2015: A Striper Oddity

I never thought I’d be so excited about catching four school bass. But after this crazy spring, yowzah, woo-hoo, awwwright, yessiree Bob, good golly Miss Molly, I am all fired up.


Now that cooler heads have prevailed, I want to tell you about my funny faux pas today at Ye Olde Striper Spot. The wind was gusting out of the NNW, 10-20 easy, and the cloud structure was breathtaking. When I waded in, I was the fifth guy at the end of the line. We were all pretty evenly (and courteously) spaced. After an hour or so, our ranks had swollen to nearly ten. Some people were catching, others were not.  I turned to look behind me and I noticed that the angler above me had closed the gap to about 30 feet. He hailed me. “Do you mind if I ask you something?” I thought I was going to get a question about the two hander, or the floating line, or what color fly I was using. No. “Can you stand back a bit? You’ve moved quite a ways toward me.”

Well, to clean up Jack Nicholson’s line from “A Few Good Men,” didn’t I feel like a freakin’ butt hole.

Sincere apologies were offered, as was a fly. I appreciated his politeness and understanding. We talked about fishing for a few minutes. Then, fences mended, we returned to our precious avocation on this strange grey-green-blue windy day.

Monday’s implements of destruction, drying for the next session. Water temp was 50 degrees.


8 comments on “2015: A Striper Oddity

  1. Phil says:

    Conga lines are fun when you’re catching (I know where you were) and the rest are also. Good to hear they are finally on the move.

    • Steve Culton says:

      I’m not sure I’d say the fish were on the move. I’d say my flies were in the right place at the right time. The two spin guys I walked back with didn’t get a touch.

  2. Hi Steve,
    Liked your last flatwing pattern so much that the tying group I lead at the local fly shop will be tying it this week but modified slightly for warmwater fishing. Will send pictures if you’re interested.
    I noticed that you didn’t put eyes on this pattern, any reason why?

    Glad you worked it out with the conga crowd. Also what two handed rod and line set-up are you using or did I miss it in a previous blog?

    Now get out there and fish!
    As always, enjoy the blog.

    • Steve Culton says:

      Hi Stuart,

      I’m glad, too. I was so embarrassed that I had strayed into his space.

      RE: I noticed that you didn’t put eyes on this pattern, any reason why?
      Eyes on flies are for humans.

      If you’re talking about the soft-hackle/flatwing pattern, that’s a fly — like many of the flies I tie and fish — that draws heavily on traditional design and materials. That last thing it wants from an aesthetics perspective are ultra-realistic 3D stick-on eyes, or some other such horror. Or, for a more scientific/engineering rationale: the triggers on that fly are its movement, profile, and lack of opacity. Eyes would be a redundant component. 🙂

      RE: Also what two handed rod and line set-up are you using or did I miss it in a previous blog?
      Nope, that’s my Ken Abrames Salmo Saxatilus #3 switch rod that I’ve had for years. I started using it in TH mode last spring when I had a bad case of tennis elbow, and I’ve been liking the relatively effortless way it casts. In TH mode I’ve been using a Rio Outbound #12 floating line (510 grains). It is also a phenomenal steelhead rod.

      RE: Now get out there and fish!
      Yup. Shortly.

      RE: As always, enjoy the blog.
      This makes me happy. Thanks for reading, and thanks for the questions. Hope my answers helped.


  3. Gin Clear says:

    Reblogged this on Gin Clear and commented:
    Nice job, Steve! Great lesson in courtesy too. Good to see civility still in play on the water. May try some RI spots this weekend…

  4. Wayne Gustafson says:

    Ah Ha, now I know your Striper Spot. Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me because it’s also my striper spot. I caught my first striper on a fly there five years ago and although I don’t fish the salt very often, thats the place I go a least a few times a year. I managed four last Friday in that awful wind. I was the fly fisherman who was #1 in the line then moved down to your left. The guy who left early just as the bite started. In my defense, I got there early before anyone else and fished hard for two hours without a strike. Slinging a 10 wt into the wind is exhausting for an old (and I do mean old) trout guy. By the time I left I was tired, cold, very cranky and badly in need of a hot cup of coffee at the Bridgeport Flyer. By now you’re wondering how I know you. Well, I signed up for your posts and I heard you speak a couple of times at our Hammonasset TU meetings. In fact you’ve made a convert of me in that I use soft hackle wet flies quite often now. In fact I tied a few before going out to the Yantic River today and did very well. If they saw it, they hit it. Anyway, keep up the good work, I really enjoy the posts. Maybe I’ll see you again down at the “spot.”

    Wayne Gustafson

    • Steve Culton says:

      Hi Wayne,

      That place is one of the dozens I like to fish for stripers. It’s certainly no secret. Thanks for your message, and I hope that cup of coffee treated you right. btw, have you considered trying a two-handed rod? Works wonders for old joints.

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