On the Fly: The saltwater’s calling | AspenTimes.com

On the Fly: The saltwater’s calling

Scott Spooner
On the Fly

Are you dialed in on the valley waters and looking for a new fly-fishing challenge? It might be time for you to start planning a trip to a saltwater destination. Casting flies to tailing bonefish or redfish, cruising permit or the ever-skittish tarpon can take your game to a whole new level, and you will never be the same. There are many things to consider when planning a quality salt experience, and it all starts with choosing a destination and finding a quality guide service.

Hiring a guide in an unfamiliar area is paramount to success. There are many factors that contribute to a great day of fishing (tides, migratory patterns, water temperatures, etc.), and we rely on their local knowledge, just like visitors rely on us when we take them out on our waters. No fly-fisher wants to spend time and money going to a “bucket list” destination and get skunked.

When it comes to choosing where to fish, consider your needs and expectations carefully. Some outfitters offer posh environments; others have you sleeping on a cot wrapped in mosquito netting. Consult your favorite fly shop, do some Internet investigating, and ask your friends or neighbors where they like to go.

Skimping on equipment (unless it is provided) is a bad idea when considering saltwater fishing. Most places outside the U.S. do not offer quality fly-fishing gear for sale, so if you didn’t bring a backup rod and reel, you are done fishing. On most trips we bring plenty of rods, reels and backup fly lines (coral can shred a $100 fly line instantaneously) as well as extra tools, flies and so on.

Before heading off to the salt, you need to be able to cast long distances accurately and be ready to deal with windy situations. Your guide will get frustrated quickly if you blow every shot you have at fish, so practice as much as you can or get a quick lesson from your local shop. Practice makes perfect.

Christmas Island, Belize, the Bahamas, the Florida Keys and Honduras are just a sampling of top-notch saltwater hot spots on the fly-fisher’s menu. The possibilities are endless, so get your passport updated and start researching that once-in-a-lifetime trip!

“On the Fly” is provided weekly by the staff at Taylor Creek Fly Shop in Basalt.

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