Fly Fishing for Coastal Gamefish
In my view, a fly has to meet two criteria to be appealing – it has to catch fish, and it has to be straightforward to tie. Thirty-step, 10 material, complicated flies can certainly be effective, but I generally am not interested in spending an hour at the vise tying a single fly. If for no other reason, it just hurts too much when that fly is lost. Granted, there are times when a single fly catches fish for an entire week of fishing, but there are also days when five flies is not enough. I know others don’t feel this way, but it works for me - keep it simple and catch fish.
Somewhat based on Bob Popovics' style of flies, the Simple Baitfish meets my requirements for catching fish and for being an easy fly to tie. Plus, it uses only two tying materials - Flash 'n Slinky and Puglisi dubbing brush - and eyes and some glue. The pattern makes use of the hi-tie style for tying in the slinky 'n flash body, which provides a great profile while keeping materials sparse, and keeps the hook point clear for solid hookups. I can tie up enough in short order to last me a while, and I don’t sweat it when I lose one.
Another nice thing about this pattern is that with a simple switch of colors you can have flies appropriate for different habitats, conditions, and gamefish. For example, I use a tan with gold flash version for backcountry redfish and snook, a white and chartreuse combination for casting seagrass beds for spotted seatrout, and an all white version for fishing along the beach or chasing false albacore.
Using all artificial materials, the fly is durable. It stands up well to all gamefish, even toothy ones like Spanish mackerel. And the construction – sparse body, compact head – gives it a good swimming motion.
So far, even though I’ve been using the fly only a short time, it’s been chewed by spotted seatrout, snook, redfish, small tarpon, Spanish mackerel, and false albacore.
The Fisherman's Coast approach focuses on how coastal gamefish interact with their habitats and prey. The more you know about the gamefish you pursue with a fly rod, the more often you'll be in the right place at the right time with the right fly making the right presentation. It's about catching more fish.
Our sister site Tribal Bonefish is all about conservation through responsible fishing. Tribal Bonefish shows you how to become a better steward of our coasts to protect our fisheries today, and ensure future generations get a chance to experience these fisheries.