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Ask Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is recognized as an authority on surf fishing for striped bass. He is the author of six books and hundreds of magazine articles. Frank is a member of the Outdoor Writers of America and lectures throughout the Northeast.

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Old 01-02-2004, 02:39 PM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Sure I am a fly fisherman, but often I hate to admit it. I am deaf with the clang of fly fishing's mess kits in the jungles of the Striper Coast. Let's sock it to fly fishing now before my fly fishing book comes out.

What kind of googan music do you hear when you see someone fly fishing in the salt chuck? Or, do you hear it at all? Reflect. Do they deserve it?

Frank
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Old 01-02-2004, 02:39 PM
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Sure I am a fly fisherman, but often I hate to admit it. I am deaf with the clang of fly fishing's mess kits in the jungles of the Striper Coast. Let's sock it to fly fishing now before my fly fishing book comes out.

What kind of googan music do you hear when you see someone fly fishing in the salt chuck? Or, do you hear it at all? Reflect. Do they deserve it?

Frank
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Old 01-02-2004, 08:38 PM
Old Man Old Man is offline
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Frank, sometimes yes, sometimes no. I once watched the same guy flog the water every morning for a week without a hit while guys all around him with spinning tackle were knockin em dead. Then there was the guy late one November night trying to cast into a 25+ knot head wind. The weather men had been right on the money with the forecast so it was no surprise. Just seemed like a vain effort in the face of the most difficult of circumstances.

Of course I also think back to the guys I've seen nailing Albies at their feet--boy that looked like a lot a fun. Then I realize that I use my noodle rod (an awful lot like a flyrod) more and more every year. And, just tonight, I actually found myself (dare I admit it) looking longingly at saltwater flyrods in a catalog. I'm afraid I'm beginning to feel the pull from the dark side...

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Old 01-02-2004, 09:28 PM
John McKean John McKean is offline
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Unfortunately ,some of our fly fishing brethren take themselves a bit too seriously and can tend to act a little on the elite side.Several years ago,hesitant to admit it was up in the New England area, my friend and fellow Pennsylvanian,Bob Clouser,was at a big outdoor show tying his world renouned deep minnow during quiet times.A NE fly fisherman approached his booth,observed,and asked Bob what in the hell was he trying to do."Just tying some Clouser minnows" was the calm reply."Well,you're doing it completely wrong",chastised the kibitzer,"my fly tying instructor showed us much better techniques for that fly". Bob warmly extended his hand and said,"Actually,I am Bob Clouser".The startled New Englander never lost a beat:"well,you're still tying it wrong!"
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Old 01-02-2004, 10:43 PM
John_P John_P is offline
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Is this a little license to poke fun at ourselves?

Well I dont imagine music, just talk talk talk.

Picture two fly fishers coming onto the beach 4 hours after the tide has turned, and 3 hours after the sun has come up.


#1: Say, did you try to new generation 5 double helix with the laser guided graphite, you know the one fused with the titanium and boron?

#2: Yes, the cast is effortless and smooth, with a light finish, and just a hint of last month's generation 4 technology. I think I can actually cast an extra 14 inches with this new rod.

#1: Yes that rod is a dream. I especially like the fact that Chad Buzwell is now endorsing these rods. Sure, this is the 4th rod company he's switched to in 3 years, but this time I actually believe it when he says this is the "finest fly rod he has ever seen."

#2: Yes, I used that same rod to have my best day ever - a 13, a 16 and an 18 on the flats.

#1: You didnt keep any of the fish, did you.

#2: No can do, that would be like ill-egal.

#1: But according to my SnobOutfitters pocket weight to length conversion guide, even a 13 pound bass is at least...

#2: POUNDS? Who said anything about POUNDS? I meant INCHES.
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Old 01-03-2004, 06:43 AM
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Flyfishing in the salt?

Oh, I've got a great story about just that topic. But first let me tell you abut the time I was hunting big game in the African plains with my bolt action .22. Thank god black rhinos can not climb trees as well as 50lb bass can break the heart of a flyrodder.
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Old 01-03-2004, 07:19 AM
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All good, all true.

Old Man, You can't be a purist. You have to fly fish when and where it is right. I know situations that fly fishing will make a guy with a spinner cry. and vice/versa.

John, the Clouser story is a hoot.

John, yes it is a poke of fun at fly fishing. But the fly fishing that I see in the salt chuck deserves it.

Frank N, being undergunned depends upon the choices the fly fisherman makes. Presently, fly lines test out at 30# so it makes no sense to have a leader much over 20#. With 200 yards of backing, a reel with a suitable drag, a competent fly fisher should be able to handle about anything that swims with stripes. What you have to watch after having a powerful rig are the other conditions -- other fishers, current, can you follow downtide? Thing about 20 pound leaders is that they are so short that they lack the stretch people spinning with mono enjoy. Hopefully the fly rod obsorbs more of the force because of its whispyness, but I don't think it compensates for stretch.

Frank
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Old 01-03-2004, 10:07 AM
ONSHORE ONSHORE is offline
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I love to flyfish in saltwater and do so whenever conditions let me. That said, let me tell you about a dear friend.

Sam (not his real name) is the proximate fly fishing guru. He's done it for over 40 years in fresh and saltwater. He's owned a fly shop and he currently is a fly fisihing manufacturer/distributor. He's a neat guy to be around, most of the time.

One winter about ten years ago, he asked me to take him fly fishing for Stripers when the arrived in the Spring. He asked what gear he would need and I suggested he use his 9wt. Salmon Rod and reel but that he purchase a Teeney-type fly line of about 30 grains because we would be fishing fast water from my boat. Several times during early Spring, we discussed rigs and rigging.

On the day of our trip he showed up with everything I had suggested, except the 300 gr. line. Instead, he had a nice 9wt. double taper floating line. I suggested he use one of my spare reels mounted with a 300gr. line. He declined to do so.

It was a windy day and we were using big Garbage Flies to imatate the early run of Alewifes into the river. Now those 8" to 9" monsters are not easy to cast in any wind but are darned near impossible to cast on a floating double taper line. On the few occasions Sam got a decent cast off, between gusts, the fly never sunk down to where the fish were. After a couple hours of drifting over a prime spot, during which I had released a couple dozen fish; I said my arm was sore from casting into the wind and suggested Sam take my rod for a few casts. He declined.

He finally took off the big streamer, replaced it with a trout-sized streamer and kept on casting. Beautiful false casts with nice tight loops and perfect grace, whenever the wind allowed. At the end of the day, I apologized that I hadn't been able to get him into the fish.

His reply was that he had had a great time but the fish had just been fickle and ornery and would not take a fly on the surface but he knew that was just a fluke. When I suggested that he might have done better if he had used a sinking line to get down to the fish; he advised he had watched how I had fished but that what I had been doing was not really fly fishing.

We have fished together a couple of other times, but no longer do so. He still insists that what I'm doing is not fly-fishing and I really don't care. I guess I'll never be a purist. Somehow, I think the idea of this whole game we play is to catch fish. I really dont' care if my casts are pretty and my loops are tight, if I'm doing that.

BillH
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Old 01-04-2004, 12:11 AM
mgustav mgustav is offline
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Which dress do you think goes best with my forest-green fly rod?
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Old 01-04-2004, 06:57 AM
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Great story, Bill. You wonder what it is about the socialization of many fly fishers that they live with all these rules . For instance, in Maine one time, I had a fellow on the bench tell me it was immoral to fly fish at night. When I asked why, he said, "nobody knows what is going on and people have to be able to watch one another." Watch this

I find that pink chiffon gives a fly fisherman more room. In yore, back when girls wore garter belts, the other surfcasters always gave me a wide birth when I wore my favorite ensamble. A black pocket book with my black red balls had a nice touch .

Frank
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Old 01-04-2004, 07:08 AM
reelneel reelneel is offline
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I like to watch the fly boys in westport,in their finest l.l. bean gear,whip the water into a frenzy.I also love yelling out to them and showing them what a keeper looks like.seems like too much work for a schoolie!
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Old 01-04-2004, 08:18 AM
LinesidesOnTheFly LinesidesOnTheFly is offline
 
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I fish fly rods in the early spring in search of Schoolies in the estuaries. I believe in matching your tactics with the size of the quarry you are after. Often I go to a rocky shore where fly fishing or plugging is far more practical due to the hang up factor. I hate losing terminal tackle on the rocks and weeds under water. A thirty something inch Striper on the fly is a bunch of fun. Later on as the fish hit the beaches in earnest I switch to chucking clams in the surf. I am in it for the fun not for the prestige B.S. I am a blue collar union (I.A.M.)guy and I intend to stay that way. Amen....
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Old 01-04-2004, 11:56 AM
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You know Frank, I gave up the surf scene for Flyfishing in Saltwater for the better part of 9 years. You even poked fun at me when we did a seminar for On the Water a couple years back( you did a thing on Trophy Stripers and I did a thing on Monomoy Flats) anyway, after all those years the biggest bass I landed was 32 pounds. Fours years ago I said screw it and went back to the beach in the fall. The second week on the beach at Balston I hadone night where for two and a half hours casting a six inch F-80 blue/silver I had six fish bigger and a bunch of teenagers. Now I carry a ten weight in the truck but it hardly gets used and my wife *****es about the 5 grand in rods reels and sundry other stuff that goes with Flyfishing. It's aweapon in the arsenal now but not the prime system anymore.

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Old 01-04-2004, 02:48 PM
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Hate to spoil this thread by being serious, but your point escapes me, Flap. I have always been an advocate of fly fishing the striper surf. Anyone who doubts that might read all the references to fly fishing in my first book, which came out in 1989 way before any conversation we might have had with a seminar with them. I guess I just don't understand.

Frank
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Old 01-04-2004, 10:47 PM
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Fly fishermen have a tendency to be perceived as snobby types but personally, I see a lot more of what I would call reverse snobbery. I think most fly fishermen have tried other types of fishing and probably started out doing other types. On the other hand, I suspect people who don't fly fish have probably never tried it and I think most are afraid they wouldn't be any good at it. They cover up this fear by "throwing stones" at the long wanders.

Personally, I am tired of all this stuff. Fly fishermen and non fly guys throwing stones at each other. Bait fisherman and lure fishermen throwing stones at each other. Van Staal owners and non Van Staal owners throwing stones at each other. Black Van Staal owners and Gold Van Staal owners throwing stones at each other. Basta!

I don't care what people use. I do a lot of fly fishing and a lot of spin fishing and a lot of conventional fishing. On any given day I use what I think would be effective or what I think I would enjoy using the most. And the fish don't care what color my collar is.

Stop the insanity! There are bigger fish to fry....
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