that Ron on here tied up.  Looks like a green back (green back, white body).  

 

I just don't get how you guys get super long casts.  When i get so much line out the fly will hit water on forward and back cast then mess up.  And thats with hauling.  My loops look pretty tight at least on the forward cast.  Ive never looked backwards to see my back cast.  

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Nice report dude! Congrats on the first on fly!

Practice as much as possible at home and you will get way more confident. And yes, fly line management is a royal pain at times even on a boat set up for fly.

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Thanks! its one that Ron on here tied up. Looks like a green back (green back, white body).

 

I just don't get how you guys get super long casts. When i get so much line out the fly will hit water on forward and back cast then mess up. And thats with hauling. My loops look pretty tight at least on the forward cast. Ive never looked backwards to see my back cast.

 

Ron ties some sweet flies!

 

Back casts are just as important as forward casts, especially when the wind is at your back. I struggle with that issue from time to time as well, it happens. When I was taking instruction at Bill Jacksons, Brad and Cody told me to imagine the rod tip has a paint brush on the end of it and whether you are side arming or over handing your cast, you "paint" a straight line forward and back. It's harder than you think LOL. But with practice it will become second nature. Again, I still struggle with it and constantly work on bettering my casts at home with a mock fly. Also, the forward and back action of your arm should be at about the same stopping point (like 10 and 2 roughly) and truly let the rod action and line make the cast. I have a feeling your back cast is where your arm is letting the rod tip get too low without you realizing it, and with that the line is dipping in the water which screws up everything. It happens dude, trust me haha.

Line management is one of the most frustrating things even on a skiff set up for fly. Add wind and it is super frustrating!

Just keep practicing at home and try it on windy days, casting into the wind, at your back, and even cross wind. You will tune in that cast and it will make you so much more confident on the water.

Nice job today dude! Love me some reds!!!

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cool thanks for the tips.  Now I really want to get into fly tying.  If i can get a good cast down even in wind, I can see myself making fishing trips with only my fly rod.  

 

When i landed the red i was slowly letting line out with tension to try to get all the line out, then it just darts to the boat haha. And it literally darted almost all the way to the boat before making another run.  So then i stripped it all the way in.  I only had like a few more feet to let out too but i didn't want to lose tension on it and lose my first red on fly.  

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Great Jason, I cant remember my first redfish, but I remember the number of clouds in the sky the day I caught my first on fly, primarily because of all the frustration that preceded it, like learning line management, tactics, and how to make a descent cast (still marginal).

 

I used to think a fly rod was some problem that I needed to overcome so I could use it with tactics I developed spin casting. What I found was, it is a different tool that needs different tactics and has advantages that can be maximized. Its strengths are presenting a light lure with minimal disturbance so positioning the skiff, stealth, and learning new tactics to optimize its strengths made the difference for me.

 

As Phil mentioned the back cast is critical I found practicing in the yard making backward casts helped me and minimal false casts are important, keeping the line in the air only leads to bad things.

 

I didn't figure out any of this until I started leaving my spin rod at home about a year or so ago. I will bring it on occasion if I'm learning a new location or my wife comes, she doesn't like hooks zipping past her face, but I just cant get the same satisfaction from a spin rod anymore, I'd rather get skunked fly fishing and that's good because it happens more often.

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Jason, I just received a fly rod as an early Christmas gift, and have discovered the same issues as you. There are numerous "how to" videos on YouTube, and I have honed in on those that discuss Fl saltwater fly fishing.

When I practice, I tie a small piece of yarn on the the tipper line, and go to a field nearby. (I'm sure passers by think I'm nuts...) I know I have lots to learn, and patience is my nemesis! I also have a bunch of questions. Such as how much line to strip out before first cast, reeling, drag tension etc.

Can't wait to land my first fish on a fly.

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Fishing north of Bayport.

 

I strip out almost all of my fly line before casting since I was getting almost all of it out. I have my drag set where I can strip line out quickly without back lash, but if you land a fish you can just adjust it to match the fishs fight. I reeled that red in by hand stripping it in. I attempted to let it bring me back to the reel, but then it darted for the boat and I didn't want to lose tension on it so I stripped it in. And I basically used my hand for drag giving it line when it made a run but keeping tension always. It's addicting man. This is only my first catch but I've been dying to get back out there.

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For most instances, A fly reel is nothing but a really pretty storage unit for your backing and fly line. That's it and that's all..

Of course hooking into a big snook, tarpon, permit, etc is a different story and they will take you to the reel whether you plan on it or not LOL. Let the leverage of that 9' rod fight that fish.

 

I barely have my drag set (just enough to give a little resistance) and only strip out enough line for the casting distance I am needing to make. Having all of your fly line out in a big spaghetti pile is a disaster in the making. In the short time I've been throwin fly (just over a year) I have had 3 fish take me to the reel with force. 99.9% are stripped in by hand. I may let some go to the reel just to wear down the fish and hear my reel sing a little tune at me haha, but that's it... So far.

 

Fly is not the answer to all fishing. But IMO it is the answer to sight fishing and placing that "bait" in front of that fish without spooking them nearly as much.

 

Keep practicing, and when you feel pretty good about it, practice more, then go fish, then come home and practice more... Haha. It is a very good idea though to go to the water and practice "picking up line" out of the water and making another cast.. You cannot get that practice on land nearly as well.

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