Most folks couldn’t scrape the scent of 2020 off the bottom of their shoe fast enough. There seems to be great anticipation, and hope for 2021, with the release of the vaccine for Covid-19. We lost too many people, and couldn’t seem to get a handle on the virus soon enough. Social distancing seems to have caught on and folks are spending more time outdoors doing more solitary things, like rediscovering fishing. It wasn’t as noticeable as the hand sanitizer and toilet paper shortage, but basic fishing supplies, hooks, lines, and sinkers were missing from retail shelves for a long time.
If you have decided that 2021 is the year that you are going to start your saltwater fly fishing adventure I have a few equipment suggestions for you. When you start searching for fly fishing gear you may be slapped in the face with sticker shock. You will find some top end fly rods priced at $1200 and yes, they are wonderful sticks. My most expensive rods I won in a fly club raffle, and I have some really good rods that I have spent around $300 to purchase. You can take a rod building class where you buy and assemble your own parts for $60 and finish with a rod that would retail for around $400. You can shop used equipment on Ebay and ease into fly fishing for less than $200 and have the basics of rod and reel covered.
My recommendation for a fly rod to fish Rocky Point would be a saltwater 4 piece eight weight 9 foot model with a fighting butt. The saltwater model is usually stiffer for the larger flies that you will be throwing. The 4 piece breaks down into a smaller package for storage and travel. The eight weight is a good all-around size for most of the fish that we catch in Rocky Point. The fighting butt gives you more leverage in fighting fish. Almost anything for a reel will do. We don’t get a lot of fish that make long runs, so the reel is just a line holder. I picked up a new 7/8 Piscifun reel for about $50 off the internet. Where you don’t want to go cheap is on the fly line. I would suggest a 300-400 grain sinking line with an intermediate sink running line. This is the line that I use most often for RP fishing. You can expect to pay $80 to $120 for a line like this.
After you get outfitted you need a plan, you can’t just show up and expect great fishing. My plan starts with a tidelines calendar, I like to arrive in RP so I can fish the neap tides, the two smaller tides during the month. The spring tides move so much water that they are difficult to manage, or even allow your weighted line to get down in the water column. The tide calendar will tell you when the tide is going in and out. Your plan should be to go with the tide even on a neap tide, it’s easier to go with the flow. Some local businesses stock the tide calendar for RP or you can go on line www.tidelines.com and order yours.
After you get your days picked for fishing you will need a few flies. I like ones that look like baitfish, shrimp, or crabs. Two of my favorite flies are the Clouser Minnow that looks like a fish, and the Gotcha’a that looks shrimpy. I tie my own, but you can buy flies from your local fly shop or on line. I would suggest flies tied on a size 4 stainless hook so it does not rust. Finally, you may need a fly-casting lesson, if you are not casting 50 feet you need to work on your double haul. A fly-fishing guide should be able to tune up your casting, this is not a natural motion and everyone who does it well has had help. Hope to see you on the water in 2021.
Vince Deadmond The Retired Fly-Fishing Hardware guy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and at (480) 818-1796.