Fly anglers are always looking for the next best thing. Especially when it comes to fly patterns. But often, “new” doesn’t translate to “better.” Some of these patterns are decades old, but they still get eaten because the stripers haven’t gotten any smarter. So if you want to see what’s in my fly box this fall — and at the end of my leader — read “These Old-School Striper Patterns are Still Deadly During the Fall Run,” brought to you by our good friends at Field & Stream.
I’ve got stripers on the brain, and so we’ll be talking about the traditional-style striper flies I like to tie and fish: sparse bucktails, soft-hackles, and flatwings. The discussion will include materials and hooks I use, and I’ll throw in a tying demo of something tbd. If you haven’t been getting the Zoom links — I send them out Tuesday late afternoon — please check your spam box. If you’re sending a request to get on the list, please don’t wait until 7:45 p.m. Tuesday night…I won’t be checking my email that late. Thanks!
I fished three marks in SoCo last night, and while the striper action was slow, the bait story was consistent: smallish to tiny, and lots of it. Confirmed sightings: silversides, anchovies, peanut bunker, and I may have seen a stray finger mullet.
My night began in the surf, but the meatball factor (bright headlamps used early and often) and a lack of action had me moving to Spot B, an estuary with a moving tide. Lots of bait, too few marauders.
I finished the evening at Spot C, some skinny water on flat, just as the tide began to flow out. Lots of worried bait in this location, and it’s a perfect place to fish a team of three. I had 2″ long Ray’s fly on top dropper, a Magog Smelt bucktail in the middle, and a micro Gurgler on point to do double duty as a suspender and waking fly. I was disappointed with the number of assembled diners, but it is what it is and you do your best. Two fish to hand in 45 minutes and I was satisfied, abetted in no small amount by a Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 corona and a come-from-behind Mets victory.
In case you haven’t seen it, here’s a quick refresher.
Many thanks to the Long Island Flyrodders for again being hosts with the mosts. I was treated to a fine cookout of cheeseburgers, kielbasa (perfect for someone from New Britski) and salads. Throw in an ice cold beer (thanks, Mike) and — wait for it — top it off with a post feast gift (thanks, Ken) of a Romeo y Julieta Reserve corona gorda, and you’re talking a very fed, very happy presenter. As always, this is a welcoming group, and I enjoyed talking fishing with everyone. Oh — the presentation was “Trout Fishing for Striped Bass,” which I think went over very well. Lots of good post-talk questions. Thanks again!
Dessert. A fine vitola that also kept the bugs at bay.
As a fellow griller, I can tell you it ain’t pleasant standing over fire on a 90 degree day with a dew point of 69. Kudos to the grillers! And yes, I came back for a second helping of kielbasa.
I spent part of yesterday hunkered down at the bench, fingers flying around fur and feather. My intention was to get these out today, but it will have to wait until early next week. In the meantime, feast your eyes — and think about the potential glory you hold within each cast. On we go to 700!
Roger and Vince asked for striper flies. Here’s a starter kit, with many major food groups covered. They’ll be getting one of each. Clockwise from bottom: Orange Ruthless (clam worm), Ray’s Fly (silverside), Inconspicuous (anchovy), Eelie (sand eel), Grass Shrimp Solution, and Soft Hackled Flatwing (generic baitfish/attractor).
Here are Paul’s soft hackles and wets. Left cork, clockwise, starting upper left: Partridge and Light Cahill (2), Hare’s Ear wingless, Red Fox Squirrel nymph, Squirrel and Ginger, BH Squirrel and Ginger. Right Cork, clockwise, starting upper right, Hackled March Brown, Grizzly and Grey wingless, Dark Hendrickson (2), Drowned Ant (2).
Many thanks to everyone for your readership, kindness, and support. I have lots of good stuff planned for this spring and beyond, so stay tuned.
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.
I will be presenting a tying demo at the Compleat Angler in Darien, CT, Saturday, February 27 from 10am-2pm. Its focus will be Bucktails, Soft Hackles and Flatwings for Striped Bass. This is the traditional New England school of tying, with an emphasis on sparse construction, impressionism, and natural materials. For more information, contact the Compleat Angler.
Hope you can make it!
Bucktails so sparse you can read the paper through them. (You remember newspapers, right?) Actually, this is a game-used hybrid bucktail/soft hackle/flatwing. Good stuff.