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Striped Bass on Flies

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Striped Bass FishingCatching striped bass on flies can be incredibly exciting and rewarding.  Selecting the right fly can make a huge difference on the size and quantity of the stripers being caught.

There is one manufacturer that makes all the flies you need.  Mud Dog Flies are extremely well designed flies that are amazingly effective. Creator Mike Rice started tying his own flies after having several “manufactured” flies get absolutely destroyed during a fall schoolie blitz. That’s when he got the idea to tie his own flies so that they will catch fish and stand up to the abuse that they are destined to take. While sitting on the bank after having fly after fly ruined, he saw his dog covered in mud and that’s when he decided to start his own business called Mud Dog Flies.

Mike uses the best quality materials that he can find, he hand picks everything he uses to ensure that it will last and that he is creating the best possible flies that he can for you. He strives for nothing less than perfection, and that’s what you can expect in every Mud Dog Fly.

Striped Bass Fly Fishing Techniques and Tips

Fly Rod & Reels for Stripers

The “standard” for a fly rod in the northeast is a fast action 9’ 9 weight. This rod will cover nearly every situation while fishing for striped bass. For wading estuaries and flats and targeting schoolies, a 7 or 8 weight rod is common. For fishing from a boat and targeting larger striped bass on structure a 10 to 12 weight is a good choice. 

A 7 weight rod will handle flies up to size #1, an 8 weight up to a size 2/0, a 9 weight up to a 3/0 and some 4/0 and the 10 to 12 weights will throw most everything else.

There are a plethora of saltwater fly reel choices but the typical fly reel is one that holds the fly line plus 200 yards of 30 pound backing and should be matched to rod/line weight. Large arbor reels offer faster line retrieval and more backing capacity, a sealed drag system basically eliminates maintenance concerns…in the end it comes down to cost. Most fly reels come with interchangeable spools. It is a good idea if possible to have a spare spool so that 2 different types of lines can be carried.

Striped Bass Fly Fishing Lines & Leaders

There are basically 3 types of lines; sinking, intermediate and floating. A sinking line is typically used fishing deep and around structure. An intermediate line is used in situations wading and for fishing subsurface to the mid-water column and a floating line for topwater situations. By extending the leader a bit and utilizing a fast retrieve, an intermediate line works well when throwing topwater flies in the northeast. If your limited to one line, an intermediate is recommended. Add a spare spool with a sinking line and most situations are covered.

The typical leader for striped bass fishing is composed of a 2ft butt section of 30lb monofilament or fluorocarbon, a 3ft mid-section of 20lb and a 2ft tippet section of 15 lb. That being said, it is not uncommon to just use a straight piece of 20lb monofilament or fluorocarbon to simplify things.

Striped Bass Flies

In the northeast there are 4 types of flies that should be carried to imitate the general bait profiles we encounter and environs that we fish. These are weighted, skinny, wide body and topwater.

A weighted fly like the Clouser should be in every fly box. These imitate baits such as the sand eel and silverside.  Other choices include Popovics Deep Candy, Popovics Jiggy, and Half & Half’s.

A skinny, sparsely tied fly such as a flatwing imitates a sand eel and is a must for flats fishing, both for profile and presentation.

A wide body fly such as a Deceiver mimics larger baits such as herring, pogies, butterfish, etc.  Other choices include Skok’s Megamushy, Puglisi’s Peanut Butter, and Murphy’s Rhody Flatwing.

A topwater fly such as a popper or a Gurgler is warranted when bass are feeding on top and blitzing bait pods.  Other choices include Bob’s Banger, and Page’s Slim Jim.


Tackle Recommendations
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Lures
Mud Dog Clouser - Chartreuse/White Mud Dog Clouser - Chartreuse/White
Saltwater fly - Clouser with 2/0 hook - universally effective
Learn more and buy direct from Mud Dog

Mud Dog Clouser - Chartreuse/White
Mud Dog - Fur Strip Deceiver - Olive/Pink. Mud Dog - Fur Strip Deceiver - Olive/Pink.
Saltwater fly - Never-fail color combo available in 2/0 or 4/0
Learn more and buy at Mud Dog

Mud Dog - Fur Strip Deceiver - Olive/Pink.
Mud Dog Cichetti Sand Eel Mud Dog Cichetti Sand Eel
Saltwater fly available in 2/0 version for bass feeding on sand eels both on the flats and in big water and 3/0 version for small tuna feeding on sand eels.
Learn more and buy direct from Mud Dog

Mud Dog Cichetti Sand Eel
Terminal Tackle
Yo-Zuri Fluorocarbon Leader Yo-Zuri Fluorocarbon Leader
Fluorocarbon leader  - invisible, durable, max knot/crimp strength - clear  and disappearing pink colors - 4-200lb test and 30/100yd spools
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Yo-Zuri Fluorocarbon Leader Yo-Zuri Fluorocarbon Leader
Yo-Zuri TopKnot Fluorocarbon Leader Yo-Zuri TopKnot Fluorocarbon Leader
Fluorocarbon leader - additional abrassion resistance, lower diameter, invisible, durable, max knot/crimp strength - clear and disappearing pink colors - 8-200lb test and 30/100yd spools
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Yo-Zuri TopKnot Fluorocarbon Leader Yo-Zuri TopKnot Fluorocarbon Leader
Berkley Prospec Leader Berkley Prospec Leader
Fluorocarbon leader - invisible, durable, max knot/crimp strength - clear, blue, pink, brown colors - 20-200lb test and 25/33/75/100yd coils
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Berkley Prospec Leader Berkley Prospec Leader