Library Video Video - Sight fishing Redfish on fly onboard the Salty Fly.

Video - Sight fishing Redfish on fly onboard the Salty Fly.

On a winter day in January, fly fishing guide Sebastion Stewart from Fernie, British Columbia fly fished with me on the flats of Tampa Bay. Even with gusting winds and mostly cloudy skies, he enjoyed a full day of spectacular sight-fishing Redfish of all sizes, many looking to be near the mid-30’s range. Luckily, we both had and used the same Smith Optics Amber Lens color for these cloudy days, giving us a much better advantage when sight-fishing a challenging, cloudier day. Saltwater Fly Fishing Tips from Captain Russ. When fishing very shallow water flats, it’s important to have the necessary skill levels of accuracy and distance with your casts. Most fish will eat if the fly is presented naturally, with the right feeding angle and correct fly movement. Judging the fly placement on your cast and allowing for refraction and fly sink rate is also very important, depending on the particular species, but especially spooky Redfish. Dealing with wind is something every angler, especially fly fishermen, will need to adapt to. And that old saying, “The wind is your friend,” is very true. I find spooky fish will respond much better when there is some kind of ripple or top-water wind movement on the water. Regarding your casting, the best advice I can give you is: 1) Learn how to throw the tightest loop possible. 2) After you’ve been successful throwing that tight loop consistently, commit your tight loop casting to muscle memory. 3) When you can throw that tight loop on every cast, then, and only then, learn to double haul. Practice it the same way, repeating until you can successfully load the rod, load more line on every cast, using the double-haul for tighter loops, more line speed and eventually more distance. This is saltwater folks, and the fish don’t like to hang near you or near the boat. Also, to assist your success in this environment, polarized sunglasses are probably the single-most-important sight-fishing item needed. Personally, and after all these years, I use Smith Optics Ignitor Lens for normal skies, and their Amber Lens for cloudy, low-light conditions. Capt. Russ Shirley Salty Fly Charters St. Petersburg, Florida Website: www.captruss.com Email: russ@captruss.com Phone: 727-459-3896

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