Fly Fishing for Huge Stripers

I’ve chased them from Maine to Georgia, tossing flies at them for the past several decades. Both my successes and failures have taught me many things about these magnificent fish. Fly Tackle for Trophy Stripers When it comes to fly tackle for large striped bass, I recall Lou Tabory’s sage advice: “Most fly anglers lose the largest fish because they gear up to catch smaller, school-sized fish.” Their rods, reels, and leaders too often aren’t up to the task. So if you specifically seek trophy stripers, think big, think strong. Your reel needn’t cost the price of a home mortgage, but it should definitely start up and give up line smoothly, and hold 150 yards of stout dacron or gel spun backing. Fly Lines for Trophy Stripers Also carry several fly lines to meet the various conditions. For tossing large poppers and shallow swimming flies, or to fish shallow bays and flats, a floating line with a steeper saltwater front taper fits the bill. For the surf, I like an intermediate line, as its slow sink rate keeps my flies from planing on the surface in the turbulent water. When he reported my failure to another guide, the question came back, “Was he using a shock tippet?” Steve simply said, “He is now.” I still haven’t lived that one down. And remember, the hook is your only point of contact with the fish, so make sure your flies are tied on strong, sharp hooks.
Trophy striped bass
Trophy stripers require size-appropriate fly tackle and flies.

Despite local and regional exceptions, it’s safe to say that striped bass are the Northeast coast angler’s most popular target. You can catch them in bays, inlets, the surf, or even up coastal rivers. I’ve chased them from Maine to Georgia, tossing flies at them for the past several decades. Both my successes and failures have taught me many things about these magnificent fish.

Striped bass caught on the beach
When targeting trophy striped bass, heavier rods and lines are needed to handle larger flies and fish.

Fly Tackle for Trophy Stripers

When it comes to fly tackle for large striped bass, I recall Lou Tabory’s sage advice: “Most fly anglers lose the largest fish because they gear up to catch smaller, school-sized fish.” Their rods, reels, and leaders too often aren’t up to the task. So if you specifically seek trophy stripers, think big, think strong. Not that fish aren’t sometimes caught on lighter tackle, but consider 10, 11, even 12-weight rods when you target the largest fish. Your reel needn’t cost the price of a home mortgage, but it should definitely start up and give up line smoothly, and hold 150 yards of stout dacron or gel spun backing.

Two big striped bass caught on fly
Most trophy stripers are in deeper water, requiring sinking fly lines.

Fly Lines for Trophy Stripers

Also carry several fly lines to meet the various conditions. For tossing large poppers and shallow swimming flies, or to fish shallow bays and flats, a floating line with a steeper saltwater front taper fits the bill. For me, however, that’s my least favorite line when I expect to encounter above average fish. Most big bass are taken deeper, so I generally rely on fast-sinking, integrated heads of 400 or 500 grains. Wave action affects such subsurface lines less, they also help me keep more…

Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn0
Tags from the story
, ,
More from Industry News

4 Essentials for Bow Season

There’s still time to get yourself in shape for your best bow...
Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *