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camjamken

Info for DIY Trip to St. Maarten

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Lets give this another try. I posted several days ago, but no responses, so at the suggestion of another member, I am trying again, this time with specific questions. 


 


First, a little background. I have been fly fishing freshwater since I was a kid, but only recently has it become more than just a part time hobby. Over the last two years I have spent a considerable amount of time on the water in Montana, and more recently in Alaska, where I now live. April will be my first foray to a salt water destination, and while I wont be in St. Maarten specifically to fish, I will have lots of free time and will definitely be bringing my rod. So pretty much I am starting at ground zero. Apologies for the noob status, but I wanted to give some explanation for my questions, should they sound ridiculous, because in truth, I don't know much right now.


 


Now a few questions for your consideration...


 


1. Are there any specific books/you tube videos/pod casts I should check out before my first salt water experience? Any other sites where I might be able to find good info on St. Maarten? From what I can tell, its not a common fly fishing destination and beta is hard to find.


2. What should I be looking at for a fly quiver to bring down there? I am just starting to tie my own flies, but with job related time limitations over the next 2 months, it is unlikely I will be able to tie enough to use on this trip. If possible, I would like to buy a complete salt water fly kit. It sounds like permit, tarpon, and bonefish are what I will be looking for. What flies should I make sure to have? Sounds like chartreuse clouser patterns are good. Any place online recommended to pick up these and a few others?


3. What rigging options I should try? Steel leader seems to be mentioned for tarpon in other threads. I have WF floating rio grand on my spool now, but should I consider bringing another spool with a different line?


4. What are the regs/license requirement for St. Maarten?


5. Any techniques that I should focus on? I am watching videos on the slow strip that seem to work well for tarpon. What other techniques should I become proficient in that will help me down there?


 


Thank you in advance for anyone that takes the time to respond with info relating to these questions, or any other general beta you are willing to provide. Stoked to give salt water a try, and I am looking forward to exploring the opportunities on St. Maarten. My plan is to post my experiences on this page after the trip, so if nothing else, hopefully it will help someone else out.


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Videos on YouTube. Gink and Gasoline channel. Also on YouTube Captain Chris Myers. Watch his videos, especially on the saltwater quick cast. Practice this. While I have never fished St Maarten, I can't imagine you would go wrong with crazy Charlie's, gotchas, yarn crabs, and veverka's mantis shrimp patterns. Match the bottom, tans, olives, sand.

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@ nedakjohn.....according to the menu bar, I have to make one more post, that once reviewed and approved, will allow me access to those functions. Hopefully this post does the trick!

 

@stroftswank.....Thanks for the info! Will check out Captain Chris Myers videos later this morning. I am sure that counts as work related media, right?

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Bro for an accomplished angler as your self a quick google about your background you should be able to figure it out , your no new bee to fishing having the line in the water sometimes takes time for the fish to bite can't except people to respond on your #1 post. You got more than most guys get here . Lucky your not fishing NJ Tight Lines

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I have not fished St. Maarten, but I have fished St. John and I think they are pretty similar.  I took an 8 wt and a 9 wt.- used the 8 almost exclusively.  I caught lots of oddball reef fish and snappers on the "flats" side of the island. Did get one bone blind casting.  Had great snook in several spots ( moving water, mangroves, structure)  Jumped a couple of tarpon, some small cudas.  Took a kayak out into Cruz Bay and hammered the cero macks- lots of fun- similar to Spanish macks.

 

Flies- I used an all white polar bear or yak hair clouser- size 2 with pink or pearl flash ( or angel hair).  I also fished a fly similar to a schminnow- what I called "puffball" (way before the schminnow was ever "invented).  Chart/White clouser, Pink white clouser.  Fished 15 fluoro and used a 30 lb fluoro bite tippet when the toothies were around.  I took my stripping basket and was glad I had it. ( guy comes up to me on the beach and says "hey mon, why you wearing a dish pan?") 

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you have a pict of the "puffball" ??

pre digital.  I have some at home

 

tied from 6 up to 4/0-

 

dumbbell eyes to match hook size ( the 4/0s had 1/4 oz eyes) Originally tied with white or pearl crystal estatz body, pearl angel hair tail.  Then created "son of puffy" with micro estatz and paired saddle hackle tails on either side of the angel hair tail.  Also tied in orange, pink , chart for squid and lobster patterns.  It was my go-to on the North Shore in the 90s.  Small sizes were great for bass, pike, trout, salmon, etc.

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@ nedakjohn.....turns out I have to be a member for 7 days / 15 relevant posts before PM feature is available. Will hit you up when I meet those criteria.

 

@titleguy....thanks for the info! Might try my hand at tying a few of those in the next couple weeks. If I do, I will post some pics for critique / entertainment for the group. Checked my local fly shop, and no dice on buying those in AK. Any place online you favor to buy quality clouser and shrimp patterns? Also....the stripping basket was a new one for me, but I think I can come up with something that will work. Again, the info is much appreciated!

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Posted (edited)

Tried to send pm. but I don't think you have enough posts yet for PM.  See if you can PM me.

@ nedakjohn....I'm still not able to send PMs. Any chance you are on FB or some other social media where I could shoot you some additional questions?

Edited by camjamken

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@cam- not on FB.  spam email account is kadenspam@gmail

 

let me know when you send contact there and I will reply

Sent email to spam address.

Look for "I AM NOT A ROBOT" in subject line.

Cheers!

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Hope I can be of some help.  I was in Anguilla last February/March and took the ferry over early in the morning and fished with a local guide all day in St. Maarten.   He is a local guy who is also a principal at a local school.  He has fished all his life in/around the island and knows every spot.  It is a bit unconventional but he knows where the tarpon are.  We fished in/near a marina (caught two baby tarpon) and some beaches.  Shoot me a PM and I can map out all of the locations he took us.  Near the airport is a hot spot as well.  If you had to take one outfit go with a 9 weight with floating line.  Also although controversial as to whether they are actually a "fly" the gummy minnows were deadly.  Look up Tyt Lynz guide service, the guy's name is Richard.  Great guy and worth the effort to contact him.

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Hope I can be of some help.  I was in Anguilla last February/March and took the ferry over early in the morning and fished with a local guide all day in St. Maarten.   He is a local guy who is also a principal at a local school.  He has fished all his life in/around the island and knows every spot.  It is a bit unconventional but he knows where the tarpon are.  We fished in/near a marina (caught two baby tarpon) and some beaches.  Shoot me a PM and I can map out all of the locations he took us.  Near the airport is a hot spot as well.  If you had to take one outfit go with a 9 weight with floating line.  Also although controversial as to whether they are actually a "fly" the gummy minnows were deadly.  Look up Tyt Lynz guide service, the guy's name is Richard.  Great guy and worth the effort to contact him.

Hyperstryper...Thanks for the reply! I am glad you mentioned Tyte Lynz guide service, and I'm interested in hearing more about your experience with Richard. When I first started researching fishing opportunities on St. Marten, I stumbled on what used to be his website, but it had been disabled, so I assumed that he was no longer in business. Soon after this I stumbled across some negative feedback on Tyte Lynze in another forum, but I didn't think much of it because of the style/grammar/content of the criticism. Let's face it, this is fishing, and sometimes you get skunked. I PM'd Richard on the Tyte Lynze facebook page, and he messaged me back last week, but I haven't had a chance to follow up with him. I will do this and see if I can't get some more info. I am not opposed to fishing with a guide for a day, especially if he is worth it, as you indicate.

Thanks for the info on the gummy minnows. These are new to me, but I will look into them. Also, as I am still a new member to the forum, I do not have the option to PM yet, but thankfully, social media makes communication pretty easy. Do you have a facebook account? Facebook messenger is pretty convenient. 

Thanks again for the reply.

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