40+ Club - Shore Division [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: 40+ Club - Shore Division

06-07-2006, 03:06 PM
What's your strategy? Big flies? Night fishing? Sh*t luck? Two 20" schoolies end to end? ;)

I have a few tactics in mind, and hope to do it this weekend. I will be hosting guests but hope to scout up a cow ahead of time.

Livin' LARGE...
I plan to recon with two-hands on the task, 600 grains and BIG offerings. Full shank sand eels, bunker and squid primarily. With the winds gusty as heck already why not.

I am not going to get enamored with scenery or pleasure. Not much to be had in a storm anyway. My plan is to hit the highest probability areas during the most likely times and get to the next venue on time. Sleep? If there is time.

Think like the fish...
Big fish like pogies, squid, herring and concentrations of sand eels this time of year. They are bulking up, most of the bigger fish are still nowhere near their summer form. No sense in wasting my time where these are not present.

Far from over. Many seem to be moving past in offshore vectors lately and the infusion of bait is holding them hundreds of yards off shore (based on birds) but history proves that a huge percentage travel the shoreline and I will be prying into the lanes I already know and looking for new ones in likely areas, e.g. Race Point.

For me the problem is time... will I get enough casts in enough spots in enough circumstances to roll the dice in the right place and time?

I hope my mug can be next to Craigs in the 2006 40+ club gallery Monday!

06-07-2006, 05:19 PM
My only 40+ (had to be 25 to 30lbs) was several years ago this coming weekend on a similar tide as this weekend. I've scouted some probable lanes. I will tie some clousers on a 2/0 LC413 hook with yellow to olive bucktail, a bit bushy, and a couple of half & halfs on the same hook with Abrams feathers (I call it the K-Klouser).

That fish several years ago was one of the biggest kicks I've had with my clothes on. I was drawing my line to make a cast when I saw her following my fly, ten feet or less infront of me, in one to two feet of water. I stopped with the rod vertical, and she took the fly. The fish cleared the seventy feet of line in my basket and was into backing before I could think about what to do next (lucky). The take and run was violent and horizontal with a lot of tail smashing and porpoising. I love fishing on foot and the horizontal pull.

06-07-2006, 05:49 PM
My favorite fly caught:hihi: 40"+ was on some of those Kfeathers tied traditionally of course :tsk_tsk: after dark on a RI beach...but I have to admit I was slow stripping the fly on an intermediate line:devil:

06-07-2006, 07:10 PM
Are we talking pounds or inches?

06-07-2006, 08:04 PM
I think Juro is talking about fly caught 40" (20#+) fish, on foot.

06-07-2006, 10:07 PM
Perhaps you missed the earlier posts but inches josko, which you must admit on a fly from shore is a notable feat.

In fact I'd bet it's much harder than a 40 pounder on a live pogie from a boat.

06-08-2006, 07:17 AM
Random thoughts follow:

The "what fly is the right fly" question used to make me very anxious. I remember stalking the sand with a chest pack overflowing with fly boxes and only using one or two flies:roll: Now that I fish from a boat 99.9% of the time I find I still only use one or two flies and have a tackle bag or two full of flies :roll: :roll:

The only time's I've been refused on any & everything I threw were when the bass were sipping krill off Chatham and during a worm hatch one night in Buzzards. And of course none of the flies I had matched a damn thing. For me, this kind of selective feeding is the exception rather then the rule.

I caught my longest striper on one of Juro's sand eels & lost what I've convinced myself was an even bigger one on the cast & drift just before. Of course, that fly was all I was fishing that season + sand eel's are the major food source in that area.

I firmly believe that if you fish one fly or lure the majority of the time, you can catch anything with it.

But, if I were to focus on using just one fly to catch BIG fish - I would go with the Capt. Steve Moore's white death. I'll see if I can post a pic of one of mine.

Good luck,


06-08-2006, 07:30 AM
I would vote for nightime, intimately-known structure, 12 wt, being in tune with fish movements/tides, and having a lot of faith in the fly.

Is prospecting the area with a conventional rod allowed, as long as the fly catch is IGFA-legal?

06-08-2006, 07:36 AM
Here are two of my small ones, these only measure 5 -6 " and I believe Steve ties his with a larger head to give it a more erratic behavior. Last season a buddy of mine fished a white sluggo on a chartreuse head non-stop & caught some very large fish - hence the chart head on one of these.

Good luck,


06-08-2006, 07:47 AM
My biggest fly rod striper came on October 17, 2003 Kettle Cove, Maine. It was raining sideways, dead low and fish were everywhere nailing peanut bunker. I was getting 24-28" fish on every cast on a black and purple puglesi when all of the sudden I hooked one that headed for Ireland. I assumed I had hooked one of those nice solid fish by the motor when off she went. About 5 minutes later, I got the fish closer and turned on my head lamp and saw the "pig eyes" and said s%^&, that a big fish, I need to be careful. Landed her, taped at 42". Just plain good fun. Caught a lot of fish in the high 30s off monomoy in the rips, but haven't broken 40" there yet on a fly.:roll:

Dble Haul
06-08-2006, 08:41 AM
Most of you saw my personal best that I caught last July with the help of Phil during the shadfest. It was low light, the tide was right, and I was casting a huge fly. Most of my bigger stripers have come during that combination.

Low light plus big fly plus optimal tide = good chance at intercepting a good fish.

06-08-2006, 08:57 AM
My 40" bass was caught on the kennebec river in maine near the mouth. I was fishing with my 10wt using 400 grain sink tip line and the fly was a banana fly that my guide came up with. We were fishing a long set of fingers that drops off into deep water in the early morning. The guide did a masterful job of driving the boat and weaving in and out of all the lobster pots to land this monster.

06-08-2006, 09:06 AM
Just to be the voice of contradiction, my longest striper was caught at @ 10AM in July.

06-08-2006, 01:20 PM
not quite 40#....but 38# caught this spring, in about 2 feet of water, outgoing in an estuary system....was paddling back to my kayak launch when I kept seeing swirls like someone was dropping washing machines out of the sky....beached the kayak and cast out a typical estuary pattern...about 2" long, tied on a size 1 hook.

Took two casts...the take was not subtle, and I was quickly into the backing.

Taped out at 38#, I would guess in the high teens....took a timed picture with my trusty Canon underwater camera and released her...when i got back home realized there was no film in the camera...

Doesn't always have to be a big fly...


06-08-2006, 04:07 PM
Most of you saw my personal best that I caught last July with the help of Phil during the shadfest. It was low light, the tide was right, and I was casting a huge fly. Most of my bigger stripers have come during that combination.

Low light plus big fly plus optimal tide = good chance at intercepting a good fish.

My first 40" fish this year came to hand under the same conditions and place that Mark speaks of above on 5/11/06. The fish were on squid but I fooled the big one while test casting an 18" shad imitation that Grizz helped me with along with the materials required for such a large pattern. The higher tide was beginning to wane which helped as the strong current here would have caused real havoc on a nine weight. It was not very fat but it taped out at just over 40 inches. It must have been somewhat tired from migration as it only took fifty or so yards of backing. My best to date was five years ago. 43 inches and half an hour to land.


Sean Juan
06-09-2006, 10:14 AM
One challenge with big fish is getting a fly to them before it can be intercepted by a smaller quicker fish. Thats why I use the 450 and big flies - doesn't always work of course a 20" fish doesn't shy away from a 10" fly.

06-09-2006, 11:49 AM
I picked up a 45' at the light house about 5 years ago, at about 5:30am on a 9 weight sinking line . Kept it, and had Wally Brown out of Falmouth mount it for me. Caught on Juro's super hair sand eel.

06-09-2006, 06:53 PM
Nobody has mentioned time on the water - the most important piece.

Good luck, this weekend I'll be looking for a 45 footer like John landed :wink:

John, when are you going to fish the Chatham deep waters with me?


06-09-2006, 07:14 PM
I picked up a 45' at the light house about 5 years ago

John, you are aware that it's illegal to catch whales on a fly rod, aren't you?:hihi:

06-09-2006, 10:23 PM
Well...., after fishing the cape since I was 11, I finally broke the infamous 40" barrier. About 1990 I finally got serious about flyfishing the stripers and have had the opportunity to land several good fish, up to 38", but could never seem to break the illusive 40" mark. It finally happened 2 weeks ago, and quite frankly, it was a chance encounter. I had fished all day on the inside of South Beach with Jim Simms, Ken, Fred and a friend from CA-Tom. We had a unbelieveable day. Lots of 18-24" fish and a few keepers. I had witnesses the most unbeleivable 1 hour of diving terns and a 1/2 acre of stripers doing their best to inhale a monster school of 3-4" sand eels. We all landed 20-30 fish from this school and actually stopped fishing to watch the this unreal display of nature. About 2:00 pm, Tom and I headed back to the takeout to hit "big blue" for a beer and sandwich. I asked Tom to "check out the ocean", while we waited for Keith. Tom stayed and fished the drop off at the take out, I headed to the ocean. It was a bluebird day and the tide was almost high when I got there. Fish were everywhere and there were schools of 8-10, 25-35" fish coming by me, about 5 minutes between the schools. I called Jim on his cell to tell him to come over, but he was "way west". I had fished for a few hours on the ocean side 4 of the previous 6 days and had poor results and had not seen many fish. The fish had finally arrived. My first fish was a toad and 42". I then proceeded to land 6 more 28-35" fish on about a dozen casts. No one else was on the beach and the fish were less than 40' from the shore. About 3:30 I looked back over my shoulder and the Orvis Class was 50 yards behind me. They got to watch me land my last 2 fish and then run to catch the 4:00 pm RR, it was one of those days that I'd have paid $100 for a 5:00 pm pickup! Since my original plan was really "just to check out the ocean", I did not bring my vest, only my rod/bucket/tippet and the couple of flies that were in my shirt. I had my intermediate line and a very worn out olive and white clouser. I will remember that day for a while. The entire Orvis school followed me back to the takeout and I got to visit with a few of the students, I'll bet "fishing the cape" sold a few O/W clousers that night!
I hope to repeat the feat the last week of June when I'll be back in Chatham.
Tight lines,

06-12-2006, 11:42 AM
so close and yet ohhhh so far away...

released to grow another few inches dammit.



Dble Haul
06-12-2006, 01:05 PM
Pretty close there, Jeff! Great pictures.....you can even see some of the fly that caught the fish. :wink:

06-12-2006, 06:24 PM

That fish is a submarine!

Makes me wonder why in the hell I will be working until midnight tonight. But then again you work like this all the time and you still find time to fish...so there is hope!

Nice job,


06-26-2006, 11:00 AM
Now two hooked - zero landed!

I've landed several up to the mid-30" range but hooked two in the "club" size, both earning freedom.

This one was a shared effort with guest guide Brian Chao of Seattle, an accomplished Yakima River guide. After having hooked the fish and enjoying a toe-nail curling initial run that felt like the time a seal took my fly, I handed the rod to Brian to welcome him to striper country. I think he was impressed with the first striper he ever felt tug. :)

Video clip (1.9mb) of epic battle (http://flyfishingforum.com/chronicles/chathamanglers/40plus_almost.wmv)

After ten minutes or so the 15# tippet gave way to the overwhelming power of this fish. I am fishing 20# except for bluebird flats from now on.

He did land some nice stripahz before heading to do some Georgia brown trout fishing then on to Ketchikan for salmon.

The quest continues....