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Spring on the OBX--old peice but some good info

Fly fishing the Outer Banks of North Carolina
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Spring on the OBX--old peice but some good info

Postby bhorsley » Sat Apr 11, 2009 3:02 pm

Spring is the time for fishing, getting out of the office or house and into the outdoors. After a long winter of thinking, many light-tackle anglers are going to take the plunge and try their hand at saltwater fly fishing. Our website activity picks up in early spring with questions from new saltwater fly anglers as well as seasoned anglers making their first venture to the Outer Banks. Luckily for all of us, fly fishing on the Banks is not very complicated—no bug hatches to determine and no nymphs to drift! There are just a few things needed¾rod, reel, fly line, a few flies and water.

Rods
Fly anglers looking to gear up for the Outer Banks sounds should look for a medium-fast to fast-action, 9 foot, 7- to 9-weight fly rod. These rods will handle all that a redfish, schoolie striper, bluefish and speckled trout can throw at you. Most fly rod manufacturers, including Sage, make several rods in a variety of price ranges for saltwater use. Sage’s entry-level rod is the Discovery. The VPS series is Sage’s middle-priced rod and it’s an excellent but often overlooked model. The two high-performance models made by Sage are the RPLXi, a saltwater standard, and the newer XPs. All of these rods come with a lifetime warranty.

Reels
In most cases when fishing in the sound the fly reel is just a method for holding line. Most of the target species in the waters behind the Outer Banks are known for their hard strikes and bulldog attitude rather than long blistering runs. Like fly rods, there are many choices in reels. The first thing to look for is the size. Find a reel that is made for the size of your rod. Reels can be sized for two or three rod sizes. If you choose an 8-weight rod, look for a reel that will hold at least 150 yards of 20-pound backing and an 8-weight fly line. The most important thing to look for is saltwater compatibility. Many freshwater reels will turn to dust after a few outings in salt water. Lamson Velocity and the Ross Cimarron are two makes that will perform perfectly without breaking the bank. Tibor introduced a new reel this year call the Back Country Wide. It is built to Tibor/Pates tough standards, is priced right and looks bulletproof.

Line
The most useful type of fly line for fishing the waters behind the Outer Banks is the intermediate fly line. This line is the most effective for wading anglers. Intermediate fly lines are the slowest sinking lines and come in most sizes. Most of the waters fly anglers fish is between 2 and 5 feet deep. An intermediate fly line and a 7- to 9-foot leader will let you get the fly down into the strike zone. The slow sink rate allows anglers to count down and fish different parts of the water column. If stripped quickly, an intermediate fly line is fine for popper fishing. The only other type of fly line that might be needed is a sink tip. Particularly if anglers are fishing fast water or around the Manns Harbor bridge. Most of these lines have a sinking tip from 24- to 32-feet long and the sinking deeps is rated in grains. A 7-weight fly rod will handle a tip weight from 225 to 300 grains. An 8-weight will handle 225 to 350 grains, and a 9-weight will handle 225 to 425 grains.

The Manns Harbor bridge is an excellent spot for stripers, and they bite best when there is some current. Line that is from 300 to 450 grains is the most effective. When using sink-tip lines, use shorter leaders. Short leaders keep the fly close to the end of the line so the weight of the line will pull the fly down. Long leaders will slow the sink of the fly and negate the effect of the sinking line.

Flies
Armed with a small selection of flies, anglers can accurately fish the waters behind the Outer Banks. There are three core patterns every fly box should include. They are: Clouser Minnows, Lefty’s Deceivers and the Kreh and Clouser combination called the Half-and-Half. Start with Clousers in sizes #2 to 2/0 in chartreuse and white, black over orange, black over red, and green over white. Lefty’s Deceivers can be tied on #1 to 2/0 hooks and in colors of chartreuse and white, gray and white, and green and white. Half-and–Halfs can be tied on 1/0 to 3/0 hooks in chartreuse and white, green and white, and olive and white. If the water is very dirty from rain or wind, try any of those flies in black with purple flash. The core patterns are not the only effective patterns; there are many more patterns and colors that catch the fish. Some of the biggest fun is trying and tying new patterns and seeing if they work.

Waters
There are numerous wading spots, enough to fill a book, but I am going to mention two that are the easiest to fish and access. Both of these locations are on the north side of Oregon Inlet. The first one is the Bodie Island Lighthouse Visitor Center. Traveling south towards Oregon Inlet it is on the right side of the road marked by a brown National Park Service sign. Turn in and head toward the lighthouse. When you arrive at the visitor center you will pass a dirt road with a gate across it. Anglers can park on the side of the road. Follow the dirt road until it comes out a creek. This is Blossies Creek or Off Island Gun Club. Fish up and down the creek. It is a prime spring spot for stripers and speckled trout. In years past ebb tide was the best tide to fish.

A few miles south of Bodie Island Visitor Center is the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center. The fishing center is at the foot of the bridge to Hatteras Island. Park in public parking at the southeast side of the fishing center.. The big propeller in the parking lot gives the slough its name—Propeller Slough. It is best to prospect here on dead low water. The sloughs will be easier to find and you can learn your way around. The most productive time to fish here is the incoming tide after dead low water or a few hours after high water on an ebbing tide. This spot is very good in the summer for speckled trout, croakers, flounder and puppy drum.

All of the spots are safe with mostly hard sand bottoms except spots at Bodie Island Lighthouse. Take a few mornings and learn these places and excellent spring fishing can be just a step away Brian Horsley
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Re: Spring on the OBX--old peice but some good info

Postby limiter » Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:49 am

Do they sell the flies mentioned in this piece at the OI fishing center? If not, do any of the tackle shops in Nags Head have a fly shop? Thanks.

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Re: Spring on the OBX--old peice but some good info

Postby bhorsley » Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:43 pm

maybe at TWS in NAgs Head but to be safe tie you own
growing old ain't for sissies
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