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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. I am completely new to saltwater fly fishing and need some help. I have been fly fishing for trout for the past year but want to venture into saltwater. I posted in the previous Sunset Beach thread, as that is where i will be staying in late July, but feel i need a new thread with advice for a beginner. First off, I plan on buying a cheap 8 wt rod, probably an ll bean quest or some cabelas rod. Second, I will NOT have access to a boat but I will have access to a car so i can drive to other locations. The area around sunset beach and ocean isle (its about 40 min north of myrtle i think) has a nice bay with marshes running behind it that i may fish as well as the surf. Also, i can fish off the dock in back of our house into the bay. So, what do i need to know when i go out there and what can i expect to catch? What flies should i purchase? And just anything else you can think of to help me out. Thanks a bunch for any advice.

Chris
 

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There's a few go to flies that I would recommend that you pick up. Lefty's Deceivers or Seaducers are great patterns just about anytime. These patterns work great if fishing shallow around oyster bar when you don't want to get hung upon the bottom. Then some Clouser Minnons when you want to get deeper. There are some nice Flounder holes around Ocean Isle. Also, I would add some shrimp and crab patterns.

You could fish in the creek that's on the south side of the bridge for Redfish and there's an creek that you can access from the north end of the island.
 

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If you roll your own, look thru the flie ties section. Just click on the link at the top of the page. Most all of it will serve you well. Other patterns: 1. for reds up in the grass (1 HR either side of high tide for that spot) spoon flies, bend backs, shrimp and crab imitatioms. 2. reds, flounder mostly in the places where water drains off the flats (best if there is a ledge where the spartina grass starts) (45 mins after high slack tide till the flat is drained.)all of the above patterns plus deceivers and minnow imitations,
 

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Taking up where we left off: Once the upper flats have drained its time to switch gears. You can continue with the same patterns along the ledge that forms the upper flats for a little longer if the location has a fairly high ledge (1' or more) or you can start working any local oyster bars. ( work your weighted fly with the current along the base of the oyster bar and thru any eddies such as at the downstream end) Another option is to move to an area with submerged flats and wade fish with pattern's such as Captain Randy Hamilton's Copperhead, Captain Gary Dubiel's Red-ucer, Pulgassi's pinfish and a host of others. Areas close to channels and deep water are better for trout, big flounder and bigger reds, especially as the water level drops. Often the edges of the channel are more productive but every area is a little different, Look for things that are different and take notice of any patterns you see such as bait fish fleeing in one area or type area repeatedly. Every time you see a shrimp skipping across the top of the water try to figure out what is after him. Pretty soon patterns will start to emerge that will be a lot of help. Finger mullet seem to run the shoreline in small schools most of the time> Juvenile menhaden (peanut shad) prefer to roam open water in densely packed schools and mud minnows tend to be homebodies and school along the edgess of the grass (spartina). Fishing is best early and late so be there then and let the tide determine where you start. Don't get hung up on one spot unless you can catch fish at all stages of the tide there. I hope this helps get you started catching them.
 

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I'm headed down there in early sept also so I'm taking strong notice of what you guys are saying. I will probably have the 18ft proline with me so if any is going to be around at thet time maybe we can start putting together a meet and fish
 

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I hear you Trouter. I have mostly pier fished that area so I can't home anybody in on any specific spots but type locations work pretty much the same everywhere I've fished. So far I've pretty much stuck to the outgoing tide/ unpopulated marshes. That is because of personal preferences. (I guess I prefer to fish when and where I can catch the most fish with the least amount of effort and noise.) Picking up at Low tide: From an hour before to an hour after. This is the time to work the channels. Clousers and deep minnows tossed along the edges from a boat out in the channel or from shallow flats. Fish facing the current. Try to keep it down near the bottom mostly. Sometimes the fishing will be good for a couple of hours after the tide changes. It can vary a lot from day to day and place to place. Channel intersections, creek mouths, outside bends and oyster bars tend to be places you can set up camp at especially early morning for trout. Work the places that concentrate fish. Be extra careful of shallow water at these locations if you are in a boat. All of them generally have nearby shallow sand deposits. Don't overlook these sand deposits. They tend to have ridges and valleys in them and other irregularities and the fish often use the down current side to ambush prey. They are made to order for fly fishermen. Again you want to cast upsteam or quartering upstream and fish your fly close to the bottom. From then on you can choose between fishing the incoming tide on the wade flats and marsh creeks or head toward civilization and fish docks, range markers, channel markers, bridges and other structure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the input and keep it coming... I guess my main concern now is, will it be worth it to buy the fly rod for this trip? I have spinning gear and plan to use that too but if i catch even one fish on the fly rod i will consider it worth it! The main thing is without a boat, how much can i manage to do? I looked at google earth of the location and saw some nice creeks and inlets i could probably access but i just don't know how productive they will be. So if anyone has been to sunset or ocean isle and knows where to find the fish, please help me out. Im also willing to drive to nearby locations (within an hour or so) to fish if ill have better luck.
And what line do you recommend for saltwater - intermediate? floating? sinking?
Again thanks for all the quick responses and let me know if anyone will be in the area while im there!
 

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Other suggestions/tips. Dock fishing: If your neighbor is renting he probably won't mind leaving the light on for you but you will probably have to trouble yourself with asking the favor. If he is a resident you might need to cough up a trout or two. You need not bother the neighbor to the downstream side but you have to figure out which on that will be. The best nightfishing for trout under light generally occurs between 2 am and 4am. Even then they are very skittish. Ideally you would be fishing from a boat but fishing your neighbors dock from yours give you a stealth advantage. Pick a very slow sinking minnow imitation with a dark back/ white underbelly and some flash. You want to start drifting by the dock out on the edge of the shadows and slowly work it back with just a slight twitch now and then. Keep getting closer and closer to the dock. If you get one enjoy it because you will have to let the scene rest for a little while before they will crank back up. If you don't have any luck on top you can work deeper and deeper.
During the day carefully fish the down current pilings very thourghly. Low tide seems best for me when flounder fishing and mid to full for the rest. A WF-8-F or a WF-7-F for calm days is all I use or want. I'm no purist so if they are too deep then out comes a spinning rod if I'm in a boat or near my vehicle.
 

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They have sit-on-tops, sells off inventory at the end of the season. I missed a good buy there last Labor Day. They are not fishing yaks, but for only a couple hundred $ it'll give you a good start with one to modify. For all of those w/out boats here's an option during the summer season. Go rent on for the day, maybe week. Saves hauling one down too.
 
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