As I write this, 30″ of snow is descending on Washington D.C. Society has not collapsed, the power is still on, and I’ve managed to tie some of my favorite go-to fly patterns for the spring run of striped bass. #Winning.
Stripers feed on big baits in the spring and early summer. Herring, Alewives, Menhaden, Shad, Perch…young Stripers. So when gearing up to hit the Chesapeake in April and May, you need bigger flies and lures. The handful of flies above are called Half-and-Halfs, and they are one of the best flies around for big Striped Bass. The dumbbell eyes help the fly sink, and on the retrieve, give it a little vertical action, more or less depending on how much material is tied in, and how big (heavy) the eyes are.
Chartreuse (the neon color) and white is my favorite combination, and a great choice for fishing the middle of the day. Chartreuse is highly visible in clearer water, and for greater distances than other color patterns.
The black and blue pattern on the table is a good pattern for low light conditions – sunrise or sunset, or when the water is murky and/or cloud cover is heavy. In those conditions, fish, and Striped Bass in particular, are hunting for a silhouette, and this coloration presents a better silhouette than a lighter pattern.
Winter is about preparing for the Spring. Tie up some flies, order some jig heads, and get ready because the weather can only get better.