Fixed-Line Fly Fishing Saltwater Stories

Salt Life – A Fixed Line Dream

Kid’s Beach Vacation

I grew up in South and North Carolina. I have lived in some other places as well, but my young life years were in these places. As a kid, for me and most of my friends, going on vacation meant heading the “the beach”. For almost everybody in this area, that means Myrtle Beach, SC. I think that is as much a regional name for the coast in the area as it is a specific city. There are places like Sunset Beach and North Myrtle Beach on the high end of the map and then Garden City and Murrell’s Inlet on the south end. To a kid, it is all just “Myrtle Beach”.

I learned how to throw a giant circle with a weight cast net as a teenager on those shores. Wading the tidal pools catching a net full of mullet seemed like a good time to me. I’d also dig through my tackle box for larger white or silver flashy things. That seemed like a good choice, but I didn’t really, really know what I was doing. That big 1/4 white Worden’s Rooster Tail did catch a few fish thought.

Adult’s Beach Vacation

A few years ago I found myself as “The Dad” driving us down Route 501 through Conway heading back to “the beach.” I know my place for the most part on these trips and that is manage the grill, ensure teen girls are entertained, and bark repeatedly to re-apply sunscreen. If I can keep those duties accomplished, there will be a little time for me as well.

Salt Life - A Fixed Line Dream - Tenkara Angler - Jason Sparks - Rod

I had planned to engage the shoreline with a long fixed line rod and try my luck. Being serious about it now, I wasn’t being very serious about it then. I had a 15′ and 17′ telescopic fixed-line rods that were mostly fiberglass. They were not tenkara rods by any means or madness. They were essentialy fixed line carp rods I was adapating for a salty adventure. But, they were still very castable and had enough backbone to help me land a large mullet, or some other species. I wasn’t sure what I’d encounter and didn’t put much thought into it. Like I said, I wasn’t being very serious about it.

Salty Dreams

There weather was nearly perfect every day with a typical South Carolina shoreline breeze. Maybe it was a bit stronger than usual because it was sure kicking around the surf pretty good every afternoon. As it was, the sandy bottoms and constant surf was beating me up pretty good the half dozen times I went out to find success. On the tide changes I couldn’t find anything trapped up in the tidal pools. That pushed me out into the break near waist deep. That is where I was just getting tossed around. Getting out past the break was better, but I was fishing on my tip toes in the swells.

Salt Life - A Fixed Line Dream - Tenkara Angler - Jason Sparks - Lure

Salty Memories

Other than scaring a few mullet, I didn’t see any fish other than the shoreline minnows in the really skinny water. I’ve never really known what those little darting fish are. Of course I was hoping to score a solid catch, at least one, and it just never happened. Maybe I should have rigged up with shrimp and tried a different tactic? Yeah, I don’t know. I was there for the fun of it all more than anything else really. I went home at the end of the week with that memory intact enough that I can still share it with you today.

Salt Life - A Fixed Line Dream - Tenkara Angler - Jason Sparks

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1 comment

  1. Jason, If you only fish saltwater occasionally go for the bait. Shrimp and a shot, a little piece of squid. I’ve been taking fixed lines rods along to the beach for ten years and have caught close to 50 species, look for structure – rocks, jetties, tide pools and bridge piling. You never know what will show up.

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