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juro 10-22-2003 08:18 AM

Huge flies for huge fish
I realize this is a relatively new area for most flyfishing venues in the northeast but has anyone had experience with very large flies for use in pursuit of the top end of the age classes in stripers? I am trying to stock up with the most tempting morsels, or should I say missles to entice the biggest of the bad during the migration. I think this is going to last well into November with lots of fish still up on the North Shore.

It's common knowledge that foot-long eel slingers and liveliners using adult pogies have a much higher ratio of big fish per hookup and I am on a mission to change those odds to include the long rodder with the Atlantis rods. I realize that the ratio of overall hookups lowers, as it does with eel slingers and liveliners, but the percentages of legal fish is probably in the 90 plus percent range.

Don't get me wrong I enjoy the spunky little schoolies as much as the next guy but there are definitely times when I would rather just put my time in for a high stakes payoff. Migration is one of those times, spring or fall.

I figure what the heck, I can cast them now :smokin:

I am working on a bigger version of the tube calimari and trying to maximize the bunker pattern to it's limits currently. If you want a real laugh check out my black boa eel pattern, an original :hehe: I will post a pic.

mikez 10-22-2003 08:36 AM

I have been using my own version of a giant deciever for years on the spring herring run. Tied standard style, with the longest deer tail and saddles possible. I've experimented with different hook sizes and found smaller hooks cast better but don't sink well and have lower hooking success. Larger hooks cast like cannon balls and sink much quicker but have good hooking success.
I've often felt the need for even bigger flies, especially back when full grown bunker were the going fare. I never have set upon a useful giant fly bigger than the one described above. At least not one I can cast with the 9 weight Sage.

Mattb 10-22-2003 03:50 PM

I've never actually had a taker, but I've had follows from some truly HUGE cows using a footlong bunny fly off the ledges in Maine. I bought a couple of complete hides and cut some nice thick strips to make the fly on a 5/0 hook.

It has amazing action in the water, too bad i casts just like a wet sock.

seuss 10-22-2003 08:40 PM

swing by stetzko's print shop next time you're down. he's got some "chicken" flies hanging from the walls that he swears by.

juro 10-23-2003 03:57 AM

Awesome idea Jeff! I can pick up that TS plug I want as well.

Squid on a tube is a winner, light and definite presence in the water. The legs and eyes are tied to the end of a plastic tubefly tube and the mantle tied up toward the top end where it's wrapped to the hook shank and finished.

2x big eye baitfish are chunky enough to interest the slabs in the surf. I tied a mack attack, a 10" tinker in the round. The blackboa is almost ready but I am still experimenting with heads for the snake.

Giant banger next...

FishHawk 10-23-2003 05:12 AM

I would try one of Ken Abrames' Eel Punt flies. Its one of his best patterns in my opinion. Simple, easy to tie and imitates the best bass bait out there the eel. FishHawk:smokin:

striblue 10-23-2003 07:01 AM

I have never tied anything beyond 6 or 7 inches in a bait fish but have tied longer eels. I will look into some patterns this winter.. I can see that large Sedotti Slammers or Trey Combs Sea habit bucktails would make nice LARGE flies. I am wondering though... is it more follows than takes, except when Tony S. fishes for them in the dead of night where size would move more water and cause more a commotion to induce successful strikes?

Dble Haul 10-23-2003 07:53 AM

Although I have never fished them, some people swear by Bob Popovics' Cotton Candy flies....there long, move water, and are pretty reasonable to cast because of the synthetics used to tie them.

DFix 10-23-2003 08:18 AM

I have a very long, anywhere between twelve and eighteen inches long, horse mack or adult pogie pattern, depending on materials included. Will one of those two-handers throw something that big?

JimW 10-23-2003 08:26 AM

I've tied some buffys ~10" on 6/0 Trey Combs hooks and trolled them from the yak. I've had good luck on 'em in the Spring time. They cast amazingly well for such a large fly but I cannot get enough distance with a 9wt.

Lefty 10-23-2003 08:26 AM

Not to be a fly in the ointment but I'm taking big fish on small flies still , yesterday in fact :) :) Saw a whale too!
But the No. Shore is winding down fast. Sporadic small blitzes excepted. Fish are hard to find at this point without some big effort.


DFix 10-23-2003 08:32 AM

Fish right up until the fat lady stops singing, Terry - glad somebody can and is!!!

juro 10-23-2003 11:27 AM

Sure, I take big fish on small flies all summer long :devil:

When the bait is small, or when the fish are in that feeding groove it's not the size of the fly that takes big fish eating them in fact small flies can be better as you obviously know.

But the fishery and the behavior of the fish is not one-dimensional and we as flyfishers have no problem in the small fly department. The problem lies in the situations presented by spring herring runs up and down the coast, mackeral busting submarines in the Piscataqua, black eel feeding surf monsters on Nauset, and the ones I saw pushing the 14" pogies around last weekend in Stage Inlet. Believe me the small fly guys were scratching for the occasional schoolie or 4 pound blue while the wooden plug anglers, live-liners and eel slingers were culling for 40" fish, which were plentiful (as far as fish of this size can be called that).

My intent is not to argue here, but I do want to make the point that there are some days when big fish on a small fly is the ticket, other days it's a total fluke. Those are the days of which I speak.

I am definitely tuned into small fly fishing particularly on the flats where I spend my whole summer. I have hit 46" on a sand eel thus far and lost some that might have topped that on flies that could just as easily catch a micro. But the fish were eating that way at the time.

The easiest situation by far is when the juvies or tinkers are in town, where the bait brings big fish to eat individuals and the medium-sized flies match the bait perfectly. Gannets are usually around in that situation, and they are around on the beaches right now.

I am not implying that a flyfisher *always* needs to be able to fish big flies to catch big fish. I am however insisting that there are just as many times where he/she must just to be in the game for the cows. There are 40 pounders cruising the coast at certain times of the year. The small fly guys are really not in that game for the most part, and I speak from what I have gathered from my own experiences.

Well, I am just going to have to prove that out somehow :D

craig 10-23-2003 12:51 PM

Way to go !!!!
Go get them Juro. Don't forget to post a pic! :-)

striblue 10-23-2003 01:25 PM

Hey Craig...Nice pic in your avitar..I remember the day well!

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