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Pro Tips: Top 5 Striped Bass Flies


Photo via Why Knot Fishing

By: Jonathan de Boer

Last week we published an article on the Top 5 Lures for Striped Bass. Not to be outdone by our spinning counterparts, this week we break down the top five fly patterns for striped bass. Whether you're fishing for schoolies or cows, it's always a good idea to have a few of these patterns in your fly box. When nothing else is working, these flies work!

1. Clouser Minnow:

The classics don’t change. Year after year they stay the same, for the simple reason that “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” The original Clouser Minnow was created in 1987 with some bucktail and crystal flash. We still use the exact same materials today. This is one of the first flies I tie on each day.

2. Lefty’s Deceiver:

The Lefty’s Deceiver was originally created to mimic a smelt from the Chesapeake Bay area, but with the right color combination it really can mimic any baitfish. Probably the most popular saltwater fly of all time, it was even featured on a stamp at one point in the early 90s. Make sure you have one of these in your box at all times.

3. Flatwing:

Originally designed specifically for striped bass, it was so effective that it has been adopted by fishermen to pursue any number of saltwater species. The key to the flatwing is the lightweight material that allows for bigger flies and lots of movement with minimal weight. Strip it fast or slow, this fly will generate bites.

4. Hollow Fleye:

If you are a saltwater fly fisherman, you probably know the name Bob Popvich (and if you don’t, look him up). His most popular fly, the Hollow Fleye, might be the most perfect imitation of a baitfish you can get without machine production. It creates a perfect profile and what’s unique about it is that from every angle it keeps its profile integrity. So no matter where it is spotted from, a predatory fish will lock in and pursue.

5. Epoxy Baitfish:

While using UV resin is a more recent technique in the fly tying world, the patterns you can create with it can rival any other pattern on this list. While the silhouette is similar to a Clouser Minnow, the epoxy makes this pattern much more durable to saltwater and the hard hitting strikes of the striped bass.

What’s your go to fly pattern? Leave a comment and let us know what patterns you never hit the surf without.