Fly fishing the Outer Banks
Leaving for Ocracoke next week and hope to do some fly fishing while there. Wondering if anyone in here has experience fishing in this area? If so, any pointers? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
I tried back last summer around Kill Devils Hills, but that was a ways away from where you will be. Also, even where I was, I caught like one small bluefish. I wish I could help more, maybe someone else will know more.
Thanks for the reply, hopefully my attempts will be successful, if so will post pics!
Hope I'm not to late with this.....
I've fish that type of water just south of there for the last 18 years so here's a bit of what I have learned.
6wt rods work best for me but I like having an 8wt along too. You'll get the most mileage out of an Intermediate line especially if all you are doing is fishing from the "surf". This time of year, 100 yards of 20# backing is all you need. Four foot of 20 flouro leader...no more and maybe a few inches of 30# bite tippet. If you know fish are in front of you but not hitting, use a smaller tippet. Clousers and Blondes will cover about everthing you'll catch on fly. Char/wht, brn/wht,grn/wht wht/wht all with some gold flash and various weights of dumbbell eyes. If you tie, you may want to tie a few with all of the material and eyes just over the hook point of a long shank hook for those really toothy critters like spanish macks. I generally start with a 4" fly and if the fish are not hitting it, shorten the fly and maybe thin it out a bit.
Where to fish.
Oceanside in the surf is a tough go unless the waves height is really down. A long cast is not needed. Most of the fish are in the foam or just outside of it. You will need a casting basket unless you fish from the sand.
Soundside and at the southern point.
I don't like fishing the oceanside in the surf. Usually far to rough. I have found and caught far more fish in the sound and inlets. OI has a great inlet on the south end of the island. You can stand in knee deep water with no breakers and easily cast to 10 to 15 foot of water.
Look for the gulls feeding or hoovering over fish. If you don't fish feeding on or near the surface work your way to the bottom. Usually, but not always, the fish will turn off when the tide quits running so fish the moving tide in that inlet. If there is a point or structure, and it doesn't take much, fish the eddies or rips it forms as bait will stack up in those eddies.
Most people believe that you need to strip line in real quick...try it but I have found short 6" strips work just as well. Vary it till you find what the fish like.
If there are Spanish or Blues feeding on the surface, a surface popper is a real hoot. You may also find that Red Drum will hit too as that inlet and beach is noted for drum.
Good luck and be careful. The current can be quite tough in those inlets and on the ocean surf.
Check Trade Winds Tackle on the island for what and where. As far as I know, there is no fly shop on the island so take what you need. If you plan on fishing in the Morehead City/Crystal Coast/Cape Lookout area, drop me a line and I'll be glad to give you a report on what is going on.
Just now have time to report, returned late Sunday night. Fished with an 8 wt 9 ft and did decent. Caught a lot of small flounder and a couple of Spanish Mack on yellow and grey clausers. Wish I had known about the poppers, that would have been fun! Fished the inlet and sound, was far too windy and surf was too rough to attempt beach side fishing! Sure was a lot of fun, very different from small stream trout! Mosquitos were rough though!
Never made it north of Ocracoke, stayed on the island all week, but really appreciate your offer and input!
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