The Fisherman

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About The Fisherman

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  • Birthday 11/08/1960

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    Middletown, CT
  1. I've done very, very well over the years with Ken Abrames' Big Eelie: ~ That's the original pattern, but I tie it all manner of color combinations, and they all work. You can find details with a search of SOL or my site. Here's one I was fishing this summer: Hope that helps, Steve Culton
  2. There's your answer. What is printed on the rod blank is not gospel. The casting police have no real power over you. Find the line that makes the rod sing in your hand, go forth and have fun. In a world where there are precious little guarantees, this is an absolute truth: fish don't care which line you use with your rod. :-) Steve Culton
  3. Mike, I believe part of the flatwing magic you talk about is: what you leave out of the fly is as important as what you put in. The flatwing above, a Razzle Dazzle variant, was at least three years old at the time of the photograph. It had lost several saddles and some bucktail over the years, so it was even sparser than when it came off the vice. The night before the photo was taken it fooled a 44" bass that might have gone 35 pounds. I've since retired it and put it out to stud. ;-) Steve Culton
  4. By all means, fish the flies in which you have the most confidence. We just have different ideas on what makes an imitation "better." No good guys or bad guys here. :-) Steve Culton
  5. Very kind words, Fishhawk II. I thank you. The question of whether a large flatwing is a good pattern for imitating larger baits is best answered by the target audience. All you need to do is ask. Q: So, stripers: does a large flatwing present a wide enough profile to represent a large menhaden or herring? A: Steve Culton
  6. Hi Tin Boat, I like the five-weight when I'm wandering about in more intimate water which can include everything from salt ponds to estuaries. Nothing really large on it to date, although I have taken stripers to 15 pounds with this setup. You can read more on my site or by doing a search for "A good night for the five weight" here on SOL. :-) btw, I very much admire that you're still actively fishing. Steve Culton
  7. What I'm fooling with these patterns is bass like this: Confidence catches fish, and each of us should fish the flies in which we have the most confidence. Tight lines and big stripers to all. :-) Steve Culton
  8. You can certainly fish them from beaches, but I believe the most important factor is fishing them in a spot you've identified as having big bait present. Steve Culton
  9. My apologies for the delayed responses. Crowconor: Thank you. Yes, I did. paulsoncall: Yes. The better question is when? I have been remiss in including striper patterns in my videos, and I need to fix that. I did my first one this year, the Orange Ruthless clam worm. It's a soft hackle/flatwing. You can find it by doing a search. I neglected to mention in my notes (but Graveyard Shift so adeptly pointed out) that I am catching all these big bass at night -- or during the change of light. I've written about the greased line presentation many times, in print, on SOL, and on my website. If you're interested, a search of this site or the web (try "greased line striped bass") should yield lots of reading material. You could also check out the bible on the tactic, Greased Line Fishing for Salmon [and Steelhead] by Jock Scott. I do a lot of fishing on the dangle in current if I know there are bass holding in the area where my flies are. You have many presentation options, from side-to-side mends to raising and lowering the rod to short micro strips (then letting the fly drift back into place)... Thanks for all the responses and interest. A nearly footlong flatwing with the infamous five weight. Flatwings cast small and fish large. Not to mention they're pretty good at attracting large fish. Steve Culton
  10. Attaboy! This is a very good thing. Steve Culton
  11. There's been a lot of recent interest on SOL regarding big bass on the fly, so this seemed like a good time to post this: 2018 has been a very, very good year for me for 10-pound+ stripers. I've been fortunate to hook and land many dozens of keepers this year, from 10-25 pounds. I've landed a legal fish every month in 2018 except January and February (I have yet to get out this month). Best year for big bass in a long time. Truly, every year is different. For perspective, last year was -- ahem -- slow for me when it came to legal fish. I didn't even get a legal fish on Block Island in 2017 -- this year one-third of my Block bass were keepers, and that number was measured in the dozens. Same flies, same spots, same presentations, same angler -- I won't complain. Sure, I've fished a little more for stripers this year, but that doesn't account for the bounty of bigger fish. Again, I won't complain. Some notes: All fish were taken on the fly from shore -- wading only, no watercraft of any kind. No searching with plugs or bait -- just a good old-fashioned stick and a string and some feathers lashed to a hook. Catch & release only. I do use full sink tips and an integrated sinking line about 10% of the time, but all my keepers this year came when I was using a floating line, with the vast majority of hits coming within 3 feet of the surface. Very few of these fish hit on a strip retrieve; most presentations were greased line swings, dead drifts, or on the dangle. I caught big bass on both moving and slack tides; if you made me choose only one, I'd pick the bottom hour of the tide. If I think there are going to be big fish in the mix, I don't often use multiple flies. Hooking two 20-pounders at the same time sounds like fun, but it's like hooking a bag of bobcats. If you are going to fish multiple flies for big bass, try a double Uni knot instead of a triple surgeons. Fishing bigger flies for bigger bass isn't a bad idea, but if they're feeding on a smaller bait, match the hatch. Anyone who's witnessed a school of 20-pound bass sipping isopods at Watch Hill knows what I'm talking about. I hope this helps you in your pursuit of big bass on the fly. Your standard issue keepah bass. Lots of fun on the long rod. ~ I have 10 pounds. Do I hear 15? Taken on the 4th of July on a sparse sand eel. She would not sit still for a portrait. ~ Once you get into yardstick territory, stripers become an adventure. Catching a breeder-class bass is second only to the feeling you get from releasing her back into the ocean. ~ Best bass (to date) of 2018. So close, and yet so far: 39 and 1/2 inches. When she sounded, she made my rod emit strange noises. Taken on a Rock Island flatwing on the greased line swing. ~ I was disappointed that no one mentioned flatwings in the recent thread about flies that fish large and cast small. If you want to catch big bass feeding on large bait, you could do a lot worse than fish flatwings like the Rock Island or the Herr Blue on the greased line swing. ~ ~ Every year, I get some of my biggest stripers on the Big Eelie. Sparse, 4 and 1/2 inches long, thin as a pencil. Here's one in Olive Fireworm colors. Steve Culton
  12. Hi David, An excellent question. I always ask myself, "What do I want the fly to do?" In this case, the fly was a size 4 Zoo Cougar. I wanted it to fish mid depths, get pulled down, then rise up after a strip. The full sink line acts like split shot. It wants to pull the fly down, and I don't start a strip until the fly is at the depth I want it. The large deer hair head and collar wants to float, so after a strip (and with a longer leader) the fly rises. The jargon for all this is "neutral buoyancy." The longer the leader, the less impact the full sink line has on the fly. When I'm fishing in the winter and I want the fly along the bottom ("What do I want the fly to do?") I'm either fishing a floating line with a longer leader or a full sink with a short leader. In this case I was in the right place (shallower run, not a lot of current) at the right time (the fish rolled on the fly first strip). Hope that helps! Steve Culton
  13. Indeed. The five weight and the cannon. That will be fun. Not to mention a spot of tea. :-) Steve Culton
  14. Mike, A.H.E. Wood would be proud! Sorry I didn't get the chance to get up there to see for myself. :-) Steve Culton
  15. Thanks all. Might not have to wait that long again...it's pouring right now and expected to go all day... Steve Culton