Mike Oliver

Floating Fly lines in a decent surf.

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I’m looking forward to trying this during our next cape southwest blow. The waves make Nantucket Sound summer  stripers feed aggressively.

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Posted (edited)

On 6/30/2022 at 10:36 PM, Mike Oliver said:

It took me many years to realise just how effective it can be to utalise a floating fly line and a short fast sink poly leader to catch Bass on the lip as the wave recedes.

So Steve the message did get through in the end.

 

 

Mike, I'm delighted to hear this! Welcome to the club.

 

I use a simple mono leader, but the result is the same: the angler has far more control over the line and presentation. I recently spent a week on Block Island, and there are several beaches I like to fish with this setup, basically doing what you describe. One of them has a steep lip and the surf was big enough on two nights that I had to stand on the margin of sand and water for fear of getting dragged out by the wash.  The cast is made at an oblique angle to the shore in the direction of the current; as larger sets come in, the line is mended over their crests. The takes are as you describe them, firm, hard, and it still offers a sense of wonderment that bass can find a four-inch skinny fly in the whitewater in pitch black conditions.

 

My hope is that eventually most anglers will discover the immense advantages of the floating line for stripers bass and the surf; until then, we'll take converts one at a time. :-)

 

Steve Culton

 

P.S. For those who'd like to learn more, do a search for the article "Mainly Misunderstood: Five Myths and Realities About Floating Lines." I think you'll find it helpful.

Edited by The Fisherman

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On 7/2/2022 at 7:29 AM, turkaholic said:

 I got to hold Steve Colton’s 12 ft 6 two hander  you made him at black rock bluff last week as he was on the prowl. Interesting to say the least. I love the idea of that long rod in a rolling surf. Can be a frustrating place to be with a 9 ft one hander. I have a tough time with a floating line here but understand the presentation is hard to resist if there are fish in the wash. I have some success but mostly when the sea is tame. I will keep at it. Unfortunately the fish have been somewhere else it would seem. I will be thinking about your rods. Probably to much. Thank you for being here !

Fancy meeting you! It was great to finally put a face to the name after all these years. Folks, @turkaholic is far too modest to say it, but he is a Block Island surfcasting legend. I'd venture to say that he's caught more large bass than anyone active on this board. So when he told me he blanked at the mark, I didn't even bother, even with my Mike Oliver Surf Cannon. (12' 9"). Thanks for saving me a long walk, friend.

 

Turk, you'll be pleased to know that I have been using a floating line with great success in the Block surf for years -- even when the presentation is not in the trough, even when there are waves and choppy waters in the target area. If you like, call me for some more ideas.

 

That was a brutal week on the Block for fishing from shore. I liked the words "on the prowl," because later that night we met, I was able to find some stripers that wanted to eat. The only reason it happened was because I was bouncing around from mark to mark. I'll take it.

 

@Mike Oliver your rod performed, as it always does in tough beach conditions, quite brilliantly. 

 

Steve Culton

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Posted (edited)

I've always used a floating line in the surf, but now I'm getting tuned in to daytime fishing in the wash after almost stepping on a pod of stripers feeding at the beach lip at midday last week. Combine with sight casting when conditions are right.

 

Also dead drift a fly in the trough between sandbar and beach if there's a current in the trough - usually is.

 

I fish close to the beach in low light conditions, but didn't bother to fish the beach in midday (other than the fall run) until I saw those fish last week. I was surprised to see how close they are with the sun high overhead. Spooky but feeding.

 

Crab flies in spring/summer!

Edited by RH37
shorter/improvement

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My favorite line for stripers is a floater with an integrated intermediate 10 or 15 ft tip...Does the trick for me.

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16 hours ago, The Fisherman said:

Fancy meeting you! It was great to finally put a face to the name after all these years. Folks, @turkaholic is far too modest to say it, but he is a Block Island surfcasting legend. I'd venture to say that he's caught more large bass than anyone active on this board. So when he told me he blanked at the mark, I didn't even bother, even with my Mike Oliver Surf Cannon. (12' 9"). Thanks for saving me a long walk, friend.

 

Turk, you'll be pleased to know that I have been using a floating line with great success in the Block surf for years -- even when the presentation is not in the trough, even when there are waves and choppy waters in the target area. If you like, call me for some more ideas.

 

That was a brutal week on the Block for fishing from shore. I liked the words "on the prowl," because later that night we met, I was able to find some stripers that wanted to eat. The only reason it happened was because I was bouncing around from mark to mark. I'll take it.

 

@Mike Oliver your rod performed, as it always does in tough beach conditions, quite brilliantly. 

 

Steve Culton

Thanks for the kind words Steve. Not to sure about the legend thing. I’m just a guy that loves to fish and have been at it for quite some time. It was great to meet you on the hunt. I will be looking forward to a conservation with you about some more ideas. 

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Does anyone have experience with the RIO Versitip line - the one with interchangeable tips - it seems flexible with a taper that allows mending up to a point? 

 

The SA Anadro is the best mending (and long casting) floating line I have used. I underline it. 

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I tried this out with my 8 weight setup and it worked like turning on a light switch. I always caught fish on bucktails in the wash, this method seems to work just as well or maybe even better for me. I already got an extra spool for my 10wt setup to throw a floating line on there! 

Thanks for the post!

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Gfemminella,

 

Glad that you are enjoying this technique. The longer we can keep the fly in the strike zone the better. The more you do it the more little tricks you learn to do that. I am at the start to. I am playing around with sink tip lengths and leader lengths to. This technique has been used by guys fishing rocky ground with white water for many years of course.

mike

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Posted (edited)

12 hours ago, JRT said:

Does anyone have experience with the RIO Versitip line - the one with interchangeable tips - it seems flexible with a taper that allows mending up to a point? 

 

The SA Anadro is the best mending (and long casting) floating line I have used. I underline it. 

I use a Rio Versatip (in 6wt or 9wt) when I can't determine in advance what kind of water I'll be fishing.  The older version of this line has one of the best and most durable floating running lines I've used.  The lines used to be really expensive, because they came with the entire kit - running line plus float, clear int and two sink tips - both fast sink but one more so.  Obviously the float and int tips are best for mending line at or near the surface.  The tips are all 15ft long.  Mending with a 15ft long sink tip attached can be done but not as easily.  Have to begin to mend in the air and follow up with another mend or series of mends of the running line, which is rather thin, while the sink tip starts to dig in.  I really like using the 15ft clear int tips but they are too long for use on standard weight forward lines.   The Versatip's 15ft tips are much heavier per length than e.g. Airflow polyleaders, but lighter (grains/ft). than Skagit Mow or iMow tips.  

 

The older version of the SA salmon and steelhead line or (similar) Rio salmon and steelhead lines are really quite good for mending, as they have elongated floating head sections.  Can add a short sink tip to these lines easily as they are o.k. for that or for multiple fly rigs and such, but not a 15ft tip, IMO.  The Scientific Anglers Anadro is probably based on a salmon steelhead taper, so could probably handle a short sink tip (under 10ft; and I'd make it shorter or lighter if it failed to turn over.  YMMV.

Edited by Killiefish

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4 hours ago, Mike Oliver said:

Gfemminella,

 

Glad that you are enjoying this technique. The longer we can keep the fly in the strike zone the better. The more you do it the more little tricks you learn to do that. I am at the start to. I am playing around with sink tip lengths and leader lengths to. This technique has been used by guys fishing rocky ground with white water for many years of course.

mike

Yes thank you. Im still new to fly fishing but have learned a lot on here. Now I have to dial my casts in but the winter trout fishing was a good starting point I think lol

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6 hours ago, Gfemminella said:

Yes thank you. Im still new to fly fishing but have learned a lot on here. Now I have to dial my casts in but the winter trout fishing was a good starting point I think lol

Good stuff. Great thing about this technique is that casting ability is not a major factor just line control. Obtaining a good cast is never a disadvantage. 
A line tray is worth way more than the most expensive rod. Just back from a trip and apart from me and my buddy the other fly guys did not use one. This is hard to figure. All that line at the mercy of wind ,waves, cott, current and rocks.

Enjoy your new journey.

 

mike

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Mike:  Ken Abrames showed me that technique about 20 years ago on one of the Tuesday fishing nights he used to sponsor in Newport.  Or was it Thursday?  Anyways, it opened up my eyes on presentation with a fly rod in the surf.  Intermediates and full sink or sink tips can be very effective in some places, but for me, I prefer being able to mend over a wave crest before it breaks or just doing a quick haul on a back cast before the wave breaks and putting the fly right back down in the white water.  Piece of cake with a powerful rod and 40 - 50 feet of line.  Any more than that and it's too difficult to manage.  It doesn't always work out and on some days you just can't get the proper angle.  I usually look for sand bars that have waves breaking obliquely over them.  Works good for red drum in the surf down here.  Sometimes... 

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Works great with my floating skagit head and a short 5 foot sink tip,  and 18 inches of tippet, with a mole cab fake. I was able to mend line  and control/keep the fly n the zone where the  stripers roam and fluke ambush their crustaceans.

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