Flats Logic: #1 [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Flats Logic: #1

02-13-2004, 09:42 AM

You are nicely spread between five individual anglers, 100 yards between each and you are smack in the middle. There's a balmy 5-7 mph summer breeze keeping the noseeums at bay and the sky is as blue as a robin's egg. Unfortunately these guys have the wrong fly, broke the hooks at the bend back at the jetty last night haven't checked their fly and are simply destined not to hook a single fish all day, in addition they are impatiently blind casting rapidfire as you wait patiently ready to make a precision cast to approaching fish.

But they will however see these fish because three days of wind pulled some cool water onto the flats and black-backed ocean fish are in 18"-30" of water all over the place, moving skittishly in groups unlike residents who are calmly foraging. They might not see the residents but they will see the temporary visitors.

How will you know when to expect fish to come your way?


It won't be because of hookups or sudden casting, see above.

02-13-2004, 09:54 AM
IF it is truly 100 yards between anglers...I would move in closer to shore... that is behind those anglers stiil at my distance from them if I know fish are coming on to the flats and see them the way you describe. I would expect to see fish moving in closer inbetween the 200 yards I created by breaking up the line of anglers. Naturally my fly WILL have a clean hook on it, but since you have not indicated what they might be feeding on they may just be moving from one place to another ..Looking. Without knowing the bait situation I would start with a sand eel.

02-13-2004, 09:59 AM
Just to clarify, your fly is perfect for the occasion, for what it's worth. Of course you have a dozen flies in your box they will eat today. The stars are aligned for you.

I was just asking how you'd know that fish were going to be coming your way ahead of their arrival, when to stop twiddling thumbs and get ready.

02-13-2004, 10:20 AM
Most anglers in that situation when a fish shows in their view will lower their profile, change their stripping pace or in a new flats fishers case probably stop casting and watch in awe as a pod goes by. Watch for the tell and get ready.


John Desjardins
02-13-2004, 10:25 AM
While not a flats fisher what I notice when fish are moving is that the direction, distance and frequency of your neighbors casts should give you an indication of when and from which direction the fish are coming. Sense their frustration and use it for your goals.

Dble Haul
02-13-2004, 10:29 AM
I have to agree with Sean's logic.....they may be blind casting, but when a single, pair, or pod comes into view the nature of their casting and fishing efforts in general will change (that is, become more focused).

02-13-2004, 10:48 AM
but what does it mean to notice "more focus" from 100 yards?

02-13-2004, 10:54 AM
5 guys blindcasting a flat withing 100 yards of each other? Sounds kinda familiar.... time for the stinkeye:mad:

Time for a walk...get on the edges!

02-13-2004, 11:01 AM
True, but that is another story entirely. You would be in the boat channel to the east and over two-hundred yards away as the flood is beginning to the west, and your milk run wants you to be where you are or you will be out of position for the next phase of flood. Your big picture mental model says stay put where you are... besides, you are really starting to notice something spreading down the line...

Dble Haul
02-13-2004, 11:03 AM
Originally posted by juro
but what does it mean to notice "more focus" from 100 yards?

Instead of blind casting in a fanning pattern, they will follow the moving fish with repeated casts (and as you've indicated, they aren't drawing any strikes), giving away the general direction that the stripers are headed. That, and as Sean said about body language/posture, would give it away for me.

02-13-2004, 11:12 AM
OK - You guys got it and I can't hold back any longer... the answer is they have changes in assitude and I don't mean the Jimmy Buffet tune.


I jest but it's entirely true. I've even seen many of you guys do it and I know I do too!

At virtually any distance you can see this change and it means there are fish to be seen there.

I often make an effort not to take the predatory position when I don't want others to know I see fish just yet, like when they are huge and I want to get the first one on before I give any clues :devil:

02-13-2004, 11:28 AM
I was right? Right? also I would notice certain of the group start to bunch up. That is, move closer to each other inadvetantly.

02-13-2004, 11:32 AM
In very simple terms, when people see fish they stick their butts out! :hehe:

When I see that I get ready to cast.

Furthermore, you can watch the butts stick out in a wave when pods come by, it's kinda hilarious!

If this applied to say salmon river or the Cowlitz it would be the "buttwave" :chuckle:

OK - I've gone far enough with this one. Next one will be much harder :devil:


2 high scorers will get a day on the flats, lunch, shuttle fees, and a schlepper of your water for a day c/o myself. I might not guarantee you will score on a cow bass but I will carry those mighty fine sandwiches from the Chatham Village Cafe' and the water stays cold in my pack when you need a drink and offer a few suggestions as to where to stand at what phase in the tide and why through the day.

Sean McDermott is the winner of this quiz.

02-13-2004, 01:10 PM
assitude........Brilliant, Im guilty !!!!!:D