Freshwater flies in saltwater

Wed Oct 06, 2004 8:42 am

Hi all,
Just wondering if anybody has tried using the likes of goldheaded nymphs & lures like cats whiskers & baby dolls in the sea??

You would think that with these being small & flashy that just about any fish of any size would have a go at them?
I've recently started fly fishing for Rainbow trout but my rod is a 7 weight Vision & could easily be used in the sea - I'd love to give it a go..


Thu Oct 07, 2004 3:32 pm

i have used the goldheaded lures for small pollock and just back from the med and caught some kind of fish i didnt recignise on them.
u can use the 7wt rod in the salt but wash it out really well after every use. although a big pollock r bass might smash it. would b grand for macks small pollock and flounder

Thu Oct 07, 2004 3:41 pm

Thanks LiamD,
How would you catch a Flounder on the fly though???
Would the flies not usually be fished in the top couple of feet of water?

Also - can you tell me - when people refer to fishing 'Poppers' in the sea do they mean floating flies like boobies etc or the things with big wooden heads that I've seen before??

Thanks again,

Fri Oct 08, 2004 2:31 pm

basicly a popper is any kind of fly that floats on the surface usually representing a wounded baitfish. u have to make as much disturbance on the surface as you can with it to b successful. so strip as fast a u can!
as for the flounder they will take flies too. fish over shallow grouns making sure the fly is touching the bottom and creating puffs of sand. combine this with a slow retrieve just keeping the fly moving.

Sun Oct 10, 2004 4:42 am

although i have not yet fished for flounder on the fly, i strongly recommend you try using a 'Dog Nobbler'. these flies are highly effective freshwater lures and have been known to take bass. their erratic action triggers very aggressive takes. i am convinced they will provoke flounder into taking. they are a very easy fly to make and if you make your own you can them as heavy as you like. try fishing them in creeks and on shallow beaches. inching them slowly along the bottom is bound to produce. a weighted 'Epoxy Shrimp' tied on a small hooksize will also take flounder. a surprising number of flounder i have caught over the years have been gorging on small fish of various types. don't dismiss 2" long lures.

Mon Oct 11, 2004 2:03 pm

a note on making heavy flies. i have tried tying heavy ones that will get down quick nad just escaped with my right ear in tact!!!! if u make the flies anyway heavy ie. using tiny leadheads etc , u will affect the flight and make them impossible to cast safely.a sinking line and slightly weighted fly will serve u better

Tue Oct 12, 2004 10:09 am

I find that if I am casting heavier flies I use a shorter leader or use a tapered leader with 2 to 3 feet of 50lb mono and the 3 - 4 feet of tippet material. You can add a middle weight section which will improver turnover of the heavier fly again. If you just tie on 6 - 8 feet of 12lb line you run the risk of hooking yourself. :shock:

I experienced this once while trout fishing. I was fishing a dog nobbler and was trying hard to punch the fly out a bit. A combo of wind and a bad cast left the fly in my eye brow. Luckly it was a de-barbed hook and someone was able to remove it for me. As Liam said, be careful using weighted flies and don;t forget the most important rule. Wear your shades 8) especially in windy weather.


Tue Oct 12, 2004 10:18 am

Thanks to everyone for all of the useful info..
I've had to use pliers to remove a hook from my knuckle myself - nasty..

I've A few more questions if you don't mind?

What sort of depth do you guys usually fish at?
I've noticed when float fishing that the Pollock are usually within the top 3-4 feet of water with everything else being a bit deeper down.

I suppose these are the main target species (as well as Bass but I expect Pollock would be far more plentiful)?

How many fish (regardless of size) would you expect to catch in a day?

Do you catch many species? - I've never heard of Whiting/Pouting etc being taken on the fly..

Are there many fly-fishable places in Dublin? - Don't fancy hooking any dog walkers etc...

Thanks again,

Tue Oct 12, 2004 10:31 am


LiamD is the man for the spots around Dublin as he regularly fly fishes in the Salt. I'm not sure if it is viable at this time of the year. You normally only hear of people fly fishing in the summer when the pollock Mackerel and Bass are closer inshore. I was ment to give it a serious go this year but just didn't get the time. I will be whipping the water to a foam next year though and I plan on doing a serious bit of fly tying this winter.


Freshwater flies in saltwater

Sun Aug 28, 2005 11:02 pm

Before I got int "proper" saltwater fly fishing I had quite a lot of success with jersey herds, cats whiskers and dog nobblers in the sea. The fish were usually small but they did put up a good account on a #7 weight rod.
I wasnt sure if these fish were all small because they only took smaller flies, or there were no bigger fish around the areas I fished.