Bottom Fishing w/Fly Gear

#31
Fly Club 80 miles from me on the CA coast catch Halibut in less than 15' of water in Summer. I missed the BBQ last year, will not miss it this year. They use floating or clear intermediate lines. 15# halibut is fun on a 7 weight.
 

mbowers

Active Member
#33
Looks like just about everything has been covered, all I can offer is more opinion on the same comments
if fishing from a boat with heavy heads a simple solution is to water load your back cast. works like a charm and no need to duck or worry about getting hit with the fly.
Excellent point and do it all the time
by the way kayaks are kelp bed fishing mashines, so stealthy ive sight fished blacks less then 2 feet from the kayak, now that is exiting
I don't like fly fishing from kayaks and much prefer an inflatable boat. To me they slide over the kelp just as easily but the casting / spotting from a standing up position is so much better
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.
Valid point at slack tide but as soon as there's a little current I think the weighted fly is needed to get down and stay down.
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.
Agree on the currents and I'm in love with my drift socks: knowing how to use one of those things is probably way more important than fly choice IMHO.
 

Jim Mcallister

AKA stillwater guy
#35
On your back cast let your line settle into the water pull in the slack and cast forward do it before the fly/line sinks or you will be doing a lot of head rubbing or hook extraction.But it works really well to gather control back on a sloppy cast or hucking into a good wind.At least thats why when I use it.
 

mbowers

Active Member
#36
On your back cast let your line settle into the water pull in the slack and cast forward do it before the fly/line sinks or you will be doing a lot of head rubbing or hook extraction.But it works really well to gather control back on a sloppy cast or hucking into a good wind.At least thats why when I use it.
I would say somewhere between just touching the tip of the line and just barely letting the line settle is optimal. The extra force required to pull the line from the water stores more energy in the rod and if you get the timing right you get more distance on the forward cast. Watch for kelp behind you before you try it though! :)

Actually I have one new point to add: IMHO I feel that a smaller hook like a #1 or smaller will rip through kelp stalk snags without breaking say 15lb tippet while a #2/0 grabs more kelp meat and is more likely to break off than rip out. Unless you're expecting something huge a #1 should be able to hold anything you're likely to hook.
 
#37
use lead core line
search ebay for TEL-A-DEPTH-LEAD-CORE-LINE
there is a whole bunch of factory seconds there.
each color change is 30feet, about just nice to load a 8wt if you want to cast.
What lb test loads an 8wt at 35 feet ?TEl-A DEpth comes in 15-50lb test. Thanks for your help.
 

mbowers

Active Member
#38
What lb test loads an 8wt at 35 feet ?TEl-A DEpth comes in 15-50lb test. Thanks for your help.
I think they're probably all about 11 grains per foot. The heavier weights usually just have a thicker casing over the lead core so they actually have less density and sink slower. Leadcore is ugly to use though and as along as you don't let the line sink with too much slack and use appropriate tippet strength somewhere in your leader you should very rarely lose a head. T-20 is just over a dollar a foot in short lengths and you only need 15ish feet to load an 8 weight so you're only risking $20.

Some leadcore info:
http://ludingtonsalmonfishing.com/fishingtips/leadcore.html
 
#39
I hooked into a few monster sea cucumbers a few times. They put up quite a fight. I think I am going to mix is up and try some shark (dogfish) patterns with scent. We will see how it goes with a wire bite guard.
 
#40
Someone mentioned the multicolor lead core, I still have a lot of it but it isn't as good as the Courtland LC-13. I've tried the new tungsten lines but agree with the previous contributor, they are too fat and don't sink as quickly. Some one mentioned that current is not a problem because you are drifting with the boat....that does'nt work if you are trying to stay on a hot spot or if the wind is going against the current. I find it is better to anchor and go for the slack tides.
 

mbowers

Active Member
#41
I've tried the new tungsten lines but agree with the previous contributor, they are too fat and don't sink as quickly.
I find the heavy tungsten lines do sink well. Tungsten is a lot denser than lead so it can handle some plastic coating slowing it down. http://www.danblanton.com/billnash/lwt.htm has a lot on useful info.
Some one mentioned that current is not a problem because you are drifting with the boat....that does'nt work if you are trying to stay on a hot spot or if the wind is going against the current. I find it is better to anchor and go for the slack tides.
If you want to stay in a hot spot then anchoring is almost always the best bet. Slack tide does seem to be better, I think the bottomfish are willing to move further when they don't have to fight as much current. If you use a drift sock when the wind is up your boat speed should be very close to the current speed and the effect of the wind is much reduced. It's definitely easier to fish a slack current, but if you don't have the luxury of fishing the wind / tide and have to fish the conditions present at the time when you can fish, IMHO a drift sock keeps you in the game longer when the wind / tide are trying to push the boat around.
I think I am going to mix is up and try some shark (dogfish) patterns with scent. We will see how it goes with a wire bite guard.
I don't think dogfish teeth quite necessitate wire. 40lb fluoro will probably be good enough and a lot easier to work with. Scent might put you on probation from a FF board.
Orange is definitely the go to fly color for sharks in FL but those sharks are usually fired up on some kind of chum slick too. I happened to catch this quote from Barry Thornton over at http://www.bcadventure.com/adventure/angling/protalk/thornton/saltwaterff10.phtml "I have been fortunate (?) to have hooked thousands of dogfish while drift fishing and have even targeted these fish with my flies with much success on a slooowww retrieve"
 

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
#43
What the heck? I just posted (once, I thought) and got three posts appearing, so i deleted two of them, and then found my original was gone. Gremlins!

Anyway, I posted that I went jetty fishing in my Yak in yesterdays rain, and caught 3 med/small rockfish, a nice greenling, and an undersized Ling in shallow water casting jigheads with twirltails to the rocks and retrieving slowly down the incline above the rocks. That 20" Ling fought pretty well for its size, and will be a keeper before the end of Oct.
Those fish all grabbed my lure in 5' to 15' of water, so I would have been able to do it with only my 15' type 8 sinktip. I didn't bust out the fly rod because the 10-12 mph S wind was always in my face and blowing me away from the jetty, and it was drizzling or raining lightly the whole time.

I picked up a keeper Ling (Only 25.5") in 50' right off the bottom, missed a huge yank-down, then lost my lucky Ling jig and went in because I was getting cold.

Next time I'm busting out the 8 wt!
 

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
#45
I have a small drift sock that I can hook to my anchor trolley. I didn't want to mess with it yesterday, as I already had a bunch of new stuff to deal with and check out. The ideal conditions here for where I was fishing are: a slack or incoming tide, and light W or SW winds, so that the current and wind aren't fighting each other, with me in the middle. Sometimes the ideal happens, and I try to be ready for it.
With smaller swell conditions this summer, and with light winds, I can paddle around the tip of the jetty and fish on the south side, or else go outside and fish over the sunken jetty. I'm not looking to push the envelope and go out when its gnarly.