Lash the Surf – Part 2

Guest Blogger: Michael Vorhis, author of ARCHANGEL suspense thriller, OPEN DISTANCE adventure thriller, & more to come. Part 1 of this article discussed reading surf, and conditions of particular interest to fly fishermen.

What constitutes optimal surf fishing fly gear depends in part on where you are. But in general you need to be able to get your fly out past the shore break, at a minimum—far enough beyond to give it time to sink, and be worked, and be seen, before getting surfed in toward your feet on the face of a crashing wave. You’ll likely have wind to contend with too, as often as not on-shore—that is, in yo’ face. Other than a slight lateral drift, you won’t have a current to take your fly further away from where you stand–instead it will be relentlessly running back in on you, to tangle at your feet or on shallow structure to left or right. So to keep enough slack out of the line that you can feel delicate takes, you’ll need to do a lot of stripping…and a lot of casting throughout the morning.

Homemade Stripping Basket
Homemade Stripping Basket

A stripping basket is a good thing to have, again to prevent ankle-tangle that can otherwise get so bad it trips you up when waves break upon you (a shivering bellyful of swallowed salt water makes for a memorable breakfast, and one I don’t intend to partake of a second time). Stripping baskets can be purchased, and also made from plastic storage containers. Look at photos of them, plan it out, and toss one together. And don’t forget the many drain holes in its bottom, because they will fill when you least expect and that volume of water can easily pull you in completely. Some experienced surf fly fishermen use nothing but a seriously punctured bucket hooked to their belt–minimalist, but they make it work.

Continue reading → Lash the Surf – Part 2