As I write, it is opening day of the new whitebaiting season but my thoughts aren’t with the scoop net, but of the 6wt and the much larger predators we can target. Now things normally start off rather slow, and the trout we encounter over winter are generally those who reside in the tidal zones year round, and while catches can be impressive at times, our estuaries don’t really begin to fire until things warm up and the smelt appear late October onwards. The fish aren’t really locked onto the whitebait and so we need to stay focussed, use the best gear, carry a good range of flies and make the most of every opportunity.
We all know how much our concentration, excitement and expectations are heightened on the first cast with a new fly, and so a great tip is to change flies often to stay sharp and avoid that ‘100th cast slump’, missing the only grab of the day. And what better flies to kick off any tidal sojourn with than those of the Manic Fly Collection Skelatal series.
A Rene Vaz design, these are great flies to fish slow over stillwater weedbeds due to their tendency to hover, however I’ve been having great success stripping them in our estuaries and across the shallows. Saltwater anglers know the importance of life, translucence and movement in their flies so we thought we’d introduce these attributes to a few more of ours. SF fibre, or Steve Farrar fibre provides all the above and it makes sense to add it to a couple of freshwater patterns for that killer effect.
Skelatal Smelt Ghost
Skelatal Smelt Parsons
Skelatal Smelt Orbit
Fished as a team in pairs, or doubled up with a ying / yang pattern such as a Mr Glister, Mega Rabbit Yellow or a Fresh Candy, these are flies not to hit the tides without.