The Saltwater Sickness - St. Peter's Caley Smith weighs in
As winter comes around here in Colorado, many people day dream about warm summer days, fishing comfortably for a variety of species here throughout the state. A lot of people start spending more days on the vice than on the water, but the itch persists regardless of how many flies are tied. A lot of people dream about destination travel and escaping the cold for locations like Mexico, Belize and Cuba; and the beauty of it all is that saltwater species can provide adventures and epic fly fishing year round.
So why not?
The coolest part about working at St. Peter's Fly Shop through the winter is taking to the multitudes of people who come in looking for that new Scott Meridian, Sage Salt HD, or Winston BIII Plus fly rod, grab a stack of saltwater leaders and a box of flies and inquiring about where they are off to. The whole staff daydreams as we speak to these customers about being on that skiff, on the middle of a flat, beneath the unforgiving the sun. Some of them are going on their 5th annual trip, and some are first timers. But what is really apparent is that saltwater fishing seems like some sort of sickness, people just can’t help themselves… and once they go, they can’t stop going.
A lot of us trout folks wonder what it is that drives these people to give up their only vacation time and a chunk of their savings to drop everything and head for the salt. And a lot of people say, “You just won’t understand until you do it." Okay, so whats so great about standing on a casting platform all day? Are bonefish really that fun to catch? What's with this infatuation with permit fishing? You’re hot, you’re salty, you see like 20 fish, get shots at 5 and blow like half of them! “Man if we were trout fishing we’d be like 30 fish deep by now."
With the few salty experiences I’ve been lucky enough to embark on, I ensure you the sickness is real. And no, it’s not a numbers game, but pushing the limits of a graphite rod and a welded loop on a fly line against some of the most evolved fish in the ocean will give you an adrenaline rush like you’ve never known. Don’t be disappointed if you don't land the first few, or if you blow a 60 foot cast in 20 mile per hour wind. I promise it’s not easy and patience is key, but conquering the saltwater species on the fly is one of the greatest feats an angler can accomplish. As for the sickness… you'll have to feel that for yourself.