By Tom Baumann
Most of us have a favorite or “go to” fly. Sometimes our favorite fly changes from month to month or much more frequently. For the first three months of this year I and two local fishing friends have had great success with Glen Mikkleson’s Epoxy Baitfish fly. It has caught fish for us around Long Island and for me at Martha’s Vineyard where I also happened to overhear a local guide talk about “hammering em” on a Yellow Mikkleson. On many days, it’s been the only fly we’ve used. This fly catches all our local gamefish, can be tied in various color combinations and profiles to match local bait, and is castable and very durable. In Bob Veverka’s book, Innovative Saltwater Flies, Glen modestly traces the origin of this fly to the legendary Joe Brooks and his Blonde series. In any case, I can assure you this is a proven fishcatcher. The fly below is green over white and tied sparse to imitate a sand eel.
By Betty Anne Timmermann
The Midnight Blonde is my version of a Joe Brooks Blonde in red and black. I used it last fall through a 4-1/2 blitz. It held up well, even with the bluefish. The fish seemed so eager to take the fly that I actually thought, for a moment that they would take anything, so I changed to a solid black with a touch of flash. I stopped catching fish. I tied my midnight blonde back on, and once again I was into fish!
The Surf Dart is a modification of a fly known as the Tres Generation . I tied this version as a slim profiled fly to be fished in turbulent and unruly water. The South shore environment is the perfect setting. This fly will zip through heavy water without the never ending drag that is placed on flies, by those rolling combers. This is an easy fly to track through your retrieve.
Steps to Tying the Surf Dart
by Rino Bratelli
I’d like to thank Tom Baumann for the wonderful article in last month’s newsletter, about our Fall trips. It brought back fond memories of last season.
The purpose of this article is to inform the membership about how I learned about the Clouser pattern which I’ve touted for the past few years.
I was introduced to the “SPS Flashtail Clouser”, by my good friend Dan Blanton. As many of you recall, Dan was the Conclave guest a couple of years ago. Some of you may also remember that Dan Blanton was also a Conclave guest nearly 20 years ago, which was my first opportunity to meet and spend some time with him.
www.reel-time.com Fly Tying Corner
Contributed by Tom Baumann
This past season I had the opportunity to fish on several occasions with our past president Rino Bratelli aboard his 17 foot Aquasport. While all the trips were enjoyable, two trips in the late fall were memorable.
Our initial stop during the first trop was off hart island in Long Island Sound. Upon arrival, Rino handed me one of his chartreuse and pink Clousers, which looked like nothing I’ve ever seen in any fly shop or catalog anywhere. But it was his boat so I tied it on and cast where I was told, and on the first, hooked a nice schoolie bass. We caught several more bass on that spot, then moved further into the Sound to a tiny Island.
"Cast into that small gap between those two rocks", Rino directed. First cast, another bass. This spot held fewer fish and we soon moved to another location. The water was deeper here and we switched to teeny fast sinking lines but stayed with the Rino Clouser. When again directed to cast to a particular spot by the zen master, I did so without hesitation. "Let it sink, ok..strip, strip, stop, strip again." he intoned. Of course you know, a striper nailed the fly midway through that last strip. We stopped in five locations that Sunday, catching fish at each.
The second trip really sold me on the Rino Clouser. We fished the sound again but this time over acres of diving birds and feeding fish. You couldn’t miss but I noticed I was being outfished about 15 to 1. I was using a white clouser while Rino used that pink thing again. Granted he’s a better fisherman than me but this was getting silly. When we finally noticed my lack of productivity, he handed me one of these magic flies and my score immediately improved. I now go nowhere without this fly.