Discovering the Surf [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Discovering the Surf

08-26-2004, 12:43 PM
Greetings to all.

I am hoping some of you might provide me with a perspective on the factors contributing to the growth of surf fly-fishing along the East Coast. I fly-fish the Texas surf avidly, but see there is a general reluctance among fly anglers to move off the flats and give it a try. I'm inclined to think the "hardships" of the surf (wind, waves, sand) mask its awesome bounty.

What were the motivating factors in moving fly anglers to the surf on the East Coast?


08-26-2004, 01:22 PM
That's where the fish are~!
The flats heat up and drive the stripers and blues (our primary inshore seasonal visitors) out to cooler deeper blue water...
The surf offers certain forage opportunities which, in turn, attracts preditors and the surf rats alike...
Also, the highly oxygenated waters tend to supercharge the feisty fish...
And that's a big plus!
Besides that...It feels good!
BTW...It's the BIG wave that you don't see that will get you!

08-26-2004, 01:28 PM
It takes two hands to properly handle the surf. Rods like the CND Atlantis two-hander let you cope with the challenges with a little practice. The biggest limiting factor is the stripping basket being behind the requirements of surf taming. Soon to be addressed :smokin:

08-26-2004, 03:13 PM
I guess motivating factors are the same no matter where you go. Folks down here are missing out. I'll just enjoy it to myself until they catch on!

Rod-wise, I prefer an RPLX 8-weight, loaded with a floating 9-weight line. Generally use Tropic 444, and drift flies in the wade gut and on either side of the 1st bar. Specks, Jacks, Reds, and S Macks. run these areas. 10-weight is more sure-fire for the big Jacks, but 8-weight will tackle them too. No need for a 2-hander right along wade gut and 1st bar, as many of the fish are at your feet.

At low tide, however, the fish will move out to "unreachable" areas betweeen the 2nd and 3rd bar. Here, I can see the 2-hander paying off with maybe a popper or large flat wing. Or, for the tarpon that daisy-chain out of casting range. For the most part, though, the fish are in close.

And yes, the wave you DON'T see will get you. I recall getting clobbered last year when I turned my back to the surf while removing the hook from a skipjack. Just heard a curling sound and looked up to see a large one crush me. Wave seemingly came out of no where. I Went down... hard.

How is that 2-hander off Jetties?


08-26-2004, 03:31 PM
At 11ft it's about 8" longer from grip to tip than your single hander... but as an 11/12wt it's significantly more powerful. I wouldn't advise going with anything longer on the rocks, even an extra foot is too much IMHO never mind 14fters.

I have experience with both, most recently in winds from the wrong side gusting to 35mph. I was still able to reach the fish where even the spin lures were getting blown to one side. When the fish came in, I had no more trouble than anyone landing them - even no more than the spin rods.

Not only can you cast huge poppers but also wet patterns and handle much bigger fish like the tarpon you mentioned with less trouble.

Meaning no disrespect and for rhetorical value I would ask you in return... how's that 8wt on the jetties? :lildevl:

08-26-2004, 03:50 PM
The 8 can be overpowered on the jetties by a king or jack, but can handle most of the others. Actually, I don't care much for any fly rod off the jetties even though there is some good fishing to be had on them. Between old bottom rigs, barnacles, tourists, and other anglers swinging pyramid sinkers around, jetties are rough. I usually stay off them and piers too.

Recently watched a guy trying to cast a TFO 2-hand off the jetties. Looked like work.

I have been entertaining the idea of a 2-hander for reaching farther, and handling some of the extreme wind events in the surf. Looks like it would be ideal for tarpon or shallow sharks.


08-26-2004, 06:52 PM
For me casting my Atlantis is anything but work, although I admit it took me a while to figure out how to stop hitting the cast too hard all the time. An IM8 blank with two-hands generates an awful lot of power and it's important to work within the constraints of throwing a very supple thin string-like material called fly line in a straight line 120ft or more in rough conditions. Once you find 'the groove' you feel a lot less strain in the shoulders than you would making an equivalent amount of casts with one arm.

I am in the process of getting some video clips together on the topic, if you are still interested when it's ready I will let you know.

08-26-2004, 08:36 PM
Thanks, I would be interested in that.