Last week I had the opportunity to head down to the South side of Cape Cod to chase False Albacore on the fly! This being my first adventure chasing these fish, I felt like I should share the lessons I learned so you can learn from my mistakes and make sure your trip is a success!
Never Let Your Guard Down
Albies can be on the surface feeding with no notice and disappear just as quickly. Make sure to always be ready with fly line out of the rod tip, so you can make a quick accurate cast into the feed. You want to place your fly smack in the midst of the chaos, after that hold on tight because these little footballs run faster than a cheetah on steroids!
Do Your Best to Remain Calm
An Albie blitz is simply chaos and will make your knees go weak and your heart start to pump like you shot-gunned 3 Red Bulls. Be calm while making your cast to avoid knots and snags, and make your cast count, because Albies can disappear into the depths at a moments notice.
Be Ready for a Fight
Albies are built like little tuna. They are streamlined in every way and optimized for speed. After the hook set, they will run you deep into your backing in a matter of milliseconds. After a few blistering runs, they will come straight back at you in an attempt to shake the hook, a large arbor reel will help you immensely in this situation! After that, they will bulldog you under the boat for what seems like an eternity until you finally get them to hand!
Strip Set Hard
Due to their speed, you have a short window of time to ensure that your fly is buried in that fish’s face, so strip hard and firm. After that let go, clear the line and hold on!
Watch Your Line (And Reel Handle)
Line management is a skill that I am quickly discovering is paramount when fishing in the salt water. Make sure your line is ready by casting all of it out, and stripping it back in to make a pile at your feet. This will put your casting line on the top of the pile and prevent knots from occurring. Another tip, keep your hands away from the reel handle when your Albie takes off because a reel handle smacking into your hand is not a pleasant feeling (take it from my bruised hands)!
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Dan Zazworsky’s passion is sharing his love of fly fishing with anyone that will listen, read or watch. You can find him exploring new waters every day while chasing any fish that will eat a fly!
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