Some striped bass soft hackles for your viewing pleasure

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.”

Under Cover of the Night

Drew from the new spot well last night. Every day is different, so they say, and last night we had consistent action for the first hour of the mid-tide drop. Then came a lull. In hopes of attracting something bigger, I fished an 8″ flatwing/soft-hackle, a September Night variant. While it did keep the dinks away, all I could manage were cookie-cutters in the 18-24″ range. The fish-on-the-reel eludes me. The takes were similar to yesterday’s, a sensation of building pressure on the greased line swing or the dangle. A thrusting hook set, and you’re on.

Bob wanted to stick the tide out a little more, but I had wanderlust. We both made the wrong call. Bob had a couple more nondescript fish, and I drew a blank. Stayed out much later than I wanted to, especially with no action, and finally dragged into bed at 3:30am.

But, she’s coming. I can feel it.

After a slow start, the bassing has picked up. So far, I’d give this spring one striper thumbs up.



2: Number of cigars I smoked, a Gispert Churchill on the drive down to Rhode Island, and an H. Upmann 2000 Reserve corona gorda on the way back to Connecticut.

5 and 9: The weight rod and line I used. Perfect for the tight confines of the first spot we fished. I could load the rod with a minimum of line, and shoot the rest with a flick of the wrist.

7 and 9. The weight rod and line Jon used.

1: Number of stripers we caught in the first spot (Jon was the successful angler).

4,957: Number of weeds I hooked in the first spot. At least it seemed like that many. I was fishing a greased line swing, then a dangle, and I could feel the tick the moment the weed hit the fly.

1: Number of stripers we saw in the second spot. Jon noticed a wrinkle on the surface in the moonlight. As we worked our way along the bank, I felt a quick little bap! And then he was gone. Other than seeing a few silversides and a juvenile fluke, the place was as dead as Julius Caesar.

86: My heart rate when we got to our last stop and saw a couple fish feeding out in the current.

10: As we were already well past our cutoff of 11pm, our agreed-upon time limit, in minutes, to catch a striper.

1: Number of bass we caught. (My turn.)

2: Happy anglers who made the drive home to Connecticut.