Fly Fishing The Saltwater Shoreline By Ed Mitchell published by Stackpole books, ISBN number 0-8117-0653-2 Many of you will no doubt remember his previous book 'Fly Rodding The Coast' by Stackpole books. With more and more of us flying across to the east coast of America for our holidays this latest book from Ed has been published at just the right time, it will certainly be of great interest to you all ocean fly fishers. Fly Fishing The Saltwater Shoreline is all about how to fly fish for stripers, bluefish, albacore, bonito, weakfish and hickory shad. In chapter five, 'fly fishing the edges' Mitchell discusses all those things we need to know about finding fish and the type of area we should be fishing.
He goes on to explain all about inshore structure and developing an eye for edges, he writes "an edge is an area of transition where water or the bottom undergoes an abrupt change. This change can be in water depth, in the motion of the water from slow to fast or calm to turbulent, or in the composition of the bottom say from sand to rock". The author goes on to tells us how we should fish the troughs in both shallow and deep
water beaches, with additional chapters on how to fish mud flats, channels, rock piles and estuaries.
One chapter I have read time and time again is the one on 'Forage and Flies' chapter six. This is probably the most important chapter in the book, one we should study in depth. If we know the flies that match the food source then we will catch more fish, in freshwater trout fishing we match the hatch. It's the same in the ocean; we have to match the food source which in this case are the bait fish.
I well remember a fishing session in the Persian Gulf where jack crevales were attacking shoals of bait fish as if there was no tomorrow, for probably an hour or so we chased those feeding fish but no way would they take my flies. Spotting a small bait fish alongside the boat I bent over scooping it out, discovering it was about two inches in length, my flies were some five inches, I quickly changed to a smaller pattern of similar colour; first chuck a take! These jacks were really programmed on one size of bait, no way were they going to take a bigger pattern of fly. Ed writes about using droppers, yes we use them in freshwater but I didn't think about using them in saltwater. Ed has certainly written some thought provoking words on the subject of droppers in saltwater.
Another useful chapter is titled 'Solving Common Problems'. Fly Fishing the Saltwater Shoreline by Ed Mitchell published by Stackpole books is an excellent read, one that will help you catch more fish. Though it's written about the east coast of America, a lot of the information will be applicable and useful for all you anglers who fish the coast of the United Kingdom for bass, flounders, pollock and mackerel. Later in the year I will be recording a programme with Ed Mitchell, it should be an interesting experience to say the least.
'Midge Magic' By Don Holbrook and Ed Koch Published by Stackpole Books
'Midge Magic' By Don Holbrook and Ed Koch Published by Stackpole Books ISBN number 0-8117-0996-5. I certainly liked the title of this book. Let's be honest, fishing the midge, buzzer or chironomids, they are all the same, they can certainly be magic. In the north of England I am very fortunate in having some excellent buzzer waters. Barnsfold water near Chipping has some terrific buzzer hatches.
The first thing that impressed me about this book was the quality of the printing and the photographs. As you read this book you will perhaps be like me and realise how little we know about this type of fishing in the United Kingdom. When a group of anglers get together and discuss buzzer fishing we usually think of fishing stillwaters, through the pages of this book titled 'Midge Magic' the authors Holbrook and Koch write about their buzzer fishing experience on rivers and streams, often with flies down to size 24's.
I can't wait for the new trout fishing season to start so I can out on my local river and try out some of the stuff in this book. In the past I have never thought about fishing buzzers in moving water but having read this book my eyes have been opened wide. Some of the chapters are Fishing the Midge, Matching the Midge, Diamond Midges, Rainbow Midges, Clear Flies, Metallics, Size 24's (that's an interesting chapter) followed by Beadheads.
Chapter nine is Shrimp Patterns. The chapter starts, "Although they are not in the same class as midge pupae, I am including them in this book". It's an interesting chapter which includes tying instructions. Other chapters are. Topwater Patterns, Peacock Patterns, Orphans and finally the last chapter of all, number 13, is quite fascinating; it's titled Elk River 32's. It's all about matching the very tiny chironomids and how the problems of fishing these tiny flies was overcome, including finding the right tippet material.
A truly fascinating and absorbing book that we can all learn from. Who knows, those fish in your local stream which until now were considered uncatchable might now be catchable, having read 'Midge Magic' by Holbrook and Koch published by Stackpole books. It's one I can heartily recommend. If you have any questions please E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Have a good month join me again on March 1st if you get the chance to cast a fly enjoy the experience and hopefully you will have your stick bent and the string pulled.
Mr Martin James