Re-stocking the summer striper box

I 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 blanks. The box is sand eel-heavy, and that’s by design since I like to fish summer marks where sand eels are the primary forage.

I populated the third row with small stuff like clam worms, shrimp, and mostly small baitfish and sand eels. The second row gets all sand eels, from left to right: Eelies and Eelie variants, Ray’s Marabou Sand Eel, and the Golden Knight bucktail. Those flies are all 2 1/2″-3″ long. The big-eye hooks were gifted to me by some friends in Europe; I’m not sure of the name or size, but they look strong, have a wide gap, and are very light.
To the main event! Big Eelies get top billing since they are my workhorse (and favorite) pattern. The original is far left, followed be all kinds of variants: Olive Fireworm, Crazy Menhaden, a couple as yet un-named, L&L, Bruiser. (You can find recipes for most of these on my site.) Spares will go on the right side, along with squid and some experiments I’ll be test driving this summer and fall.

8 comments on “Re-stocking the summer striper box

  1. Zachary Griefen says:

    Cool flies! Can you describe the small fly with the flowing black-speckled feather in the bottom right of the bottom photo? That looks like it might be a winner for sea-run cutts in Puget Sound.

    • Steve Culton says:

      Zach, good eye! That’s a saltwater Hornberg. Atlantic salmon hook, silver tinsel body, yellow calf underwing, mallard or Lady Amherst pheasant overwing, white soft-hackle collar. And oldie but goodie. I use it for tiny baitfish like peanut bunker.

  2. Awesome. Stripers are currently feeding on small sand eels here in Maine. I have a pocketful of Ray’s skinny little marabous.

  3. Bill Giokas says:

    Steve unless I missed something I noticed that you don’t have any crab flies. Large stripers on the Cape enjoy crabs. Bill

    • Steve Culton says:

      Bill, good to know. There are a couple small crabby things at the bottom, but I keep most of my crabs and shrimp and other bounce-along-the-bottom flies in a separate box. Do you have a favorite pattern?

  4. Bill Giokas says:

    Yes, check out the Pot Carb fly sold by Eldridge Bros. in Maine. They are all sold out . There is an on line video on how to tie this fly. Bill

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