Striper lessons

I took Don out for a striper lesson this week. Rather than give you a “Dear Diary” account, I thought I would tell you about some of the striper lessons we covered.

Cast and strip is ultimately limiting. You will catch the aggressive, willing-to-chase fish with that approach. But eventually you will encounter bass that are holding on station, feeding on a particular bait, and cast-and-strip will fail you. Learn the art of presentation. Dead drifts, greased line swings, dangles and mends — all of these will serve you well when the going gets tough. If you want to learn presentation, and you value line control, you need a floating line. Period. Find the line taper and grain weight that’s best suited to your rod, how you cast, and how you want to fish. Hint: it isn’t necessarily what’s printed on the blank. You don’t need to cast far to catch stripers. I taught Don what I call the “zero foot cast,” and by using the current, you can delivery your fly to fish over 100 feet away. When the fish are on something small, droppers are your best friend. Multiple baits mean multiple catching opportunities. And as always, droppers are the fastest way to find out what the fish want. If you want to catch more stripers, learn how to read water. Just like you do with trout. And last but not least, alway scope out a new mark in daylight so you can see what’s going on.

Don, shown working on his greased line swings and dangles, is a keen student of fly fishing. All he needs now is some cooperative stripers!

2 comments on “Striper lessons

  1. Bill Giokas says:

    I use a 400 grain line on the Flats in Chatham where you and Mike Oliver fish. I know you are a floating line guy but give the sinking line a try . You can still swing the fly with the sinking line.
    Bill

    • Steve Culton says:

      Hi Bill,

      Thanks for the comment. Grain weight isn’t the issue — I have full sink lines that have a far lower grain weight than some of my floaters. The issues are: What do you want the fly to do? And: How much control do you want to have over the presentation? Answering those questions will help you determine what kind of line you want to use. 🙂

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