Bay Flats Lodge knows quality, and Sight Cast offers some of the best when it comes to salt water fishing.
Steven and Alan, two brothers who found a passion for fly fishing, decided to turn that passion into something more. That is how Sight Cast was born. Steven gives an in depth look into the backstory and how far they’ve come as a company that believes in quality.
How it all got started: We’ve both been fishing since we were little kids. We were fortunate to have a family bayhouse in Sargent, TX and a Dad that took us fishing every chance he got. We started out with a conventional rod throwing soft plastics. Around the age of 15, Alan started fly fishing after being introduced to it by our neighbor, Bobby Hubbard. I was converted a few years later. It didn’t take long after seeing our neighbor throw his fly rod on the pier under the lights at night and hammer the sand and speckled trout. Alan ended up getting his first boat when he was a sophomore in high school, a pieced together Carolina Skiff. We would go hull-slapping down the shoreline poling that boat from the back bench seat. As a kid in high school it was everything you could ask for and more!
The idea of actually starting a business happened around 2012 when we had an idea for the name and others took interest in the flies we tied. It was very rudimentary at the time, we had no idea how to get a business license, how to create a website, how to create any logos or how to file all the quarterly taxes. We just figured it out one step at a time and kept working hard towards the dream. The dream of creating a brand that encompasses everything we grew up doing, saltwater fly fishing and fly tying.
Originally we started offering many of the patterns that we had been fishing with and worked for us over the years. We still offer some of those patterns today, even though they’ve been improved with new materials. Flies such as the Straight-Shooter Crab, Copper-Top Shrimp, and Marsh Mohawk, and the Spoon Flies are some of the originals. The other flies are our take on some of the classics fished on the Gulf Coast, like Andy Packmore’s Redfish Crack. We kept the features of the original recipe that made it successful and added some new materials to give it added movement. One of our top selling sheepshead fly is a collaboration with fly fishing guide, Capt. Scott Null out of Port O’Connor. We had the opportunity to sit next to him at the Houston Fishing Show the past couple of years, so naturally we talked a lot about fly fishing and the flies he likes to use. The Convict Killer is his favorite sheepshead fly and we worked together to get them tied the way he likes to fish them. A lot of our other flies are born out of brotherly competition. I would say half of the flies are Alan’s, and the other half are mine. It’s funny because when we go fishing together we won’t tie on each other’s flies, we have to fish our own!
The species you’re targeting combined with the water depth and the bottom conditions will dictate the amount of weight the fly will have. Most of what you see us tying will be on size 2 or size 4 hooks using extra-small lead eyes, bead chain eyes, or totally weightless. For example, if your fly is for targeting those trophy speckled trout laid up on the grass flats, you want a fly that is almost totally weightless or with bead chain eyes. Speckled trout will lay low in the grass and ambush prey feeding upward towards the surface, so you want something that stays up high in the water column, sinks slow, and stays weedless. And if you’re targeting sheepshead the opposite is true. You need a heavy fly that gets down to the bottom quickly, resembles a crab, and is designed to just bump along the bottom very slowly.
You can also see similarities in different patterns with techniques we’ve found to work well. For example, we use a small hot-spot of Estaz at the bend of the hook on lots of our flies, which serves several purposes. It gives the fly a pop of color or the appearance of an egg sack, and it helps prevent the Craft Fur tail from fouling around the hook so easily.
A lot of our materials are developed in conjunction with the fly we are tying up. We ran into not being able to find the materials necessary, and that ultimately led us to develop and source our own materials and create our own line of specialized products. Originally we were manually bending hooks with a pair of pliers to get the right shape, and we knew other fly tyers were doing the same thing. So instead of compromising the integrity of the hook’s metallurgy by bending it, we designed a hook and worked directly with a manufacturer to have it made to our specifications. All of our flies now use our legs and every time we run into a color we don’t have, we get it made and put it in the Marsh Leg lineup for other fly tyers to use on their own flies. The feedback we’ve received on the Marsh Legs alone has been phenomenal. One of our newest materials we offer is called the Backwater Bead Chain. We noticed a lack of options when it came to a colored stainless steel bead chain designed for heavy saltwater use. The brass stuff just doesn’t hold up in the salt. Our gold, silver, and copper bead chain is even made from stainless steel with a proprietary plating process to help prevent corrosion and tarnishing. We think a lot of saltwater guys are going to like to have that option.
A lot of our flies are designed to target fish in 1-2 feet of water. Sight fishing for redfish, speckled trout, and sheepshead is what we know best, and our fly lineup reflects that. Our niche is fly patterns and tying materials designed for inshore species found in the Gulf Coast and South-Eastern Seaboard and we put a strong emphasis on offering high-quality, small-batch flies and materials that we hope our customers will keep coming back for. We offer a variety of colors of each pattern to give you the option to compliment the water clarity of where you’re fishing. We also put together packs of flies that are species specific and are a convenient option for people new to saltwater or new to the area. We include 5 flies at different weights and colors that will give you the ability to cover the entire water column and multiple water clarities, and put them into that pack at a discounted price.
Fast forward to today, we still have that family place in Sargent and take our Maverick skiffs out every chance we get. We still fish many of the same flies we grew up fishing, and offer many of those in our fly shop today. We’ve been able to develop more premier products as time goes on as well. We never compromise when it comes to quality. Check out our full shop at sightcastfishing.com.