Fly Fishing the Texas Coast

Deceivers in the Rocks: Tackle And Techniques

To be successful, flycasters need only copy methods that anglers with conventional tackle have used off the jetties for years. Look for frantic baitfish and bird activity that indicates fish feeding near the surface. The successful jetty flyfisher will also learn to identify favorable wind, current, and water quality. Like anglers with conventional tackle, flyfishers can benefit greatly from a knowledge of underwater structure around many Texas jetties. Deeper holes and submerged rocks rearranged by hurricanes are prime targets for the most successful jetty anglers.

Jetty fly-fishing tackle for most saltwater species is neither complicated nor expensive. An 8- or 9-weight fly rod mounted with a single-action, exposed-rim reel, counterbalanced handle, and 150 yards of 20-pound-test dacron backing usually is adequate. Most smaller jetty species can be subdued easily by palming a reel's exposed rim control feature. A reel with a smooth-running disc-drag system is the right choice for larger species such as big redfish, king mackerel, jack crevalle, or tarpon. On days when the cobalt blue water offshore has moved inshore, bringing larger fish like tarpon, king mackerel, and jack crevalle to the jetties, it is wise to move up a step or two in rod weight and reel capacity.

Having a selection of specialized lines for fishing around the jetties can help solve the puzzles and get your flies down to the variety of gamefish that feed around the jetty rocks. Although floating lines perform adequately in the shallow surf and over surface-feeding fish off the jetties, a variety of intermediate, full-sink, and shooting-taper lines can greatly expand the opportunities. An effective technique when walking the jetties or fishing the edges of the rocks from a boat with sinking lines is to rig a short (3-foot) leader with 12-pound to 15-pound monofilament tied directly to the fly. The short leader is important when using fast-sinking lines because it keeps the fly line in direct contact with the fly at greater depths.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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