The third of three traditional striper fly videos from “Trout Fishing For Striped Bass.” If you can read a newspaper through the fly, it’s sparse.
A wee video sampler of flat wing streamers for striped bass, also part of my new presentation, “Trout Fishing for Striped Bass.”
This is a short video sampler of soft-hackled flies for striped bass. It’s going to be part of my new presentation, “Trout Fishing for Striped Bass.”
I discovered this gem just yesterday: archival footage of Ken Abrames making a presentation on striped bass fly tying to the Rhody Fly Rodders, circa 1994. Now you too can watch, listen, and learn from the grandmaster as he covers striped bass fly design, materials, color, and traditional tying methods. While I’ve had detailed conversations with Ken on all these topics, it’s still a special treat to be able to see him in action over 20 years ago.
Recorded long before the days of home HD, the video is perfectly watchable — certainly, its content far outweighs any video washout or digital artifacts. You can find it on YouTube in three parts; here’s the link to part one.
What happens when you mix water and bucktail (and other secrets of the art of tying the sparse fly) revealed.
I went on a wee tying binge, and when the feather dust settled I was left with an 8-pack of Big Eelies. Some are old favorites, and a few sport new color combinations. That’s one thing I love about this pattern: it lends itself supremely well to all manner of color experimentation, and the stripers almost always seem pleased with your work.
Big Eelies hot off the press. Clockwise from lower left: pink/chartreuse/olive, grey/olive, Crazy Menhaden colors, Olive Fireworm colors, black/chartreuse, pink/olive/brown, then the two of the original classic. I can already feel that forceful tug at the end of a twitching strip.
The Banana Squid, another classic from Ken Abrames. It’s different from most other squid patterns, and it looks nothing like what books would lead you to believe a squid should be. Add the magic ingredient of water, and it transforms into a living, breathing organism than looks good to eat. Fished slowly and deliberately, it relies on organic movement and impressionism to fool the fish.
Many years ago, I was having trouble with some bass that were feeding on silversides in a Rhode Island breechway. The fish were active, but I couldn’t get them to bite. Ken Abrames recommended that I try the Ray’s Fly Featherwing, a dressed-down flatwing version of Ray’s Fly. I remember him telling me that it was, at the least, another arrow in the fly box quiver.
That was a long time ago. I remember tying some up, but I don’t know what became of them. I know I caught stripers on them. I think I lost my last one to a bluefish.
Recently, someone on one of the forums asked about a “Ray’s Fly flatwing.” I think the Ray’s Fly Featherwing is the fly he was referencing. I haven’t tied in a couple of weeks, so I went down to the bench this morning and churned out a few. So simple. And sparse. I’d be as inclined to use these for a sand eel as I would a silverside.
All saddles are tied in flat — flatwing style, as they say. Note that the olive saddle is tied in at the head. All you need to do now is add water.
Ray’s Fly Featherwing flatwing
Fresh off the vise and ready to be eaten. Grey dun/fluorescent yellow, pink/chartreuse/olive, and white/blue/mallard flank. Of course, endless color variations are possible. Sparse, yet full. These are all three-and-one-half inches long.
Here’s the basic template: