Bluefish On A Fly Rod

Thirty five years ago a buddy took me saltwater fly fishing to Cape Hatteras, NC. Though I had been fly fishing for freshwater trout and bass for many years, this would be my first experience with saltwater fly fishing. My friend had a small sixteen foot fishing boat that was well suited for fly fishing the NC. Sounds and bays.

We spent the first day fishing the flats and areas where rivers and streams fed into the sound. We managed to catch a few nice drum and trout with our fly rods. Later that day we stopped by a bait shop and one of the local watering holes. Everyone was talking about the large schools of bluefish that were entering the sound at the point at Cape Hatteras. The next morning we anchored the boat just inside the entrance to the sound at the point and waited. The shoreline was filled four wheel drives parked right next to each other. It was not long before I witnessed something that I will never forget. What I saw looked like the water starting to boil. The area was larger than the size of a football field and was coming within fly rod reach of us. On my first cast I hooked a twelve pound bluefish and was amazed at the power of the fish I had hooked. After I landed the fish, my friend said, a small one. It was the largest fish I had ever caught fly fishing. I would soon find out what he was talking about. On my very next cast I hooked a twenty two pound bluefish. For the next two hours we followed the school and caught fish on just about every cast. By the time the school disappeared my arms, hands shoulders and back ached.

The next day I was sore all over and suggested we opted of a little calmer type of fishing. We again revisited the flats and caught some redfish and trout. On our third we revisited the inlet and again experienced the amazing bluefish run two days earlier.

Bluefish are voracious feeders and will attack just about any saltwater flies with a little color and flash to it. That morning I caught fish on Clouser's Minnows and Lefty's Deceivers. Since that day the Clouser's Minnow and Lefty's Deceiver have become my favorite flies, and I have caught bluefish, snook, redfish, tarpon, stripers, drum false albacore and other species.

That was my first experience with saltwater fly fishing but was by no means my last. Since that week I have been fly fishing at the Florida Keys, up and down the eastern US coast and Belize but nothing I ever replace the memories I have of my first saltwater fly fishing trip.

Clear water and tight lines,