Steve Schullery

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About Steve Schullery

  • Rank
    Elite Member


  • About Me:
    Retired chemistry prof.
  • Interests (Hobbies, favorite activities, etc.):
    Besides the obvious, Model A Ford, trains, & guitar
  • What I do for a living:
    retired. deal with Parkinson's

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  1. Which reminds me, it's almost unreal how good the PW is for smallies. I use a #6 stacked wing version (a REALLY simple pattern!).
  2. It is my understanding that nearly all of the alternatives the Orivs Helios are cheaper.
  3. ditto for salmon that have just come unhooked..
  4. Another arument for carrying this pattern (along with a tube of lipstick!) is suggested by Swisher and Richards in their Backcountry Fly Fishing in Saltwater: If you run out of pink and white flies, you can use the lipstick to color up your all-white flies and resume catching fish.
  5. In my experience, truly dead drifting a nymph while trout fishing means I won't be aware of any hits and shouldn't be expecting to catch anything. What works for me is almost-dead drifting wherein the slightest bit of line tension and contact with the fly is maintained, whether with trout or stripers. However, I've also inexplicably had occasional luck with a dead-but-not-drifting presentation, wherein fish scoop up an apparently very appealing fly that is laying motionless on the bottom. Instances of large mouth bass, spinner shark, and tarpon doing this come to mind, typically while I'm futzing with sorting out a line tangle, day dreaming, or some such.
  6. FWIW, Bob Clouser was emphatic that his pattern, which was called the Clouser Deep Minnow, was not a jig. The eyes are tied well-back from the hook eye so that the fly will ride horizontally in the water--like a minnow--as opposed to the traditional jig, with the eyes at the front so it will jig, or bob, up and down. Of course, both patterns are great and, like everything on the continuum between the two ideals, work well. In my experience, bucktail is best. If you cheap-out on your bucktail quality and also tie the eyes up at the front, the hair will flare out and you'll have dandy jigs.
  7. Basically, all I've used in salt water for the past 15 years or so have been #4 Gama SL 11-3H (always with mashed barbs). I can't imagine what it would take to straighten one out; I've fought a 100+ lb tarpon for over an hour and hooked several similar size tarpon and sharks, and the hook has never been the limiting factor. I think the small hook is LESS likely to straighten due to impossibility of getting leverage on the shank. However, I don't think that depth of hookup in the fish's mouth is a factor; I've had plenty swallow my #4 clousers deep, even hooking around gill rakers. Just depends on how hungry they are, I think. My main reason is casting ease. The #4 Gama's don't require too heavy eye-weights to flip them for proper clousering, and elbow-strain and arm fatigue after hours on end of flailing is a most important consideration for me. The #4 supports flies that are plenty big enough to attract anything I've got any business messing with, and beyond! Having said all that, I should note that the SL 11-3H's are a bit oversized: the #4 is closer to a #2 Mustad. By the way, the "3H" indicates it's 3X heavy, meaning the wire diameter is the same as on a "normal"#1 hook, whatever that might be.
  8. Unless there's a hatch that needs matching, the Pink Wonder is all I need.
  9. After much frustration with straightening, rusting, and getting dull by inferior models, I've been using the Gama SL 11-3H hooks for most all of my saltwater fishing for the past 20 years, first in Florida and recently on the Cape. I've mostly used size 4, which is close to a #2 on Mustad's scale. The "3H' stands for 3X heavy, and they are really strong and sharp. I've hooked and played plenty of way-too-big sharks and tarpon, and the hook (usually a #4) has never been the weak link, even with the barbs mashed down as mine always are. By the way, the "SL" stands for Sproat-Limerick, indicating the shape of the bend is sort of a cross between those two styles. The "11" is just Gamakatsu's number for the style or model. In full disclosure, I must say that my striper mentor, Peter Patricelli, is convinced that he loses more fish when using flies tied on my mashed-barb Gama's than his normal hooks (don't know model). He feels that's due to the mashed barb, but I'm dubious; the mashed barb usually is actually snapped off, leaving not a smooth bump but something more like a mini barb, which in my experience takes some effort to remove from a fish. My mashed-barb Gama's do not just slide out like true barbless hooks do. So, I think that the problem is due to an inadequate hook set that would not have brought the barb into play even if it had not been mashed. Sorry to say, that leaves as the only explanation, there must be something about either the configuration of that "SL" bend or about how I tie my clousers that interferes a bit with getting a good hook set. I admit that every once in a while I have a fish get off, but overall I think I catch as many as the next guy.
  10. Steve S contends that his "fair share" of losses are not due to the mashed barbs but to an incomplete hook set in the first place; if the hook had been set sufficiently to sink a barb, it would also have "set" a mashed barb. When the barb is mashed on the Gamakatsu SL 11-3H hooks that I use, it usually snaps off, rather than bends down to form a smooth bump. This results in something more like a mini-barb, which, when well set, almost always takes some effort to remove, unlike a true barbless hook, which just slides out once line tension is relieved. I think that the reason Peter has more fish get off when using one of my mashed-barb flies (as might happen, for example, after he receives a few Pink Wonders in payment for hook removal services rendered) is that it's probably just a bit more difficult to get a good hook set with that SL113H hook model than it is with whatever other inferior hook model he normally uses. Too bad--I really like the Gama's and am not going to change. Regarding the beaching maneuver, a reluctance to touch the fish is a holdover from my trout fishing phase (when I mostly use a Ketchum Release tool), but it's mostly just to minimize use of my tremory right hand--for anything. I'm hoping that any abrasion damage from beach sand, etc., is at least no worse than the damage from slime coat removal and jaw torquing that occurs when gripping and lipping them.
  11. Here's one I took in Buzzards' Bay a few years ago. Like everything, it took a Pink Wonder.
  12. I have used the 5, 7, and current 6 piece versions of the Stowaway and loved them all. Great finish, cork, and good enough fittings. The 8wt is pretty much my go to saltwater rod nowadays--I can cast them all day long. I promise you'll be pleased. They're made in Korea, if that's an issue.
  13. They are much handier for travel, and I don't think the extra weight is perceptable or, if it is, it's not a problem. But, I really like my 6 piece Cabelas Stowaway rods. They'll fit in a back pack, and I especially like being able to temporarily break the rod down to three equal sections for carrying from car to stream or for moving about from spot to spot. My thinking on multipiece rods turned around a long time ago when the guy at Troutfitter in Syracuse had me compare a three and a two-piece 9ft 5wt Sage SP. The three-piece was much nicer to cast, probably not a genreralizable phenomenon but there it was! I had just dropped a bundle on my two-piece SP, and was bummed. The problem was solved when TU offered a 3-piece 5wt SP with a life membership--it's still my favorite trout rod. Anybody want a good deal on a 2-pc SP?
  14. For years I used a Cabelas Stowaway 6 wt. that I had a small fighting butt added to, and for last several years I've used a TFO TiCr 6wt, both with a variety of 7wt lines. Unsolicited advice: Whatever you get, put a 7 wt line on it; all modern 6 wt. rods can handle it. It's the line weight that limits fly size, and a 7 wt. handles moderately weighted #4 or #2 clousers a LOT better than a 6 wt, and, of course, there's the wind. (This advice passed along from my first saltwater mentor, Ed Story)