Shad what kind [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Shad what kind

01-23-2005, 11:19 AM
Seeing there has been some posting about shad, I thought I would put in my two cents. :rolleyes:
Hickory Shad Alosa mediocris Range NS to Florida, they are andromous, size is up to 15 inches.
American Shad Alosa sapidissima Range fro Newfoundland to Northern Florida, andromous, size to about three feet, three to seven pounds. Food is Plankton. Eggs are deposited in the spring in upstream areas.
How many have caught the American Shad on a flyrod? I don't think they are considered A gamefish. They do however give a much better fight than the same size striper, especially when taken in a small river like the Palmer River in Rehoboth,Ma. The time is mid April to the end of May, or when the apple trees blossom. They come in on a rising tide in early morning or at dusk at night. Right in with the herring.When they come into shallow water you will some times see their wake, they are extremely fast. They sometimes jump, and sound like someone through a rock in the water. They like to spawn on a gravel bed.They come in on a rising tide. They can be caught when they are resting, usually in the deepest part of some of the upstream pools. Flies need to be slowly retrieved near the bottom. I usually use a fly that has a short red wing, and a silver body, and I use three beads on the leader, red, white, red, combination . Try fishing for the American Shad you might get addicited. :)

01-23-2005, 03:06 PM

I have only caught one American shad on a fly and that was on the Merrimack River right up by the Essex Dam. Caught it on a small sz. 2 chartreuse clouser and this particular fish fought a lot better than a small schoolie - the shad was about 18". I thought that I had a decent striper on for a little bit.

joe Cecchini
01-24-2005, 01:29 PM
The American shad come in early at the Ocean City inlet here on the eastern shore of Maryland, usually around the middle of February before most of the other game fish arrive. They are excellent sport on a 4 Wt. rod and when the current is't too bad i'll get out my 2 wt and then they are very fun to catch. Having caught both Schooley stripers and American shad on the 2 wt. I think the stripers take longer to wear out then the shad but any 20 inch fish on a on a 2 wt is fun! I catch the most Shad on these #6 of #8 florescent orange/chartreuse squid flies that I Tie using Wal-Mart glow in the dark fabric paint. Most fly fishermen I come across here at the inlet are fishing for stripers/bluefish/sea trout with their 9 or 10 wt. rods and catch shad unintentionally and can't really appreciate how hard they fight. I think most saltwater fly fishermen should lighten up! Once you start catching shad/stripers sea trout/flounder on a 4 or 6 weight rod I guarantee you will be totally addicted as I am. Yes sometimes you will hook into something far bigger than a 20 incher but that's part of the fun! I tell most flyfisherman who use very light weight rods for large fish to use PowerPro 2-10 instead of 20 pound backing even the tiniest fly reels will hold at least 150 yards and don't use very expensive rods because they sometimes ahh.. break. Of course there will be times when the wind in current will force you to use a heavier rod but when the weather is good break out your 4 weight! Joe

01-24-2005, 02:39 PM
:) Joe, Very nice selection of flies. Up here in New England there is not very many rivers that have a good run of shad. Most rivers around here that have shad are small, maybe 20 feet across in their upper reaches. Four to six weight rods would be fine, I think a two weight would be to light as there is a lot of snags, in them, especially the Palmer River, the North River pools are a little more open.
I looked it up in IGFA Gamefish Book, and it is listed as a gamefish. American Shad have been caught as large as 20 lbs. I have only seen them up to about seven lbs. Thanks for posting your flies, I only have one pattern which I have used for about 60 years.

01-25-2005, 04:21 AM
Welcome to the Forum Joe. Nice looking flies.
FishHawk :D

01-25-2005, 10:18 AM
Fishing the tub last spring clave I hooked some thing that did not seem like a school bass, when I landed it it turned out to be about a four pound american shad. I have caught them in the ct. river but I was fishing for them,it was quite a surprise to hook one in the tub. It made a good run but was no match for a 10 weight and a 350 grain sink tip! :chuckle: