Reorganizing and replenishing the striper box

I’ve been meaning to do this for a good, long time. I started by taking out every fly from the left side of my box — this is the working side that gets the most use. I returned a few of the smaller bugs to the lower slots, but the others, mostly sand eels, got straightened out (flies tend to get gershtunkled after years of non-use) under a running hot water bath, followed by a hang drying on corks, and then finally laid out on a sheet of paper. From there I took inventory to see which patterns needed replacing and replenishing. So, right now I’m in the middle of a massive sand eel tying blitz. And did I mention squid? Golly, I ‘ve got to tie a few more of those. And then my experiments! I’m going to be playing around with some Gurgling Sand Eel variants this summer. To the vise! To the water!

15 comments on “Reorganizing and replenishing the striper box

  1. rich rubin says:

    Good advice. I do the same. Rinse my salt water flys in hot water after use and it brings them back.unless of course they are not salvageable

    Good health is true wealth

  2. Gary L says:

    Thanks for sharing. As someone just getting started in striper fishing, it was nice to get a peek at your flybox for some ideas on what flies I should be looking at to fill my own with.

    • Steve Culton says:

      Hi Gary, I wish it were that easy. I want to be clear that this is my summer edition box, so it’s going to have different patterns than, say, spring or fall. So for summer I’m heave on sand eels and squid. I have a few smaller baitfish and some bonefish-type shrimp and crabby things. I’ll try to repost a shot of the complete box later this week.

  3. David says:

    Thanks for sharing your flies. I missed the spring run so I’ll need to get ready for the fall. What are you most frequently used daytime fall flies? Just got started on the salt last year. Lots of fun for sure

    • Steve Culton says:

      Hi David, that’s an easy one to answer: none, since I rarely if ever fish in the daytime/fall. Facetiousness aside, the better answer would be, where are you fishing (and more specifically) what’s the bait? I can tell you what I’m using in RI at night in the fall. Silverside patterns like Ray’s Fly, match size to bait. Anchovy flies like the Inconspicuous (ditto). September Night for mullet. Some kind of sparse bucktail for Peanut Bunker (I really need to publish one of those patterns). Maybe a larger flatwing if I come across larger bunker. You should be able to find reference for these somewhere on my site. I hope that helps you and if you have more questions feel free to reach out. πŸ™‚

  4. […] received so many comments and emails about my recent post on my striper fly box that I thought it deserved a follow-up. Having taken to the vise, my next step was to fill in the […]

  5. 1morecast says:

    Quick question Steve, you are a proponent primarily floating line for stripers, in places like Quonny pond & inside the Narrow River in RI, would an intermediate line be better served there or sink tip on a floating line?Thanks Donny L.

    • Steve Culton says:

      Hi Donny, I wish I had a quick answer for you. It’s not that simple of a question. As always, start here: what do you want the fly to do? Do you want to be able to sink the fly in current? Floating line (and a longer leader and possibly a weighted fly or sink tip). Do you want to have as much control over your presentation as possible? Floating line. You can see where this is going. If all you’re going to do is cast and strip, and you don’t care about things like line control and being able to make different presentations, have at it with an intermediate line and be happy. Just remember, if there’s current your fly is probably not getting as deep as you think. Have you read my article “Mainly Misunderstood”? That may be of value. I hope this helps, and I thank you for an excellent question.

  6. Frank Zima says:

    Great post! As I’m reading this, I’m also reading “Striper Moon” and “A Perfect Fish”…again. Pretty sure you’ve read/met/fished with the author…😊…good stuff!
    Tightest of lines…


    • Steve Culton says:

      Ken is a good friend. I was fortunate enough to enjoy a couple seasons of lessons with him — just the two of us banging around RI at night. What I learned helped mold me into the angler I am today. I’ll tell him you’re still enjoying the books. πŸ™‚

      • Frank Zima says:

        Thanks Steve. I like the way he (and yourself) approach striper fishing…trout-like mindset…different from the cast-and-retrieve crowd…I like different…


      • Steve Culton says:

        Well, Frank, you’ve definitely come to the right place. Later this summer I’ll post about some of my striper experiments I’m planning…

  7. Bill Giokas says:

    What no crab flies? They work but I don’ see any in your box. Bill

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