Effective Blind Casting on the Fly
It was spring time on the Lower Laguna Madre and we had been catching nice trout along the bars close to deep water. We had been using Corkys and other twitch baits and working them very slowly with great results. On this day though I had a couple of guys out ( I wonít mention any names Sam) that wanted to use nothing but top waters. I said ok, I know just the spot and we headed out wading the bar where we had been catching nice trout on the twitch baits.
After the two men went out and down the bar, I jumped out and followed along with my fly rod. Casting a large Sea-Ducer four inches in length in red and white and tied on a 1/0 hook. I planned on following the guys down the bar in case they needed anything from me. I could also watch and see how they were doing.
As I made my cast of about 50 feet and let the fly settle slowly towards the bottom, I started a very slow but deliberate twitch and pause retrieve, BOOM, a nice 31-Ĺ inch trout. I thought to myself this could be an amazing technique. Working a fly like a Corky, I went on down behind these guys, who were not doing nearly as well as I was with their top waters. I managed to catch a 28" ,26" to go along with the 31-1/2.
Wow, what had I stumbled onto here. In the next year, I fished this way when ever I could and with amazing results. Blind casting the flats is very rarely effective and not very exciting either for those of us that can sight cast. But there are those folks out there that are color blind, or other eyesight problems that canít seem to see the fish to cast at. They also have not had enough time on the water to train their eyes to pick up on fish cruising along the bottom.
So hereís what I want to share with you. Fly fishing dose not have to always be site casting, although it is usually the preferred method by most long-rodders. However, if sometimes you just want to catch fish try this method. Find a bar, edge of channel, or points that have current moving past them or over them. Cast a very slow sinking fly, like a Sea-Ducer, up stream and slowly strip it back with the current. The longer you wait in between strips, the deeper it will sink. I use a 7wt, weight forward floating line and a nine foot12# leader. The spot you chose should have at least three feet of water, slightly off-color, and some bait working on or around it. This is always a good indicator that fish will be in the area. Look for locations that you know of or have heard of that people catch fish by other means and try your fly.
For years I have been catching fish along the intercoastal using shrimp, Nortonís Bull minnows, and a variety of top waters. These are effective means as well for taking trout, reds, and flounder on conventional tackle. On the fly, Iíve used Clouser Minnows to duplicate the Bull Minnows. However, a large Sea-Ducer(4 or 5 inches long) worked very slowly will produce more quality fish than the Clousers. Poppers?, oh man watch out, at the right time of the year they can be deadly
Another great area is on the windward side of spoil dumps. The lapping of the water on the front side of these dumps will wash away most of the sediment, leaving pot holes and blowing bait into the shallower water. The water should again be about three feet in depth over the potholes and have current moving past them. The fish feel more secure in the deeper water and yet still have access to their food supply. Cast the Sea-ducer past the holes where it can sink into it, and slowly work the hole two or three times. I sometimes wish my clients could be fly-fishing, because the fly will catch more fish with these methods than using lures. Most fish even though they are not hungry canít resist a slow moving morsel thatís "easy pickins".
So the next time you find yourself out there without sun, or itís too early in the morning to see fish, try Blind casting. You just might get hooked on it.
Skipper Ray is a freelance writer and fishing guide in South Padre Island, Texas
where he owns and operate Island Outfitters. Call: 956-943-2798 or Email
Fishing Articles by Skipper Ray
Blind Casting the Flats
Catching and Handling Numbers of Trout
Fishing Guides Perspective
Effective Blind Casting on the Fly
Line Management Techniques
Lures of Choice for the Fall Season
More Tec Tips - King Mackerel
New Trout Techniques
Ready at the Rod
Spring is in the Air
Tech Tips - "Donít Give Up"
Tech Tips - Itís a Drag
The Ladies Have More Fun
The Chosen One
The "Ibis" Built by Newwater Boatworks
The Old Gold Spoon
Time to Fish Free
It's Red Fishing Time in South Padre
Trout Fishing the Lower Laguna Madre
Trout on Topwater Flies
Wading the Lower Laguna Madre