Flies for quiet inlets and bays [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Flies for quiet inlets and bays

06-03-2007, 11:29 AM
Last year some old guy handed me my butt fair and square as he out fished me about ten-to-one in Pleasant Bay. We also futzed around various other quiet waters where my lack of results proved that my Pleasant Bay experience wasn't a fluke.

Always felt I was over-tackled and over-flied for the job.

Any suggestions for small flies for quiet water?

BTW, that Deep Eel Fly critque is a great thread . . . . tying, tying, tying . . . .

06-03-2007, 12:18 PM
Depends what the bait is but estuary type fishing is what I do most. Usually a floating line and a 7wt, as delicate presentation can be the key to success. Not unlike fishing for trout or steelhead really. Find the current and present your flies in the seams on the swing. No strip needed and just try and present them as naturally as possible or grease line them.

Casting sinking flies and stripping can sometimes work in these places but usually presenting the flies naturally is the key. Something like the big atlantis/oceana is out of place in these situations.

Grass shrimp can be a big food source and a simple olive GP works as well as anything else. I have seen some of your sparse steelhead flies on another board and they are sure to be a winner. Also some rays flies are always good to have and a very easy tie. Just type in 'ray's fly' in google and the first hit will be striper moon and they have a good example of the pattern. These will work for both silversides (another bait found a lot in estuarys) as well as sandeels.

Think steelheading and use the current. You will definitely have some success.

A couple books that talk about this method of fishing is Ray Bondorew's 'Stripers and Streamers: Successful Flies, Techniques and Other Insights '. Excellent book. Also Kenney Abrames 'Striper Moon' has just been re-released and also a good read about fishing current with traditional tactics.

This is old school traditional fishing but as that old guy showed you it can work wonders sometimes when other methods fail.

So some shrimp flies and a ray's fly (sometimes fished in tandem) with a floating line. Good fun. Even bombers and grease liners work well on the surface. This is my favorite way to fish stripers.


06-03-2007, 05:21 PM
Thanks for reminding me about the grass shrimp -- I had totally forgot about them and I had made a point last year of wanting to tie some up.

I'm at home in current so where there's a good rip, I'm happy, but those slack water bays feel like largemouth ponds. Perhaps I should just fish them the same way -- poppers.

This year I'm bringing a 9' - 8 wt. so I'm not blasting the quiet water with the big stick. Hopefully, it'll make a bit of a difference.

I'll look up those books.

06-03-2007, 07:32 PM
Just remember those slack water bays dump and fill up as they are tidally influenced. They will always have current somewhere at sometime except at dead slack.

Find the current and you will find the bass. You are not looking for a rip, just moving water. That is the trick...

Try a gurgler instead of a popper. A little more stealthy, a popper in these situations is usually to much noise.


06-04-2007, 10:38 AM
Forgot about gurglers, thanks for the tip. Wish I still had some black sliders as I'm sure they'd be good in the evening as well -- very low fuss presentation -- good for wary smallmouth. I don't tie deerhair anymore so I'll have to try and find a shop with some.

Wee Hooker
06-14-2007, 09:21 PM
Rays Fly or chartruce / white clouser by day, Yellow Reble or small popper in low light and finally the EEl Punt when it gets dark. tie them all on the small side ( size 2 and 1/0 are my favorites). Drift them in current when you can, mix up the retrieve when there is none.