A sandeel year? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: A sandeel year?

06-03-2003, 08:34 AM
Over the last couple of days, an incredible number of sand eels have been showing up on shoals, bars and beaches on the Cape. Unlike last year, where the majority stayed offshore the whole season, this may very well be a sand eel year.


06-03-2003, 08:50 AM
I picked up a 30" blue and a 27" striper off of Morris Island last Friday on sandeel patterns.

06-04-2003, 04:58 AM
The biggest fish caught on Rip Trip Plan B was caught on a famous guide's
Deep Eel . I think his name is Juro. The fish was a 32" Cow.:hehe: :smokin:

06-04-2003, 06:21 AM
Plenty of chubs around SB inside

06-04-2003, 07:51 AM
How about a Sand Eel pattern to start the season off ? There has been a tremendouos amount of experimentation on patterns and and colors over the last couple of years. What general suggestions can we make about color, size, material, hook etc.?

My go-to pattern is always a deceiver, thinly dressed. I never liked lobbing Sand Eels tied like Clousers. I know they have come a long way though......so, what's the recommendation today?

06-04-2003, 08:35 AM
If you are not a shallow water sight angler on the flats, there is no need to use a weighted fly at all. The line will control the column within which you need to swim a fly just fine.

I use a keel-weighted fly in 18" of water for a reason. If anyone doesn't know what that reason is, or if they think it's for "jig" action, well they can go ahead and think that and I'll let them figure out the true reason for themselves :devil:

To answer your question, there are three design characteristics that can be used to eliminate the undesirable casting nuances of Mr.Clouser's Deep Minnow (aka "Clousers").

1) size and material of eye
2) ratio of body material to weight of eyes
3) hook style

Instead of using a large lead eye, I prefer to use the non-toxic eyes with the eye recesses in smaller sizes than you'd see on a deep minnow (clouser). If you match the flat eye to the recess correctly and use the edge of your thumbnail and middle finger nail simultaneously as a burnishing device to push the sticker into the socket, you'll never have one fall out. I have never had one fall out and probably have as much experience with this eye style as anyone.

For a 5-6" long fly, I use size 7/16" eyes on a 1/0 TMC 811s hook. If you calculate the ratio of the hardware to the materials and add wind resistance to the equation, you eliminate the slingshot effect of weighted eye flies. This weighting technique is designed to keel the fly, not sink it. The line sinks the fly. That being said, even a 7/16" eye on a 6" sand eel will help it sink a little bit, which doesn't hurt. But it's far from the 60/40 or even 80/20 ratios you see on those flies you would normally consider a "clouser".

I prefer a lighter wire hook that does not compromise strength, like the Tiemco 811s. The TMC 800s in contrast is a very heavy wire hook with a short shank and large eye. The lighter hook penetrates better, gets spit less, and casts easier.

To address the popular boo-hooing of weighted eyes, I experimented with several keeling alternatives including bend-back hooks, bouyancy as opposed to weight, in-line tungsten beads, etc. They all worked fine.

But then I decided that I don't give a rat's ass (another fine weighted eye fly) what people think, they are very effective imitations of sand eels that are ideal for fishing where I fish and the way I fish. It takes too much effort to tie all those other flies when they don't work any better.

I save all my fancy jungle cock eyes and polar bear for atlantic salmon and steelhead flies, the thick shouldered linebackers of the sea are just out to kill something and I mean to oblige them.

If you search in the striper fly archives you'll find an incredible array of flies to try!

06-04-2003, 01:08 PM
Ok, good recipe and plenty of insight to chew on for those that want to take it further. If any one wants to declare for colors or materials that work really well in a specific area, that would be great input as well.

If my memory serves me well, subdued root beer out on the Monomoy flats seemed to be successful as a starting point. (would have tasted pretty good too. long walk sometimes)

Thanks for the comments....

06-04-2003, 01:48 PM
Another winner which imitates a silverside as well as a sand eel is a variation of the epoxy eels popularized by Popovic (Surf Candy, etc). A slider version is the "slim jim" by Page Rogers, or the non foam version whose name escapes me right now.

I have a variation that I like to use especially when the albies are around:

#2 TMC 911s, barb removed
White and Olive or White and Root Beer Flyfur
One strand of pearl or chart. pearl normal flashabou
smaller diameter body-braid mesh tubing
small sticker eye on a sheet, pearl
white floating yarn

Tie in white flyfur, then layer pearl flash, then back color flyfur on bend of hook

Wrap shank of hook with white floating yarn to build up body

Tie in back color flyfur at head of fly so it covers back, then slip a section of body-braid over it to form the thorax.

Stick an eye on top of the braid on both sides, then cut two strips from between the eyes on the sheet to use as side strips (like a silverside).

Coat just the thorax area with softex and allow to dry.

06-04-2003, 08:20 PM
Does this one have a picture you can put up? I think this one is a deadly pattern you showed me a couple of years ago - messy with softex to some degree, but a wringer for a siverside with the shimmering lateral line. Durable, and I remember one day, 25 schoolies later, it didn't look any the worse for the wear.