When you fill a fly box to fish the Northeast saltwater fisheries there's lots to think of. Experienced saltwater anglers often reduce the complexity but once pried you might hear something like: "All you need are a few different big baitfish patterns in three or four different colors, then you need the "Baby Bunkers", immature baitfish patterns to imitate the juveniles. Of course then there's the silversides and anchovies for albies and bonito Oh and don't forget about the shallow water striper stuff crabs, a few shrimp ...". This is before you really start looking at the different parts of the season.
Saltwater fly fishing is never simple and the choice of flies can be daunting even in the Northeast. The S.S. Flies Northeast collection attempts to simplify the choices. Luckily stripers and bluefish eat the same forage fish. Generally false albacore and bonito eat anchovy or silversides. When these baits are around the stripers and blues will gorge on them too.
Stripers can eat some pretty big bait fish, whole herring and alewives, menhaden, in one gulp. Flies to imitate these baitfish have to be big. Our Bulky Bunkers and Punky Meadows are big! Available in general colors to evoke the coloration of the various forage fish the choice is a little easier. We haven't fished it a lot yet but Willy the Pimp has made the migration from the Mississippi Delta to the Northeast. It pushes water and sinks a bit better than the other two big patterns.
Most anglers ply the Northeast coast with a number of medium sized flies. Deceivers and Clousers are the classic choices and hard to beat (if tied properly). These are general patterns available in most fly shops but are often tie so they don't work as well as they could. We've been careful to tie our Deceivers to fish the way they were designed to; we use a half dozen feathers in the tail mixing feathers with different characteristics to emphasize the tail wiggle. We are also careful to tie our Clousers so they fish generally horizontally the way the pattern was originally designed. The S.S.Flies Clousers are also built with carefully layered colors and flash to match baitfish colors. A few of each of these patterns in olive, chartreuse and gray will get a new saltwater angler in the striper game.
Clousers tied the "wrong" way that is with the weighted eye forward, give the fly a jigging action that can be very effective. Our Magic Mama is tied the "wrong" way but it's not a Clouser either. A mix of various materials producing a wide profile, this fly fishes well in the deepest water, with a steady strip it stays horizontal, with pauses it will sink like a jig head. This fly is heavier than our Clousers, fish it in deep water with a heavy sinking line, if you are in shallower water a floating or intermediate line will do the trick.
Later in the season juvenile baitfish come out of the estuaries and are chased around and eaten by everything bigger than them. The Woolly Mullet and Bunny Bird are two of our favorite baby bunker flies (best I can figure out baby bunker simply refers to juvenile baitfish but there will be plenty who will argue with that). Either one will get munched but they have a little different action.
In the fall silversides and anchovies getting balled up by the bonito and albies. We have two patterns that imitate these Northeast baits. The Epoxy Bunnies are a little bigger than the Fuzz Bellies and the small Fuzz Belly is really tiny. It's most important to match the sizes and species of these baits.
There are a few special situations that require different flies. When stripers and blues are balling up juvenile baits the Boehm's Gurgler jerked across the surface can be pretty entertaining; it's pretty much fun to watch a fly get crushed, missed and eaten again. On shallows and mudflats crabs can be the only things stripers will eat.
To order click through to the flies you want or call S.S.Flies 207-452-2343 9am-5pm Eastern time.
If you don't see the flies you need check out our custom tying program.
Browse Our Northeast Collection ~
Goat's Breath Variation
Fox Breath Variation
Willy the Pimp