April 5 2016

Fly Fishing Recon


Ryan Collins

I'm still pretty shocked by the 25+ pound holdover striper which I was fortunate to catch last week. 

It just goes to show that you never know what you may find when you "get out there" and do some exploring.

Right now is also a fantastic time to scout new fishing areas before the migratory stripers arrive. In particular, I have recently felt inspired to try fly fishing for stripers, so I now need to find spots ideal for the fly.

With the wintry weather of the past few days, I figured now would be a good time to share a report with you which I have been meaning to post for several weeks now.​

During this unique reconnaissance experience, I cross country skied my way through some of the Cape's dunes and marshes, and ended up discovering a spot that could give me a great chance to catch a huge striper on the fly.


Scouting New Spots

It was a sunny day in early February, and warmer than usual.

The Cape had recently been smacked by a winter Nor' Easter, which dumped six inches of snow onto the region.

Yet the snow was melting quickly, and I would have to act fast if I wanted to cross country ski to the spot I had found using Google Earth.

I wanted to check out a brand new areas which I have never before fished from shore, and try to gauge how well the area might fish come spring. 

However, accessing this spot requires a 6 mile round trip walk/ski, and I wanted to make sure the effort would be worth it. 

As previously mentioned, I am now inspired to try fly fishing for striped bass. I had a dream about wrestling a 30 pounder from shallow water on the fly.

cross country skiing on cape cod

​Pulling that off will require an enormous effort, especially considering I have never before tried fly fishing.

However I want to give fly fishing a try, and I want to skip the small fish and jump right into catching cows. This could be the spot to do it.

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About the author 

Ryan Collins

I'm fortunate to have grown up on the beach, and I've been fishing since kindergarten. I have great family, friends and fishing experiences to be thankful for. Just being out there is enough-catching fish is just a bonus!

  • Hi Ryan,

    Catching keeper Striped Bass on the fly rod is no easy task, my first keeper on the long wand took me 36 of 42 outings until I was able to hookup to a 33″ inch fish. Don’t get me wrong, I caught a lot of sub 28″ fish trying and it was a lot of fun, but that first keeper did not come easy. It was finally caught on a Cape Cod bay beach in September as the fish were heading south, and was caught on a size 1/0 Peanut Bunker fly.

    Fortunately after the first one, others seem to follow, but not after putting in a lot of time. I hope you will be luckier than I was and hook up right away, but I would say that would be the exception rather than the norm.

    With all the effort and research you do, I hope its the exception. Practice your casting and master the double haul as in most cases distance usually does matter.

    May the wind be always at your back.


    • Thanks Mike, I appreciate all the words of wisdom I can get!

      As you allude to, I expect to log in the hours and work to learn the ropes. Considering I don’t even know how to cast, it will certainly be a challenge.

      But perhaps I will get lucky and hook into a big boy sooner than later. That would be a nice stroke of luck for sure.

      I’ll get to working on that double haul…

  • Nice guy! Personally, I find the process of trying to master the art of an effective technical fly cast (wind permitting) and “hunting” for stripers more enjoyable on those less than productive trips. And when you do hook up, especially with a fly you’ve tied yourself, in the immortal words of that great sage, Donnie Brasco, “forget about it”…..

  • Started fly fishing about 10 years ago – simply put – it’s the best! The excitement of fighting even the smallest fish on that light tackle is amazing!

    This will be my first season Salt Water Fly Fishing. Hunting for the Striper on the fly myself. I am feeling good about it though. Will be on Cape first week in May and think I have my spot & strategy nailed. Now I just need to execute!

    Looking forward to it.. Good Luck in your pursuit!

    Tight Lines – Steve

  • Like you ain’t got enough to do.Like many regular rod and reel guys and gals the inevitable question arises, have you ever tried fly fishing. For me the answer would be no.Certainly given it some thought though.Look forward to seeing where this takes you.Good luck & Tight lines

    • LOL! You and I are in the same boat Charles, with regards to our fly fishing expertise, or lack thereof.

      I think that is why I am looking forward to giving it a shot. It will certainly be a brand new type of challenge.

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