Sunday, May 19, 2019

Stripahs on the fly

I am a Pennsylvanian, born and raised where trout fishing was king.  As I kid, we would occasionally visit the shore but never fish there.  Since moving to MA, everyone around here talks about fishing for Striped bass.  Not know a thing about fishing tidal water, I was hoping to tag along with a friend who could help me get started.  When my old neighbor from CT called and asked if I would like to join him on Cape Cod to fish for Stripers, I said WHEN!

Mike is also from Pennsylvania, so after a fair bit of ribbing about the sacrilege of fishing anything but sweet water, we made plans to meet up early in the morning later that week.  My wife thought I had really lost my marbles when I told her that I was getting up at 3 am to go fishing.  Mike was gracious enough to provide some flies and he thought I could get by with my 5/6 Spey rod.

We met on Cape Cod at 5:30 in the morning.  Mike made some calls to other guys he knew that were fishing in the area and he picked the spot to fish the incoming tide.  We were fishing an estuary that was about 1/2 mile from the Atlantic Ocean.  I was amazed at all the wildlife around us.  I watched a small crab making his way along the bottom and later a pair of horseshoe crabs that were cruising along the bottom.  There was lots of bird life as well.

Mike's first fish

Mike's son Dave was the first to hook up followed by Mike and before long I had my first striper on the fly.   We had pretty steady action on schoolies until the tide turned.

We stopped for a bit and had some breakfast and checked out another location but the wind was blowing too hard directly into our faces so we re-grouped and headed back to our first location.

Using the two hander

Mike reached out to another friend who was fishing on the other side of the inlet from us.  Phil said they were doing pretty well so we headed over and did really well on the incoming tide.

My first linesider

Phil caught the best fish of the day while we were there.  We all caught a handful which included my best fish of the day that I caught on the 7wt single hander.  This fish was a bit stronger then the others and ran hard after being hook and peeled line of the reel, making me wonder if I had brought a knife to a gun fight.  I eventually gained the upper hand.

My best fish of the day in the rain

Phil with the best fish of the day

I had a blast! and learned a lot from those who were fishing with us.  A special thanks to Mike and his friends for introducing me to Stripah fishing.


  1. Mark, you were in an unfamiliar place no doubt, and adjusted well.

    1. Alan - without the advice of others with experience I would have been wasting my time since this is very different from fishing streams but it was fun. Even the small stripers we caught fought really hard!

  2. Mark, Thanks for sharing your first experience with striper fishing. You did well. I'm inspired to go forth and give it a second shot, as well, this holiday weekend as my daughter shows me more of Rhode Island's striper water. I tried it last fall, without luck, but I'm feeling more confident on this occasion.

    1. Walt - From what I hear the smaller stripers which travel in schools are running up the rivers all along RI and the MA coast so you should be able to find a place. From what I'm told fishing an incoming or outgoing tide in an area with current is the place to be. River and Riptide Anglers is a good shop in RI that should be able to give you some good intel. Hope you have some fun out there!

    2. Note: River and Riptide Anglers fly shop is no longer open