Thursday, October 29, 2009

Basic Gear for Your Saltwater Fly Fishing Trip

Functional Gear that Can Help You Pack Less

You can't stop thinking about it. You get to fish in the ocean in one month. Trip is set, travel is purchased, here comes the salt! It is an addiction, a passion. For me, the thought of fly fishing in the ocean is constant. I am always looking for opportunity to add to my experience
with new flies, tackle, and gear. Here are a few gear and tackle items you should have with you when you go. A great suit is a must for us ladies! lol

First, consider the environment you will be in, and no matter what, pack some fleece. It seems everywhere I go in the ocean it is windy. I have learned to gather more information about the weather and monthly averages of my destination before I go. I use popular sites like, or look up wind information published by my destination airport. In any weather condition, I find that zip up fleece is the most useful across the board. For an early morning run in the boat and late night fishing under dock lights, wind proof fleece is the best.

The next part of planning your trip is to consider is the fish. Tackle is probably the most expensive part of your saltwater fly fishing collection. The price of new fly rods, reels and fly lines makes my head spin. Two 9ft. rods are all you need, an 8wt and a 10wt. I use four piece rods and I carry a couple of extra lines for my reels. Consider at least having rods that are similar, so that if one breaks, the other can comfortably take its place. From redfish to giant tarpon, when you carry an 8wt and 10wt fly rod, you will be able to handle just about any fish or fly fishing situation.

Flies are the most fun part of planning for me. The Clouser Minnow is the one fly that covers it all. If you are like me, sitting at the bench is the way you focus your excitement. I visualize the fish that will eat every fly I tie. It is common practice on guided trips

that the guide provides the right flies. However, I always like to use my own flies where I can. It usually isn't hard to prepare a few of the most popular patterns for your particular fishing destination, but the Clouser Minnow is perhaps the best pattern for all fish. I like to prepare with a few sizes and colors, and weights appropriate to the waters I will be fishing. Whether you are casting at permit or barramundi, it seems there is not a fish in the ocean that won't eat a Clouser Minnow

I have learned that being prepared for the unexpected is wise when travelling to the ocean. I have also learned that being prepared for the expected is more valuable. Packing light is essential these days and highly functional gear and tackle is the best way to pack less. Gear like a windproof, zip-up fleece can improve your comfort and minimize the need for two or three other items you might normally pack. Traveling with two rods is plenty in most cases and the combination of an 8wt and 10wt fly rod covers just about any fish or fly fishing situation. Finally, a solid collection of Clouser Minnows work everywhere and will increase your chance to feed more fish.

Written by Capt. Matt Thomas

Capt. Matt Thomas  Fly Fishing the Colorado Rockies and the Florida Keys 

Note from the editor: Thank you for the great article Captain! I do not know anything about saltwater fly fishing but hope to get some fly fishing in this winter when I visit my mother in Florida. I can't wait to fish some Red Fish.  

Share you saltwater fly fishing stories and tips with my readers!


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