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!
You asked for it — heck, some of you demanded it — and here it is. (After all, what could be more appropriate for a Tuesday night?) We’ll talk a little bit about a lot of things re Ken Abrames’ brilliant creation: the modern saltwater flatwing. This will be fun. See you Tuesday!
I also wanted to clue you in on a nifty little webinar that’s going down tomorrow AM: How to be an effective advocate for striped bass. It’s being put on by the ASGA. Here’s their copy: We know you care about fisheries policy but are probably frustrated with the process. We have designed this webinar to give you the tools needed to be an effective advocate. Spending time arguing on social media won’t get the job done. Let us show you how! We have special guests, case studies, and tons of useful information on how to make the best use of your time advocating for the resource. Join us at 11:00AM on Tuesday, May 26 for this free webinar. Also, be on the lookout for more webinars coming up in the next two weeks. You need to pre-register for the webinar, and you can do that here.
Finally, we remember and honor those brave Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. A solemn and sincere thank you.
That about says it all. Hopefully we’ll be relatively glitch-free this time. If not, we’ll figure it out…
A hale and hearty shout out to the South Shore Fly Casters, who most graciously asked me to speak at their February meeting. The topic was “Trout Fishing for Striped Bass,” which focuses on traditional flies and presentation methods you can use to catch the stripers that everyone can’t. Let’s start with the venue. Any club that holds their meetings at a craft brewery gets bonus pints — er, points — from me. The turnout was strong (almost 50) and it was very passionate, interested group. I appreciated your welcoming nature and for all the kind things you had to say about me and my writing (and the SSFC club swag). Hoping to come back soon!
A very cool space for a meeting. In case you’re wondering, it’s Barrel House Z in Weymouth. That’s my double IPA near the projector. Yummy. (Photo Dan Wells.)
Three Q&A highlights: Q: What knot do you use to build your three-fly team? A: Triple surgeons. But you should use the knot with which you are most comfortable (a lot of people like the blood knot). I also mentioned that I never go below 20# mono for the rig, and that if bass over 15lbs are in the mix, I’ll typically fish only one fly.
Q: Do you ever tie droppers off the bend of the leading hook? A: Never for striper fishing. I don’t want anything getting in the way of a hookup, but most of all I want the dropper fly to able to swim freely on its own tag.
Q: How do you use a floating line to present an unweighted fly deep? A: I’ll either add a 3/0 shot (or two) to the leader (and I may also lengthen the leader from, say, 7 feet to 10 feet), but most often I’ll use of the following: 1) homemade T-11 sink tips (I carry a bunch from 2-8 feet long in 2-foot increments; or 2) I’ll use an integrated sink-tip line that has a floating running line. Of course, with either of these solutions, you must mend if there is current to help the fly sink. I’ll also shorten the leader to 3 feet.
Hope that helps!
Hope to see you tomorrow night for “Trout Fishing For Striped Bass — How to catch the stripers that everyone can’t.” Hammonasset TU meeting, everyone welcome, 7pm at the QRWA building at 540 Oregon Road in Meriden, CT. For more information, please visit the Hammonasset TU website.
We’re going to talk about some of the tactics and strategies for catching those difficult bass. (If you fish for trout, you’re already ahead in the game.)
My Soft-Hackled Flatwing recently appeared in the “Guide Flies” section of On The Water magazine. I’m sorry that I don’t have a publish date, but it’s out there and of course right here. The Soft Hackled Flatwing draws from fly tying giants Abrames and Bondorew and Gartside. Play around with colors, have fun, and catch fish!
The Soft-Hackled Flatwing from On The Water‘s Guide Flies. There’s a link to a pdf just below.
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.
Or so they’d say in the days of film and reel-ro-reel tape. I guess the proper term now would be “on the drive.” Regardless, last week we recorded material for a podcast(s) about fly fishing for striped bass with a floating line, flatwings, sparse flies and other traditional fly fishing methods. There are over two hours of material to sift through — thankfully, not my job — and unfortunately, I don’t have a release date. But hopefully the editor will hop to it and we’ll have something fun and informative to listen to on long drives or — shhhh! — while goofing off at work. When I have more information on a completion date, I’ll let you know.
The boys are back from summer camp, so my three weeks of hedonistic binge fishing are over. Not to worry. I have brilliant plans for sneaking out to the water…
I haven’t been in ten days, but my spies tell me the Farmington continues to fish well. Plenty of cold water has the trout fed, fat, and happy.
As always, thanks for reading and following currentseams.
Flatwings. Floating lines. Traditional presentations. You too can learn the secrets of catching stripers that are measured in pounds instead of inches. Coming soon to a podcast near you.
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.