Read an Excerpt
The Orvis Guide to Fly Fishing for Coastal Gamefish
By Aaron Adams
Lyons PressCopyright © 2012 Aaron Adams
All right reserved.
(from Chapter 6: Oyster Bars)
My favorite series of oyster bars lies in knee-deep water along the deep edge of a large, shallow grass bed. The oyster bars protect the grass bed from waves that build under south winds whipping across two miles of open water. These disconnected patches of oyster bar also break up incoming tidal currents whose diversions have carved small sand potholes, about five feet across, at the ends of the bars. Baitfish will temporarily congregate in the shelter provided by the oyster bars, taking refuge from the forceful currents and seeking escape from foraging gamefish.
Unfortunately for the schooling baitfish, the oyster bars render a false haven. At low tide the shallow oyster bars provide shelter from gamefish, but the baitfish are at the mercy of wading birds like blue heron. At high tide, when water covers the bars, this is an easy place for gamefish to corral and feed on the baitfish because of the bars= proximity to deeper water. I have witnessed snook, tarpon, red drum, and spotted seatrout feeding on sardines, mullet, and anchovies that have sought shelter in the shadows of these oyster bars. When the baitfish and gamefish are both present, an appropriately sized streamer cast into the mix almost always results in a strike.
In contrast, a whole community of potential gamefish prey lives permanently among the oyster shells, and takes advantage of food and shelter provided by oyster bars= many crevices. These residents seem to live a less frantic existence than the baitfish. When gamefish feed on the resident prey their feeding is more methodical, and your fly fishing approach must follow suit. This chapter will introduce you to the intricacies of oyster bars so you can interpret how these habitats are used by gamefish, and devise strategies for fishing these habitats at different tides, locations, and times of year.
Excerpted from The Orvis Guide to Fly Fishing for Coastal Gamefish by Aaron Adams Copyright © 2012 by Aaron Adams. Excerpted by permission.
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