early season flys [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: early season flys

04-28-2002, 11:09 PM
Even though it is snowing inland from me, I have faith that the Stipers will eventually get up this way. But I can't wait. I am planning to ambush them on their way North in the Merimack river. An audaciouse plan to be sure, but I need help. What kind of flys would those in the know recomend for early season fishing in the Merimack? Thanks, Eddie

04-29-2002, 06:34 AM
Luckily, early season flies have an easy formula. Here are the requirements:

a) does it move?
b) does it have a hook?

That's about it! :devil:

Seriously, spring schoolies will hit everything from a white bunny to a squid popper (and everything in between). Common mistake I see folks make is to think that the flies that worked in spring were the ones that would work in the summer, not true.

The Merrimac has some specific demands depending on where you fish it. There's a certain tide I like best near the mouth and can pull fish after fish during this tide most of the time. I often see Ssully there too so I must be doing something right, it's his backyard. For this I use a sinking head striper line (QD, Deep Sea, Depth Charge, etc) to cope with the ripping river current and a real eel (surprise surprise) tied in bright colors.

On the beachfront I like another tide, and dawn/dusk is best. I like intermediate out there. If the fish are showing, go high and dry with a popper for some real fun. If not, match the hatch - a small tinker mackeral pattern is about as good as it gets once the good fish move in. Schoolies will hit any decent fly out there if they are buzzing the shoreline. Watch for birds and stay mobile.

In the refuge I stick with beachfront rules until I get down to the point. There I prefer incoming at some structures and outgoing at others. Outgoing on a big minus tide lets you wander out on the shoal and find fish dropping out of PI sound safely. Incoming moves fish up out of the channel and within reach of the shore angler. Both good.

I like to go to the Salisbury side and walk down from the toothpick on the dropping tide with a juvie herring fly. One day I was working that stretch and a big school of 4" herring rushed in all around me. I was amazed how they ignored me, huddling all around. Suddenly, they parted and a big cow bass came tearing through them. They were so scared I could kick my legs and they wouldn't leave my sides. A while later you could hear the surface erupt and small herring were getting batted out of the water with a sound like they were getting hit with tennis rackets. I hooked up with a huge north shore bass that tore my leader to shreds on the mussel bed moments later.

Fishing Crane's at Ipswich gets you at the other end of PI sound during the off hours. You can park in an area outside of the main lot and walk in all night long.

I also love Hampton because of the clear crisp water and sugar white sand. You really need a boat to score there though.

If you fish near Browns or Markeys you need a french fry fly... just pop in during lunch and you'll find out why! :devil:

04-29-2002, 08:06 AM
thanks Juro.

04-29-2002, 09:01 AM
...I get such a kick outa' how Juro pics any old fly and throws any old line for any old situation, tide, and location...NOT!
His planning and calculated moves look so easy from a distance but up close he's so fast that you can't even see his hands move when he ties on just the right fly at just the right time!
Casual observers take notice...
Juro...YOU DA' MAN!!!


04-29-2002, 09:04 AM
Chartreuse Clousers from size 2 to 1/0.
Olive over White Clousers same size.
Any sandeel pattern 3 to 5 " long.


04-29-2002, 09:06 AM
For Early Stripers in the M-mac, I would try in this order:

(1) 3-4" Clouser (Olive or Chart. over white)

(2) Epoxy minnow (i.e., Surf Candy)

(3) Ray's Fly, or Flat-wing (fairly sparse).

04-29-2002, 09:08 AM
Geeze Terry, Are we in Sync. or What ?!

04-29-2002, 11:02 PM

Let me know when you want to go. We can meet up somewhere.

04-29-2002, 11:23 PM
Thanks ssully, I will.

04-30-2002, 10:20 AM
ME too Sully? ALl right PI CLAVE!! ....sorry that one slipped out..it got away from me.


04-30-2002, 07:44 PM
The fly won't matter that much, it is all about being at the right depth.:D

05-01-2002, 06:49 AM
Anyone up for trying Joppa or anywhere else on PI in the near future...lemme know!
(Cuz I never fish there early in the season) :)
BTW...my home email has temporarily "gone south".....work email is dburgess@inspex.com

My pinion on early season flies doesn't count....what does a spin guy know?!

:hehe: :chuckle:

05-01-2002, 09:03 AM
FWIW- I'm thinking of opening my saltwater season where I ended it- Marblehead. Just waiting for a little bit more time to slide by (some warmer weather would help too but not manditory). If it pans out I will notify you on the D.R.E.L. :smokin:

(Decoder Ring etc. etc.)


05-01-2002, 10:58 AM
I'll be poking around on the beach or upriver in the a.m.'s. Midday lows on Joppa this weekend. May also try Little River in Gloucester. Good luck!
BTW....I think that there is a chowderfest in Marblehead this weekend.

05-01-2002, 01:28 PM

please let me in on any plans. Tentatively I was thinking that the first good PI push would be the weekend after this one (11th), also, note Tides for that day.

This coming weekend I think the Place To Be is at Terry's Grandmother's Cottage (wink, wink).

05-01-2002, 04:28 PM
I live in Randolph and commute to Portland to work. We should meet up sometime. Ya know, split the gas to somewhere. I'm on the Kennebec quite a lot if your headed my way also. Fire off a PM sometime when your gonna be around.