*Update – Make that 9 fish on the fly. We picked up 4 more in the evening*
I fly fished shoreline at first light today with Lt. Colonel Richard “The Machine” Comstock for striped bass.
Last night, we fly fished shoreline and both landed our first fish of the season in the bay. Today, we went to the same spot and the wind was kicking up NW in our faces. We decided to go across the bay and fish another shoreline spot with the winds at our backs. Bingo! The fish were…!
The tide was incoming, the last two hours before slack high. We fished a 6 foot drop-off that tapered out to 8 fow. There was almost no wind and I am happy my fly casting was top gun after last nights abominable casting. This morning, I switched out to a new rod, new reel, new line, new leader, and new fly, and VOILA! Make casting great again.
Today’s Technique: As you know, technique can change according to conditions and how the fish are responding and feeding, the time of year, the water depth, the bait, etc. etc. The most hits today came on a 70 foot cast, and a 15 second count. I alternated between a 30 second and a 15 second and every fish and every hit came on the 15 second count. Time matters!
Today’s Fly Pattern: BAYMEN Universal, 8 1/2 Inches long. No surprise there. But I made two minor modifications that made all the difference. 1) I tied the fly as usual as shown on YouTube ‘How To Tie Capt. Dave’s Baymen Universal” but I added one extra piece of long flash called Reflections Pink Red 2) I tied in a piece of tungsten .020 wire under the thread wraps. As I was sitting at my vice recently, I was thinking how I could make my Baymen Universal swim more like a Clouser that dips and drops on the pause. The wire did the trick and gave me the effect I was after. Also, the Pink Red flash added to the original Pearl Crystal Flash and gave more attraction to the fly. The sunlight really makes the Pink Red sparkle!
Today’s Gear: I fished an 8 wt TFO Axiom II with an Orvis Hydros IV reel loaded with an intermediate sink line with a sink rate of 3 inches per seconds. For my leader, I fished my usual straight mono in 15 pound, about 6 feet long.
Our biggest fish today was 26″ inches and gave quite a fight. I was sure it was 28″ before we saw it, but it was just a big, fat schoolie covered in sea lice. We ended the morning with 5 fish for 15 hits. We dropped one other fish that somehow threw the hook. How do they do that…???
That’s today’s BAYMEN Report. We are just getting the season started. STAY POSTED. And fish with me.
Capt. David Bitters, BAYMEN, www.baymenlife.com 29 Years Guiding On the Bay