Fly Fishing Forum - View Single Post - Atlantics in salt/estuaries
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Old 04-30-2004, 11:53 AM
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mattzoid mattzoid is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Any body of water flowing to the Pacific
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Some of the pros may have more insight than me and hopefully they will jump on your thread. Atlantics are a bit different than west coast Salmon (Coho, Kings, Pink and Chum). When the first British explorers came through here, they tried to toss Atlantic flies at them with poor results. They figured west coast Salmon were retarded or something and wrote them off.

I seem to have the best luck with bait fish patterns. I think it much easier to catch them while they are still in the salt. When they first come into a river, they shut down and concentrate getting up stream. Last year on the Stilly, I watched herd after herd of Coho cruise past this bottle neck, about a mile or so past the mouth and could not get them to take a fly. Ten or twenty miles upstream, near their natal beds, they seem a bit more eager to take something.

Excluding the Pink Salmon, I have caught more Coho in Puget Sound. Puget Sound is an enormous body of water here, surrounded by mountains and well protected from the open ocean. It makes it an ideal place to use a small boat to fish the beaches. Salmon have to migrate by several prominent points on their way to their rivers and these are the spots I like to concentrate on. Usually, they are so close to the beach that most takes occur within twenty feet of shore. Nothing like stripping a bait fish pattern through the salt and BAM!

Les Johnson is the Puget Sound master with several books under his belt. These may not translate well to the east coast. There are a few self proclaimed masters out of California, but again their books may not translate well.

I like to fly fish the salt because not a lot of people do. There isn't a library of knowledge like you might find on lake fishing for trout so it requires one to be innovative and willing to explore techniques that are different and untried. Or you can buy all of Les's books and get way ahead of the game.

I would google the heck out of the east coast fly sites and search for Atlantics in the Salt.

Matt Burke
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