There is no reason why to many the idea of Salt Water fly fishing brings to mind thoughts and words like, complicated, difficult, skilled, hard etc. Crazy visions of technical casting and presentations. In the end if we keep it simple, focus on the basics we all, you can be successful at Salt Water Fly Fishing in a short amount of time with little fuss or great expense.

Fly Line Selection

  • consider the species to be pursued
  • Anticipate the water conditions to include temperature, clarity, depth & currents
  • Think about the casting distance and wind conditions, rain , etc
  • Location such as casting from a beach, boat, in surf or wading flats

Basic Stratergy

  • Weight forward lines in both bass & saltwater tapers are the best for general purpose
  • Floating lines when surface or shallow fishing on flats, shorelines, estuaries, off rocks or jetties. For surface feeding fish such as bluefish, strippers, bonefish, tarpon & redfish.
  • Fast Sinking lines are best to present a fly on a tight line to fish holding deep in tidal rips, river inlets, jetties, steep shorelines, rock cliffs and off bars. Balance sink rate and retrieve against depth at which fish are feeding.

Fly Line Tapers

  • Double Taper - Calm days for delicate presentation esp on shallow flats
  • Weight Forward Long Belly - Distance casting with delicate presentation
  • Weight Forward Bass Bug Taper - To turn large, hairy flies in strong wind
  • Weight Forward Salt Water Taper - To shoot fly fast over short distance
  • Shooting Taper - For less effortless distance casting and deep presentations


  • As there are many variables, specific formulas are hard to define
  • In deep or murky water, a short 3-4 ft leader
  • In calm, clear, shallow water up to 16 ft or as needed
  • In general keep the leader a short as possible to facilitate casting large, wind resistant flies, and to assist in casting during windy adverse weather

     Basic Leader Construction

    • 50% butt section - 30% center - 20% tippet
    • Butt section 25 - 30 lb mono, 3 - 4 ft long ending in Surgeons loop knot
    • Treat mono 20 lb or greater as part of butt as you construct leader
    • Shock tippet no linger than 12 inches
    Tight Lines & have fun !