Saltwater Fly FishingOverview:
Saltwater fly fishing is the art and science of using a fly rod and reel withvery light, usually hand tied, flies (or lures), to catch a saltwater species of fish.This usually occurs in coastal areas of the various oceans, gulfs, bays, sounds andriver estuaries. The saltwater fly fisherman generally fish to species that areclearly visible before making a cast, a process called sight casting.There are two main groups of fish to be fished to: 1) flats fish (fish thatmove through and feed in very shallow sandy, coral or mud under terrain) whichincludes bonefish, redfish, tarpon and stripers and 2) top water feeding fish, whichcan include tuna, jack, bonito, and bluefish. There are also those fish which do notnormally feed on the surface, but which must be baited or "chummed" to thesurface before a fly rod can be used to toss a fly (lure) to the fish. These fish caninclude sharks, snapper and grouper. Another saltwater fish susceptible to the flyrod is the ling (orcobia or lemon fish). These fish are brought to the surface withsound and are sometimes swim near the surface while not necessarily feeding.
There is much debate surrounding the exact origin and development of saltwaterfly fishing. Most sources locate the first mention of fly fishing in saltwater in the writings of the ancient Greeks and Romans sometime around 200 A.D.Some point to the Greek Oppian in A.D. 176 who discussed fly fishing for the fishScarus(unknown today) in salt water (Samson). Other sources credit the RomanAelianwith the first mention of fishing in the ocean using a fly (Herd). After beingabsent from literature for hundreds of years saltwater fly fishing re-emerges in thehistorical record around the 1800s, where fly fishing along the coast of England ismentioned briefly in Blaine's 1840
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(Herd), as wellas of the coasts of Australia and in estuaries of South Africa (Samson).While, as these accounts demonstrate, the sport has been practiced for manycenturies, saltwater fly fishing as it is known today truly developed in the UnitedStates. Many of the earliest accounts of the sport in the U.S. come from the EastCoast, with mention being made of fishing for saltwater fish along the shorelinewith flies, including striped bass, as early as the 1875. In Florida, more oftencredited as the birthplace of saltwater fly fishing, there are reports of fishing for