Atlantis Creature Feature - Fly Fishing Forum
Stripers and Coastal Gamefish Stripers, Blues, Inshore tuna!

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Old 06-23-2004, 11:48 PM
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juro juro is offline
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Atlantis Creature Feature

One thing has been a bit un-tapped in the abilities of the two-handed muscle rods... the ability to handle beast-sized offerings in the sneaky twilight hours.

I was squeezing in some quality time after hours the other night and it got dark enough so I could no longer see my fly against the sand. Well I tie them that way for sight fishing, but that was the wrong medicine at the time.

I decided to put something really gnarly on the line, what the heck I could cast it. So I took the biggest (1" diameter livebody head) Nauset surf popper with a bulky synthetic wad of material hanging off the back and tied it on to the fast sinking 12wt shooting head I had on the Surf-tamer.

I used to fish the slim-jim slider on a sinking line with success in currents a long time ago and so thought I would give this sinking line / popper a go. The concept is to pull the popper down and use the instability to create a hectic action on retrieve. False casting this thing sounded like I had picked up a tern on the hook, frrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrwwwwwwwwwwww..... frrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrwwwwwwwwwwwww.... plop. But once all those grains got going I was reaching almost as far as I was with the normal fly. I would give it an honest 90-100ft, with an occasional drag chirp begging for more with this monstro popper.

Strip. Yank. HAUL. Boy that popper has a lot of waggle underwater. Third cast or so, I get the rod about yanked from my hands! The fish spits the hook, or maybe never got the hook - probably due to the massive foam head. When I popped it in the Nauset surf the fish missed it a lot. I strip aggressively to see if it will come again, so fast that a vee forms on the surface as the big popper comes to the top... KABLAM!!!! The big cow hits it again this time on top, throwing up a whitewater semi-circle in the darkening blackness of the water, but I feel nothing in the hands. I cast again and again, but to no avail. Oh well, so no hectic battle in the night tonight - but that was about the most exciting grab sequence I'd had in a long time.

Now don't get me wrong I love my sight fishing but this was a bass in a state of pure crush, kill and destroy mode with a vengeance, nothing like the little subtle inhalations on the flats mid-day. In fact my hands were shaking.

All of a sudden I was reminded of the nights as a teen when I used to cast a plug, or a popper - or liveline a big baitfish - waiting for the big cows that snuck around under the cover of night. And they were there, scary fish in the mood to kill and eat something. The hook up was almost frightening to a kid, the sudden weight and power of the fish overwhelming, and that was where the adrenalin came from. It made it hard to fish for freshwater species, I had the need to feel that rush.

Well here's my point - the two-hander's ability to handle crazy grain weights comfortably means the ability to handle crazy flies, thus for me this brings that scary big twilight adventure thrill back into my flyfishing. In fact I went to the craft store when I got home and bought all kinds of crazy stuff. Not for tying silversides, eels, and crabs mind you - but among other materials I bought a sheet of the black closed cell foam to cut into large profiles for fishing on top at night.

Did you ever see the National Geographic where they drag a flat seal profile to get the great whites to leap for the cameraman? Well I am thinking a baitfish profile, black against the sky at night, with some marabou in the right places would present a heck of a mini-seal dragger (herring, large sculpin, pogie, or other major baitfish) over the prowling cows of the night. I want it to be not only possible but comfortable to throw these kinds of atrocities and truly pursue the trophy bass we most often miss with a 9ft'er and a schoolie fly.

One night on Hardings Beach, the big bunker came in and the plug casters consistently hooked bass over 38", some well over 40" - not one but several, perhaps dozens per angler through the night not counting 28-38" fish they were hooking. Very slow retrieve, plugs just breaking the surface as they swam. The fly guys were having fun with all the action but just not connecting with these cows, except for an occasional good one here and there if lucky. In fact many of the schoolies they caught weren't much bigger than the wood the pluggers were throwing. Boy I wished I had the Atlantis and a big facsimile of a full sized 10-11" bunker flipping on the nighttime surface film, sliding like a crippled bunker over a broad area of the channel that night. I am still haunted by the thought of a night of constant 25 pound and bigger bass on big night-stalker surface flies. Yeah, that's what I'll name this fly, the night stalker. Maybe I can get it a foot long

So with these new rods it's not just about throwing a featherwing real far... it's also about being able to cast something that gives you the same scary goosebumps feeling you had when you pulled a big plug at night as a kid. Mammal flies, or maybe small birds Might only go 60-70ft, but that's enough and better than 6-7ft with more common fly gear.

The adventure continues...
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Old 06-24-2004, 05:21 AM
2HandTheSalt 2HandTheSalt is offline
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Popovics' Siliclones. I tie them in black, white, chartreuse and, " Schoolbus Bomber," , ( Yellow over white with orange eyes.)


Hold on tight.
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Old 06-24-2004, 08:04 AM
Roop Roop is offline
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Try that oarnge fly style - it mimics a rubber bait that is incredibly effective at doing what you discussed.


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Old 06-24-2004, 08:28 AM
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juro juro is offline
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Roop -

Funny I was thinking about those big flies of yours... but those flies you donated went to the raffle winner so I am without. However, I do recall how they were tied so will be working on a facsimile based on memory... unless you want to provide more "samples"

Thanks for the tip.
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