Best Advice Received-Summary - Fly Fishing Forum
Stripers and Coastal Gamefish Stripers, Blues, Inshore tuna!

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Old 04-30-2011, 11:56 AM
Paxton Paxton is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Central Mass and Chatham
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Best Advice Received-Summary

Fly Fishing Forum Member Contributions

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A. Best Fishing Advice I Ever Received/Given ( some in humor):
• By a grand-father to grand-son …”take this rod, go flail away with it, have fun, ask questions, and by all means don’t give a __________ about how you look or what others think. Just go have fun”
• “Limit your false casting to two back-casts = more time fishing, less time casting”
• “If you want to catch more fish….your goal should be to learn at least one new thing every time you go out”
• ‘Pay attention to every retrieve you make, don’t just aimlessly cast and retrieve. If you have made at least 3 good presentations with no success, vary the retrieve before changing the fly”
• “On a boat, if you cast barefoot, you know when you are standing on the line”
• “ Check for line twist and do something about it”
• “Fly don’t catch fish in the air; fly catch fish in the water”
• “Spend at least as much time looking and watching as you do casting”
• “Keep your fly zipped” 
• For rips: “Chuck it out as far as you can, feed out more line, and let it swing” (Estey Swing)
• “Fish one area a lot and really learn it – don’t chase after the next “hot” area”
• “To increase success, “ spend a lot of time in an area at low tide during the daytime and learn where the structure is and how it might impact fish behavior”
• “Never cast (in regular manner) with the wind blowing against your casting shoulder”…whispered to me by the first clouser I ever bounced off the back of my head” 
• “Make sure your fly is sinking to the level of the fish, they’ll go down, but they’re reluctant to come up”
• “ Sit and watch the water before you tie on a fly”
• “ If you are catching in one spot, change your fly occasionally to up your catch rate and present something new to the fish”
• “Pay absolute attention to details such as – weather, tide, temperature and bait”
• Re beach fishing – “use straight through 20lb. tippet and don’t worry about the fly color too much. If the fish are there, they are hungry”; “Always watch the water carefully when walking the beach to/from a spot”; ‘On foggy or cloudy days, big fish may run right along the beach, so try to hit those areas even in late July/early August”
• “Buy and use good glasses (polarized) and keep a spare in the car and a towel”
• “It is never exactly the same, even in the same exact spot, so be willing to always try something new and different”
• “Chartreuse”
• “Sometimes important, fish-inducing concepts come to you when you are well away from your quarry in both distance and time”
• Paraphrased – when fish are present and one or someone has been unsuccessful for a long period of time… consider showing the fish a different fly
• “Sometimes, there is a hot fly. The fish will let you know after ten casts or so”
• “Get priorities straight. Fish are not as important as family”
• “Be more patient. Find a fishy spot. Wait. The fish will come”
• “Just go fishing! Don’t sweat the details so much. This is supposed to be fun”
• “ Always sharpen your hooks”
• “No matter how long you have been fishing, there is always something new to learn and if you approach fishing in that light, every trip will be successful and you will also probably even catch fish”

B. Flats FishingSafety: (Note- Not limited to the below…always use good judgment) .• “Always carry a compass if wading out onto a flat very far from shore. Fog can sometimes materialize fairly quickly, obliterating visual reference, so knowing the proper direction to head back to shore could be important. A GPS unit (with working batteries) serves the same function” Addition to this quote: Consider a set of back-up fresh batteries for the GPS, cell phone and water proof container (s). If possible, always tell someone where you are going. If taken out to a flat (island) by shuttle (marine taxi)…have the phone number of the service in your possession.
• “Carry a small whistle to potentially attract attention”
• “Live to fish another day”
General Flats Equipment Recommendations:• “Get a hat with a dark under brim (reduces reflection) and a bill that curves around the sides of your polarized glasses”
• Consider “drab” clothing”.
• “Always be aware that if you see a fish…it sees you. Consider reels that are not flashy chrome; walk the flats and wait for fish with your rod down or parallel to the water to reduce glare from rod guides; sun tan lotion; water, water, water; first aid equipment; toilet paper for those times one really has to stop fishing” 
Flats Etiquette:• “Always be aware of respectful of others position on the flats. Avoid crowding and or walking in front of someone sighting a specific area. If you desire to cross, either walk well behind and or get the attention of the other person and say or hand gesture that you would like to move to a location left of right of him/her”
• “Try and keep a distance of about 150 to200 ft. from another fisher-person (even your buddy unless you agree to be next to each other). The rationale is: It reduces a “barrier” effect on the flats that can result in spooking fish and opens “lanes” for both of you for fish to travel”
• “Avoid “running” to and or next to another fisher-person who is having success (unless you are called over)…your “thrashing” and “barrier effect’ will ruin the spot for both he and you”
• “If you find a “newbie”…consider helping them as much as someone has helped you when you started out….it can often be more enjoyable than catching fish yourself”

General Flats Principals, Observations, Techniques, Hypotheses, Experiences:• “Pay attention to all slight changes in depth (structure), the troughs (addition: where flats of different heights meet) …these a potential “travel routes; small holes can be feeding stations”; paraphrased…evidence of prior “clammers’ presence” at low tide can be feeding stations later when the flats become covered.
• “Best time to study the structure of a flat to identify potential spots to fish later, is at low tide”
• “When the light is bad, a lot of times, you will see a quick flash or a hint of “dark form”...get the fly out quickly …you will be often rewarded”
• “When fishing under bright sun, use no flash (on fly) whatsoever”
• “Make sure your fly is sinking to the level of the fish, they’ll go down, but they’re reluctant to come up”
• “Learn to deliver the fly quickly and on target, practice making casts with only one back-cast out to 60 feet or so”
• “If you are fishing above your thighs, there ‘s a good change there are fish behind you”
• “Keep moving to fresh schools (addition: if present particular school is in a non-feeding mood and or the “bite” is wearing off)
• re Likelihood of best fish to target to obtain success:
Large pod/school (competition for food)
Small pod (some competition)
A fish or multiple “flashing’ fish (actively feeding)
Single fish swimming in a zig-zag manner (possibly searching for food)
Slow swimming fish (possibly may be looking for food or “thinking’ about it)
A fish or small pod swimming fast in a straight line ( often in non feeding mood, just going from point A to B
Fish gone past you and swimming away….try casting well in front of the fish and to its side and “rip” the fly once….can result in a “reaction take”
• “Keep my silhouette low and move slowly”
• “Watch others near- by…if their profile is low and they are leaning forward with their butts are sticking out…they are spotting fish…don’t move, pay attention…wait till the fish come to you” 
• “Don’t aimlessly slosh around the flats….walk a few steps in search of fish…wait a while, look, then move on… sloshing will just spook any fish that was ‘thinking” of coming near you”
• “Look for dark shadows or anything unnatural … especially if moving against the current….when in doubt…cast”
• “Unless at absolute low tide, try and stay away from any channels, deep water areas on the edges of flats….staying on the edge will create a “barrier” and prevent fish from coming onto the flat. Always stand back and wait….if there are no fish coming up, then consider going to the edge”
• Conga lines – “Conga lines typically form a “barrier” that results in spooking fish….if you see a conga line of fisherpersons…stand at least 200ft left or right of them…. fish will avoid them and come to you”…”If they are fishing up to their baskets….use the same technique ass above, BUT, fish well back of them….the fish will come in behind them, thanks to the “lane” they created for you 
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