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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 06-13-2012, 04:03 PM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Book Talk: Fly Fishing the Striper Surf

In light of the success of Striper Surf, I was sure that a similar book, only this time devoted to fly fishing for stripers from shore, would be an unqualified success. Nothing like this had ever been done. Tabory's came closest but his approach was broader -- inshore and all possible species. It gave me the feeling that an editor had talked him into writing a broader subject -- the very thing they are always trying to do to broaden appeal. I have always campaigned for a more specific theme. Because mine was an original approach, I thought I had the subject knocked.

You are invited to reflect upon either the book itself or what I have said above; you don't have to be a fly fisher to have an opinion.
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Old 06-13-2012, 04:30 PM
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Default Re: Book Talk: Fly Fishing the Striper Surf

Frank, I have had a number of observations about this in the past but for brevity I will gladly be the first to respond with just a couple.

1. The fly fishing community is a particular bunch. Very opinionated and many (if not most) devoted to the "fly fishing only" paradigm.

2. The striper fishing commnity is also a particular bunch. Very opinionated and most devoted to the "anything but fly fishing" paradigm.

As a result, the intersection of those who would be interested in a "fly fishing as a tool for stripers" book is smaller than one might expect.

I think it's for this reason that editors push authors in the direction you described.
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:20 PM
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Default Re: Book Talk: Fly Fishing the Striper Surf

I have NEVER fly fished. I have run into a few on the beach, and a few on here. Have seen some hardcore surfcasters that wern't doing well with their traditional methods swear they were only going to flycast in the future.... I had a guy flycasting during a blues blitz next to me one time, all the Orvis gear and such, got miffed because he didn't catch a thing. Got mad and left...
Yes, I have read the book, though it's not my style of fishing, you need to keep an open mind. As Rob said, those hardcore fly guys are a bit different
As Frank always says, another tool to use! And the book wasn't too bad either...
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:17 AM
lagoonguy lagoonguy is offline
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Default Re: Book Talk: Fly Fishing the Striper Surf

Bob makes some very valid points.
I've been a fly fisher almost as long as a surfcaster. Got my first flyrod for my 10th birthday and grew up trout and panfish fishing with it. I still maintain the long rod is the most effective tool for worm or hellgramite fishing. Using the flyrod for stripers came just as naturally to me as using a spin or casting rod but I really didn't use it regularly in the salt until the late 1960's. Some of my best friends were and are flyfishermen.

On the other hand, some of the most offensive snobs I've ever met were/are flyfishermen and I've known many. Two of the best known and celebrated anglers in the 60s and 70s were Lee Wulff and Col. Joe Bates. Both were popular FF authors and did much to perpetuate that part of the sport. Unfortunately both were legends in their own minds and, gave flyfishing a bad rap with anglers who think it's cool to imitate their antics.

I've met many like the Orvis posterman Ragman cites and believe me, they are cast in the image of both Wulff, Bates and other authors who have attempted to convince their readers that there is no other way to fish and all other methods are below the sophisticated anglers' dignity to pursue and the next thing to poaching.

There is nothing wrong with flyfisihing. If you have a bad experience, 99% of the time its' the fisherman, not the fishing method. But that's just my take on it.
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Old 06-14-2012, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: Book Talk: Fly Fishing the Striper Surf

When an author writes a book readers are paying for what the author believes, not what mainstream participants are thinking. As a consequence my striper fly book contained what many believed were heresies. My all out contempt for stripping baskets left a nasty taste in many mouths. Of course my position was based upon the other considerations that dominated my fly fishing the striper surf like getting in and out of a buggy all night or allowing stripping to simply fall in the protected waters of estuaries. In that example I learned that if some poor buggah just spent 15 bucks for a dishpan to place his stripping in he wants to kill you if you tell him he made a mistake. People want to hear certain things and they won't like you if you don't tell them what they want to hear.
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:40 PM
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Default Re: Book Talk: Fly Fishing the Striper Surf

I would feel like I was working instead of enjoying myself fishing if I were to use a stripping basket.
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Old 06-15-2012, 08:14 AM
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Default Re: Book Talk: Fly Fishing the Striper Surf

Frank is right with respect to the stripping basket. Most fly anglers feel the stripping basket is mandatory, almost sacred, in the salt.

There is a balance of course. One option is to never fly fish where a basket is needed, the other is to just realize that you don't need it all the time or everywhere.
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Old 06-15-2012, 09:57 AM
lagoonguy lagoonguy is offline
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Default Re: Book Talk: Fly Fishing the Striper Surf

I've flyfished the surf with and without a stripping basket but it certainly reduced my enjoyment whenever I used it. Down here, with a quick dropoff on the Space Coast beaches, I seldom get up to my knees and never use one. Fact is, most of my casting/fishing is done from the edge of the sand because at night the fish are right at your feet here most of the time.

On the other hand, fishing Indian River and Mosquito Lagoons, I often use a basket as there is little current and seldom waves.
BillH
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:05 PM
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Default Re: Book Talk: Fly Fishing the Striper Surf

It is not about the use of a basket. It is about the lack of diversity in the fly fishing world. Few of them appreciate the room for differences of opinion. So what if a writer does not happen to appreciate the basket. Move on for Pete's sake. You don't take out a contract on an author because you wasted 15 bucks. Do what you want.

I do know that one author, whose fly books are more popular than mine, is always promoting more equipment. It causes me to be suspect that he is more in the business of selling more fly fishing do-dads. Moreover, fly fishing from shore is much different than that of fly fishing from a boat. As with so many things, when you change one thing, it changes everything. Imagine a guy placing fly line in a strippintg basket when all he has to do is drop the fly line into the boat.
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:22 PM
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Default Re: Book Talk: Fly Fishing the Striper Surf

And let us mention the spot you choose must be free of obstrutions behind unless you have the roll cast down to a fine art form.

If it is somewhat easier to fish spinning or even conventional why bump it up to fly fishing and then bump it up to tenkara fishing?
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:52 PM
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Default Re: Book Talk: Fly Fishing the Striper Surf

I would say "step down" to tenkara fishing, rather than "bump it up"

I never even heard of this until yesterday, seriously.

And tenkara has zero relationship to the striper surf. If you are only trying to catch trout sized stripers, perhaps, otherwise no place for it.

On the other hand, I know of fanatics who go out in NE gales using 2 handed rods and brag that it's the only way to fish.
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Old 06-15-2012, 04:47 PM
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Default Re: Book Talk: Fly Fishing the Striper Surf

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merlin View Post
And let us mention the spot you choose must be free of obstrutions behind unless you have the roll cast down to a fine art form.

If it is somewhat easier to fish spinning or even conventional why bump it up to fly fishing and then bump it up to tenkara fishing?
That should not be a problem fishing for stripers in SW. My decisions are based upon where I fish and what I want to do and I have no places where roll casting would be necessary.
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Old 06-17-2012, 01:23 PM
SALMONMEISTER SALMONMEISTER is online now
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Default Re: Book Talk: Fly Fishing the Striper Surf

Some thoughts: You can Tenkara fish for stripers...with a rods-length piece of very heavy line and a big hook!

I fished with and without a stripping basket this week on MV. I prefer to fish without it...but...I thought of a few scenarios where it's better to have one: Standing ON shore, flyline picks up sand...standing on rocks where your line falls on barnacles (scratches up that expensive flyline)...standing IN water with a lot of weed...standing IN a heavy current. In all these scenarios, a basket makes it somewhat easier to SHOOT flyline on the cast; there's less water/sand/weed resistance. I would say windy days too, but I've actually had wind blow the line out of my basket!

Frank, I'm not trying to be a PIA here but I was wondering if you've TRIED a basket before...
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Old 06-17-2012, 01:56 PM
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Default Re: Book Talk: Fly Fishing the Striper Surf

I probably should've put my previous post under the other "flyfishing" thread.

As far as the book goes...

Frank, You seem to write as part of a business...words, time and money in...hopefully more money out and back for you. You seem to be a very competent journalist. What I see in your FF book is that your book isn't as detailed as some other FF books, yet what is in there has more substance and is based on more time in the surf than a lot of others. I'm not sure if you see yourself this way, and I think others here would agree with me, but I see you as an artist as well...that is, you have a certain writing style. You have certain sayings, some humorous and some blatantly honest, that are all part of you being "Frank" with us. We see it in your books and on this website. You mentioned in another thread about people saying things about you on other websites. I can tell you right now that you're mentioned in emails off site...from me and others...good things. I have frequently given fishing info during discussions with friends, given you credit for it, and stated that part of your credability comes from 20 years with your family figuring out what does and doesn't work...I think many of us think of you as more of a fishing cult leader than you realize. From a business standpoint I understand why you don't want to publish other books you have in the works...but a lot of us think you should publish those words...somehow. We will read them. You have more to say to us, and I'd guess that many of us would quote what you haven't yet said, many years from now...

Frank Z.
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Old 06-17-2012, 05:00 PM
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Default Re: Book Talk: Fly Fishing the Striper Surf

Fly fishing has a cult following that is inspired by the regular fly fishing writers. Because my reputation was built in mainstream publications, not fly fishing books, I am viewed as an outsider where when they see my name they say who is this guy. One of our daughters works part time for a large fly house as a fly fishing instructor and even they won't carry my books. By right, it should be about a person's ability to inform and entertain; but the political side remains formidable. Of course, perfect world, somebody would sit down and see what Frank Daignault has to say and how he says it. But that would be asking too much.

But in all fairness to them, I could pursue that market place with a greater vigor but the fire in my belly is gone. I have been invited to do seminars where they lower the price before I even get there. I have signed book contracts that the publisher backed out on; I have editors who have lost my articles and pictures; once an insider, I have been banished for protecting my wife and my self. You know where I am most appreciated, revered really -- right here. Someday many among you will be 75 with a foot scar on your chest where they put your heart on the table. Then you will know what is important -- that each day is a gift. (What a phuckin rant!)
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