Freshwater Streamers in Salt [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Freshwater Streamers in Salt

03-17-2006, 02:38 PM
Will fresh water baitfish immiations like a woolly bugger and black nosed dace work on salt water fish?

03-17-2006, 02:53 PM
Simple answer - yes. But they are not ideal choices for the most part. At least in my experience for the fish I go for in the northeast

03-17-2006, 04:01 PM
wooly buggers are great imitations of isopods,black nosed dace is a great fly for juvi tataug,when stripes get pinicky and selective these and other freshwater patterns work very well,Whitlocks baby crawfish is an excellent juvi lobster..Just tie them on saltwater hooks they'll last longer.

03-17-2006, 06:00 PM
This is a great post.

I think we get way too hung up on stereotyping fly patterns to specific species e.g.

Trout flies, Smallmouth Bass Flies, Largemouth Bass Flies, Grayling Flies, Brown Trout Flies, Rainbow Trout Flies, Brook Trout Flies, Carp Flies, Striper Flies, Albie Flies, Bonito Flies, Shark Flies ...... well, you get the picture. We can blame the literature and $ marketing machines for this brain-dead view of reality.

My 'contrarian' view is, a sandeel is a sandeel and a peanut bunker is a peanut bunker and a herring is a herring and a chironomid pupa is chironomid pupa and it really makes no difference whatsoever to the fish thats decided it's going to eat it.

Do you really think a striped bass 'views' a peanut bunker in its natural environment any different to a false albacore or a bluefish?

Please, give this a little thought before asserting that a fish has "a point of view". :lildevl: I have caught all three species on the same pattern, on the same day, from both shore and boat so my point of view is somewhat, based on experience.

To the specific question about wooly buggers. Well, tied in all red/pink with a nice straggly underbody of seals fur I would fish one on a new moon worm hatch with some confidence. On pristine sandflats in August, trying to tempt skittish resident fish, a sparse slimmed down pattern on a size 8 might pass for a juvie shrimp or Isopod as striperstripper indicated.

Don't get hung-up on specific patterns. Anything will work at the appropriate time! I have fun throwing traditional wet-fly trout patterns (modified for the salt) to cruising stripers and have a blast when conditions are right.

If you want to fish imitative patterns, think about the prevailing bait situation and arm yourself accordingly. After all, the fish that's eating the bait can't be wrong, can they? :smokin:

03-17-2006, 06:24 PM
Good points Adrian! In my opinion, in the Spring on the flats when hordes of large pods arrive, one could take the pull tab off your zipper, attach a hook on it and catch fish (haven't actually tried that but might to prove a point.....any zipper volunteers out there?). :)
Last year I had success with a fly I named a "Waz-zat" It was a relatively small fly (1 1/2 inches), a was a cross between a shrimp and a small sand eel....light tan in color, used 2 small tan hackles at the rear of the hook and tuffs of tan rabbit from the point to the eye. When actively retrieved it looked like a sand eel, stop and go, a shrimp. It's success probably had nothing to do with the fly itself, other than it was different and resembled the shape of something familiar to the fish.
Then again, my best shrimp pattern is olive, and I have yet to see an olive shrimp??????
Bottom line.....when they are zigzagging the flats and flashing, instead of cruising, they eat most of what is thrown in front of them correctly.
OK...I am now open to criticism :)

03-17-2006, 06:37 PM
Ron, the Force is with you :smokin:

03-18-2006, 06:14 AM
Interesting that this thread has come up. I was thinking of tyeing some landlock smelt patters to try on the Striped Bass. I have a nice little book by Dick Steward ( I think that's the author ) which has nothing but landlock salmon trolling flies in it. Beautiful patterns. Will let you know how they do.Another freshwater patter which is a killer is the Muddler Minnow. FishHawk

03-18-2006, 10:36 AM
I think most of us will agree that the fish's mood and the presentation of the fly play a larger role than the fly pattern. Furthermore, I've caught fish or seen them strike at things that didn't even look or behave like any type of forage that I've ever seen (e.g., bare hooks, stubs of plastic baits, flies/lures covered with weeds, plastic bobbers, twigs, cigar butts, pebbles, M&Ms, leader knots). Whatever pattern you use, just be sure that it is tied on a hook that is suitable for the fish you are trying to catch.


03-18-2006, 08:23 PM
I have completed 200 plus pages on the history of the salt water fly and beleive it or not, apart from sea trout fishing in England, most started in saltwater with beat up salmon flies...Attractors right?, and other basic bucktails, including the Florida Bob.... The real tough question is that we are dealing with "three" forms of water... and "mixed "species when it comes to that... Fresh, Brackish, and pure salt.... some of Carrie Stevens fresh water Rangley lakes flies could pass today for bucktail saltwater streamers...and she DID tye salt flies on commission..... a freshwater minnow look suspiciously to me like other types of Salt water I think your hook is what counts and the conditions... salt environment is fresh...just let them dry in the sun..... stuff like that.

03-18-2006, 08:30 PM
Want tp post a pic of Jim Benders shrimp... used in salt... a little clipping...and...voila....a wooley bugger.......the hook is salt water though...

03-19-2006, 04:57 AM
John, I wrote an article for UFT 's"The Roundtable Magazine" back a few years ago about "A Glorified Mickey Finn" which was nothing more than a Mickey Finn with a few strands of gold or silver flashabou adfded. For one friend of mine, was a killer on a Quebec river for Atlantic Salmon, infact one year that was the only fly that would take fish for him. I had given him the fly after I had caught a few Coho Salmon on it in the Lampery River in New Market New Hampshire. There is no reason why one can't take stripers, or bluefish on it today, but how many tye flies using bucktail today? With all the new different mylars today which have a better attracting look who needs bucktail. Most flies today have that shiny shimmering look that attract fish. artb:smokin:

03-19-2006, 09:03 AM
Thanks Art.... and also the information you provided me a year ago for the book.... I agree about the use of bucktail today, especially with all the new material coming out including this new DNA stuff.

03-20-2006, 04:58 AM
We used to use leach patterns for Silvers in the salt on Kodiak. Tied on Saltwater hooks and a little bigger than average.

Worked Great!!