The more time you spend fly fishing the more proficient and skilled you become as a fly fisher.  Especially as a saltwater fly fisher. One of the first revelations a fly fisher has, “I need to become a better caster!” I need more distance, so I can easily cast 60 feet. Good casters are always working to become great casters. The most important equipment item for a new saltwater fly caster is a sinking fly line. Most fish are taken sub-surface, so the sinking fly line is a must. Occasionally a popper will work with your floating line about 10% of the time. Conditions must be perfect for top water flies to work. When they do work, they are a visual feast! Great fun to watch a fish blast your popper. If you are observant and stealthy enough to move your kayak close enough to a fish feeding frenzy, having a popper on can be a really good time. The fish are aggressively feeding and you need to strip your fly like a bait fish trying to escape. When you set the hook with a strip strike (a long fast strip) that is preferred over the Trout set (just lifting the rod tip). The more time you spend on the water the stranger and more bizarre your tall tales become, some are even true!


Structure such as rock piles, docks, jetties, and drop offs are usually a good place to start your fishing day. Time and time again I fish the places where I have caught fish previously. One of the places I like to fish is a deep hole in one of the estuaries. It usually is a reliable place to catch fish on an incoming tide, two hours before the high tide. In the past I have caught Flounder, Cabrilla, Orange Mouth Corvina, Sierra Mackerel, Trigger, but no Red Herring. After all, this is a mystery when the fish are missing. One morning I am showing my new friend Watson Johnson the honey hole, but throwing in a word of caution that this quirky place can be fishless at times. As we make the last turn and come around a sand dune that shelters the hole, WOW! There are 6 grey porpoise in my favorite fishing hole. They are chowing down like it’s an all you can eat buffet. Soon there is an oil slick and various fish bits floating on the water while the porpoise rodeo round up more fish and feast on them. This process took about 15 minutes and then the porpoise had moved on with no evidence of them being the culprits. My friend Watson smirked as he turned to me and said, “Aha Sherlock. Now you know the answer to the mystery of the disappearing fish.”

Vince Deadmond The Retired Fly-Fishing Hardware Guy can be reached at and at 480 818 1796.