If you’ve spent any time fly fishing on the saltwater flats, you’ve surely been in situations where you’ve had a fish swimming away from you, and you didn’t make a cast because you thought it was a “lost cause”.
I know I’ve been there plenty of times. I’ve even had guides command me to stop casting at a fish scooting across the flats that was out of range. Are there times when it’s best to hold back and not make a cast to a fish? Yes, and an example would be when doing so might end up spooking other fish close by that you may soon have a much easier presentation at. That being said, I can assure you that in almost all other fly fishing situations, it’s total rubbish to not at least try to make a cast on a fish you’ve spotted, especially if it’s one of those days when you’re not getting a lot of shots anyway, which will happen to you sooner or later.
On plenty of occasions, personally as well for my buddies, nice bonefish, tarpon and redfish have been caught on these 1 in a 100, Hail Mary presentations. I remember one very respectable bonefish I caught in the Bahamas not too long ago, that was consistently moving away from me. No matter how fast and hard I tried to close the distance wading, it kept getting farther away. Finally, when it was way out there, well over 85 feet, I said the hell with it and made the farthest cast I could. My fly ended up dropping ten feet behind the fish, and the sound of the fly hitting the water, sparked the interest of the bonefish, and it made a complete u-turn and ate my fly. I would have never caught that seven pound bonefish if I would have listened to my partner and guide who said it was a lost cause. Granted, this isn’t usually how this fishing situation turns out, but it did make me think, how many damn fish I’ve missed out on catching because I didn’t say “Screw it” and make the cast.
Saltwater fly fishing is tough enough as it is, and anglers can’t afford to pass up any opportunities if they want to consistently catch fish on the water. Jus remember, no matter how low the percentage might be, every once in a while it will all pan out in your favor. Not stepping up to the challenge and making an attempt to cast, is very similar to the trout angler not setting the hook on a possible strike. After all, it doesn’t cost us a thing to set the hook, so why do we find ourselves in situations where we’re debating with ourselves on whether or not we should set the hook. I heard it all too often, “I don’t think that’s a fish, I’m pretty sure that’s bottom.” The fact is, it doesn’t matter if it’s bottom or a fish, just like it doesn’t matter if the fish eats your fly or not. We won’t find success unless we try to execute. I’m fixing to head to the Bahamas on our Gink & Gasoline hosted trip, and I can assure you I won’t be leaving anything on the table. If I can get my fly reasonably close to a bonefish, I’m going to make the cast. I don’t care how small the chance is that the line is going to get pulled tight. Let’s face it, many times it’s often the biggest fish spotted during the trip that end up being the ones swimming away from us. I’m going to do whatever it takes to end up shaking hands with those fish trying to slip out the back door. Furthermore, those rare catches will be the ones that will leave you with the true long lasting memories that you’ll take home from the trip. And they’ll also be the ones that you have a blast reminiscing over with your fish-bum buddies over some well deserved under the cabana. Yep, that’s how I’m going to fish when I hit the flats of the Bahamas in a couple weeks. Just remember you can’t be a winner if you’re afraid to get in on the game. Think about that next time you hit the water, regardless if it’s on the saltwater flats or somewhere in freshwater. If you have a shot at a good fish, make the cast.
Keep it Reel,Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com email@example.com Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!