And on the 500th cast, a striped bass

It’s been a pretty weird spring for those of us who chase striped bass from the shore on the fly. Ye Olde Striper Shoppe, usually overflowing with eager school bass this time of year, continues to fail to produce. You’ve heard me say it before — every year is different — and as Joe Jackson might say, “so there goes your proof.”

I almost didn’t go yesterday because I simply wasn’t feeling it. But I talked myself into it. Not too hard a sell, since it’s got to turn on sometime, right? In the interest of avoiding crowds and trying something different, I went to a place that had no right to be holding stripers. It wasn’t. But I got my money’s worth of casting practice. Oh. And there was that rip. That paramour-sexy rip with its erotically dancing, undulating surface that made brazen overtures to my weaknesses for such water. Mark my words, there’ll be a bass or ten in it sometime soon.

I forgot my good camera. Usually that means a big striper. But you’ll have to settle for this water, weed and sand sculpture.

April sand bar

Switched from the full sink to the floater for a second piece of water. Nearly two more hours of casting practice. It was rejuvenating to perform a proper greased line swing again. (The poetic majesty of the greased line swing cannot be under-estimated.) But, time on this session had run out. Three more casts. And on the third, as the seven-inch long Crazy Menhaden flatwing swung down and across, a firm take worthy of the year’s first striper. A standard-issue school bass, under twenty inches, still wearing the colors of estuary in winter. But for today, a perfect fish.

I gotta tie some more of these. And some Rock Island flatwings, too.

Crazy CU

6 comments on “And on the 500th cast, a striped bass

  1. Toby McAfee says:

    So what camera do you normally use to get those amazing photos on the stream? Waterproof? Housing? Forgot to ask you at your Croton TU presentation.
    Keep the photos and info coming! Thanks,

    Toby McAfee

  2. Toby McAfee says:

    PS to my earlier reply: I know a good photograph is made by a good photographer, with the camera just being the tool.

  3. Steve Culton says:

    Hi Toby,

    Your PS is so kind and good-spirited. Always a pleasure to see that energy on the web. 🙂

    To the camera: the on-water setup is a Canon PowerShot D20. Nothing too fancy, waterproof, and shockproof. I’m really not a camera geek, but I suppose I should aspire to be. My brother is (a camera geek). One of his photos is in the current issue of the Flyfish Journal.


    • Toby McAfee says:

      Steve, no need to aspire to be a camera geek. You are getting it done with the D20! Looking forward to seeing your brother’s photo. Toby

  4. Paul Gross says:

    Could you post a picture of your Rock Island flat wings? The Crazy Menhadens are gorgeous.

    • Steve Culton says:

      Hi Paul,

      Thanks. The Crazy Menhaden color template is one of my favorites. To see the Rock Island flatwing, all you have to do is use the search function of this site. Just type “Rock Island” into the search window, hit enter or return on your keyboard, and you shall have the link. 🙂

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