On the Fly column: Fly fishers head for the salt
On the Fly
Only 3 percent of water on earth is fresh, so maybe that’s why so many local guides and anglers are headed to (or are returning from) salty destinations this month. An early taste of runoff is spurring these fishing journeys, and most locals know this is the month to head elsewhere and let the snowmelt swelling our local streams do its thing. Shop guru Beck Brooks just got back from Tulum, where he had some fun casting at permit, snook, bonefish and barracuda. Tim Heng and a gang of local anglers are headed to Christmas Island (near Fiji) this week, and plenty of folks are in Andros, Bahamas, this week, too.
Tim hasn’t been to Christmas Island in the month of May before, but if you look at the weather and tides there, it’s essentially the same all year due to the proximity to the equator in the Pacific Ocean. They will be focused primarily on bonefish, but there are ample opportunities there for catching elusive milkfish, giant, golden and blue trevally, as well as barracuda, black tip sharks and my personal favorite, triggerfish. In Christmas Island you’re only a hop and a skip to blue-water tuna fishing as well.
Will Sands fished for tarpon in Puerto Rico recently, and Kyle Holt is hosting another group in Mexico next week to target permit on the fly. There are closer salty spots starting to fish well too; the redfish bite is getting strong again in Louisiana, and, according to local guide Christian Hill, the Florida Keys back country was on fire when he was there a week ago. Local angler Bill Hegberg recently got back from a tarpon trip in Cuba, where he had a nice time and caught some terrific fish.
I’ll admit I’ve got a case of vacation envy these days as I spool reel after reel with bimini twists and 10 and 12 weight lines, but I get my chances in fall and winter when things slow down around here. In my humble opinion, casting at giant bull redfish in early winter is where it’s at, let alone enjoying the Louisiana culture, people and food. Sure, trout are thrilling, but heading somewhere salty is usually just what the doctor ordered during this month of transition. See you at the airport.
This report is provided every week by Taylor Creek Fly Shops in Aspen and Basalt. Taylor Creek can be reached at 970-927-4374 or taylorcreek.com.
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New hiking and biking trail at Sutey Ranch could ease pressure at main Red Hill trailhead later this summer.