The Graveyard Shift

What fly sizes eliminates size classes of stripers taking fly

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2 mins ago, The Graveyard Shift said:

I have yet to try squid flies, But I fish 2-5am it sounds like I need to try them this year.  

 

I just found an area near me that is reliable for squid showing up.

Squid don't necessarily leave as far as my fly box goes - I love flies with tentacles season long, the only thing that makes them squid is the color pink and an eye! 

 

This is my fly 99% of the time. My squid is this fly in pink with an eye and 4 longer saddle feathers. 

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12 mins ago, The Graveyard Shift said:

On shoulder problems I am in same boat mine are wrecked.  When I tried this last year single hand casting it was wreaking havoc on me.  After three mornings I was so toasted I could not fly cast for a few days.  The arthritis was awful.

 

Then I made the switch to heavier two hand rods designed for overhead casting.  That was late June of last year its been a game changer.  I have fished the last three mornings for 2 hours throwing almost exclusively 12" flies.  No aches, no swelling, no pain.  So if you are looking for solution to shoulder pain its worth switching to two hand rods.  There are several great threads on here about rod options.  I would not go any lighter than a 10wt if you plan to throw the larger stuff.  

 

I was super pumped last trip I did some practice casting after sun came up and I finally threw a legit full fly line (110') cast four consecutive casts in a row with the 12" beast fleye.  

Million dollar question, ever hook up with 100' of line out? It's terrifying!

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33 mins ago, hunt for blueessss said:

Million dollar question, ever hook up with 100' of line out? It's terrifying!

No it is not. It is very rewarding and exciting. Better then only casting say 80 feet and hooking zip.LOL

 

mikey

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36 mins ago, hunt for blueessss said:

Million dollar question, ever hook up with 100' of line out? It's terrifying!

 

It happens a lot at inlets.  It used to scare me more before I upgraded to 50lb gel spun backing.  I am not worried about losing my fly line any more.  my 12wt I have 80lb gel spun backing.  I wear a finger protector to hold running line on swing so I dont slice my finger up setting hook.

 

It used to be very intimidating but after last season it became a normal occurrence after a bunch of fine tuning I am comfortable with it these days.  Still not ideal scenario but can be difference in catching or not catching sometimes.

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7 mins ago, Mike Oliver said:

No it is not. It is very rewarding and exciting. Better then only casting say 80 feet and hooking zip.LOL

 

mikey

Haha this is very true. I've only had it happen on a few flats. Never got used to 20 lb line screaming through my fingers on the first run of a big blue

2 mins ago, The Graveyard Shift said:

 

It happens a lot at inlets.  It used to scare me more before I upgraded to 50lb gel spun backing.  I am not worried about losing my fly line any more.  my 12wt I have 80lb gel spun backing.  I wear a finger protector to hold running line on swing so I dont slice my finger up setting hook.

 

It used to be very intimidating but after last season it became a normal occurrence after a bunch of fine tuning I am comfortable with it these days.  Still not ideal scenario but can be difference in catching or not catching sometimes.

I never got into two hand heavier rods, I moved to lighter rods on smaller fish for my own pleasure, a30 lb on a 6 weight gets me high

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50 mins ago, hunt for blueessss said:

With less current, I also move to a floating line which gives the fly a bit more time to hang in the column and puff out some for profile. I switch to a lightly weighted fly instead of an intermediate line to work the water longer 

I am going to try this I bought a beautiful flat wing herring fly over 12" from Joe Cordiero.  Next dropping cycle will put floating line on and try his flat wing on a greased line swing.  

 

The herring have been so thick only option is a full sinking line and very short leader dragging fly near bottom under herring to get bit.  Anything high in water column is constantly snagging herring every cast.

 

On drop herring pods are more spaced out and stack up less

 

 

 

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29 mins ago, The Graveyard Shift said:

I am going to try this I bought a beautiful flat wing herring fly over 12" from Joe Cordiero.  Next dropping cycle will put floating line on and try his flat wing on a greased line swing.  

 

The herring have been so thick only option is a full sinking line and very short leader dragging fly near bottom under herring to get bit.  Anything high in water column is constantly snagging herring every cast.

 

On drop herring pods are more spaced out and stack up less

 

 

 

My favorite time! I drastically shorten my casts when large pods are around to avoid the snags while sinking....

 

A little herring slime on your fly couldn't hurt, could it? 

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13 hours ago, MikeFlyGuy said:

A couple of years ago I was using a surface slider type fly quite a bit. One version of it had only one hook up near the front. Hardly ever caught a small bass on that but the would pounce on it all the time. So I added another but smaller hook at the tail. I then started catching a lot of small fish. One day though, I saw a really nice bass grab it, hooked it for a couple of seconds, but then was gone.  That fish grabbed it by the tail and straightened that hook right out. So I guess even a larger fish will grab by the tail once in a while. But this was a surface fly so maybe the weeding out approach doesn't apply as it does to sub surface streamers.  

 

I think it can apply to all presentations surface or sub-surface.  This is helpful and I think I need to try a true rear of fly stinger hook at some point to see what happens.  The two hooks in a 12 inch sluggo has produced lots of large bass for me with a spinning rod and I have had 30-39 inch fish take both hooks.  So clearly a second hook can help land large fish just as much as small fish.  

 

I think when prospecting I may use a double hook approach as I want to catch more fish to learn the new area.  But when I am in a spot I know well and its infested with 14-20 inch fish I will probably go to the single hook to try and get through small fish the few quality bass around.

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1 hour ago, hunt for blueessss said:

My favorite time! I drastically shorten my casts when large pods are around to avoid the snags while sinking....

 

A little herring slime on your fly couldn't hurt, could it? 

This is the best run I have ever seen in six years.  Its been bank to bank full of herring.  Thousands of fish stacking up in the salt marsh bends.  There is literally no open water.  I was super frustrated for a while but after investigating with headlamp realized they are all very close to surface so tried going under them and finally started getting into stripers.  

 

Funny you mention slime on your fly.  When it gets really dense bait like this I find adding herring scent makes a huge difference in catch rate at night.  But if its small pods moving through the bass are not hyper focused on herring and then scent really does not seem to matter its all about the fly's profile and how much water it pushes.  One very important approach when I have the room is waking a fly on the surface.  You want to make a massive wake at a very slow pace like a danny plug.  I try to line up cast along the edge of a deep sod bank and just push that wake on the slowest retrieve I can manage.  Too many herring on surface kills this approach, in fact, it shines best when the herring are in small infrequent pods.  Waking seems to really get the biggest fish in the area to commit.  It only works in the dark though.  All of my largest fish in last years herring run were taken waking between 2-4am.  I catch in much higher numbers if I stay close to the bottom with a sink tip but they are 5 inches smaller on average than the fish I catch waking.  

 

Flatwings are completely different approach then I have previously used so this is going to be very interesting.  They don't really push a huge wake, but I like that they can have so much movement at a very slow pace.  I am really looking forward to trying it.  I attempted a grease line swing with the flies I designed for waking and it was not the right fly for the presentation.  I did find fishing my waking fly similar to skating a bomber further down in estuary where there was more current was a good presentation.  I am envisioning the flatwing on a floating line with a super slow greased line swing right along these banks I know have good ambush points from sod chunks that have fallen off creating boulder like conditions at base of bank.  Its a very slow current only 0.5 to 1 kts I would guess.  I think the flatwing and floating line are the only solution to presenting a fly broadside effectively in that slow current.  Lets hope a big fish agrees.

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That's interesting about waking the fly along the surface, Every so often I see herring dance around a sod bank like they are in their spawning ritual.  They splash near and around the surface and bass must key in that disturbance. Years ago there was spin fisherman casting a silver bomber right along the sod bank and he would just twitch it on the top I assume for that reason.  He was fishing from shore and we were by boat and the fish he was catching were much bigger than ours on clousers   and whistlers. So later I tied a slider using a popper body in reverse (pointed backwards) with a tail like a popper, but added a big propellor in the front to try to create that nervous disturbance. It worked well at times. I'll have to try that night.  

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4 mins ago, MikeFlyGuy said:

That's interesting about waking the fly along the surface, Every so often I see herring dance around a sod bank like they are in their spawning ritual.  They splash near and around the surface and bass must key in that disturbance. Years ago there was spin fisherman casting a silver bomber right along the sod bank and he would just twitch it on the top I assume for that reason.  He was fishing from shore and we were by boat and the fish he was catching were much bigger than ours on clousers   and whistlers. So later I tied a slider using a popper body in reverse (pointed backwards) with a tail like a popper, but added a big propellor in the front to try to create that nervous disturbance. It worked well at times. I'll have to try that night.  

Sometimes the upper 30-inch fish will tail-slap the fly out of the water.  It took a while to get the sense of understanding what the tail slap sounded like in the dark.  If I hear that I let the fly go dead and then I listen for the deep suction sound that is best described as pulling a 5 gallon bucket under water.  After hearing that sound I pause a second then hammer a big strip strike home. Some times the waking can work in the first 30 minutes of false dawn and one time I saw the whole tail slap followed by gulp sequence play out visually.  Its a super cool predatory display to observe!

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A lot of great knowledge being shared on this thread. The way I see it you should do two things when selecting a fly. Match the hatch (no sand eel flies when herring are around) then go a tad bit smaller (if most herring are about 10 inches, go for an 8 inch fly). For the most part, the smaller fly will be more accessible to fish, as we have established. I also suspect that bass target the smaller fish in the school. They are usually slower and more vulnerable to currents making them the bass' ideal target. 

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3 hours ago, The Graveyard Shift said:

This is the best run I have ever seen in six years.  Its been bank to bank full of herring.  Thousands of fish stacking up in the salt marsh bends.  There is literally no open water.  I was super frustrated for a while but after investigating with headlamp realized they are all very close to surface so tried going under them and finally started getting into stripers.  

 

Funny you mention slime on your fly.  When it gets really dense bait like this I find adding herring scent makes a huge difference in catch rate at night.  But if its small pods moving through the bass are not hyper focused on herring and then scent really does not seem to matter its all about the fly's profile and how much water it pushes.  One very important approach when I have the room is waking a fly on the surface.  You want to make a massive wake at a very slow pace like a danny plug.  I try to line up cast along the edge of a deep sod bank and just push that wake on the slowest retrieve I can manage.  Too many herring on surface kills this approach, in fact, it shines best when the herring are in small infrequent pods.  Waking seems to really get the biggest fish in the area to commit.  It only works in the dark though.  All of my largest fish in last years herring run were taken waking between 2-4am.  I catch in much higher numbers if I stay close to the bottom with a sink tip but they are 5 inches smaller on average than the fish I catch waking.  

 

Flatwings are completely different approach then I have previously used so this is going to be very interesting.  They don't really push a huge wake, but I like that they can have so much movement at a very slow pace.  I am really looking forward to trying it.  I attempted a grease line swing with the flies I designed for waking and it was not the right fly for the presentation.  I did find fishing my waking fly similar to skating a bomber further down in estuary where there was more current was a good presentation.  I am envisioning the flatwing on a floating line with a super slow greased line swing right along these banks I know have good ambush points from sod chunks that have fallen off creating boulder like conditions at base of bank.  Its a very slow current only 0.5 to 1 kts I would guess.  I think the flatwing and floating line are the only solution to presenting a fly broadside effectively in that slow current.  Lets hope a big fish agrees.

I think they will agree. I use the greased line swing with flatwings all the time with great success. 

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8 hours ago, Oakman said:

I got nothing to add other than I wish I had the time and energy to put this much thought into my fishing. . .

 

Haven't tied a fly in a year, literally and have yet to wet a line this season, and probably won't until I hit the Cape in June.

 

Sucks. . .

I wish you best of luck in finding time to fish again.  I am fortunate that I am able to get to the ocean in 10 minutes or less via car.  I get up early and do short trips before work.  Its a constant juggling act to get out there.  

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8 hours ago, The Graveyard Shift said:

Sometimes the upper 30-inch fish will tail-slap the fly out of the water.  It took a while to get the sense of understanding what the tail slap sounded like in the dark.  If I hear that I let the fly go dead and then I listen for the deep suction sound that is best described as pulling a 5 gallon bucket under water.  After hearing that sound I pause a second then hammer a big strip strike home. Some times the waking can work in the first 30 minutes of false dawn and one time I saw the whole tail slap followed by gulp sequence play out visually.  Its a super cool predatory display to observe!

The great tail slap debate. We were doing so good! Did you see a tail slap or did you see a big miss and quick follow up from a powerful predator? Possibly even a second predator 

 

An unnecessary but always fun debate - I don't believe that a fish that can swallow a 14" bunker, 1.5 lb lobster with claws,  10" spiny porgy, skates, sea robins or 18" eels would need to spend a second to stun a fly or lure ever.

 

Just a thought tho!

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