jjdbike

Fave flys for hardtails in the surf?

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Hello everyone,

While I've been around SOL for quite a while and post often, I haven't posed in this forum. Full disclosure, I'm a recovering fly fisherman. Used to be into it BIG TIME, too much. My OCD got the best of me and had to leave it be hind. I found Fly fishing was the perfect OCD endeavor. That was a lifetime ago, many decades. Now I miss it and am just as OCD w/ plugging the surf. Unfortunately I do not have the disposable funds or the time to relearn and fully gear back up as a Flyfisher.

I am respectfully requesting a little help from my fly fishing brethren & sistren (I know, not a word):). My focus this year is trying to bump into (biggest challenge) and catch a few of the small pelagics (a.k.a. hardtails) that sometimes grace the NJ surf and inlets in late summer and early fall, namely Spanish Mackerel, Bonito and False albacore. These fish have excellent eyesight, feed selectively and often on tiny bait that's hard to imitate w/ jigs and other lures daily because they're too small.

Are you willing to share your favorite flys to employ in the Mid-Atlantic - North-East surf for hardtails please? These would imitate bay anchovies (rain fish) and spearing (silversides) mostly, but juvanile peanut bunker, baby sand eels and finger mullet might also occasionally be their prey.

To take it a step further, if you could point me to online retailers that would have these readily available for purchase, even if they had to be custom ties, It would be appreciated. 

These would be fished on a leader behind a wooden casting egg.

PM's are always welcome.

Respectfully,

JD

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9 mins ago, jjdbike said:

Hello everyone,

While I've been around SOL for quite a while and post often, I haven't posed in this forum. Full disclosure, I'm a recovering fly fisherman. Used to be into it BIG TIME, too much. My OCD got the best of me and had to leave it be hind. I found Fly fishing was the perfect OCD endeavor. That was a lifetime ago, many decades. Now I miss it and am just as OCD w/ plugging the surf. Unfortunately I do not have the disposable funds or the time to relearn and fully gear back up as a Flyfisher.

I am respectfully requesting a little help from my fly fishing brethren & sistren (I know, not a word):). My focus this year is trying to bump into (biggest challenge) and catch a few of the small pelagics (a.k.a. hardtails) that sometimes grace the NJ surf and inlets in late summer and early fall, namely Spanish Mackerel, Bonito and False albacore. These fish have excellent eyesight, feed selectively and often on tiny bait that's hard to imitate w/ jigs and other lures daily because they're too small.

Are you willing to share your favorite flys to employ in the Mid-Atlantic - North-East surf for hardtails please? These would imitate bay anchovies (rain fish) and spearing (silversides) mostly, but juvanile peanut bunker, baby sand eels and finger mullet might also occasionally be their prey.

To take it a step further, if you could point me to online retailers that would have these readily available for purchase, even if they had to be custom ties, It would be appreciated. 

These would be fished on a leader behind a wooden casting egg.

PM's are always welcome.

Respectfully,

JD

So with False Albacore as with Striped Bass ... and you would know this as a recovering fly-fishing-aholic ... Match the Hatch.

 

And since you might want to use an "egg" with a fly attached to it, keep it simple. Use a Surf Candy. Aside from being the "right size" of most Albie forge prey, it cast the best. Whether that be on a fly rod or a casting egg. It has about the least air resistance & fouls the least of the flies I use. It can be easily built to match "rain bait" or peanut bunker. 

 

Anyhow that would be my choice / strategy for Albie fishing. Good Luck and Catch a Big One!

 

SurfCandy.jpg.7afe8ac2d0caa783a5656c1fb9e637dd.jpg

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9 mins ago, KironaFly said:

So with False Albacore as with Striped Bass ... and you would know this as a recovering fly-fishing-aholic ... Match the Hatch.

 

And since you might want to use an "egg" with a fly attached to it, keep it simple. Use a Surf Candy. Aside from being the "right size" of most Albie forge prey, it cast the best. Whether that be on a fly rod or a casting egg. It has about the least air resistance & fouls the least of the flies I use. It can be easily built to match "rain bait" or peanut bunker. 

 

Anyhow that would be my choice / strategy for Albie fishing. Good Luck and Catch a Big One!

 

SurfCandy.jpg.7afe8ac2d0caa783a5656c1fb9e637dd.jpg

Thanks man!

That does look like a good match along w/ being pretty durable.

Any suggestions of where I might buy some on line? This looks a lot like what's often sold as teasers for plugging bass w/ out the epoxy body.

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I think you would get answers by going to the Fly Tying Forum and reading (among others) the current thread "Albie Flies 2020".

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5 mins ago, jjdbike said:

Thanks man!

That does look like a good match along w/ being pretty durable.

Any suggestions of where I might buy some on line? This looks a lot like what's often sold as teasers for plugging bass w/ out the epoxy body.

You could these anywhere online (any decent fly shop) ... or ask a salty fly guy to build you some.

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5 mins ago, KironaFly said:

You could these anywhere online (any decent fly shop) ... or ask a salty fly guy to build you some.

cool,

thanks again!

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13 hours ago, jjdbike said:

cool,

thanks again!

Try Saltwater Edge ... Currently are speaking to you!

5f2a017a08273_Mikelson2.jpeg.ea8c6827eb18c7f9c38d527d08003c31.jpeg

 

 

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22 hours ago, Suave said:

I think you would get answers by going to the Fly Tying Forum and reading (among others) the current thread "Albie Flies 2020".

Oh wow, didn't think of that. Thanks

8 hours ago, KironaFly said:

Try Saltwater Edge ... Currently are speaking to you!

5f2a017a08273_Mikelson2.jpeg.ea8c6827eb18c7f9c38d527d08003c31.jpeg

 

 

Thanks. I went to the edge. This is what they said to me, Bonito Bunny and Albi Whore. Colorful names.

You guys familiar w/ these patterns? Would these work as well or better than ones pictured above?They seem pretty different than the epoxy bodies above.

JD

 

bonitobunnyedited_2400x1069.jpg

albie_whores_1_f685ce35-d647-4d59-b3aa-561573743745_640x640.jpg

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2 mins ago, jjdbike said:

Oh wow, didn't think of that. Thanks

Thanks. I went to the edge. This is what they said to me, Bonito Bunny and Albi Whore. Colorful names.

You guys familiar w/ these patterns? Would these work as well or better than ones pictured above?They seem pretty different than the epoxy bodies above.

JD

 

I mentioned SWE because I just got an email advertisement flyer from them talking up Albie fishing. In the middle of the flyer was the Mikelson Epoxy Minnow pictured.

5f2a815a2f8f8_Mikelson2.jpeg.c3d34d5622bc4ca3e850c3eb11f52bf3.jpeg

 

These epoxy minnows cast better & foul less then the Bunny or Whore. Epoxy Minnows / Surf Candies work as well or better than the current hot new thing (whether they be from Playboy / Penthouse or not).

 

You're using a casting egg ... so it's a little different in my mind ... then say casting a bonito bunny, IMHO.

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JJDBike:  If you're interested in learning more about Mikkleson's Epoxy Baitfish, again I refer you to the Fly Tying Forum where there was a recent discussion about this fly. It started in "Underwhelmed by Renzetti" (yes it did!) and was picked up in a few other threads with the name of that fly in their headings as well as in "A fly a day". This fly and it's smaller cousin, the Skeeter, (actually two series of flies as they are tied in many colors)  are supposed to be very productive (I will try them for the first time late this summer).

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I had a friend give me an anchovies pattern that was made up of brown craft fur and some rootbear flash. Probably around a 4-6 hook size. The important part that it was very very sparse craft fur and only a few strands of flash. Looking at the fly in the box I was like meh but when the albies showed along the edge of the beach and I put that fly in the water, it looked just like the bait to both me and the albies . It was my best outing for albies. 

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It’s pretty much about trying to match what bait they are feeding on. In the Fall it’s usually Bay anchovies.  So any 1.5”-2” fly may get eaten. Small profile patterns in pink, olive, tan over white with a little bit of flash. Just have to hope that the fish want to eat that particular day. In the NE, the biggest issue that I see is the lack of large schools of feeding fish. It’s hard getting them to eat when there are only small packs of roving fish, especially if your fly fishing. Then it’s more about being lucky, right place , right time. If I had to pick just one fly , it would be a pink over white surf candy. 

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Best fly to tye yourself: size 2 saltwater hook, white bucktail a little flash and finally some pearl small tubing. Always works. I've had albies on big 3/0 Lefty's Deceiver all the way down to size 8 epoxy minnows, they eat a lot of different baits but keeping it small is the way to start.

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Candies and small, sparse flies are often the way to go, as others have mentioned. Occasionally small squid flies and occasionally small peanuts, but mostly things that imitate the skinny baits like bay anchovies, spearing, and sand eels, pic attached of some that cover those. 

FC4C8549-88D1-45BD-B4DA-F41255E5C6A2.jpeg

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On 8/6/2020 at 2:12 PM, Ftyer said:

Candies and small, sparse flies are often the way to go, as others have mentioned. Occasionally small squid flies and occasionally small peanuts, but mostly things that imitate the skinny baits like bay anchovies, spearing, and sand eels, pic attached of some that cover those. 

FC4C8549-88D1-45BD-B4DA-F41255E5C6A2.jpeg

Yep ... that's what I'd be tying and throwing. :agree:

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