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NIRVANA Vintage Click Pawl Reels on a Sweet Deal
NIRVANA Vintage Click Pawl Reels on a Sweet Deal

What is a Sea Trout

Fly fishing for gamefish in saltwater is becoming an increasingly popular sport. Trout are the perfect gamefish for the beginner as well as the seasoned pro.

You can find saltwater trout just about everywhere from the Alantic to the Gulf of Mexico. Depending, where you fish, they are called weak fish, sea trout, spotted sea trout and I call them trout. Here, in Florida, there is a 15 to 20 inch slot limit and a 4-fish bag limit, of which you cannot possess more than one of more than 20 inches.

Trout season is closed in the months of November and December. For us pro’s, fishing with a medium to fast action fly rod, teamed with a fly reel designed for saltwater with a weight-forward line matching your rod weight will get us started.

When selecting a fly reel remember, select one with a good drag system capable of holding the line weight that matches the rod with enough room for your backing. For the novice ( beginner ), a slow or full-flex rod may be easier to learn on and ” backing ” means; extra line that will allow long runs that saltwater gamefish are apt to make. Generally speaking, a 9 foot rod in a medium to fast action, in the 6 to 8 class weight is the standard, for saltwater fly fishing. Fly selection should include any streamer or shrimp pattern and anything that pushes the water attached to a 9-foot tapered leader terminating in eight to twelve pound test is adequate for catching our game. My favorite fly is the Clouser Minnow.

Water in depths of 2 to 6 feet, with grass interspered among oysters and sandy areas are the best trout hide-outs. The best sanctuaries and ambush points, are pot holes found in these grassy interspered areas. Trout as well as other gamefish are found in most of these pot holes. Finding these honey-holes is easy, if while drift fishing. A pair of good quality, polorized sunglasses is a must. Always avoid a cast into the center of the hole when first approached.

Treat each hole, regardless of size, as a potential honey hole and carefully work it on all sides. Fish can be stacked or positioned on either side as well as in this hole.

Catching Trout on the Fly Usually, the surrounding water is relatively shallow and the potholes are deeper. Don’t leave after one fish, it may contain your limit and these potholes, can range in size from a few feet to a hundred yards long.

While drifting, across these potholes, you should stop just within casting distance before spooking the fish out of them. Trout are notoriously difficult to spot on any broken bottom, so the best place to see them is on the sandy areas.

Using a weighted fly, allow the fly to sink and then give it a relatively long, quick strip and pause. This is known as ” hopping the fly “, a method much like its counter-partner ” jigging ” on spinning tackle. This allows the fly to sink back down in the water column. Most strikes occur on this fallback and often go unfelt.

If you notice a twitch or a jerk on the fall back, somebody is mouthing dinner. More times than not, on your next strip you will have a hook up.

If you do not have a weighted fly, you can get the fly down in the water by adding a small split shot to the tippet just ahead of the fly.

Just remember, that drifting along the flats and blind casting into those honey-holes until some fish are caught, is a great way of exploring new water. Avoid laying your line across the hole because the line hitting the water may spook the game and when hooked, watch out and you will see why I call them flying trout, as they more than dance across the water….and always remember to limit your catch, don’t catch your limit!

~Ref:, Aug 2010