The Compleat Guide To Spring Striper Fly Fishing - The Compleat Angler

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April 16, 2021 3 Comments

The Compleat Guide to Spring Striper Fly Fishing

Overview

There are few fisheries that draw a following like the Spring run of Striped Bass along the New England Coast. Fly anglers wait patiently all winter for what is often some of the best saltwater fly fishing all year. As veteran anglers know it is a rare moment when the fish are concentrated in a relatively small area, hungry from a long winter, and close enough that fly anglers can target them from shore. Not surprisingly, this convergence of factors gets a lot of attention and the fishing can be lights out during the peak of the run, with anglers easily bringing double-digit numbers of fish to hand. In fact, it’s quite common for anglers to come from all over to fish Long Island Sound’s Connecticut coast during the early season. It’s that good.

For those looking to get into the Spring run game, here is our overview of what to expect and what you’ll need to make the most of this early season action. But before I do, I’ll also make one quick request: while I am happy to share what I have learned about this fishery over the years, please respect these fish and the other anglers who have been fishing for them for many years (and decades in many cases). We can all enjoy these fish if we give each other space, and show a little bit of respect for both Bass and Angler. With that said, let’s get to it.

Understanding The Spring Run

Now, admittedly I use the term Spring Run “fishery” loosely here, as this phenomenon is much more localized and determined as much by time and conditions as anything else. In targeting the Spring run, anglers are essentially targeting a small sub-population of resident Striped Bass that winter-over in the larger streams along the Connecticut coast. They enter these rivers in November, spend all winter feeding infrequently, suspended in deep holes, and remain relatively inactive for the duration of the colder months. As Spring arrives and warmer temperatures take hold, these Stripers begin to drop out of the river. As they do, their metabolisms speed up and they become ravenous. Their primary focus is feeding and they begin gorging on any and all available forage. It’s a transitional period, where the fish begin to shift from freshwater to saltwater habitats based on their biological needs.

In my experience this generally starts to kick in when the water temperatures are between 50-55 degrees which seems to be the magic range. Once the rivers and coastal waters hit that sweet spot, the fish become much more active and start slowly working down toward the mouths in search of baitfish. A few different species of forage are available to them and the Bass are generally not too selective. Any smaller fish is on menu making this an ideal time to target them on the fly. For the anglers who are waiting to intercept them in and around these rivers, these conditions can provide some of the most consistent and exciting saltwater fishing of the year. And while these spring run fish won’t typically be seen busting on bait as they will in the Fall, the quality of fishing is just as good, if not better. It is a special time for salty fly rodders and if you have not experienced it on a good day, it is something to behold.

Where and When to Fish

While the Spring run can make for phenomenal fishing, you still need to figure out where to go and when. Generally speaking the three rivers that tend to get the most attention early in the season are the state’s three largest: the Housatonic, Connecticut, and the Thames. This, of course, can be a blessing and curse, since while they have the most fish, they also attract the most anglers and can be crowd favorites. However, there are also a number of other rivers throughout the state that will have fish as well. Especially in late April and May, these fish will proliferate outward and can be found at the mouth of almost any river depending on the day.

Compleat Guide Spring Striped Bass

As we approach mid-May, the larger fish will show up, the smaller fish will be all along the coast, and the best chance at a mixed bag of sizes takes place. May is the month to target some of the larger migratory fish that will be making their way East and North for their summering grounds. This will open things up for the most part. There will certainly be hotspots where fishing is typically better than elsewhere but for the most part the fish will be well dispersed all along the coast. As we get later into Spring, these fish can be found in a wide variety of locations and back bays, channels, beaches, rock piles, coves, and drop-offs will all hold fish. The Bass tend to hold on near-shore structure making it an ideal time to target them with a fly rod. There are lots of locations along the coast worth checking out and while it may take some searching, that investment in searching new territory should yield results.

Wind, Tide, and Weather

Of course, as veteran saltwater anglers know it isn’t just timing on a seasonal scale that matters. The week-to-week, and indeed day-to-day, variation is part of what makes saltwater fly fishing so challenging and so rewarding. It always pays to keep a close eye on the tide charts and on the weather forecast as either one can have a make-or-break impact on your chances of success.

Tides

I’ll just state it directly: tides are everything when it comes to Stripers. Serious fly anglers live by the tides and they are as important a factor in your success as anything else. Why? Because tides essentially translate to moving water and moving water is the engine that drives Striped Bass behavior (and this holds true for just about any saltwater species). Even more specifically, tides are the conveyor belts that bring Stripers their food. If you can cultivate a comprehensive understanding of tides and what they mean for these fish, Striped Bass can actually be extremely predictable. Stripers move around and hold in different areas depending on what the tide is doing, and the activity can turn on during one tide, and shut down abruptly on others. It really dictates everything that the bass do.

As a broad rule of thumb, the falling tide is generally the Striper tide. And this is even more true in the Spring. The falling tide is when you will want to focus the majority of your attention as it is when the fish feed the most aggressively and when you will often catch the most fish. And there are two other bonuses to a falling tide as well. First, it will have these fish tighter to shore and will put them within casting range of the shore-based angler. And second, the falling tide also tends to be when the water is the clearest and that clarity allows these fish to key in on the fly from a much further distance. This translates into higher odds and more aggressive behavior.

Now I can almost hear the question from the contrarians among you: what about rising tides? Are they worth the effort? The answer, of course, is yes, and I’ve certainly had some memorable and successful days catching fish on a rising tide as well. We are talking fly fishing after all, where there are precious few absolutes. That said, if we are playing a game of probabilities, and I’d argue that indeed we are, a rising tide is likely to be a better option at other parts of the year such as the fall when the Bass are in deeper water, deeper structure, or on bait balls.

So my advice is that if you are fishing the Spring run from shore, stick with the falling tide. You will see the bite turn on as the falling tide picks up and then tail off as it slacks. When that happens, the fishing is typically done for the day until the next falling tide. It can be that abrupt and obvious. Try to avoid running out there at some random time, foaming at the mouth to catch your first Striper of the season. Look at the tides and weather. Do a little planning ahead and be precise about when you fish. If at all possible, go when conditions are in your favor and not just when you can.

Weather

As if tides weren’t enough to worry about, there is also our old angling friend, the weather, and she can be a fickle mistress in the early part of the season. But there is just no getting around the central role that weather plays in the quality of Striper bite during the Spring run. There are certain conditions that are advantageous and others that are detrimental, and understanding which is which can lead to much more productive days on the water. Just to break it down a bit further, anglers basically have to worry about three weather conditions: wind, cloud cover, and temperature. Sure there are other things that come into play as well, but these are the biggies.

Wind plays a major role any time of the year in the Long Island Sound, Spring or not, and wind direction can dramatically change the quality of your fishing. Many beginners often think that light wind is good and strong wind is bad. While that can certainly be true from a casting perspective, strong wind is not a deal breaker if it is blowing in the right direction. And of course seasoned anglers can compensate for strong wind in a few ways, even turning it into a serious advantage, as other anglers stay indoors. So, do not pay too much attention to speed. Far more important is the direction and how it affects the Sound and fish behavior.

As a rule, the most advantageous wind directions will be North or South, and the least (by far) is a East wind. Slightly better, though still not great, is an West wind. Now why does wind direction matter so much? A North wind is best because the wind is typically at your back making casting much easier. Since it is coming off of land, it essentially puts you in the lee of the wind anywhere on the Connecticut coast. It also keeps the water on the calmer side, and will not fight against the tide (and tides, as we know, are critical). A similar situation is found with a South wind. It will not oppose the tides and while there is a bit more fetch for the wind coming across the Sound which can make it a bit choppy along the coast, it tends to not be too detrimental to fishing.

A West wind, by contrast, has a pretty good unobstructed fetch in the Long Island sound and will oppose the rising tide. It will increase turbidity and jack the waves up. However, so long as an West wind stays fairly light, the fish tend to stay fairly happy and act in their usual predictable way. Once the gusts reach around 15kts or more, however, it’s a different story, as the fish start to react negatively and it can make for a tough day on the water.

The worst of all is a East wind. The reason is twofold. First, it opposes the falling tide and having wind pushing against the most important tide for Stripers will do a few things. It tends to stall the tide and dampen the velocity at which it would normally flow. This will increase turbidity and chop up the water, and when you combine that with a decrease in tidal influence, you have a recipe for confused seas. That, in turn, means that the Bass lose any feeding advantage that the tides afforded them and tend to move into deeper water that is far more stable. The second reason a East wind is problematic is due to the unobstructed fetch associated with it as that wind blows down Long Island Sound with nothing blocking it. That does not sound like a big deal but what that does is create waves. Basically, the distance the wind can travel with nothing impeding it is called fetch, and the longer the fetch, the larger the waves. With even a moderate wind speed, a long fetch can produce large waves, much larger, in fact, than waves produced by stronger wind with shorter fetch. That is then compounded by a falling tide which will oppose these waves, which culminates in a very confused and turbulent sea. The baitfish gets dispersed, the water becomes turbid making it difficult for the Bass to locate prey, and the fish subsequently head for deeper water. So, if you remember nothing else about Spring Stripers and wind, just remember this: do not fish a East wind. "East is Least." 

While wind is the primary factor to worry about, cloud cover plays a role as well. As with many other types of angling, overcast and cloudy conditions are better than bright, bluebird days. Fortunately, this tends to matter most later in the season. Stripers are very much a low-light feeder. In fact, if you talk to any serious Striper angler, they will tell you that nighttime is their favorite time to fish and indeed that’s when the largest bass are often caught. While the smaller fish in the Spring run tend to be less nocturnal, cloud cover does tend to get these fish fired up. And if you can combine a cloudy day with a nice falling tide and a favorable wind, you can have some fantastic fishing. While brighter days are never a deal breaker, if you can, try and time your trip with an overcast one.

Technique

In truth, the Spring run mostly requires the same kind of tactics that you’d expect for striped bass fishing during the rest of the year but there are two small tricks that can make a big difference.

The first of these is the retrieve cadence. I have seen many anglers stripping their line in a very regimented way. Strip, Strip, Strip, Strip. Same distance, same speed, in a regular and predictable cadence. That will work fine at times but I have found that utilizing an irregular retrieve tends to draw more strikes. A strip, strip, pause – strip, pause - strip, strip, strip, pause is typically what I tend to do. This works better because it more closely simulates a disoriented and/or dying baitfish. And further, it also gives the fly time to fall through the water column which is when most of your strikes will occur. Stripers love to hit baitfish patterns on the fall/pause which tends to trigger a predatory response. Adding a decent pause will also keep your fly in the strike zone and will allow your fly to sink deeper if your fly has started to rise above the strike zone. If you have never tried it, give it a shot. You may be surprised at how effective it can be. I tend to let the fly sit for at least a second, maybe more.

And the second one is the pace of the retrieve. If it is earlier in the season and the water is colder, it’s often quite helpful to go a little slower than you might otherwise. Remember that the fish are sensitive to water temperature and so it isn’t until the water warms up during the peak of the run that a faster retrieve will get more strikes. Really work that fly and be deliberate. Keep that rod tip in the water to avoid any slack and have it pointed right at the fly for the best hook up. When you do get a hit, strip strike the fish. No trout sets. You do not want to move the fly far with each strip. You want to move it in a jerky erratic motion. These subtle adjustments make a big difference.

Gearing Up

While most of the gear mentioned here will be familiar to Striper angling veterans there are a few little tips for gearing up that can be helpful for the spring run. Remember that we’re dealing with a more specific seasonal window here than many anglers are used to, so charging out to tackle early season fishing with your late season gear can create some issues. While it doesn’t mean you need to throw out your old gear and invest in an entirely new setup, there are a few modifications that should set you up for success.

Rod

When it comes early season Stripers, the flies that you will be throwing will not be huge, nor will the fish. Sure, every once in a while a guy will stick a larger fish over 35” but it is pretty rare. Most of these Bass are between 12 and 28 inches and with the smaller fly size, a 9 weight rod is perfect. A 9 weight should have enough punch for when it is windy and plenty of backbone to control your fish. If you don’t have a 9 weight then a 10 weight will do just fine. Many anglers, including myself, actually prefer a 10 weight for a few reasons. The prime reason is that a 10 weight affords more flexibility, as you can still cast when wind conditions are marginal and also throw weighted flies farther than a 9. It is also nice when you do hook a larger fish to have more strength in the rod. It cuts down the fight time which is better for the fish, something that is even more important now due to the state of our local Striper populations. Many anglers will go out there with 8 weights and when there is no wind you can usually get away with it. Unfortunately I’ve seen many people just flail around out there never reaching the fish or worse, getting worked over by a big one. I’d recommend doing yourself a favor and setting up with a 9 or 10 weight just to make life - yours and the fish’s - a little easier.

In terms of length a 9 foot rod is what most anglers are using and that is generally sufficient, though there are some anglers out there that use longer rods. In fact, I’ve even started seeing some spey casters out there now. Each rod and method has its merits, of course, and there is no question that Spey casting can provide casts over 100 feet more easily than single handed rods (at least in the hands of a competent caster). Outside of that, I’d say lengthening your single handed rod probably really only makes sense if you are going to be wading deep or if you have a shooting head set up. If you are new to saltwater, I recommend starting with a 9’ rod in a 9 or 10 weight configuration and then building off of that as your interest and wallet allow.

Reel

It goes without saying that reels are a pretty important part of the equation when it comes to fishing for Stripers. Unlike trout fishing, where the reel is often more about line storage than anything else, a saltwater reel has to have a good drag and serious corrosion resistance. In the salt larger fish will get you to the backing immediately, and if you don’t want them ending up on Long Island, then you’ll need to have the power to stop them without breaking them off. A powerful, but silky-smooth drag is the only way to ensure that. In fact, while most people tend to focus on pure braking power, I think drag smoothness is generally overlooked. This is just critical if you are fishing lighter tippets and smaller flies.

Other critical features have as much to do with durability as they do with in-the-moment performance. Remember, in all likelihood, you may be wading through an entire tide, and your reel will inevitably be submerged at some point. For that reason I highly recommend a reel that has a watertight drag. You may not appreciate it in the moment, or even during the season, but if you want it to last for the long run, a watertight design will give you that extra longevity. And salt isn’t the only enemy either, as a waterproof drag stack will also keep any sand and particulate matter out of the reel. It seems like an obvious thing but what many anglers fail to realize is that when that water is turbid, the particulate matter in the water is so fine that it will leech into the reel and build up over time. Down the road that can lead to some serious issues. Remember that for Spring Stripers you generally aren’t boat fishing. You’re fishing in the surf. So plan accordingly if you are hoping to make this part of the season a regular endeavor. Go to any reputable fly shop and ask which reels are waterproof. They will point you in the right direction. If you do roll the dice and decide to use a reel that is not watertight at least be sure to religiously wash off your reel after every trip. It will go a long way toward keeping that reel working smoothly year after year.

Line

If you’ve set foot in a fly shop recently, you know how many line options there are these days. The selection is dizzying! And while this makes sense in many cases - everyone has their favorite companies and personal preferences after all - finding the right line for Spring Stripers is pretty simple. The only real rule to follow is to make sure to use some kind of sinking line. If you can cast it well and it sinks you won’t go wrong.

Why the need for getting down in the water column? Remember we’re talking early season here so most of the fish will be located down on the bottom. If you can’t get that fly deep enough, especially in cold turbid waters, you’re going to set yourself up for a pretty long day of casting practice. In my experience the most versatile line will be a full intermediate sinking line because it allows me to fish a wide range of flies and tidal flows. When there is heavy current, I simply adjust through technique by allowing more time for the fly to sink. When the current eases up, I do the opposite and start my retrieve sooner. An intermediate line is also easier to pull out of the water for the next cast as opposed to a full sinking line which may require some wrangling. Of course there are definitely times when reaching for the full sinking line, an I/S3/S5 or even a S3/S5/S7, is called for, but they will definitely limit your effectiveness in certain conditions. In terms of tapers and models my advice is pretty simple: Try a few. It just takes some time and a little trial-and-error to find the one that works well for you and your rod. Of course lines can be expensive, so it may be worth talking to your local shop to see if they have some demo lines that you can test cast before shelling out money and committing to one (or a few, if you’re anything like me). If you’re just starting your search a good starting point is to check the grain weight recommendations for your rod and start hunting in that general ballpark. A good “punchy” head is often a good option as well. a Shorter and more abrupt tapter to the line will help punch into the wind and drag weighted flies out to the fish. As long as you find a sinking line that you can cast well, you should be good to go.

Flies

One funny feature of spring striper fishing is that the fly may be the least critical component to the whole equation. I know that sounds crazy but Striped Bass are not that picky to begin with and this is doubly true for the smaller ones that you’re chasing during the Spring. And because we fly anglers can throw smaller flies that are light or unweighted to get the best possible action, we tend to do very well this time of year. We can essentially match the hatch perfectly. This segues into what is actually important with the fly: size. In the spring it seems that the Stripers key in on a size range more than anything else. In most situations, a fly between 3 and 6 inches is perfect. They are large enough to attract attention and small enough to mimic the natural forage fish the Stripers like to feed on.

The tried-and-true patterns are definitely Clousers and Deceivers. No surprise there. Both should be readily available at any worthwhile fly shop and both should catch you plenty of fish. You’ll want flies with hook sizes between a 2 and 3/0 in both patterns and can mix it up within that range. Keep in mind that hook size is really just a proxy for what matters most though, and that’s the length and profile of the fly. The color of the fly is not all that critical either. Olive, white, blue, chartreuse, black, and yellow are all proven options. As long as the fly is reasonable and the right size, you should be in the money. If you have a confidence pattern and color, start with that. If you are new to the fishery then olive over white is tough to beat. If you tie, it is also a great time of year to test new patterns and colors. These fish will be very receptive and you can get creative with colors and styles. If you do not tie, have fun at the shop and pick some flies you normally would not throw. You may be surprised at how many colors and styles will take fish. If you’re just not sure where to start, remember the old adage about fly fishing for Stripers: “if it ain’t chartreuse, it’s no use.” There is something to be said for that and these fish seem to love that color combo so you won’t go wrong with it no matter the time of year. If pressed, and if I had to choose two flies, I’d go with olive over white Clouser and a chartreuse over white Deceiver and call it a day.

Leader & Tippet

There are a few different ways to set up your leader and tippet. What it ultimately boils down to is matching the tippet diameter to the size of the fly and keeping the length appropriate for the fly line you are using. Diameter is just as important as breaking strength. Tying 30lb on to a size 2 fly will not work. It will be too thick and the fish will see it immediately. It will also hinder the action of the fly. I try to find the thinnest diameter tippet I can get away with and have generally found that 25, 20, or even 15lb fluorocarbon generally works well. What breaking strength I use is directly influenced by the size fly I am throwing and what diameter is best for that fly. It is far less a function of breaking strength and the size of the fish. All of these breaking strengths are more than adequate for Spring Stripers if you have even moderate skills at fighting fish. A good rule of thumb is this: for large flies (say 6 inches or better) use 25 lb, for medium flies (3-5 inches) use 20lb, and for smaller flies (3 inches and under) use 15.

Now, for leader length, something shorter than a typical 9’ trout leader is generally best. The reason is that with sinking lines, you want the fly as close to the line as possible while still being far enough away to induce strikes. This allows your sinking line to drag that fly down into the strike zone. However, there is a fine line here. At 9 feet, the fly will typically ride higher in the water column and out of the strike zone. At 4 feet, the fly will get down deep enough but can be too close to get any strikes. To me, the sweet spot is generally something 5 to 7 feet in total length. There are plenty of pre-made knotless leaders that will work just fine for Spring Stripers. And a few common modifications such as cutting them down to length and adding 3’ of Fluorocarbon tippet will give you a great leader that will work beautifully. In fact, most anglers I know tend to go that route.

Personally, I also like to do something a bit different, which is to run 40lb Fluorocarbon up top, a swivel in the middle, and whatever my tippet will be at the bottom. It is a bit unorthodox, I grant you, but I like it and it has proven successful for me (you can see a short video of my leader setup here along with a few reasons why I like it). But as long as you are matching that tippet to the fly size and are in a comfortable length, you will be just fine.

Other Gear

There are few other key pieces of gear that you will want to make your Spring Striper fishing a success, and the first of those is a stripping basket. Remember that we are throwing sinking lines here. If you’ve ever tried to do this without a basket you know what I’m talking about. The line will sink, be swept downcurrent, and it will take a lot of false casting to rip that line out of the water. It’s a pain and it can become almost impossible to cast. A waist-worn stripping basket will help keep your line out of the water and out of the current. It may be the most important piece of gear not common to freshwater fly fishing.

Second, a good pair of pliers or heavy-duty forceps are important too. I like my forceps because they allow me to get down into the fish’s mouth if it takes a fly deep. It’s rare this happens but when it does, these forceps will potentially save the Striper’s life by allowing you to get the fly out quickly and avoid unnecessary harm to the fish.

Lastly, I really like carrying a Boga-Grip. I will preface this by saying I NEVER, EVER, lift the fish out of the water with the Boga. It is absolutely horrible for the fish. It can break their jaws, damage their gills, rip their mouths open, and even kill them. And this is only compounded when the fish begins to shake its head and flail around. So do them a favor and avoid lifting them out of the water with a Boga. But where the Boga is really helpful is for controlling the fish while in the water. When the fish is at the leader, I use the Boga to grab the fish by the mouth and keep it under control so that I can safely handle it. It makes it so much easier to put the rod down, and get the fly out quickly without harming the fish unnecessarily or getting a hook in my own hand. Once the fly is removed, I remove the Boga as well and lip the fish by hand. I will then sometimes get a quick photo and/or revive the fish quickly. When used correctly, the Boga is a great tool that helps angler and fish both. But remember, never lift a fish with the Boga. It’s a sure fire way to increase mortality.

Safety

As with all fishing endeavors, safety matters, and there are a few simple things you can do to minimize the risk of something bad happening to you or your fishing companions.

First, and perhaps most obviously, when wading in saltwater, drowning is a real possibility. For those freshwater anglers especially, you need to realize that you are dealing with a serious tide-driven current. Stay vigilant. It is amazing how fast things can go from fine to critical if you aren’t paying careful attention to your surroundings. There have been multiple anglers who have drowned over the years doing exactly this type of fishing in these Spring locations. I personally have had a few close calls myself and I can tell you that it happens in the blink of an eye. Take the time to do a little preparation to avoid the worst.

First, make sure you are comfortable wading in the ocean. Some newcomers are very apprehensive, even fearful, especially if they have not spent much time on boats, swimming in the ocean, or fished from shore before. They can be quite anxious wading out waist deep in murky and fast-moving water. If you or a fishing buddy is anxious, don’t force it. There is no sense putting yourself into an uncomfortable situation, one where you might panic and make that situation even worse. Instead, start small. Only wading out to your knees and staying a few rod lengths from shore is a pretty darn safe way to go. Sure, it may limit your fishing a bit but you’ll get comfortable being on big water, and frankly, in the Spring there are fish all over the place. Once you are comfortable wading out further feel free to do so, but it’s generally best to never go above waist deep. Depending on the location that may still mean wading out 100 yards or more. Staying waist deep or shallower is the safest approach and will keep water out of your waders as you navigate the sand bars, points, and flats adjacent to where the fish are. Remember too that as you get deeper it’s harder to keep traction with the bottom so you have less margin for error. There is no sense in pushing the limit in a dangerous location. Be smart.

Second, don’t forget the tide. As noted above, the falling tide is best for Stripers so at a high tide anglers will often wade out to waist deep and begin fishing. They will follow the tide out, slowly walking as the tide drops until dead low where they will be furthest from shore. Now, most anglers leave once the tide slackens and the bite tends to die out. However, on the rare day that the fish continue to feed or you decide to stay out a bit longer, keep an eye on your watch. Know exactly when dead low tide is and plan retreating no more than an hour after the tide begins to rise. Once the tide begins to come up, pull back to a safe location close to shore. What you’re trying to avoid is getting caught in a “sucker hole” where there is a deeper section between you and shore that went unnoticed as you were walking out. If you’re already wading in chest high water even a sucker hole of 6” can cause a serious problem. Err on the side of caution. Make sure you know exactly when the tide begins to rise and get out of there shortly after it begins to come up.

Lastly, what can really save your bacon is a waterproof backpack or sling pack. While a life jacket is probably something we should all be wearing, they can be cumbersome and awkward when fly fishing. However, a waterproof backpack or sling pack can serve as an emergency flotation device. These packs are airtight and as such, can keep you afloat should a situation become life threatening. But do remember that these are essentially a fallback: they are not expressly designed for this purpose and aren’t worth relying on as a primary safety device. If you really want to be careful, Mustang makes inflatable life vests that are very slim and designed to be fished in. There are also options that can be worn around your waist which inflate with the pull of a ripcord. Everyone should really have one of these, especially if you are heading into an area with tricky wading.

Wrapping Up

Well there you have it. Our full rundown on the ins and outs of hitting the Spring Striped Bass run. While it still largely flies under the radar, this Spring fishery is one of the best times of year to target Bass on the fly. When the bite is on the fly fishing is nothing short of spectacular. There is a good reason why saltwater fly anglers all across the Northeast eagerly anticipate this relatively short, early season window. We encourage you to get out there and give it a shot. It is a blast and great way to mix it up if you are all trouted out and ready for another challenge. As always, please remember to take the utmost care of the fish you catch. Release them quickly, consider pinching your barbs, have the right tools to get the fly out if they take it deep, and use the right tackle to get the fish in quickly. It is no secret that the Striper population is in a poor state so ensuring that every bass swims away in good shape is vital in the recovery and longevity of these fish. And of course respect your fellow anglers out there too, whether they are beginners or whether they’ve been fishing the spring run for decades. Give them some space to enjoy their time on the water just as they should do for you. I hope this helps you and finds you catching and releasing more Stripers this season. Have fun out there and as always, if you have any questions feel free to reach out to Scott, Bob, or myself here at the shop. We are happy to help.


3 Responses

Charly Fish
Charly Fish

June 23, 2021

Awesome article! Tons of great info. Thinking Ian wrote this.

James Nichols
James Nichols

April 19, 2021

Although this is all new to me I find this is well written Thank you

Billy O’C
Billy O’C

April 19, 2021

Ok…who wrote this? Pat? Scott? I KNOW it wasn’t Bob!
Well, there is one spelling error (remember I teach English), but this is a fantastic piece. Impressive as hell. I learned a ton! Thanks, whoever you are. Excellent job.

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