Fly Fishing at Dock Lights

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Choose Your Outfit

No. We’re not talking about what color shirt you’re going to wear when you go out fishing. We mean your rod, reel, and fly line. The key to successful fly fishing trips is a great outfit targeted towards the fish you are trying to catch. For instance, if you’re going fishing for brook trout in Yosemite, you’ll more than likely use a smaller 3wt road with a floating line. But, since we are going dock light fishing for some larger snook, we will want at least an 8wt rod with sinking line.

Grab A Great Rod

There are many different brands and types of fly rods to choose from. My personal favorite, is the St. Croix Imperial. This fly rod is a great all-around rod. It’s a faster rod, meaning is it somewhat stiffer, allowing you to cast farther, faster. You can use this rod for saltwater fishing at docks, in mangroves, and even at the beach. You can also use this rod in fresh water or anywhere you see fish. The best size to choose for a well-rounded saltwater fly rod is either an 8wt or 9wt. If you get this size, you can use it almost anywhere!

Pick the Right Fly Line

Choosing a good fly line will make a huge difference while you’re out on your adventures. Since you will want your flies to look as though they are swimming among the rest of the bait at the dock lights, you will want to get a sinking line so the fly can go below the surface and among the other fish. Also, a weight forward line will make casting easier for some.

Find A Place To Park Your Line

Many people consider a fly reel as simply “a place to park your line.” Meaning, it doesn’t not have as much sway in your fish battles as a regular spinning rod, but there are many other things to consider. Firstly, ensure that the reel you choose has a sealed drag system. Since you will most likely be fishing in saltwater, you want to make sure all the mechanisms within the reel are safe from deteriorating from the saltwater. The Cheeky Tyro reel has a sealed drag system and is incredibly tough, so it’s a great choice for an all-round saltwater reel.

Load Up Your Fly Box

The key to choosing great flies is matching the baitfish that are normally at the fish lights. So, some of the best flies to choose are the clowser minnow, the gummy glass minnow, and the schminnow flies. All of these are similar to the bait you will see at the dock light. They’re all trusty flies, and are fairly easy to tie, if you’re interested in getting into the hobby.

Finally Time To Fish!

Now that you’ve got your best outfit with you, it’s time to get out on the water! The key to landing a good fish at a dock light is stealth and presentation. Firstly, you’ll want to remember that most fish are rather smart. You’ll need to remain quiet, and calm on the water. Even though you can see the fish in the dock light, that doesn’t mean they won’t just dart away if they feel threatened.

The harder part is ensuring you have the right presentation. Your fly looks similar to the other baitfish, now you’ve got to make it behave like one too. Study the swimming patters of the baitfish before you make your first cast so you know the type of behavior you need to mimic.

View the video below we received from a great customer while he was fly fishing from our lights!


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