Flight from canada

Planning a Fly Fishing Trip

In a few weeks I am making my yearly voyage to Martha’s Vineyard to pursue striper, blue fish, and false albacore!  COVID might be a damper on the post fishing fun, but the beaches may be less crowded creating less tangles with tourist on the back casts.  With all the excitement, there are a few questions: what flies, what line, where to fish, tactics, bait, etc.  So many factors go into planning a trip to an area that I frequently don’t go.  Here are a few tips I have picked up from planning previous trip.

Tip #1 – “No wisdom like local wisdom” – https://www.larrystackle.com/

The first thing I do is stop by a local fly/bait shop.  I like Larry’s Tackle Shop in Edgartown, great advice, kind service, and local flies.  The shops can point you in the right direction and I usually buy something which helps their cause and mine.  Some locations don’t have fly shops.  If they don’t, read up on forums, social media, or hire a local guide for a day or two.  The $400 you pay a guide is well worth it for a week long trip for DIY.  Explain your circumstances and they, if they are a reputable guide, will share information so you can get it done on your own.

Tip #2 – Use Google Earth (or other map services)

False albacore, striper, and blue fish are all bait oriented.  So, I use Google Maps to find areas that trap bait.  Bait moves with the current and these fish use ambush points to take advantage of the buffet.  Here is a prime example.  False albacore pick ambush points near deep water.  The lighthouse is one of the spots fishermen frequent due to a lot of current and proximity to deep waters during tide changes.  I use Google to find similar spots around the island.  The same goes for rivers.  I use Google Earth to find deeper holes, bends, feeder creeks, etc. when trout, smallmouth and musky fishing.  Lastly, use the time tool in the toolbar which allow you to look at the same spot at different times.  This shows the same spot in high/low river flow or high/low tide.

Tip #3 – Understand Tidal Swing

Tides bring: bait, fresh water, current, access to new areas, and more.  Below is an example of the same piece of water in Hilton during low and high tide.  These times create two completely different fishing experiences.  Also, notice how I can use Google Earth to fishing areas for flood tide fishing…the bottom right is slightly grey meaning hard bottom.  Great place to look for flood time reds.

Tip #4 – Scout Day One & Have Multiple Spots

I spent the first day carp fishing a few weeks back scouting the lake to find fish.  Fish move and seeing a few different places allowed me to pattern out fish.

Tip #5 – Plan Something Off the Water

Look…if we go fishing with someone else, plan something that they want to do to.  It will make them happy which in turn will allow you to fish more.  Some of my favorite fishing trips include stops in town at a brewery, hiking a peak, taking pictures, etc.  Plan a few non-fishing activities and thank us later.

Gear used in Martha’s Vineyard:

Orvis H3 8wt. & 10 wt. – Orvis Helios

Orvis Hydros reels – Orvis Reels

Scientific Anglers line and tippet – Sonar Titan Full Int. 10wt. & Titan Long 8wt.

Flies – half & half, bunker patters, clousers, surf candies, and some secret sauce tied by yours truly

Written by:

Alex Howell

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