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Thread: Learning to fly fish West Bay

  1. #1
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    Default Learning to fly fish West Bay

    I took my first trip down to West Bay this morning.

    I put in at Louis Bait camp about 6:00 am. Decided I wouldn't have time to make it to Greens Lake, so I paddled to the marsh about 1/4 mile past the railroad tracks on the west side.

    I tried to stay in "scout" mode instead of fishing too much. I paddled most of the marsh, just looking around. I covered about 6 miles moving slow and steady, looking for obvious strikes. Within the entire marsh, saw very few strikes except for one shore-line that seemed to be getting hammered all day. The water was much muddier than I expected. I didn't see anyone back there all day except for one inconsiderate PB blasting through with his radio blasting rap.

    I worked the shoreline for an hour or so, throwing clousers (green), crabs (green) and a small copper colored popper. I didn't have any luck, but when I crowded the fish, they were reds. I've never been one to sit in the kayak and fish, but the bottom was pretty muddy.

    I'm trying to enjoy the learning experience of fly fishing the marsh. I spent 20 years getting to a point where I could consistently catch fish under most circumstances on conventional tackle. But, getting a little antsy after 4 flyfishing outings with nothing to bend the rod.

    So...what tactics do you use in the back marsh? Do you get out and deal with the mud? Anchor up and cast from the kayak? Do you get on a shoreline and make parallel casts, or stand off and cast at the shore?

    Any pointers would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
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    Pierce Marsh (the marsh you entered just south of the RR tracks) can be a tough place to fish. I have spent many an hour back there in my kayak and in my skiff. It never produced for me like I though it would, even when you get way back in the way back. Could be operator error on my part, your mileage may vary.

    In the back marsh, you don't want to get out and fight the mud unless you are pushing your kayak through an area you can't paddle through. That mud will eat you alive. If you are fly casting, standing in the marsh grass is less than appealing because your fly line will pick up every blade of grass, shell and sticker burr within 75 yards of your standing position. Very frustrating.

    Best thing I have found is standing in the kayak. You have to be careful to make the kayak fly line friendly or use a stripping bucket/basket. I keep my fly rod laying on the deck and push myself along with my paddle. When I spot a fish, I switch and cast. It takes a little getting used to.

    You also have the choice of moving around to the south shoreline of west and working the geotubes and grass islands in your kayak. The bottom tends to be better and you can get out and stalk the fish on the grass using your kayak as a mode of access. If in the marsh, stay in the boat!

    JYC
    "Shut up and jerk your croaker" - James Fox

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