You finally planned your first saltwater trip, congratulations! After months of convincing your loved one that you needed a fishing trip, you made the smart choice and decided on Andros South. Make the most out of your first saltwater fly fishing trip and come prepared! We obviously have all the fishing gear you need waiting for your arrival, but spending some time practicing your cast prior to the trip can drastically increase the amount of fish you hook.
Important note – practice like you are going to play! Casting in a park on a windless day is not how it is going to be when you are standing on the bow of the flats boat. Go out there on a day with some breeze, get comfortable casting 30-60 feet to a target from all different wind directions. Casting into the wind is a popular one to get comfortable at but don’t forget about the wind blowing into your casting shoulder. Most flats anglers consider this to be the most difficult wind direction to deliver a fly in. Develop some muscle memory with that over the shoulder cast. Be able to hit targets but also try leading your target (it can be easy to get into the habit of casting directly at what you are looking at, we don’t want to spook the fish with the fly landing on it, you want to cast where it is going to be.) And do all of this with a leader and fly similar to the one you will be using. You can cut the hook point off the fly with a good pair of pliers. This way you will avoid hooking yourself while also getting comfortable casting a similar length leader and fly weight. You may not be able to mimic the exact conditions to what you will be experiencing on the flats but you can get close.
Want to go from JV to varsity? Get good at shooting line with fewer backcasts. The bonefish are appropriately referred to as the “grey ghosts” and can quickly vanish off the flats. Be able to quickly get your fly in front of the fish. Having some experience playing around with a 7 or 8 wt will help you achieve your goal of a quick, accurate presentation. This is much more important than casting 80 or 100 ft. Most of your shots will be in the 30-60 ft range.
As you’re practicing, mimic a few good strip sets, always smart to start breaking the habit known as the dreaded “trout set”! Didn’t have time to practice casting? Don’t worry, its not the end of the world, have you seen our casting platform? Want more practice tips? Check out our previous article on 5 pre trip casting tips!
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