Report: Stay fly

You always need a plan. Sure, catching stripers–especially of the large variety–is almost always the primary goal. You can say “I really want to catch a big bass on the fly” or “let’s try for stripers tossing spooks around structure .” These are great plans. But last week, when Todd of Dupe a Fish, Geoff of Brackish Flies, and Lunchbreak Eddy of On the Water came out on Mal de Mer, we had one goal in mind: Get some sick ‘tent bro!

Eddy is a gifted dude behind the camera lens, and as we cruised out past the no-wake, I’ll admit it. I was feeling the pressure. I wouldn’t want to limit his subjects to meandering gulls, red nuns tipping in the tide, and the sun rising over Gurnet. This wasn’t going to work, folks! Our combined audiences need to see us gazing longingly at beautiful striped fish. We need to give the people what they want. And fish pics are what the people want.

While we did get the spin gear out later in the day around the pogy schools, this group is made up of mostly fly-minded individuals, so I was psyched to see terms diving sporadically off the rip just as the sun breached the horizon.

On the first drift, just off a two-tiered flat, Geoff took point and lobbed a cast into the water.

The first cast curse loomed, but was quickly shattered when a second larger fish took a hollow baitfish pattern.

The last hour of the outgoing ebbed and the fish continued pushing bay anchovies and peanut bunker to the surface along the rip line and up onto the flat. The better question to ask probably would have been “what fly isn’t working?”

We even let Eddy put the camera down to fool one on the fly.

Note the hat

The tide slackened. Dead low on a -1.5′ moon tide. We felt now was as good a time as ever to move deep into the bay and explore the cuts and channels around the exposed bars. Little guzzles formed along the sand, emptying the water from the flat. Quickly.

The micros ate in a few feet of water. Lots of ’em.

Praise the schoolie

And this is what happens when you try to fish your 26′ deep V hull like a bay boat. But hey. If you ain’t been aground you ain’t been around.

The tide turned and covered the sandbars. We fished some more rocky points and outflows and picked up a few more hungry micros in the ever-increasing flood tide.

When the fly bite faded, we moved off in search of larger specimen. And to find these specimen, you’ve gotta find the pogies. Well, finding them wasn’t an issue.

Eventually, we found a school that looked a little more nervous than the rest. These guys were hanging underneath.

Don’t you love it when a plan comes together?

*Photo creds Eddy Stahowiak

Billy Mitchell

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