Capt. Bob Paccia - the lower Cape's premier light tackle and fly fishing guide

Hints on Fly Fishing The Cape Cod Canal

September 2, 2013 by  

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Old 08-30-2013, 02:57 PM
fly fishing the canal help

I’m planning to fly fish the canal for the first time in the next couple weeks but wanted to check in to make sure I’ve got the basics covered. I’ll be using a 10wt. with an Orvis depth charge line (around 4″-6″ a sec). Then a leader
, 3′ 50# and 3′ 30#test. Does that seem like a workable leader? Then I’ve always used loop to loop connections for my leader to line. Will that cut the mustard in the canal? I don’t do bimini twists! And for flies lg clousers, half and halfs, and a larger profile big eyed baitfish, and maybe a Bob’s banger. I would welcome any thoughts. thanks…ron

Fly lines:
I have always recommended using a FULL-SINK fly line for saltwater fly fishing as opposed to a SINK-TIP fly line. I believe that your Orvis depth charge line is a sink-tip line. Sink-tip lines usually have a 30 foot sinking section followed by a 70 foot intermediate running line section. Sink-tip style lines are OK in no current/no wave action conditions, but are not very effective when currents or wave actions are at hand. You mentioned that the sink rate for your line was 4″-6″ per second. Keep in mind, that all fly line manufacturers rate their fly line’s sinking rates based upon no-current/no-wave action test pools and that the intermediate section of a sink-tip line is drastically effected by both current and wave action. Current and wave action will cause the intermediate section to have drag and cause bellying. The drag and bellying of the intermediate section has two negative reactions to the sink rate of your sink-tip and your fly. One, the sink rate is much less and the bellying causes you to lose line control. If a fish hits, you won’t be able to feel the strike in time to set the hook. Probably, you wouldn’t even have known that you had a hit.
Using a full-sink line would get your line, leader and fly down to the proper depth that you’d want to be fishing. Also, because full-sink lines are less effected by currents and wave action, you gain a great deal of line control.

I’m not telling you to go out and buy a new full-sinking now, but for the future, it’s something to keep in mind. It will help you to quickly get down to where the bigger fish are lurking.

Your current leader system would work, but I agree with Ray at Captcastafly, I would use a 20# tippet.
Also, I used to tie up knotted leaders for many of the fly fishing shops throughout the Cape and we used to have quite a number of shops in past years. However, today I recommend using 20# test 71/2′ Fluorocarbon leaders. Knotted leaders are OK, but each knot tied into the leader is a potential place for a weed, etc. to hook onto, and knots are all subject to failure. Knot-less leaders also work especially well when casting larger or weighted flies. Because of their gradual taper, they tend to turn these larger and heavier flies over more efficiently and the presentation is much better. I know that the tapered Fluorocarbon leaders are more expensive, but they are nearly invisible and you have enough room in the 20# test end to re-tie 6-8 flies.

Stripping basket:
You didn’t mention if you were going to use a stripping basket. I would highly recommend the use of one, especially fly fishing the canal. Line control is super important and a stripping basket is very important. It keeps your line out of the current, out of the surf and off the rocks along the edge of the canal.

I’m sorry, I know that I tend to be a bit long-winded, but if anything I’ve written is helpful, then I guess it’s OK.

Tight lines, but not too tight,

Capt. Bob Paccia

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