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Old 06-07-2000, 06:00 AM
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juro juro is offline
Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Steelhead country|striper coast|bonefish belt
Posts: 20,594

Fishing's always good... catching varies.

As far as the PFD / safety discussion, I am glad there is a conscientious response. The trick with flats is that they offer a sense of security on the falling tide as you wander far from shore. As long as the tide is falling, you have nothing to worry about. Once the tide starts to flood, the trenches and dips between you and shore become barriers to return.

If you are heading back to mainland soil faster than the encroaching flood tide, you will have no worries. If not, you may be in for a threatening experience.

The dillema is that like sirens from the sea, the stripers rush onto the flats to feast on the bait that comes to feed on the richness of plant and microorganism casualties that occurred during low. The sand eels pop out of the sand to enjoy the rush of cool water, and the mixing of nutrients and current gets things in a stir. If you're knee deep in water with large fish rushing all around you tails slapping and taking the fly vigorously, it's easy not to turn around and realize you are on a sand bar 100 or even 300 yards from solid ground.

Incoming tide on flats is a priviledge reserved for those with boats. It's not worth your life.

BTW - learning to fish the outgoing can be as productive or more productive anyway. It sometimes takes a little more thinking to figure out where the drop-back stations are, and where the slack low holding locations are - but if you know these about a flat you will score and score big.

A perfect example is Joppa. The easiest fishing is at or near dead low, because the fish back down into the trench from the grassy point along the boat moorings in great numbers. While the current rages you need sinking lines and flies that fish can't resist / weighted flies to stop them in their tracks; at slack the conventional retrieve works wonders until the incoming when the fish rush back upriver. If you fish it down to low, you have little to worry about but when the tide comes up you need to meter your time with extreme caution.

Frankly, I have the PFD's for clients. I fish in a way that they do not have to wear them neccessarily, but I carry them just in case. Prevention is the best medicine; the ripcords have never been pulled on them so far. [KOW]
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