As the dog days of summer get into full swing, hot summer days and nights are a great opportunity to take out that old vise and tying tools and start getting creative. With trout streams getting a smidge too warm to fish consistently, today is a perfect day to pick up tying for the saltwater. No matter where you’re casting a line into the sea, these 5 patterns are sure to fool a fish or 2. Now, whether you’ve been tying for ages or just a week, here are 5 saltwater fly patterns that anyone can learn to tie!
For those long-time Postfly Tribe members, you will recognize this pattern right away. This is one of our favorite streamer patterns, period. The long synthetic fibers create maximum movement underwater while reducing the weight of the streamer. Because it’s a simpler pattern, there is plenty of room to tweak the color combos and create your own specifically designed to match the baitfish in your local creeks and bays!
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Bunny Gotcha Shrimp
This tried and true shrimp pattern has become a staple saltwater fly pattern. Personally, I’ve used them to catch everything from bonefish in the Bahamas all the way to flats-cruising striped bass on the Massachusetts coast. It only takes a few minutes to whip one of these bad boys up, and pick up some new tying skills along the way. Never underestimate the size of fish that just wants to snack on a quick shrimp while swimming around the flats. If you’re finding that fish are being tight-lipped when presented a larger baitfish, try sizing it down to one of these, and hold on!
Gurglers are probably the simplest top-water saltwater pattern out there to learn, and they crush fish! Pretty much just fur, flash and foam, these high floating flies are a breeze to tie and a blast to fish with. Brush up on your craft fur and hackle skills all while learning a deadly new fly to try the next time your wading or cruising the marshes and flats!
Arguably the one fly on the list that works pretty much anywhere you fish it, regardless of water salinity. Designed by the late-but-great Lefty Kreh, this pattern will fool any predatory fish that loves to inhale baitfish for lunch. So many other patterns are based on the Deceiver and having a solid grasp of this pattern will only pay dividends as a part of your fly tying skillset!
The Crab Fly
If you are fishing anywhere in the saltwater, there will be crabs around, and predatory fish from stripers to redfish absolutely love sucking small crabs off the bottom as a midday snack! Many more advanced and intricate fly patterns are based on this tying style for crab flies, all you have to do is substitute in materials and get creative.
Dan Zazworsky’s passion is sharing his love of fly fishing with anyone that will listen, read or watch. You can find him exploring new waters every day while chasing any fish that will eat a fly!