Bottom Fishing w/Fly Gear


Do it outside!
Anyone have experience bottom fishing with fly gear? Looking for a recommendation on fly patterns and techniques. Planning to scout the south sound and thought this might be a fun way to wait out the tide swing.

Jim Darden

Active Member
Used to do this a lot in Feb. when things were slow and I wanted some good tabel fare. The limit was 15 then it is 1 now. Use 30 ft of courtland lc-13 on a running line and an 8 wt rod. Most any streamer pattern will work. Tie something cheap cause you will lose some. Target ridges 60-70 ft down or drop offs and fish on the slack so you can get down. You can go deeper but only while there is no current. Look for backeddies by the kelp where you can get down. You can go shallower but you mostly catch kelp greenling and pile perch.
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2/0 Circle Hook w/ lead dumbbell eyes tyed with yak hair and some flash.

For fly line I like the Airflo Depth Finder. It comes in floating running line or intermediate running line. Both work great and it gets down fast.


Do it outside!
Great responses. I'm interested in Rock fish, Ling Cod, Flounder, Perch.... alternatives to Salmonidae which I fish on the incoming and outgoing tides. A buddy of mine suggested T-20. is that heavy enough?


Do it outside!
Good suggestion Blake. I might stop by for supplies next Friday. I'd like to get some general ideas on where to begin my search in the south sound. We can chat offline or pm if you want.
for blacks i like a 2 inch white marabou fly with pink head and grizzly hackle behind the dumbell eyes, blacks and lings go ape shit for it, i use a floating line 10 foot leader gettin limits on the daily. remember to check your leader after 10 blacks your 8 pound will be 2 pound. oh yea and when a big one dives into the kelp, wait him out and keep pullin he will come


Active Member
First -
Be sure to check your regulations - all of Puget Sound is closed to rockfish, ling cod are open May 1st to June 15. Further this time of the year (winter) most of the flatfish speices are in fairly deep water (100+ feet); they will be movng into easy fly range in the late spring and summer.

For lings I usually use an 8 wieght rod with T-14 28 foot head and running line; this works great in depths less than 40 feet (though have taken fish below 50 feet). I do not use lead eyes - use the sinking line to get my fly down with a slow stripped retrieve the unweight fly it will fish parallel the bottom; reducing hang-ups. Huge fan of yak hair for the flies. Good action in the water and when dealing with toothy critters the durability of yak (and kevlar thread) is important. Have had several mornings of 20 or more lings on a single fly before it was destroyed to the point of being useless.

The big issue is getting the fly down. Current itself is not much of an issue; if the boat and the fly/line or moving at the same rate it will sink just fine on a slack line. After the cast just strip off free line on to the water allowing the fly to sink to the desired level. The two big issues is when the currents at different levels are flowing at different speeds and/or direction and the wind. Obviously looking for a calm day in areas of uniform currents is the ideal. Have had some success with the conflicting currents by casting up or down current so that the fly will be more less directly below the boat upon reaching the bottom. Using drift socks or an autopilot electric motor to slow the drift or to conteract the wind can be a big aid.

Good luck

When trying to get down deep fast, It's about weight that's for sure, however one of the biggest aspects a lot of fisherman leave out is the diameter of the shooting head. In my experience the LC13 with an amnesia running line is about the fastest sinking line you can use, besides it's dirt cheap and cast OK.

my 2 cents



the Menehune stole my beer
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Blake hit it spot on....make sure your fly is heavy too so it sinks faster/as fast as your heavy sinking head. Otherwise, when you let your sinking head out your leader might sink slower and your fly will wrap around the head and ruin your presentation. I'll use leadhead jigs with yellow bucktail bodies for this too and just bounce...bounce......bounce....WHACK!

Sand sharks are a lot of fun to catch this way as well
Great thread. I have just aquired my first salt set up and heading to Rhode Island next week. Unfortunately, I wont have a boat, it will be surf casting. I bought some 4" Clousers w/dumbbell heads in various colors. I will be watching for more replies. By the way, I will be using a 7wt line w/12' sink tip, any suggestions on leader # and tippet. Looking to hopefully get into a Striper or Bluefish. Thanks


Active Member
I've done a bit of it, but most of my luck has been in the 15-30 foot range. I have caught lings, cabs, and greenling. The lings and the cabs are the funnest of them all. I just use my 8wt with a sink tip and a VERY heavily weighted fly! I can't find the big version of my pic with the cab but it is my avatar picture. These fish were caught on heavily weighted variations of clousers.