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FlyGuy’s Beginners Guide to Saltwater Fly Fishing

“It must be the hardest way to catch a fish?!” Yes, but it’s also the best challenge, the most visual and just so much fun.

Hi, It’s FlyGuy here..

Just wanted to do a beginners guide to saltwater fly fishing for those who thought it was a great seeing fly fising for snapper in Season 3 Episode 3 and want to try something a bit different.

First question I always get is: “Why catch them fly fishing, it must be the hardest way to catch a fish” I will have to agree, it is the hardest way, but it’s also the best challenge, the most visual and just so much fun catching fish on a flyrod.

Remember, it’s not only snapper you can catch on a fly rod in saltwater, you can catch anything that swim’s in the ocean. I have been fly fishing in New Zealand saltwater over the last 10 years, and here are some personal achievements to give you an idea of what can be caught: 350kg mako shark (never know he was hooked, but he did eat the fly, then towed me around for a few hours); 120kg blue shark, released alongside the boat; 27kg albacore tuna; 6 kg skipjack tuna; 33kg kingfish; 12.5 kg snapper; 4.9kg kahawai; 7kg trevally; 200kg bronze whaler shark and also a few john dory, moki, parore.
At the moment, I'm chasing the world record striped marlin with the help of my good mate Bonze and hopefully we will get it one day... 

I recommend that you start with something easy, though, so you get some successes before moving onto some of the more extreme stuff.
Drive your boat up to a school of kahawai and have some fun, or put a berley trail down on your favourite snapper spot and see how easy it is to catch them on a flyrod.

For snapper, kahawai, trevally and small kingfish a 9weight rod with an intermediate line is the perfect setup. This is really all you need to get you started!
If you are on a budget look at the Airflo rods, reels and lines; if you want the best, Scott fly rods with Lamson or Hatch reels with Airflo lines.

The one stop shop to get everything for saltwater fly fishing is at Manic Tackle Project

Clouser style flies and deceivers are allround saltwater flies, but there are thousands of different patters to choose from. For a start just use basic white ones, they catch anything!

I will soon do an article about which flies for which species, but that’s enough for now to get you out there catching your first fish on your fly rods in the salt.

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