12-09-2011, 03:33 PM
Re: schoolie striper weight
A 7 weight should would work fine -- with a few caveats-- if you're chasing stripers in saltwater wind WILL be a factor on many days. Also, if you're fishing saltwater and need to imitate large baits like herring and menhaden, throwing large flies -especially wind resistant ones, might be a little more difficult for the average caster than something a bit heavier like a 9 weight.
But in terms of the size of the fish you'll be chasing -- largemouth bass and schoolie sized stripers (from a couple lbs all the way to up around 15-20lbs or so), you shouldn't have a problem with a 7 weight-- some situations like muscling a big largemouth out of heavy cover or trying to lift a large striper that's circling down deep under a boat might be a challenge with a 7 weight especially a 10 footer that might be a bit whippier than a shorter rod, but that shouldn't stop you if that's what you have. (And a 10 footer can be an advantage if you fish the surf or large rivers while wading for stripers.)
As far as fly patterns I think you'll want to do two things:
imitate the local bait, and
cover different layers of the water column for both stripers and largemouth
Something for top water like a popper, gurgler or crease fly. Generally i prefer topwater stuff that I can fish more slowly that imitates stuff like frogs for largemouths something like a fat popper with rubber legs that i can cast and let sit, give a twitch or two and let the ripples die out before twitching again. Stripers will often trap a school of bait on the surface from underneath (a telltale sign you can often see far away is a flock of birds like terns, gannets or seagulls diving and picking off the trapped baitfish). The baitfish are fleeing for their lives so a topwater bait that imitates a minnow like a crease fly or long slim popper fished with a more active retrieve would be a better choice for stripers and wipers (if you have them).
Something for mid depth-- unweighted streamers like sparsely dressed bucktails and Deceivers or flies tied with synthetics like the Polar Fiber Minnow in the pattern library should be relatively easy to cast with a 7 weight and still provide the silhouette of good sized baitfish. Flies like Zonkers or other patterns tied with rabbit strips might provide a similar profile but be more difficult to cast because they hold so much water when wet.
Something weighted that sinks- Flies like a clouser minnow would be a good choice, beadhead woolly bugger (especially for lmb), conehead marabou muddlers might be good choices.
Diving patterns- patterns that float at rest but dive on retrieve are a lot of fun to fish and can be effective especially on a largemouth. Something like a Dahlberg Diver tied with a weed guard would be a good choice.
Let us know where you plan to fish-- that would help a lot in terms of specific striper patterns. For example if you plan to fish a lot of freshwater impoundments for stripers you'll probably want some stuff to imitate gizzard shad (white belly, gray sides, dark olive back). Shad will vary in size but some in size 2 would probably be a good choice and be easy to throw with a 7 weight.
If you're fishing in salt water there are some specific bait profiles you might want to imitate like long, thin sandeels etc depending where and when you'l be fishing. And you'd probably also want some durable patterns that will stand up -- at least for a while-- with other fish with teeth like Bluefish that you'll run into when chasing stripers in the salt.
Last edited by peregrines; 12-12-2011 at 04:03 PM.