Our clubs monthly member meeting is a go for August 3rd at 6:30 at the Italian-American Club located at 1471 Cypress Ave in Melbourne.
Our Speaker for August 3rd is going to be Captain Scott Hamilton. He has been operating Hamilton Fly Fishing Charters in Palm Beach County since 1990. It is one of the very few fly-fishing only offshore charters in Florida and as well, in the world. He specializes in blue water species such as sailfish, dolphin, wahoo and tunas. He will be covering techniques for near shore species such as king mackeral, amberjack, false albacore and spinner sharks. It has been over 10 years since we had the pleasure of having Scott give us another presentation. This is going to be an informing meeting and hope to see all of you there. The following articles in quotations are taken from the Fly Fishing Charters.
Fishing the Gulf Stream and offshore of West Palm Beach
“Here are some particulars about what we do at Hamilton Fly Fishing. First of all, this is NOT about trout. This about finding the biggest, meanest, fastest fish available, getting them to destroy a fly and pull you all over the ocean. Sailfish, mahi mahi, wahoo and tuna; very much non-typical fly rod targets. After battling with these fish, you’ll understand why I affectionately refer to this as “Full-Contact Fly Fishing”.
And that is just the tip of the iceberg. We have approximately forty species during the course of the year and twenty possible species at any given time. False albacore, king and Spanish mackerel, sharks, barracuda, jack crevalle, snook, tarpon, permit, the list goes on. Here in Palm Beach, the Gulf Stream makes its closest pass to land, and with the absence of a continental shelf, deep water fish come amazingly close to land. The run to blue water is very short; the reef being about one mile off the beach. And the sheltered waters of the Lake Worth lagoon, Intracoastal Waterway, the Loxahatchee River,(one of only two designated scenic rivers in Florida) and Hobe Sound offer very entertaining fishing for snook, tarpon, jack crevalle, barracuda and more… And for those of you that like the night life, after-hours fishing around area docks and bridges for tarpon and snook can be loads of fun.”
“I was introduced to a fish some time back that reminded me of my limitations. More than a quarter of a century fly fishing hard for all manner of fish from brookies to billfish, and this particular quarry left me with wrecked flies, wrecked leaders, wrecked line and pathetically wrecked ego. Actually, it’s a nice change to have the complacency built up from years of successful fly fishing, bashed to pieces. It reminds you that you aren’t master of everything that swims, regardless of the skill you think you have. Which keeps everything so much more entertaining.
In the early months of the year Spinner sharks, averaging between fifty and a hundred pounds, are in very good supply in the area around Palm Beach, FL. What they’re doing here is a matter of conjecture, but there are hundreds, if not thousands, of these Brown Bombers around if you know where to look for them. And they have that name for a very good reason. They free jump quite often, blasting up out of the water like a missile for no apparent reason other than to force nearby anglers to a clothing change. During this jump they execute the maneuver by which they got their name. Spinning lengthwise like a top, they complete anywhere between a lazy single and a whirling five revolution jump. And at times they have a “jump off”, where there will be a flurry of sharks jumping. I once counted fifty seven jumps in less than two minutes. We sometimes just stop fishing and watch the show.
My preliminary encounters with this creature left me bewildered; “What the hell was THAT?” as I was reaching for the first aid kit. I had not survived even thirty seconds with one of these on the end of my line. They just didn’t play fair; and they were playing with the cards most assuredly stacked in their favor. The teeth obviously were a factor, as well as the rough skin. Combine that with the spinning and they moved up to a new level of tough fish. Oh yeah, did I mention that they top out at pretty darn near fifty miles an hour and make runs well into the two hundred yard range? I think if you could mate a tarpon with a tuna, pump the offspring full of steroids and paint it brown, you’d have a spinner shark. Well, never having been one to walk away when the gauntlet was thrown down, I pondered this for a time. After some trial, some error, and a whole lot of damage done to my tackle and psyche, I’ve got these guys dialed in. And they are easily as tough and as spectacular a fish as any big tarpon or sailfish I’ve ever hooked.
They like big, bright flies. Mullet type patterns in grey/white/silver, red/white, red/yellow, and in orange/yellow in six to eight inch size work. Use a twelve weight rod. Believe me, you’ll have your hands full with a twelve. And forget IGFA legal leaders. Twenty pound tippets just won’t do. The leader setup that seems to work best, (you’ll get a kick out of this) is fifty pound monofilament butt section about five feet long tied to a four foot section of forty pound mono. Tie this to a twelve-inch piece of fifty or sixty pound single-strand stainless steel wire using an Albright knot. Attach the fly with a haywire twist and your set to go.”
The Melbourne Library is still not holding meetings in the rooms and so Jeff will continue to put his flies and instructions on the website. If the instructions and pictures for the flies get too long for the printed newsletter then you can always refer to the electric version or our website www.bffa-brevard.com