Squid Fly Colors [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Squid Fly Colors

12-12-2001, 11:24 AM
What color/ size squid fly have people had the most success with?

THe only color squid I've seen were milky white/ celar to tan to brown in color. These squid were flying out of the water with stripers right on their tail. About as stressed out/ defensive a squid could get!!

12-12-2001, 11:33 AM
... I have too, but these are juvies for the most part in shallow water on the flats. In the rips when they are threatened they turn a brick red / dark. You can email Capt.Bruce Peters of Capeshores CHarters for great descriptions. He is a lifelong cape angler and has seen a lot of the big squid in the rips over the years. I know the guy who runs the weirs on Handerchief Shoal very well and can get some great firsthand info from John as well. When they run Nantucket sound the weirs are full of them.

That's why I went with the colors in my ripsquid pattern you got :P

I am interested to hear what others have to offer in this regard...

Dble Haul
12-12-2001, 12:45 PM
Juro, your point about the squid turning dark/brick red when stressed out or in trouble explains the success of the rust colored patterns that I've had luck with. I suppose if a striper sees a squid of this color, it may associate the reddish tones with a prey in distress and home in on it. (?)

As far as size goes, the patterns I've used have never had larger than a 4/0 hook, and most were 3/0. The overall length of the flies was anywhere from five to eight inches. The best pattern seemed to be the simplest: a modified seaducer with four to six hackles splayed as legs (instead of the pattern's usual two) in rust color with oversized eyes. I can't exactly remember how the extra legs were tied in to prevent tangles during the cast, but it worked awfully well.

BTW, I haven't seen stripers getting on squid in a long time. I'd love to get out there where I can see them jetting out of the water. Must be an awesome sight.

12-12-2001, 12:46 PM
I haven't really used them much as a pattern but I have made some observations. One night while at Cordage park I saw some squid about a 10" long cruising very slowly under the lights. They were in groups of 3 or 5 and had a V-shaped formation like a flock of geese. The squid at cordage were over a rocky/muddy bottom but appeared paper white under the lights. Much to my dismay nothing was chasing them. It was interesting to watch them swim together, they all turned at the exact same moment as if they were wired together. I also noticed that they were swimming tentacles forward.
On another occasion I saw some much smaller specimens( 3-5" ) hanging very closely to a rocky barnacle/muscle covered bottom. I was in about thigh deep water at night using a light because the bottom was rather treacherous. I was noticing movement but couldn't really make out a shape until I just kept the light in one place thinking something would swim by. I recognized them as squid but was surprised how small they were. The colors I saw were dark red/brown with small spots that were different shades of the same basic color. The only reason I could even see them was because the fins? on the sides of their head? were moving, the tentacles were not moving at all. When spooked they took off like they were shot from a cannon, tentacles to the rear. Really cool creatures. I tie one squid in all white the other is multi colored earth tones but I don't fish them that often. I also have a couple of hot pink versions about 6" long which do well at times but I think of it more as an attractor pattern than a squid imitation.

12-12-2001, 12:57 PM
Sorry that I have not posted my orig. squid pattern yet. What makes it different from existing squid patterns is the use of a nylon tube fly tube cut obliquely to extend the mantle well past the bend of the hook, allowing you to tie the mantle and legs in the same proportions as a real squid. Maybe I'll change the name from ripsquid to real squid to extend the real series :D

I will post it now.

12-12-2001, 01:59 PM
Way back in the late 1900's I spent a fair amount of time around Sugar Reef (off WatchHill) trying to drive my boat and FF at the same time...so much for walking while chewing gum...
The best hits came when the bass were chasing squid...birds would scoop up fleeing calamari and colours would change from rootbeer to gold to cream to green to all gone. Absolutely brilliant! Tye a fly that does that and you will become an ICON.
Anyway...I did well with the white/cream 7-10" version that I gave to you at the Spring Clave...Big Bluefish crashed with wreckless abandon (and quickly destroyed) the pink version.
I'm going to do some rootbeer and brick red/brown 4-6" and 6-10" for winter "therapy" ...but can't start playing with any sharp or pointy tools until I'm off pain meds...go figure!?

12-12-2001, 02:54 PM
Pete... do you really expect us to believe that one?http://www.duhspot.com/users/smiley/s/contrib/sarge/Tomcat.gif

12-12-2001, 05:09 PM
John...It's not nice to make fun of someone who can get (or may already have) last years slightly obsolete cruise missile...e-bay makes it so easy to...
oops...there go the voices again!

12-12-2001, 06:03 PM
Thanks guys.

The squid I saw, the milky white/ brown ones, were fleeing for their lives at Wasque this spring.

That's why I asked about others success, I had read about and seen (as well as received several beautiful specimens) some beautiful red, pink and white ones.

So, is the red squid an American legend? :hehe:

12-12-2001, 06:38 PM
John, you gota start fly tying and stop spending hours on-line hunting down clipart and other questionable graphics:tsk_tsk: Some of the recent ones were pretty cool though:D

12-12-2001, 08:21 PM
I know what Pengui is talking about, the squid on Sugar Reef. I have two patterns I use. One, is the color white with red spots. The other is a quick imitation I made using purple crystal flash, which is almost a brick red. I took the RIMS club trophy a couple of years ago with the largest bluefish taken on a flyrod that year. It was taken on Sugar Reef., on the purple crystal flash fly. The day I caught the biggest one large bluefish were right on the top, cruising along chasing squid. Lots of fun with a flyrod.:)

12-12-2001, 09:06 PM
Ok, OK Pete.. I believe you... lets forget about the weapons.. No comment on the jet? Adrian.. went to First Light for the weekly flytying tonight and we did crease flies.. very simple except the cuting of the foam can make it a great job or horrible.http://www.theunholytrinity.org/cracks_smileys/otn/blobs/ukliam3.gif

12-12-2001, 09:07 PM
Art...I've heard it referred to as "the spindle"...Would you know what that mast/object on Sugar Reef is...When the squid are around and the bite is on, that was my centre of gravity!
I love cephalopods!

12-12-2001, 10:08 PM
I've only had reliable success with the squid fly out at THE rip and there the squid is pretty much all I use. In decending order the most successful colors for me are: Orange, Brown, Pink, White - all with black spots and very large eyes and all in the 7 - 9 inch range.

12-12-2001, 11:05 PM
Hawkeye -

I think you opened up the ceremonies with that big cow using a bright squid pattern just before things got out of hand in the rip. In fact now that I think about it I recall you hitting a lot of big fish in the rip with a squid!

Boy fo most of us the big rippah was a bit of a disappointment last year despite being the object of angling dreams the year before. I did have a 700 pound gray seal on for a minute though :eyecrazy:

It seemed every time the Estes went out they kicked butt, so it's a hit or miss thing and maybe we just hit HIT HIT last year?

12-13-2001, 07:00 AM
Penguin, My favorite area for Bass, or Blues. My son told me what the Spindle, or Mast is, but I forgot. I will ask him, and let you know. I am trying to get him to register on the board, no luck yet. If I can get him, maybe he can get Capt. Bill Brown.

12-13-2001, 02:47 PM
Yeah we did pretty well there this year but with the exception of one day of running and gunning from the beach (ie on foot;) ) last year was more intense in both size and number. In any case the squid rules the rip IMHO.

12-13-2001, 09:31 PM
Last summer I had marked a school of fish in deep water. I dropped a Deadly dick down to see what was swimming in the depths. Up came a squid.

I placed it in my livewell.

I watched it swim about and if I harrassed it, the squid would turn pinkest on the dorsal surface. It was very neat to watch.

12-13-2001, 11:19 PM
I found that a big ole flatwing in appropriate colors worked great in "THE RIP" as squid imitator. I fished down and dirty like everyone else and caught my share but I wonder....

I was out there with Bruce Peters back in July and the biggest striper we saw was just under the surface - seriously huge, can't even guess at weight. The three of us, including Bruce just watched it swim nonchalantly past the boat as my friend Clive and I attempted to recover a full 100 ft of fast sinking Teeny. Too late....

I read somewhere that commercial fishermen take the biggest stripers fishing surface plugs very slowly in the surf. Maybe its a question of quality vs quantity - bears thinking about. For next season I would select rip trips based on tides - i.e. BIG ONES. The last trip I made coincided with the weakest tide of the month and it was "ok" but the rips hardly got established. Even the day before, fishing with Gregg and Mike, it was much stronger and the action was a lot faster.

12-15-2001, 09:02 PM
RE: rip.... most of our problems last year came from an endless stream of mung in the current. There were fish down there for those who could get the fly through it. Not to mention the seals eating fish right off my line :mad:

Per the "mast" on Sugar Reef, that is one of the shallowest points on the reef system extending off Watch Hill and called that because of the sail mast sticking out of the water where it hit the reef and sank. To the southwest are safer stretches and can be just as loaded with fish, as we found out last July. Keeper bass and blues up to 15 pounds on the scale. Heck of a day fishing out there, amazing place to toss a fly. The flyfishermen were outfishing everyone out there.

12-16-2001, 06:56 AM
;) For information on Sugar Reef, There is between Wach Hill, and Fishers Island quite a few areas that are shallower than the Mast at Sugar Reef. Watch Hill Reef is very close to the surface at low tide. There is a reef that is, I believe called Catacomb Rocks. This is somewhat southwest of the Mast. If fact I find myself always looking for these rocks to expose. I could be wrong about the name of the rocks, but believe me they are there. This area is good bass, and blue fishing as it has bait, rips rocks, and deep water to the east, in fact there is a hole sothwest of the reefs at 325 feet about 4 miles away. I might forever caution mariners on this area lots of boats get wrecked there.:(

12-16-2001, 07:25 AM
Correction: My earlier post was a generalization based on limited experience (with really hot fishing!) and although there are in fact deeper areas to the sw of the mast there are also shallower more dangerous areas as Art points out and my statements were in no way intended to imply safety in such a heading. All judgement a sea should be made with use of accurate navigational references, precision instruments and professional's advice... especially on the reef!

12-17-2001, 09:49 PM

I just finished reading a hand me down copy of the October/November issue of Saltwater Fly Fishing magazine. On p. 18 there is a great article entitled "Understanding Squid". The article is informative and they include Joe Healy's Cape Cod Squid pattern on page 21. Mr. Healy claims that he has the greatest success with a white squid fly but he also gives props to pink and chartreuse versions of the fly.

Maybe I will tie some up for you as a replacement for the epoxy flies that you let me borrow during last summer's blitz on the Mecca. Those blues picked me clean - all the while 20 pound cow bass were laughing at me as they rolled within arms reach!

If you want the magazine then I can send you the article.


12-18-2001, 05:55 AM
:) I talked with my son last night,about the mast at Sugar Reef. Here is the story, back a long time ago? the government blasted holes in the reef for navigational purposes, then installed three iron masts. The one at Wicopesset has broken off just below the surface, and is hit now and then by a wayward mariner. The one at Catumb has also broken off, but is apparently broken off deep enough for no threat to navigation. The rocks in the area are though. I might be be pushing too much about the danger in the area, but I don't want to see anyone have a disaster." better to error on the side of caution."

12-18-2001, 06:22 AM
Thanks Mike,

Would love to see a copy of the article.

No need to replace the flies, that's what they're for. I'm sure you would have done the same for anyone else.

That was quite a day wasn' it?


12-18-2001, 07:40 AM
Thanks Art, so much for the local rumor mill (re: the ship mast theory). :rolleyes:

Anyway, please thank Art Jr for us and I agree you can never be too safe out there!