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Unless you've actively gone stripy fly fishing and actually caught striped bass, you're not yet in the big leagues. Hard truth for any self-respecting angler to swallow, but that doesn't make this statement less true for a few reasons: striped bass are resilient and hardy creatures that can be found in much moving water (both saltwater and freshwater), they devour flies with gusto, meaning you don't need to work too hard to attract them, and they're easy to spot. Something about their stripes being easily detectable. Oh, and the fact that they easily reach and surpass 50 pounds.
Bottom line? Their stripes make them stand out pretty easily, they're big, and they're relatively easy to lure. Stripy fly fishing couldn't get be any easier.
But just because stripy fly fishing isn't the most challenging for anglers doesn't mean you shouldn't do your research. You could lose a pretty good game if you're ignorant of a few basics for fly fishing striped bass, because regardless of what you're trying to catch, fly fishing is in a league of its own. Here's how you should gear up.
Characteristics of the Best Stripy Fly Fishing Rods
Many anglers have lost a good game due to poor fishing rods. Because their sizes can vary pending on when you go fishing for them (learn when they migrate from your region so you don't end up with baby fish), it isn't unheard of to catch smaller bass within the 1 to 6 pound weight. A good catch usually weighs more than 20 pounds, so that's what you should be aiming for.
Surface to say, a "size fits all" rod won't do, especially if you're used to hunting smaller game. The last thing you want is to use the same rod for a 2-pound fish and a 30-pound fish. It won't bode well. In terms of versatility, the general consensus amongst anglers is that a 9'9Wt rod is ideal. It's perfect for anything above 10 pounds but not overkill for smaller games. 8wt rod would be ideal for smaller striper fish in shallow waters, but if you're going for some serious stripy fly fishing, aim bigger.
Best Flies for Stripy Fly Fishing
When hunting for larger striped bass, it makes sense to use flies that resemble replicas of their food. So flies that look like herrings, squids or eels should do. They should have beast patterns and, if you're super keen on catching a striped bass, let the fly have a built-in wiggling motion that mimics a striped bass' natural prey. Boppers and streamers are pretty good stripy fly fishing flies, but so are shrimp, worm and lobster imitations.
Best Stripy Fly Fishing Spots
Anglers would take bets on what conditions are conducive for large striped bass - what the right temperature should be, season, amount of wind in the air, whether the moon is the right size. Trivial details. But everyone agrees moving water is a necessity. Like trout, striped bass tends to gravitate towards water structures (rocks, weeds), so whenever you're close to prime stripy fly fishing water, don't hesitate to go hunting. It also always pays to consult the local guides and fishing shops, otherwise, you could be casting your fly all day with no luck.
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