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Do you have an interesting story to tell about your own saltwater fly fishing experiences? Like to share a unique or useful pattern with other tiers and fly rodders? Like to report on some fishing you've done lately? Do you have a question or comment to make about SaltwaterFlies.Com? Would you like to share a photo of a fish you've caught, or somewhere you've been?
Send your comments, questions, stories, and photos to:
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We will post some of the stories, comments, and photos that you send here on this page, with regular updates.
We will also do our best to answer some of your questions here, and this will be a place for others with similiar interests to share ideas and expertise.
Special thanks to Fabrizio Mioletti from Italy who sent us the above photo of an Italian Bullet Tuna. See Fabrizio's message below.
Send in your favorite photo! E-mail us now!
October 15, 2008
Thanks for the prompt service. By the way, you should know that some of your materials were used to help me accomplish one of my lifetime goals in fishing: www.charleston.net/news/2008/jul/13/dalu_completes_grand_slam_tarpon_fly_fis47290/
Thank you for your e-mail - I greatly appreciate it!
Please allow me to offer you my most sincere congratulations on your incredible run in the 2008 tarpon tournaments!
A truly amazing achievement... scooping three major tournaments in one year, what's the likelihood that anyone will do this again I wonder?
Enjoy your sucess, and I am pleased if we were able to assist you in some small way with our fly tying materials, etc!
October 4, 2008
I'm in the middle of planning a trip to La Ventana, Baja. I've never fished Baja, and I understand you guys are the vendor with a wide range of flies. I'm looking to get some decent flies for my trip... I'll be fishing from kayak and shore. I've read I'll be fishing in waters that hold leopard grouper, different sea bass species, rooster fish, ladyfish, snapper, etc. you probably know more than me about the area.
I'll be brining an 8# rod, and have sinking as well as floating line.
I'd genuinely appreciate it if you would be willing to suggest a "package" of flies, of your selection. If it's not possible, I understand, but it would genuinely be appreciated. I won't be going with a guide for the fly fishing portion, so your selection along with a few books will be my keys! Looking forward to doing business with you.
J.W., Ferndale, Washington------------
We could certainly assemble a selection of flies for your fishing in Baja. I have not personally fished there, but I have spoken with many folks who have, and who have been successful fishing for sea bass, roosters and other species. Keeping in mind that you said you would be fishing with an 8 weight rod, which is fairly light for the location, a selection of flies would start with some small-to medium sized deceiver style flies to imitate the "sardina" which is a common baitfish there - our "Deceiver Classic", "Slinky Deceiver", and also the "Mushmouth" would be good:
Other patterns that should be included would be some "Clouser" styles like our "Classic Deep Minnow": http://www.saltwaterflies.com/minnow.html, as well as some sort of "Bunny Fly": http://www.saltwaterflies.com/bbunny.html
Any of the flies shown above can be fished on either sinking or floating line, but for fishing from the kayak, sinking line will probably produce best, as it just puts the fly closer to the fish.
Lastly, a very cool and effective topwater fly that is easier to cast than a popper is the "Crease Fly" - this has been very good for agressive topwater feeding fish: http://www.saltwaterflies.com/crease.html
With heavier tackle (10 weight rod or larger), you might choose some larger flies in case you run into dorado, tuna, or large roosters, but the flies shown above should serve you well for fishing with 8 weight tackle.
I wish you all the best for a fine trip to Baja!
September 15, 2008
JUST A FEW WORDS. BREATH TAKING. Could not be more pleased with the flies, line and the service. Will let you know how things work out next month.
David W., South Carolina------------
Thank you for your e-mail, and your kind words. I am glad that your order arrived safely, and to your liking... we do our best to treat our customers as we would wish to be treated. I certainly wish you all the best for fine fishing - let us know how you do with the false albacore, etc!
July 6, 2007
Thought you might enjoy this link - a stripersonline forum page with folks talking about Saltwaterflies.com: http://www.stripersonline.com/surftalk/showthread.php?t=534886
Dave Skok, Massachusetts
July 5, 2007
Thanx again guys,
I'm taking a break from tying for a bit. Got the order and all was perfect. Sandy color yarn (you sent) was right on, and the egg (yarn). WoW... it really compliments those Kwan flies. Thank god you're a fisherman and not just a business man. Take care. Leo C., Texas------------
Thanks for your e-mail – glad to hear that your package arrived safely, and that the materials were to your liking – I’m happy I could help out.
I promised that if I caught any Tarpon in Cuba using your flies (Bunny Flies) I would send some pictures to you. Unfortunately I only got 2 days fishing out of 6 as a tropical storm came through. Lost one bringing it to the skip estimated at about 90lbs. I came across a bunny which was entirely red and this fly was very successful in murky water, I recommend you add it to your collection. The bonefish were also caught on your flies.
Thanks for the excellent products, which were admired by all especially the guides.
Best wishes and tight lines.
Ian D., United Kingdom------------
Ian,Thanks for the photos – great stuff! I’m so glad to hear about your fishing – sorry that you lost some days to the weather – I sure do know what that’s like. Best wishes for fine fishing in all of your travels.
February 6, 2007
Order arrived today (in UK). Not only have I got colours I want, best quality spanflex but it has been cheaper and just as fast as many UK suppliers. What service!!!!!!!! Please thank all staff involved in shipment. It is greatly appreciated. Regards, Nigel.
Nigel B. - United Kingdom
January 6, 2004
Howdy and happy new year,
I am tying a few circle hook flies (deceivers, clousers) and was wondering if you have any input on using them. Should I strip the line to strike or not etc... anything ?? Thanks!
Thanks for e-mailing.
My experience with circle hooks is that it is best not to set the hook in the conventional manner (don't pull sharply on the line). When the strike is felt, the angler simply holds the line until it comes taught, then adds a bit more firm pressure on the line to make sure that the hook is set. Of course at this point you'll also need to be ready to release the line when the fish runs off.
Circle hooks work great for many kinds of fish...I have used them quite successfully for striped bass, false albacore, and bluefish here in New England, as well as for largemouth bass in freshwater. Fish hooked on circle hooks rarely escape from the hook falling out. This is good for the angler, but also brings up another point - the angler has an obligation to do a good job landing the fish, as fish broken off during the fight may carry a circle hook around much longer than a traditional "J" hook, especially if the barb is not pinched down. All circle hook barbs should be flattened for fly fishing - there is absolutely no reason to fish a fly with a barbed circle hook.
Some other advantages of circle hooks are the tendency to hook fish in the corner of the mouth instead of the gills or throat, which is better for the fish...also these hooks do not often foul hook fish in other parts of the body, and they go a long way towards preventing foul hooking the angler during the backcast! As an added bonus, the hook point stays protected since it is upturned, making it less prone to hanging up on a rocky bottom, and less prone to getting the hook point broken off on the boat or beach during the backcast. The point design will not prevent the circle hook from catching weeds in weedy areas.
I hope that you enjoy many fine days on the water in 2004!
December 4, 2003
I asked this question to Dave Skok at the Wilmington show last year. He gave me the name of some book that was out of print. Never found it. Question: For the new fly fisherman with limited knowledge, Is there a book that lists the different baitfish that are around (local Martha's Vineyard area) as the season progresses or is this just something that is learned through experience. I feel I am learning but some literature would help. Any info would be appreciated.
Thanks for your e-mail.
I'm not sure exactly which book Dave might have referred to, though there are one or two that cover New England...one by George Roberts I believe, and one by Alan Caolo perhaps - I'm taking a stab at the authors' names & spellings. One might have been called "Atlantic Coast Baitfish", and one might have been "A Guide to Saltwater Naturals and Their Imitations"... this is from memory and may not be entirely accurate. Both books in my opinion did a decent job, but neither covered the subject completely, which would be hard to do.
A brief rundown of Martha's Vineyard baitfish species / seasons might go something like this (this is based on my own experiences there, and would also apply generally to waters from Long Island Sound up to the south shore of Cape Cod):
Late April-May: Blueback or Atlantic Herring (4-5" long) returning from their wintering grounds to spawn in estuaries and ponds connected to the sea.
Late May: Spawning cinderworms (nerieds) in some of the salt ponds.
June: Juvenile Sand Eels become available - some are very tiny. Squid runs in good squid years are in full force.
Late June: Herring fry leave the ponds and can be found along the beaches, sand eels are on the beaches in full force.
July: Sand eels growing larger, Silversides arriving.
August: Silversides are in full force in most inshore areas.
Late August - Early Sept: Silversides plentiful, baby bunker (menhaden) at approximately 1-3 inches arriving.
Late Sept / October: Baby Bunker (sometimes) & Silversides plentiful. Some squid available.
This is of course only a general guide, and there are lots of other things for the fish to eat from time to time...american eels in rocky areas, crab hatches sometimes late summer, good numbers of butterfish in late summer & fall, and sometimes good runs of atlantic mackerel and squid in the fall. There are lots of other small fish and crustaceans available locally to gamefish which don't appear in the same numbers as the predominant prey species, but these can be important to the diet of striped bass and other gamefish. Best wishes for enjoyable fishing in 2004!
December 2, 2003
Hi Chris - Got a question for you.
I have been fly fishing for about 15 years, the past four have been striper fishing. I still get confused when I read about shooting heads and running lines that go with them. When they mention running lines are they talking about your regular fly line, and then you loop various shooting heads onto to the fly line, or is a running line a totally different line, and if so, is there a big advantage in the shooting heads as opposed to a rocket taper or big game taper, or any of the other brands that make striper lines? What would be wrong with just looping a head on your regular line? I know you would probably lose some effectivness somehow. Thanks for the time.
Thanks for your e-mail.
I have been using some shooting heads for a number of years, and though I am no expert on the subject, I would be happy to offer you my opinions and knowledge of shooting heads.
You should understand that it is not a good idea to simply loop a shooting head onto the end of an existing full fly line - this will give you too much heavy taper at the front of the line...so shooting heads are basically short tapered heads which are spliced onto "level" running lines of one sort or another. Shooting heads are generally about 30’ long, and they are tapered just like the forward part of most fly lines. Some short sinking heads are not tapered, but are just a short level length of relatively heavy line.
Making your own shooting heads out of old lines can save you some money over purchasing a new line each time a line wears out. As I'm sure you are aware, shooting heads can also be purchased new for reduced cost compared to full fly lines. One very useful application for shooting head systems is with sinking heads....a running line is spooled on the reel, and the angler carries perhaps three or four sinking shooting heads which can be changed quickly according to water depth, current speed, etc.
I have used many shooting heads made from old lines that had worn out at the “hinge”, which is the spot on the line at the rear end of the head taper where the line wears on the tip-top guide during the time that the line is held before the shoot (since the same length of line is frequently held in the air before shooting the cast, most of the wear in the line occurs over a small area, perhaps two to four feet – this is the hinge. Any angler can notice the hinge wear in a traditional fly line as a "cracking" of the coating over a small area). To utilize the running line from an old, worn-out line, just cut the forward portion of the line (the "taper" or "head" off at the hinge, then splice a loop onto the end of the running line. For info on splicing loops, and other rigging solutions, the book Practical Fishing Knots by Mark Sosin/Lefty Kreh is a great resource). If the worn-out "hinge" section of your line is not too long, you may even be able to salvage the head taper of the line, and save it for a shooting head.
There are two other setups frequently used for the running line. The most common setup is to use a "Braided Monofilament Running Line". This is a line made from braided monofilament, commonly available from manufacturers like Cortland Line. A loop is spliced in each end of the line, then loop-to-loop connections are made to the backing and to the shooting head. The advantage of the Braided Mono running line is that this line is very lightweight, so it shoots very easily, and casting distance may be increased over a standard full-length line setup for many casters. Disadvantage: a tendency to tangle in the basket or on deck when there is a stiff wind. This is the type of rig I have used most when working with shooting heads, and it is one that I have come to prefer in some situations.
Another setup is to use a solid monofilament running line - the most commonly encountered is a "flat" monofilament running line - not round like most monofilament lines. This flat profile is apparently designed to prevent line memory and resist tangling. This line also reportedly shoots quite well, but some anglers using this system complain of a tendency of the line to tangle. I have no personal experience fishing with a solid monofilament running line, so I can't offer any opinions on the effectiveness of this system.
Already mentioned above is the use of the “running line” from a traditional floating or intermediate fly line. In this case, the angler chooses a line that has worn out at the hinge , cuts the worn portion of the line out, then makes a loop in the end of the running line. A loop is added to the rear end of the tapered “head” and the two are looped together...you're back in business. Any other shooting head can of course be used as well. This setup is comfortable to fish with as the running line in this system is less prone to tangles than either the Braided Monofilament or the Solid Monofilament running line. Problems associated with this setup are a tendency for the coating of the running line to continue to "crack" or wear over time and repeated casting, and of course there is no real advantage in shooting efficiency which might be gained by the use of braided mono or flat monofilament running line.
In my opinion there is no perfect rig when it comes to lines, shooting heads, etc..., but one must choose rigging that best suits the fishing situation, and one that best matches your comfort level. I choose to make shooting heads for economy and also to improve shooting distance in some situations, and I use them in situations where they will perform best. I used to avoid using a shooting head system for night fishing where comfortable line handling is important, or in extremely windy conditions, but as I have grown more comfortable with shooting heads overall, I find myself using them most of the time. I don't often use braided monofilament running lines anymore, but instead I tend to stick with standard "flyline" running lines made from old full-length fly lines, choosing those running lines that have the least tendency to tangle on the cast. In talking to many anglers over the years, I have found that many still prefer a full length fly line, so I really do think that it comes down a matter of personal preference and fishing comfort.
I hope that this is of some assistance to you. Best wishes for good fishing!
February 11, 2003
I've received today your materials for tying flies: very nice products. Thank you very much for free packs of hooks and real eyes: I appreciate them. Here in Italy fly fishing in the salt is growing up very strong, and many freshwater fly rodders begin to cast in the sea for tunas, bass and other gamefish. So may be we'll need your tying materials for a long time..... Thank you again and many greetings from Italy.
I am grateful for your kind words, and I am pleased to hear that Italian fly fishers are enjoying fishing in the salt! I hope that you continue to find great fishing in all of your travels!
September 25, 2002
Just wanted to let you know about an experience I had down in Florida last week. I was fishing some saltwater lagoons on Amelia Island, where juvenile tarpon would roll chasing bait early in the morning. I arrived at sunrise and cast to them for about an hour using local "hot" flies without a take. After a while, I switched over to a silver EZ Sparkle minnow that I tied and caught a 10 pounder on the first cast. I went on to catch seven more that morning from 2 to over ten pounds, and returned the next morning to catch five or six more, as well as several snook. Needless to say, I was glad that I had tied a bunch of the minnows before my trip.
Chris Nosher, Virginia
Thanks so much for your e-mail regarding your experiences fishing for tarpon with the E-Z Shape Sparkle Minnow that you tied. I hope that you keep on catching fish with all of your flies!
August 28, 2002
I wanted to let you know that my order has arrived safe and sound here in the UK. Thanks for such a prompt service. I am really impressed with the EZ-Shape Sparkle Body not to mention the synthetic hairs those new Varivas hooks. I am going to enjoy tying some wicked pilchard patterns for those Florida Kingfish! Rest assured, I will be back for more soon!
Peter Finnis, UK
I must say I envy you...King Mackerel is one fish I've always wanted to catch with a fly rod. Best wishes for a good trip to Florida, and best of luck with the Kings.
August 10, 2002
Thanks for the wonderful service Chris. You went beyond beyond by sending me some of your personal hooks because your stock was depleted, And then you added some personal bucktail snippets to make sure I got the soft tails I asked for. Thanks so much. It is folks like you that make making flies and buying materials online a pleasure. Thanks.
Rich Lewis, California
We're happy to help out anytime with special requests, etc. Keep on tying!
July 29, 2002
Just wanted you to see this link about your Deep Sparkling Sand Eel:
Chad Skinner, Massachusetts
I can't thank you enough for passing on the link. Best wishes for good fishing.
July 29, 2002
I recently received my order of saltwater flies from you and was extremely pleased to find an extra fly at no charge. I am very new to the sport of saltwater flyfishing. I use to fish for trout in rivers and streams but that became boring. Hopefully this more costly variation of fly fishing will not lose its allure that quickly. In the future, I will make all of my fly purchases from your company. The service & speed of delivery were incredible. The quality of your flies is also hard to beat. I don't know if you are aware of this or not, but your selection has the upperhand on 99% of your competitors.
Steven Codispoti, New York
Thanks for e-mailing. I'm glad to hear that you were pleased with our service, and with our flies! We try our best to please everyone who e-mails us or orders from our site. I'm going to send you a free t-shirt to thank you for your kind words. Best wishes for good saltwater fly fishing (may it never lose its allure!).
June 27, 2002
THE DAY I INVENTED TARPON RODEO FROM A KAYAK!
Recently I was fishing at night from my 14 'sit-on-top kayak under the Miami bridges for tarpon with my buddy who was fishing from a canoe. After having moored the kayak upstream of the bridge, I started to cast in the direction of the tarpons aligned under the bridge. I cast in the darkness with a white bunny tied on a 3/0 Varivas hook 990. Suddenly, I got a bite and the fish started to jump. "Fish on!". It was a decent fish in the 80-100 pounds range, but because my anchor was not properly set, I started to drift while my anchor was trying to snag the rocky bottom. Finally the anchor stopped the kayak but the rope broke and my fishing partner could only see a light moving fast (my stern light) and disappearing in the shadow of the bridge with me yelling "fish on!, fish on!". After that, I was in a critical situation. Because of the slack I gave to the line the fish travelled transversally between the pier of the bridge. With the fast current I was about to crash on the pier! I used my rod (a 10 wt custom graphite USA) to pull the line and forced the kayak to move on the other side of the pier. But the current was too stiff and I could not manage to follow the same way the fish used. Finally, I passed the pier, but on the wrong side. I was ruining my fly line on the pier and was about to cut the line, when the smart poon who wanted to end that stupid game did a nice jump and cut the 16 pound class tippet with its gills. GAME OVER!
After I passed the bridge I was telling myself: "who caught who?" Then, I paddled to meet my buddy to tell him what happened and we both were laughing about the whole funny situation. Now, I always fish with an oversized mooring anchor plus an extra one: just in case...
The Frenchie - Miami, Florida
Sounds crazy! I hope you take a life vest in the kayak along with your mooring anchor. Here's hoping you land a few at the bridges...
Jeff Peirce here...I hope all is well with you folks. I just wanted to drop you a quick email and send the attached photo. You gave me this fly at the Somerset Show that you tied on our 1/0 Circle Streamer. I absolutely hammered the BIG Yellowtail Snapper and Cero Mackerel with this fly last month off Islamorada, FL. The crew on the boat were blown away by how well the Circle Streamer was working and they were also impressed with your killer Clouser.
Thanks again for the fly and thanks for supporting Mustad!
August 24, 2001
I was fishing in Buzzards Bay, Mashnee side of the canal,10 AM. I
was within casting range of an all out blitz - terns, gulls, ospreys, cormorants, everthing.
But the bass were very selective and were ignoring everything I
threw at them. I thought I would try to let the fly sink underneath
the action and hoped something big would grab it. It worked!
That fish hit a large white snake fly hard and
took off. I remember telling myself to let it go and not to palm the reel - the fish
would have to stop sometime!
While it was running I remember thinking that this was it: I finally hooked into a 40 inch bass
on the fly. I checked my backing and just as I was about to
panic I started to get some back. Then the fish made another run.
Then he made a run back towards me and I cranked that reel faster than I thought I could. I
was able to keep the tension on him the whole way back. I felt
good at this point but still had not seen the fish. By now, another
angler came over to see what it was and the fish was heading towards him. When he saw it he
held his arms out and said, Holy s---! its a king mackeral! I
was ok with that, but then as he swam in front of me I knew it was
a Bonita or albie. My new assistant grabbed
it by the tail and I started screaming. It was the biggest rush of
my fishing career. It was a beautiful fish. The
first glance of that greenish back and unusual stripes was
something I will never forget. When I first saw him, I
thought of a bonefish. I needed a photo of this guy, so I took off
and ran to my car then to walmart and bought
a disposable camera. I sprinted back, and my assistant
helped me take some pictures and measure him up. He was 28 inches long with a 16 inch
girth. I gave him to my new friend,
Dave, to bring home to his family and I went home and got my film
developed. I made an 8x10 of the best photo
and brought that picture to get framed. I will have it back on
Saturday and will immediately hang it on my wall.
Some who have seen the picture have said that Bonitos don't get
much bigger than that. I will never forget that
fight and hope it was the first of many more to come. What is the
average size for a bonito?
Thanks for your e-mail! The fish you caught does look pretty large - probably in the 8-9 pound range, possibly larger, which is on the upper end of the size limit for bonito caught in this area, and a real trophy for a fly rod catch. The largest bonito taken from Cape Cod waters on hook and line have been in the 12 pound range, but these fish are rare. Some of the largest Atlantic Bonito found in the world are in the waters off the coast of Spain, where they may attain weights of 16 pounds. I'm sending you a free bonito fly to thank you for sending in your photo, and I hope that you get a chance to tangle with flyrod bonito again someday!
June 4, 2001
I'm looking for a little support for stripers here in Oregon. Our fish and wildlife commission is I believe doing all they can to see the species eliminated from our estuaries. They have the belief that these sport fish are one of the reasons our salmonids are in decline, even though their own studies of stomach contents show a very low percentage of fry in evidence. I am on a work group who is supposed to make a recommendation to the state. We have had three meetings and it looks like the "get rid of them" folks are going to prevail with the biologists recommending lowering the minimum size for taking to 12 or 18 inches and bag limits of 5 to 10. Obviously this will be more effective than a gill net in assuring there are no stripers left of spawning age in just a short time. What I'm looking for is some ammunition (information, statistics, etc.) to use at public meetings coming up. Maybe some of the folks out there have fought some of these same battles, have some economic stats on value of fishery or just some suggestions that may be useful. If you have any suggestions they would be more than welcome. Maybe you could post this in your forum. Thanks Chris,
Thanks for e-mailing. I'm not sure I can offer anything constructive...sounds like a real challenge, especially since the real problem appears to be deforestation of the watersheds and heavy commercial pressure on salmon. You might bring up the point that there were a lot more salmon around 30 years ago, at a time when I believe there were also a lot more stripers around in the Northwest. If anyone has any other info that might be helpful to Mike, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 17, 2001
Just a note to let you know that after forty years of not tying any flies whatsoever, I have begun to tie again. Actually it is over forty years, and now that I am in a position to do some extended fly tying, I find that the thrill of tying once again, regardless of cost, has returned. Sure I could go out and buy any flies that I want, but the idea and thrills of tying my own flies and catching fish on them brings back my youth once again.
I purchased Sparkle Body from Feather Craft and was unsure of how to use it. I called Bob at Feather Craft and he gave me your Website. Funny - it was already listed on the bottle. Well anyway, it has given me a great deal of pleasure forming flies with Sparkle Body. Today I am going to spend the afternoon trying more flies, and I will enjoy every moment of it. I have made copies of almost every fly that you have given instructions on, since I feel that they may attract fish in the area that I presently fish. By the way, I fish the Tampa Bay area on the east side, and fly fishing is really starting to gain a foothold here.
I have a very good friend here named "Dastardly Dan the Fly Fishing Man", who is in his own way quite famous in this area as an accomplished fly tyer and inventor of different patterns. He does a fly tying class for free every other Tuesday, and I never miss them. I purchased every color of E-Z Shape Sparkle Body that is available, and will restock as soon as I get half way through a bottle.
I built a fly tying room, that is 36 feet long and 18 feet wide, and I had a cabinet maker build three fly tying desks with side drawers for material. I have been getting materials in from any place and every where. Hell, half the fun of this entire episode has been just looking through catalogs and buying things.
I guess I am trying to say that the flies that you tie are most interesting and I am going to tie quite a few of them and I wanted to thank you for showing us the way....I do have every fly tying video that Lefty Kreh and Bob Clouser have put out on saltwater fly tying, along with Popovic's, and some girl name Page ?? ... If there is a video on your fly tying, I would like get one.
Keep up the great and interesting job...There are some of us out here who really do appreciate what you're doing.
Ron Cavalier, Florida
Thank you so much for your message. It is most encouraging to hear from someone who has taken the time to offer their thoughts and send a personal message...there are times when we wonder whether anyone notices the efforts that we make. I have tried my best to offer some useful information on our website, and I am pleased that you have found it enjoyable. I'm especially pleased that you've enjoyed tying with 'Sparkle Body; I know I have.
Thanks also for mentioning Bob at Feather-Craft. Bob Story and all of the folks that I've spoken with at Feather-Craft are good people. They have been great promoters of E-Z Shape Sparkle Body, and of fly tying in general, and I would urge you to give them more of your business if the opportunity arises.
We don't have a fly tying video available yet, but we are hoping to produce one within the next year. I will be sure to let you know as soon as a video becomes available.
March 1, 2001
I was fishing Penn's Creek recently, and the trout fishing was quite good...I finally got a twenty incher from Penn's! By the way...all of the fish were caught on a Golden Stonefly nymph that was enhanced with E-Z Shape Sparkle Body! A friend of mine started out with one of his stones, but after I landed 5 or 6 fish, he switched to a 'Sparkle Body stone, and we both tore 'em up. The 'Sparkle Body on the belly really helps the fly sink, as well as giving it that brighter underside. The winter nymphing should stay good here for a few weeks...let me know if you can make it down!
Don McCue, Elliotsburg, Pennsylvania. Cloud Nine Aerial Photography - Martha's Vineyard Aerials
Thanks for the info about the Golden Stones and the good fishing. I'm stuck here for a bit, but I hope to join you on the water soon. Keep me informed!
February 16, 2001
Dear Mr. Windram,
I'm an Italian flyfisherman who like very much saltwater fishing. But unfortunately we have no so good chances to fight against the "real monsters" you can catch in your wonderful Atlantic shorelines; but for us is very important to be able to read your beautiful website and to have from it some good ideas for tie new flies and to see good photos about species of fish we'll never have. I'm wondering about planning a trip to Martha's or to Nantucket next months or next year.... For now, many thanks for your work and best wishes from Italy P.S. excuse me for my English not so good.....
Mioletti Fabrizio, Italy.
Thank you for your message. I am glad that you've enjoyed our website. Keep checking Saltwaterflies.com periodically; we add new information as often as we can. I sincerely hope you do get to travel to our Atlantic coast - the fishing is quite good.
February 14, 2001
Do any of you guys have any data or first hand knowledge on the time period for a hook to rust out of a fish's mouth in saltwater? I've always heard, "oh' it only takes three days...", but I'm having trouble believing that. Set me straight if you are able. I'm hunting for size 1 and 2 hooks for tying my own flys, but have a high rust rate. Thank you for your time.
Thanks for your message. My thoughts on the matter are as follows (these observations are simply opinions based on my own experiences over the years):
I can't imagine any hook rusting out of any fish in any situation within three days. However, many fish will manage to get rid of a hook within that period by head-shaking or by rubbing an offending hook or lure on the bottom (provided that the hook or lure is sticking out of the fish's mouth where it might be able to catch on the bottom, etc.).
Fishing barbless is the very best that you can due to prevent serious injury to fish (and fisherman). Barbless hooks are easier to get rid of for a fish that has broken the line. I have personally caught fish whose mouths are carrying barbed hooks that they've obviously been carrying for some time - I would estimate a matter of weeks, not mere days, based on the condition of the wound (often partially or mostly healed).
Living tissue will exclude a foreign object (the way that you will lose a splinter from your skin which you were unable to remove, but which eventually works its way out). A barbless hook can work its way out of the tissue rather quickly; a barbed hook cannot, but must dissolve.
Stainless steel hooks will not rust out of a fish, but they are inert and are not toxic to fish (stainless steel is used for medical purposes, and stainless parts may be left inside the body - bone screws, pins, etc, without incurring additional injury).
Cadmium hooks sometimes used for saltwater fishing will dissolve in time, but may pose a risk of toxicity to the fish.
Bronze hooks will dissolve the fastest from a fish in saltwater, but may pose risks of toxicity as well.
My choice for the fastest hook to rust out of a fish would be a bronze hook, but my personal preference is to fish with barbless, stainless steel hooks for all saltwater fishing.
We do carry bronze hooks in sizes that would be suitable for saltwater fishing; give me a call at 413 274-6143 if you'd like to order some
February 4, 2001
Nice to see your website. I met you a few years ago on Martha's Vineyard in June about 1am. Fishing was fantastic that night, especially after you handed me a white bunny fly and suggested I try this on a slow retrieve. I hope your business is doing well and maybe will see you at The Vineyard again some day (I haven't missed a year so far). Your advertising is doing well. I've been looking for the E-Z Shape Sparkle and saw your ad in the Saltwater Fly Fishing mag. I'm glad I stopped by. If I remember correctly, you were getting married in the fall that year, correct? Well - take care...
Hello! I remember that night well...I recall losing a very nice fish during the time we spent talking together. Glad to hear that the fly worked out - the fish were a bit picky that night. Jennifer and I are happily married now, and we fish the 'Vineyard for many weeks each year - I hope to see you there again soon!
February 3, 2001
Your booth at the New Jersey fly show was great, the people were super friendly and informative. In all the excitement I forgot to ask about weakfish. Last year I was not too successful in catching them. If you could please respond with a pattern and time or tide to fish for them I would greatly appreciate it.
Thanks for your message! My experience with weakfish is limited, but I understand that the fishing for them is improving here in the Northeast, from Long Island on up to Narragansett Bay. You might try checking out http://www.noreast.com/ for more info. Next time you get to the show, talk to some of the Long Island guides or fly tiers; they may have some useful information to offer you.
February 1, 2001
Hey Chris and Jennifer,
You did it again - Mary and I had the trip of a lifetime. We came home with 7 potential world records; she got 6. False Albacore, Blackfin tuna, Cobia and King Mackerel! The tuna loved the Maximum Deceivers, and the Kings devoured the Flashtail Clousers you recently tied. I have a few left but I am out of the decievers - can you tie us up 2 dozen when you get a chance?
Tom Taylor and Mary, Edgartown, Massachusetts
Congratulations on your trip - Especially to Mary! I will tie up some more flies for you at once.
January 30, 2001
Just picked up some E-Z Shape Sparkle Body at the Somerset fly show. I am wondering if you could recommend a brand of epoxy that you use when finishing flies like your Epoxy Minnow. I recently tried 5 minute epoxy but the body that resulted was a bit cloudy/milky in appearance, unlike yours. Your website is great, the photos and tying descriptions too. Thanks for making this information available. Maybe its because I've been tying small trout flies for some time now, but I'm really looking forward to getting into these saltwater patterns.
Adam Kaeser, Secretary- Penn State Fly Fishing Club
Thanks for your kind words about Saltwaterflies.com, and thanks for your inquiry about fly tying epoxy. We have our own brand: "Saltwaterflies.com's Professional Fly Tier's Epoxy". This is a one hour epoxy which is easier to use than the five-minute variety, and resists yellowing. As a general rule, the shorter the cure time of the epoxy, the more volatile the epoxy is. Longer curing epoxies stay clearer over time, and are a little more forgiving when it comes to getting the proportions mixed correctly. I hope that you come to enjoy saltwater fly tying as much as I have. Best wishes for good tying and good fishing!
January 25, 2001
It's January 25, cold out and there's snow on the ground, but I'm drooling with anticipation of the fishing yet to come this summer. Your site only helps to feed the fire.
I will be staying in Chatham this summer in mid July. Any suggestions for good bets on where to fish from the beaches/jetties?
Attached are some photos of a schoolie and blues I caught off Eel Point in Nantucket in the first week of July, summer 2000. I tie the sand-eel pattern with the E-Z Shape Sparkle Body and they don't let me down. I like Scott Patterson's version with the silver sides. I'll have to try that one next.
Rob Catalano, Catalano Design, Watertown, Massachusetts
Thanks for the photo - I'll send you one of our "Team Saltwaterflies.com "Got Backing?" t-shirts with our compliments. False albacore and Bonito run in South Cape waters August through October. Best fishing is probably in mid to late september for the False Albacore. Try the middle of the South side of Cape Cod around the various inlets, as well as Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. I'm less familiar with Chatham; you might try checking out: http://www.fishingthecape.com/. Thanks again for the photos - I enjoyed a wonderful week with bluefish at Eel Point several years ago, and I hope to make it back there someday soon.
January 21, 2001
It was my pleasure to finally meet you at the Marlborough show this past Friday. Your innovative method of tying salt water flies has helped me to connect with many good fish in the past few years. As promised, I am sending along photos of my spring trophy striper. The fish was caught on May 31, 2000 in Charlestown, Rhode Island. I was using an 8 wt. Sage RPLX rod with a 12 lb. tippet. The fly was a cinder worm imitation. The fish was 44 inches long and weighed in at 40 lbs. The whole thing took approx. 20 min and the fish was released unharmed for someone else to enjoy. Thanks again and hope to meet with you again soon. Keep up the great work and the great web site.
Richard Tremblay, Putnam, Connecticut
Thanks so much for the photo. I very much enjoyed meeting you as well. My most sincere congratulations to you on your extraordinary catch - most folks will search all of their lives to catch a magnificent fish like the one you managed to land last May. Best wishes for another great season this year!
December 14, 2000
I have been using your material to tie flies a lot this year. It's great. I tried a new shrimp pattern with the sand material. I attached a picture. I put the sand color under some epoxy. I'm going to tie some without the epoxy. What do you think? Any suggestions?
Thanks for your e-mail and photo!. Very nice shrimp pattern - as nice as any I've seen. You can certainly tie them without epoxy if you like...E-Z Shape is quite durable. However, epoxy applied over E-Z Shape Sparkle Body does make for a very pretty fly! The only suggestion I might make is to be sure and wait a couple of days or so before overcoating E-Z Shape Sparkle Body with epoxy, because 'Sparkle Body is water-based, and should be fully dry before you overcoat it with the epoxy. Since we offer a free fly to folks who send in photos that we post, I'll send you one of my own Epoxy Minnows which features the use of epoxy over E-Z Shape Sparkle Body as well. Best wishes to you and your family for happy holidays.
November 26, 2000
Great site, great energy, great - great!! I recently fished your friend Jeff Sayre at Harkers Island, and checked out his web site, Flyfishingthevineyard.com yesterday. Jeff is a very good fisherman but don't tell him that, you know...the fat head syndrome. Really he's a blast to fish with. Again, I enjoyed your website. You guys are the best.
Captain Barry Kanavy
Thanks so much for your message. Jeff Sayre told me all about the great fishing that he had with you at Harker's Island for the false albacore. When I get a chance to get down there, I'm going to give you a call to inquire about booking your services.
Readers of Saltwaterflies.com: Captain Barry Kanavy is a well-known charter captain who splits his time between Montauk and other Long Island hot spots in New York, and the fishing grounds of Harker's Island, North Carolina. Check out his website at www.naturalanglers.com.
November 22, 2000
At Larry's Tackle Shop on Martha's Vineyard, I admired and bought your Maximum Deceiver. How do you get such a clear epoxy head? Any special epoxy brands? I was hoping to meet you on the Island where I saw your green truck parked. I'm a crazy fly fisherman from Falmouth and I have a place on the 'Vineyard. I live and breathe fishing all over the Cape and islands. Your stories and web page are terrific. Thanks for all the useful info.
Thank you so much for your message. I seem to recall talking with you either by phone or e-mail in the past - sorry to miss you on Martha's Vineyard. In answer to your question about the Maximum Deceiver...I use a 1 hour rodmaker's epoxy applied in one coat for the Maximum Deceiver heads...I'm trying to get a reliable source for this so we can offer it in our catalog ...meanwhile you might try the one hour rodmaker's epoxy available from Flex Coat in Texas. Contact Flext Coat at: FLEX COAT CO., PO BOX 190, DRIFTWOOD, TEXAS, 78619, 512 858-7742.
Thanks again for tuning in to Saltwaterflies.com!
November 20, 2000
Dear Mr. Windram,
A few words of encouragement with you project(s)...you are doing a nice job (very nice) with your webpage. When the day comes that we are web-ready (working on it), I'll inquire of a link or advertising with you.
A little background on us...We are Gaines Company, an old and small domestic manufacturer of a variety of freshwater and saltwater popping bugs. Some of the big saltwater bugs (and the special 2/0 hooks for them) were a project of ours in the mid 1970s. At the time we had several New England fishermen encouraging us to make some big saltwater bugs, but in particular a gentleman by the name of Armand Courchaine (not sure of spelling). Running with little money but lots of enthusiasm we finally bit the bullet, placed the order for the hooks (Mustad required us to order 50 thousand of them) and watched them grow old for about five years, when all of a sudden interest started to grow. Every since then there seems to be an increasing interest and growth in the saltwater market.
And...some background on saltwater "MOE" patterns. As a writer, publisher, editor I think you find this interesting. In the early 1980's we were looking to expand our product line and found another Pennsylvania firm, Phillips Fly & Tackle, that was for sale. At one time Phillips had made lots of flies and poppers but what really interested me was their line of hardbaits which included the famous old Crippled Killer. They had sold off all the fly tying stuff and we had plenty of that anyway, but once we got everything moved here and started to sort it out we began getting calls for the "Optic", a round headed saltwater fly. It was a molded head and I found the tooling for it so of course we put it back into production. As time went on we began getting calls for more saltwater flies of this type. In 1982 we began making a custom shape for one of our major national accounts. They were fun and I began digging into more and more of the old Phillips stuff. Today we have several "Poxy Flies" as we call them. And at least three or four of them are based on patterns that George Phillips made in the late 1930's or 1940's. We have a nice set of old B/W prints from Phillips Company that were taken in south Florida in the late 1940's...the fishermen in them all had flyrods and some beautiful fish! Joe Brooks (the writer) is in several of them. One has his wife Mary in a boat with Ted Williams (the ball player) and Sam Snead (the golfer) and I'd sort of guess that Mr. Williams was only in his mid to late 20's at the time. I think there are two points here...they were all saltwater flyfishing a long time ago and some sort of history of saltwater flyfishing might have a market.
Years ago in the mid 1960's to the early 1970's I was the editor of the state fishing magazine Pennsylvania Angler. When I took the job the honest paid circulation was just over 10 thousand...when I left in 1971 to move back to Gaines and to buy Gaines Company our paid circulation was over 40 thousand. The only thing color was the cover and I was the editor, photographer and writer although I was able to buy some material from outdoor writers or use articles written by other staff members. I was a pretty good photographer and a pretty poor writer but I had a very good touch with the editing part of it. For some reason I seemed to have that instinct for what people liked to read and the ability to keep it focused, straightforward and positive.
One day I got a call from Arnold Gingrich, Esquire owner & publisher and of course a fisherman and writer. He asked me to drop in some day when I was coming to New York. He later wrote me a handwritten note which I might still have somewhere, again complementing me on my editing efforts. He was looking for some additional editing talent and apparently what I was doing must have caught his eye. I hadn't even realized he was a subscriber. I tormented over whether to go to New York and see him or not. I had a girlfriend who lived there and swore she was going to live there forever and I was terrified that if I ever took a job there I might end up living in New York for the rest of my life...so I never went to see him. But I am proud he called.
Anyway as I look at what you are doing I get the same feeling that your editing instincts are exceptional. You are working in a different media, in a different time, and to a potentially very large audience...but I sense that you have a special "attitude"...positive, straightforward, honest, and enthusiastic...things somehow lacking in many publishing and web efforts. Stay with it!
Hope I didn't bore you with all this but I like your page. Keep up the good work and a pat on the head for your dog, Polly. Our old lab Martha sticks with me like glue and it is wonderful to have such a great friend.
Thank you so much for your letter and your words of encouragement. Thanks also for the story about your background - I found it quite interesting. It's great to hear from someone who has some perspective on the history of fly fishing and the fishing business in this country. I especially enjoyed the bit about Gingrich, who I've read about several times.
I am very pleased that you've enjoyed our website. I try my best to be honest, straightforward, etc., which does seem to be lacking in an environment where everyone is their own editor. I can't discount the efforts of plenty of folks (friends, family, and readers) who have offered many useful opinions and suggestions along the way.
I recognize the name of Gaines Company, as a matter of fact I'm pretty sure that I must've fished with your products at some point along the way. I grew up in eastern Pennsylvania, and I've been a rabid angler since I was just a little guy.
Again, my most sincere thanks for your message. I wish you and everyone at your company the very best, and I look forward to speaking with you again.
October 6, 2000
My fly The "Flirt" strikes again! Just fished Montaul with Paul Dixon the last two days and we were thick into the Albies and Bass. Got my first "Montauk Slam" using the Flirt fly tied with the Pearl EZ Shape for the head around Umpqua Red/Nickel plated barbell eyes on a #4 Orvis Saltwater fly hook. Body tied with White Fish Hair, Coppery Krystal Flash and a tuft of brown faux polar bear hair under the white wing of the Fish Hair. Bass were in thick on the beaches blitzin' bait, albies all over bustin' pods! Great trip made sweeter having reconfirmed the fish-ability of your EZ Shape to withstand multiple chewings!
It's always good to hear from you, and I appreciate you sending the sample of your "Flirt" fly - I can see why it works so well. I hope your fishing continues to be fantastic!
October 4, 2000
Tight Lines and company has recently returned from our fall fishing excursion to the Island of Martha's Vineyard where we enjoyed some of the finest false albacore fishing ever. We were pleased to tangle with lots of albies, and plenty of fish were landed on flyrod - right from the beach! Among those fortunate friends who landed their first ever shore flyrod false albacore were Bill Dyer, Yoshihiko Sato, Don McCue, and Gary Moscowitz. Congratulations to all of these fine folks!
October 3, 2000
My name is Anthony and I'm 15 years old. I purchased your Shrimp Pink E-Z Shape Sparkle Body at Dick's Sporting Goods and persued my own design in constructing a shrimp for "snapping blues", a.k.a. BABY BLUEFISH. I just made this lure with help of a friend and we're quite proud of it! Im making more than one so I can test it out on them. They'll bite just about anything that hits the water... Anyway, getting back on track, I wanted your opinion on my design and maybe its good enough for your website!! (I hope, I hope, I hope!) I hope to hear from you.Anthony's Shrimp | Anthony's Shrimp (Another view)
Your shrimp fly looks really great, and I'm sure it will catch Snapper Blues and probably much larger fish, too! If you e-mail me with your mailing address, I will send you one of our free Saltwaterflies.com bumper stickers. Best wishes, Anthony - keep tying flies!
September 8, 2000
Thanks for the flies. It has been quite a year and I will scan the pictures and forward them to you. All the fish listed below were caught on your flies, the Cortland Precision II fly rod I bought from you, and a scientific anglers fly reel.
Here are the stats for 1999/2000:
30 lb. armor jack caught in Freeport, Bahamas, July, 1999
We are headed out to Orient, LI for a week in October of this year. As of last weekend, there were lots of baitfish in the water, but no blues or albacore. Plenty of smaller stripers, though.
I probably will take you up on your guided carp fishing tour one of these years. Thanks again for the tackle and introducing me to saltwater fly fishing.
Please allow me to express my most sincere thanks for your message. I'm very pleased that you've enjoyed such great fishing and success with our flies and other products. I must congratulate you on the fabulous fish that you've caught this year - your list is extraordinary! I would look forward to a carp excursion with you someday- we've caught some big ones this year! Keep well, and keep in touch.
June 27, 2000
Sorry you missed what turned out to be a unbelievable week of fishing for and catching big stripers and blues on Martha's Vineyard... Of course, your sand eel and squid patterns were the big winners...
Take care ... and next year, we gotta get out again ...
Thanks for rubbing it in! I am sorry to miss this really great fishing, but I'll be looking forward to some serious bonito and albie fishing soon.
June 26, 2000
I thought you might enjoy this picture of Alba and her keeper striped bass (although she didn't keep it) she caught at Dogfish Bar during our vacation on Martha's Vineyard. She used your EZ Shape Sparkle Body Sand Eel. Larry Newmark, Alba, and I had a fabulous week of fishing with many large bass at Dogfish Bar at night and lots of nice blues caught sight fishing out of Mo Flaherty's boat and Cliff Snyder's boat. Sorry you weren't able to be there to join us.
Yep, everyone's telling me about the great fishing. I hope to be there the next time the fish go nuts at Lobsterville and Dogfish. Best wishes to you, and congratulations to Alba on her keeper bass.
June 11, 2000
Hello Chris and Jennifer;
Thought you might like to know the results of the 2000 Martha's Vineyard Striped Bass Flyrod Catch and Release tournament. Largest fish: Tom Taylor 38" length; 19 1/2" girth - First place! Runner up: John Fuller 36 3/4" length; 19 3/4" girth. Team winners with 30 fish: John Fuller and Charles Finnerty. All fish taken with the Windram tied Maximum Deceiver pattern in chartruese and white ( these are the flies you tied for me last year) I felt sorry for John and Charles and started passing out your flies. Hope all is well with you and look forward to seeing you on the island!
Tom Taylor, Edgartown, Massachusetts
Thanks so much for your e-mail. I'm glad that the flies helped! Sorry I couldn't make it to the tournament this year, but I'm looking forward to next year's. See you soon, Tom.
March 24, 2000
Mr. Windram... I received my order in two days... tyed a few flies . 'Sparkle body is amazing! Makes fly tying easy! Thanks for your prompt service and free fly, and keep up the good work.
Yours truly, Chris Hazard - keep a tight line 'n a sharp hook - thanks!
I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed tying with 'Sparkle Body. Best wishes to you for a good fishing season!
March 23, 2000
I can happily report that I (finally) caught bonefish. WOW-- WHAT TERRIFIC FISH!
The first came while fishing with a guide on the Marls off Treasure Cay. While sighting and casting, a huge knot of line formed, but incredibly, passed through the snake guides as the fish was sprinting south. With the fish on the reel, after two more good runs, I was able to reel up to the big tangle, whereupon our guide, from high atop his poling platform, was able to clear the line. I steered the fish away from nearby mangrove roots and boated him. What a beautiful creature. I wanted to kiss it. Snapped a pic, held him in the current and released him to the salty waters.
I missed some good shots but hooked up with a hefty fish before the morning was done, one that our guide said was over six pounds. My partner, Christopher, also landed two bones, also a first for him.
The best, however, was taking a nice fish while wading Town Flat, on my own. What a complete and perfect experience to stalk, sight, make the throw and get a take. Chris waded over for the trophy shot after my yelling "FISH ON!". I'm sure that they heard me in Freeport.
Missed were many other good fish, including some huge, single cruisers. So much confidence derives after that first fish is in the camera-- as the week went on I felt increasingly able to locate fish and see them in difficult water. Much more to tell you-- I'll have pics back by tomorrow. Also, I was so proud and confident to be using your flies. I have one to show you-- crushed and mangled but still fishable. Thanks again for all your encouragement and help.
David Lawson, Chef Owner Aubergine, Hillsdale, New York
I am so pleased to hear that you finally got the bonefish trip that you were looking for. Sounds like the many hours you've spent preparing for the fish paid off!
March 20, 2000
Hello. I am a regular customer who has enjoyed considerable success with your flies. I have the opportunity to go bonefishing in Los Roques, Venezuela at the beginning of May for a few days. It is very isolated there so I need to be self-sufficient. I was hoping you could recommend an appropriate selection of flies for me to bring (I have only Northeast patterns for stripers, etc, for fishing near my home in Chilmark). I have both an eight and a nine weight, I assume to use with floating line. Thanks.
Dear F. Khedouri,
I'm glad to hear that you've been successful with our flies! I will e-mail you with suggestions for a good fly selection for Venezuela.
March 18, 2000
The chartreuse deer belly that I ordered from you arrived today! I really appreciate you effort in terms of searching out and delivering my order, even though it was my smallest one (by FAR!).
Take care and best of luck this coming season,Joe Borawski
I'm glad that we could serve you. Please don't hesitate to call anytime you're looking for saltwater tying materials.
February 18, 2000
This is to inform you that your nice material (E-Z Shape Sparkle Body) was checked in Cuba !! I and my friends had a great success with crabs (little modified) on big bones !!!
Thank you ...... and ciao from Italy - Graziano Avanzi
Many thanks for your kind words. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed your fishing in Cuba!
March 15, 2000
I know you used to have a link for Ken and Lori on your site. They're great flyfishers! I used to fish with them when they lived on LI, then a couple of times up at MV. That Lori, she could pull a fish out of a glass of water! Really, she is enchanted. I've been on the beach with them, a dozen or so flyrodders and spin casters all around, she's in the middle and the only one taking fish! Some people have the touch. Next time you speak with them tell 'em I said "Hi!"
I was looking over your squid fly (great fly!) and was wondering what material you put over the shank before you added the E-Z Shape Sparkle Body. Did you use chenille? Yarn? etc?
Thanks for your message. I've fished with Ken and Lori too, and you're right - Lori is magic! Both she and Ken have a unique talent for finding fish...I'll say hi for you next time I see them. My Chris' Squid has a yarn underbody to support the E-Z Shape Sparkle Body...you can see the tying instructions by clicking here.
March 10, 2000
Though it's been quite some time since our last correspondence, I have getting your updates and visiting your web site on a regular basis. Great job. I really like the newest addition to the site: the info on guides. I was on MV last September during the derby (and Hurricane) and actually went out with Ken Vanderlaske. Caught my first albie in Edgartown Harbor on a size 2 baitfish imitation tied with E-Z Shape Sparkle Body!!!
Good to hear from you again, Congratulations on your first albie - I'm sure you'll never forget that day. I was fishing the September hurricane too, but I only managed to catch stripers, though I did get a bonito from shore a week or so before the storm. Keep in touch!
February 15, 2000
Thank you for your wonderfully informative web site. I recently purchased your product (E-Z Shape Sparkle Body) at the Marlborough fly fishing show. I've had very good results with the patterns I've tied. I just can't wait to put them to good use on some stripers. I have a question on a shrimp fly though. In your opinion, would your pattern for a shrimp fly be a good replication of the grass shrimp I find stripers feeding on from time to time? If so, what color would you suggest and if not what pattern would you suggest to imitate a grass shrimp? How long should a grass shrimp pattern be? Looking forward to your reply and thanks again for making my tying a little bit less tedious.
Thanks for e-mailing. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed using E-Z Shape Sparkle Body. My own Sparkling Shrimp will catch stripers when they are feeding on grass shrimp, but this is really more of a bonefish fly. A better pattern for stripers might be a small deerhair fly similar to a muddler minnow (but tied on a stainless hook for saltwater). Successful color schemes might be olive, cream, or tan, but other colors will work, too, provided that the basic size and shape of the fly is correct. An olive Woolly Bugger tied on a saltwater hook (maybe size 4) will also take fish when stripers or weakfish are feeding on shrimp. A fly that totals about 2" long is a good place to start, but in some areas the shrimp will be smaller than this. I have a tied a fly using E-Z Shape Sparkle Body that I intend to use as a specific grass shrimp imitation - I haven't worked up a pattern recipe for the fly yet as I am still working on the basic design, but you can see a photo of this fly by clicking here. Best of luck with your tying, and best wishes for a good fishing season.
February 12, 2000
The pink E-Z Shape Sparkle Body worked great for those bonefish shrimp, at least in tying the flies. I'll let you know in a couple of months if they worked on the fish as well. There are a few patterns, notably the Mother of Epoxy flies, that call for transparent bodies of epoxy. Obviously, these would be much easier to tie using E-Z Shape Sparkle Body. Any chance of coming out with clear Sparkle Body?
Thanks for e-mailing with your questions. I'm pleased to hear that you've enjoyed working with the E-Z Shape Sparkle Body. We don't intend to produce a clear version at the moment...A clear version of our product would be similar to products like Softex or Soft Body, which are clear but which we feel lack the gel-like consistency that makes E-Z Shape so useful. If we ever become confident that we can produce a clear version that exhibits the useful qualities that our E-Z Shape colors have now, we will do so!
January 9, 2000
I was just looking at your site a few minutes ago. I was looking for your snail mail address so I could send you a copy of our January newsletter - Coastal Flylines. I used your article on Windram's Cinderworm as the featured pattern. Again, thanks for giving permission to use the article. By the way, I like the way you have laid out the site and particular, the way that nonprofessionals can brag about their catches. Keep up the good work.
Thanks so much for including my article in your newslestter. Best wishes to you and all South Jersey Fly Fishers members! Anyone interested in joining the South Jersey Fly Fishers should e-mail Richard Eppinger at the e-mail address listed above.
December 19, 1999
Time for some end of the year communication.
Early last month I decided to celebrate a last day of fishing. I grew up in PA where the first day of trout season was always an event. So I went to the Housatonic River in Lenoxdale, Massachusetts and promptly caught a pretty native brookie. What this 6 inch fish thought he was going to do with a 3 inch rabbit tail woolly bugger is beyond me. Later a bass came completely out of the water to try to catch my Gurgler but the G was already in the air in a roll cast to the middle of the stream. The bass no doubt caught a lot of heckling from his buddies ‘cause he wouldn’t look at the bug again. So I had a nice last day - no big fish but some fun later in the season than I normally fish.
I have to thank you for a few things - opening up my eyes to all the fishing in the Housatonic, the wonderful world of salt water fly fishing and a nice rod and reel that can lay out the big flies without having cost more than a Rhode Island vacation. The other thing you introduced me to was EZ Shape. I love the stuff and use it on many of my flies. I even found a new use for it. My wife and I both have GM cars with the same shaped keys. I put a dab of pearl EZ on one set to make it easily distinguishable from the other both day (sparkle) and night (a little lump on the keys). You also put my rambling nonsense story on the Web. What a year.
In another month I'll be severely cabin feverish and need to at least talk about fishing. Are you around on Saturdays to sell some material and swap stories? I'd definitely call before I came down to Housatonic. It would be nice to talk to someone instead of just reading Jack Gartside and Ken Abrames.
Wishing you and your family a great Holiday season and a safe happy year
I greatly enjoyed meeting you this year, and thanks for contributing the story. I'm so glad to hear that you've enjoyed your fishing, and I wish you many more happy days on the water. Drop by anytime you're in the neighborhood - I'm usually at the computer or tying flies, so I'm around. Happy New Year, Jack!
December 15, 1999
I regularly check out your web site and I am also a subcriber to On the Water. I was wondering if you could help. I was looking for directions on how to get to Scorton Creek. I heard it is not a bad place to catch some holdover Stripers on a fly in the Winter. Your help would be greatly appreciated. Congrats on a great Site!
Thanks for e-mailing with your question about Scorton Creek. Which major routes you take to Cape Cod depends on where you are, but I think you can figure that out for yourself. When you get to the Cape, cross the canal on the Sagamore Bridge. Then take Route 6 east to exit 3 which is Old Meetinghouse Road. Travel north on Old Meetinghouse Road for approx. 1 mile, then turn right onto Route 6A heading east towards Barnstable. Travel approximately 1/2 mile, and you'll cross the railroad tracks. Continue on for approx. one-and-a-half miles, and you will come to the bridge over Scorton Creek. Parking is on either side of the road just before the bridge, or pull into the last road on the right before the bridge and drive a short distance to some parking spots right on the creek. As you look east towards Barnstable, the outgoing tide flows north to Cape Cod Bay, and incoming tide flows south. Fishing Scorton involves jumping over the various mosquito control ditches that line the marsh in many places, so be ready for this, and be sure to be careful. Chest waders are helpful. At low stages of the tide the fish will be buched up in the various pools, and at high tides, fish move up onto the flats to feed. Remember that the tidal range is about nine feet in this creek. Scorton is one of my favorite estuaries...plenty of challenges, and plenty of rewards for those who want to explore it. Be sure to give the dead drift presentation a chance to work, as it can often outproduce the cast-and-retrieve. A sinking line will come in handy here, especially in the winter and at the higher stages of the tide. Try to pick warm days to fish, and you'll have a good chance at catching some fish. Try small chartreuse and white Clousers, or a chartreuse and fl. yellow combination. A drab brown muddler type fly works well at times too, due to the mummichogs which inhabit the creek. You may even have a chance at catching one of the sea-run brown trout that the state stocks here every year. I've seen a few, but never caught one. I have caught lots and lots of stripers in Scorton, and I have seen a few monsters. This estuary holds plenty of secrets for those willing to explore, and even a lifetime of fishing might not reveal all there is to learn about this fascinating system.
November 7, 1999
Just a thought for your line of bunny flies: I've taken a tungsten cone head and put it in front of the bunny: It has an almost-clouser-eque action through the water, but has 'bunny action' like no clouser ever had. The nice thing is that your sparkle body forms up behind the cone head very well, and makes it move smoothly through the water. I've enclosed a photo:
Took some friends out fishing Halloween day. On the back side of
Nantucket (about 25 miles from where the Egyptian airliner went
down) we caught (get this, the last day of October!):
You shouldda seen the angler with a small trolling reel and short stick (5' rod) when the tuna got pissed..... what a fight!
Hope all is well....
Thank you for the photo, and the awesome report about that day on Nantucket. Readers of Saltwaterflies.com might like to know that Mr. Farrish landed a 10.4 pound Atlantic Bonito on flyrod recently, which is no small potatoes. Best wishes, Thor!
October 13, 1999
I see you have a number of South Africans on your circulation list. I recognize Keith Wallington's name, we call him "stretch", he's about 6ft 9. Fished with him in March this year in Zululand near the Mozambique border in a series of salt water lakes connected to the sea through an estuary and getting increasingly fresh as you move inland. They have resident populations of fish which are traditionally pure salt water but which have adapted to the local conditions. Kingfish in the freshest of the lakes up to 80lbs are sometimes caught on bait and 40 lbs not unusual on fly. Lots of springer (ladyfish) as well.
I will be taking a few E-Z Shape Sparkle Bodies with me to Durban in a couple of weeks time.
Chris D. Binnington
Thanks for keeping us informed of your activities in South Africa! We love to hear about fly fishing all over the world. That estuary system sounds really cool - thanks for telling us about it. Best wishes for a good trip to Durban - don't hesitate to send us a photo from our trip if you like...I'll try to post it on this page.
October 12, 1999
Just wanted to send you an interesting report from Martha's Vineyard...The #$@#$%#@! little tunny are coasting through the swells, rolling on their sides and slurping shrimp! C'mon Chris...you're the best: give us a krill fly! :-) Plus, I just got a call from a buddy of mine...He just returned from a bass trip on the back side of Nantucket: of the 30"-35" fish he caught in his favorite rips, all had bellies full of krill!
Guess its not just the Albies.....
I heard about the krill thing from a couple of people - amazing! I'll try to cook up some fly for this for next year, just in case the fish get on krill again. I see you're still in second place for boat flyrod bluefish in the Martha's Vineyard derby - congratulations! Keep catching fish, and keep in touch.
October 4, 1999
I have caught my first, very picky, stripers and false albacore off Montauk this past week using E-Z Shape Sparkle Body. I call the fly: "The Flirt". (As you may know, the bloom seems to be off the rose based on last year and this year's Montauk Albie action.)
The flirt is tied on size 2, 4, or 6 hooks. I use black thread. Wind on two peacock herls and over wrap lightly with the thread to keep it from blowing out. I add two small grizzly saddle hackles two-thirds of the way up the shank. I add a sparse tie of white fish hair and then an olive green crystal flash cover. I add 1/24 or 1/30 lead barbell eyes. Whip finish the head. The barbell eyes are about 15% back from the hook eye. I then lightly coat the head with Pearl E-Z, so it dries clear with the flash being very blush. I have been coating the barbell eyes with E-Z red gill and add a spot of EZ Black for a pupil. First ties tended to get the colored eye paint dinged off. I have tried clear plumbers silicon for more cushioning, but it takes too long to dry and remains slightly tacky for days. I am about to try to tie some Flirts with an Umpqua clear "soft body" Angler's Choice (thin) soft body plastic Resin. Any other suggestions for protecting the eyes?
I just bought a new bottle of Saltwater Blue E-Z Shape and can't wait to try it. I am headed to Harkers Island in two weeks and can't wait to tie up some more experiments. All the best and tight lines.
Thanks so much for letting us know about the fish you caught. We love to hear about folks having a good time on the water, and we're glad to hear that the E-Z Shape flies you made worked out.
Try a bit of E-Z Shape Sparkle Body around the lead eyes to help cushion and protect them. Check out our Sparkling Leadeye Minnow article for more info on this subject. Best wishes for continued good fishing!
October 2, 1999
Hi Chris, Thanks for posting the photo of me as the main graphic on the Larry's Tackle Shop website. I don't mind at all if you use any picture of me at anytime. I remember that day at the Lobsterville Jetty, and wish I could catch that bone on fly right now. I fished the Lobsterville Jetty today as a matter of fact and there were some huge albies there. Dave Desmarais caught one that was around 13 pounds, but he released it because he is in 1st place in the fishing derby with a 14 pounder. I had one of those brutes come up on my fly but he didn't get it. Oh well, maybe tomorrow. I did land 3 albies on fly and had 7 on! I'm using a squid fly and they are tackling it. Take care Chris - I hope to see you soon!
Thanks for the permission to use the photo. I hope you get into those "brutes" again!
August 30, 1999
The term "swoffing" originated with Jock Grey, who was one of our fathers of the sport here in Oz, about 1967 or so and it is a sort of reference to the SWFROA Int and salt water fly rodders of SWF. Those doing it were SWF'rs and it ended up swoffers.
The modern version of SWF in Australia, after WW11 began, as far as I can find out, with Lance Wedlick in 1947. Between 1947 and the 60's I couldn't find any references to saltwater fly fishing although it must have happened. Jock Grey tied saltwater flies, about 40,000 in total and gave the lot away. He was part of a group called the rusty feathers because of the hook corrosion which stained the feathers. They were Bluey Powell, Tom Davidson and Jock Grey. Jock started the Aust chapter of SWFROA about 1970 or so with a few members including the Feathers, Ron Pearson and myself. We were all, as they say Swoffers. Cheers - have a nice day.
Max Garth SWF circa 1967
Thanks for enlightening us as to the origination of the term "Swoffing" which the Australians use to refer to saltwater fly fishing. Fascinating!
Best wishes, Chris Windram
August 10, 1999
I just wanted to drop a quick note relaying the experiences I have had with your flies/saltwater tying products.
I'm not sure if you will remember me, but I purchased a fly selection from you earlier in the season for fishing Long Island waters. Suffice it to say, they didn't last long. Not because of poor clinch knots or broken leaders over rocks. The fish simply destroyed them. Of course, this isn't to say they were of poor craftsmanship, for these flies saw MANY fish each before they succumbed to the pressure!!
Having seen the success of the EZ Shape Sparkle Body flies and wanting to tie my own, I then order a shipment of tubes in many different colors (8, 9 perhaps?) to cover all my bases. Since then it has been non-stop action (with the exception of this recent heatwave which brought water temps up into the middle 70s - a tarpon was caught in Fire Island Inlet!) on your patterns that I have tied myself.
As such, I just wanted to thank you for putting out such a great product and a great website (I find myself continually checking for updates!). It was a pleasure doing business with you. I look forward to the fall fishing season and wish you the best of luck!!
A lifelong customer,
Please allow me to offer our sincere thanks for your kind words regarding our products and services. I wish you all the best for continued good fishing and enjoyable fly tying this and every season.
August 10, 1999
I just returned from Tofino, British Columbia where I had a great week fishing for Coho salmon, and the Coho were scattered all over the Sound. We fished a method that I've never done before, it's called Bucktailing. Bucktailing is when you troll at about 1000 RPM with the fly right in the prop wash (10 to 15ft. behind the boat). The Coho will come up and track the fly like a billfish would; as soon as you twitch the fly the fish will attack it. Once the fish hits the fly, you kick the motor into neutral and shut it off. I'm not one for trolling - as a kid I did that with my dad for hours on end for Northern Pike, but this was different, and a lot more exciting because the fly is right in the prop wash and it sits right on the surface so you see the strike. Altogether we boated about 50 Coho and lost at least that many. We also fished for Sea Bass - these ran between 2-4lbs, and we cast to them around kelp beds. They fight the same as a Bronze Back (smallmouth bass), only without the jumps.
In June I was out at Monomoy where we had some decent striper fishing, and over the winter I was down in Big Pine Key, Florida, where I caught my first tarpon. I've sent along some photos for you to check out. Well, it's back to the tying bench!
Good to hear from you, and good to hear that you're catching fish. Readers of saltwaterflies.com should know that Rick is a very prominent fly tier from Stoney Creek, Ontario. Rick specializes in tying flies for saltwater as well salmon. Here are the photos that Rick sent to us:
Cathy Ruddick of Ruddick's Fly Shop in Vancouver, B.C. with a fly caught ling cod.
Rick Whorwood with a nice bass from the flats at Monomoy, Massachusetts.
Rick with a flyrod Sea Bass from the kelp beds.
Rick's Coho Salmon.
July 19, 1999
Our good friend Bob Lane called to let us know that he took a 40" striped bass last week on one of our Deep Sparkling Sand Eels! Bob's fish weighed 23 pounds, and you can see a picture of the fish by clicking here Offering assistance with the landing of the big fish was Bob Yapp, who also caught his first (and 2cd, 3rd, 4rth, and 5th) flyrod striper the same night. Mr. Lane and Mr. Yapp were fishing from shore at an undisclosed location near Menemsha, Massachusetts. Everyone here at Saltwaterflies.com would like offer our congratulations to Bob Lane and Bob Yapp.
June 20, 1999
Just wanted to drop you a line to let you know that I purchased Sparkle Body locally and made several Sparkling Sand Eels using your directions. Using one on my first attempt at salt water fly fishing at Corson's Inlet, New Jersey, I caught a 4 pound weak fish and a 14 inch striper. The sparkle body worked! Not only does it make tying flies easy, but catching fish too.
Thanks so much for sharing your good news with us. Everyone here at Saltwaterflies.com would like to offer you our best wishes for many enjoyable days on the water. Keep tying flies, and keep catching fish!
June 1, 1999
Well I have to finally register a complaint. I could only get 150 stripers on one of your maximum decievers. I need to order more. Please call me asap about 3 dozen in tan/white, blue/white and chartreuse/white should do it. If you could tie them on the Trey Combs hook, that would be great. The fishing has been steady - some keepers, lots of small fish, big fish yet to come. Hope to see you at the catch and release on the 12th.
I hate it when we get complaints like yours. I'll be working on your order this week in order to get you these flies in time for the tournament.
Note: Chris Windram and Saltwaterflies.com would like to congratulate Tom Taylor on his recent tippet class world record Pacific Jack Crevalle - this 20 lb 3 oz fish was taken by Tom on an 8 lb class tippet. Best wishes for many more, Tom.
May 14, 1999
Hey ChrisJust came back from Corpus Christy Texas. I tyed some of your sparkling deceivers; man these things were awesome on the reds in the surf. Now I need a new rod cause mine got broken - don't know what it was but it must have been nice as it broke a 9 weight rod. Thanks again for the tips, looking forward to new ones.
Glad to hear about your good day with the reds. I hope you tie into that big boy again the next time out!
April 30, 1999
Just found your site and wanted to say thanks for all the helpful info. This is the first site I'v seen that actually lets you copy the recipes for their flies. I am gonna try your Sparkling Sand Eel, Deep Sea Serpent and your Sparkling Crab. I live in South Louisiana and these should prove deadly on our Redfish. Will let you know how we do.
Thanks for your compliments about the site. Look forward to some new fly tying articles in the next few weeks.
March 25, 1999
Just wanted to drop you guys a note and let you know how much I am loving the "Sparkle Body". I home brew a lot of bucktail streamers, deceivers, and clouser minnow style flies. The thing that has always bothered me (and I think the fish too!!) is that fact that I have this really beautiful fly and then a large white, black or brown head. Have you looked at a bait fish lately? They don't look like that!! But by using the sparkle body I can now bring the colors all the way up to the eye of the hook!! It is fabulous!!
I am not a great tyer. But with "Sparkle Body" I can get a nice even finish that looks good and fishes great!!! I met you guys at the show in Marlborough, MA back in February. I have been using your stuff since then. And I will be using it for long while to come!!
Thanks, David Finchum
Walland, Tennessee. (at the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains. No I don't trout fish! I am not in to chasing minnows around in a cold stream!!! :-)
Thank you for your message regarding E-Z Shape Sparkle Body. I'm glad you've enjoyed working with our product.
February 17, 1999
I was telling a young dark haired lady working your booth at the Marlborough show about a floating crab pattern using the E-Z Shape Sparkle Body material. Here is the link: Don's Hard Shell Crab. (This link will take you off of Saltwaterflies.com, so please use your browser's "back" button to return to Saltwaterflies.com).
Thanks so much for sending us this link. Keep in touch!
February 17, 1999
I just wanted to thank you for introducing me to your E-Z Shape body material at the Marlboro show. Your innovative material will work wonders for my flies. Thank you.
A satisfied customer, Christopher Gosselin
Many thanks for the kind words. Keep tying!
February 17, 1999
Help! - I'm addicted to tying with E-Z Shape Sparkle Body! I've tied over two dozen of the sparkling sand eels. By the way - went with olive for a dozen as opposed to chartruse, as olive epoxy surf candy-like flies are the hottest fly for me when I fish the rocks off of Gloucester, Mass. Is there any cure for "E-Z Shapeitus?" I can't tie enough - what an absolutely great product!!!!
Thanks for the compliments. I hope that you'll continue to enjoy using E-Z Shape as much as I have!
Fair winds and a Fair Tide,
February 11, 1999
I met you guys at the San Mateo Show and got a couple bottles of Sparkle Body. When I try to make a body coating like a minnow body, this stuff is so good at not dripping that each "line" of applied material stays raised and does not melt down to form a smooth minnow body side for example. My question is this, is there something I can use to thin the stuff down a bit?? Maybe add a little of some fluid to the bottle to make flow easier??
Thanks, Al Shaw
Thanks for your e-mail. You can thin the 'Sparkle Body a little if you want with water. Remove the applicator tip and just add a drop or two. Then replace the tip and shake well. Be careful not to thin it too much or else the 'Sparkle Body will not hold it's shape. If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to drop us a line!
February 1, 1999
Just a note...
A little background on myself. I've been saltwater fly fishing for more than 25 years. I've won the Bonefish on fly release category in the Metropolitan Fishing Tournament a few times. On the other end of the spectrum I've also released two blue marlin on the fly, biggest 175#. I've also caught a flats grand slam on the fly in the Keys (150# Tarpon, 18# Permit, 10# bonefish). Here's a photo of a nice bonefish that I thought you might enjoy.
I take my guide friends fishing when they want a break and I fish 60-90 days per year. I also tie flies commercially. My friends include Mike Conner, Tim Borsky, Bob Lemay, Mike Praznosky, etc. I know and appreciate saltwater flies. I'm telling you this not because I want to brag, but so you will appreciate what I'm about to say. I started using your product and love it!
I bought two bottles last week and had to go back today to get four more colors. I see a lot of possible applications. Especially for bonefish and redfish. I hear that you have more colors. Please send me what info you have on your product and let me know about your new products. I'll tell my friends.
Rory J. Santana, Miami, FL.
I'll send you some more info right away! Thanks for the kind words regarding E-Z Shape Sparkle Body. Lots of professional and amateur tiers are enjoing the "stuff"! Keep well, and keep in touch.
January 19, 1999
My name is Adam Young and I am a very keen fly fisherman and I was wondering if you could please send me any free flies or some stickers or something along those lines? I am having trouble finding the right flies because none of the stores here have any. Do you think you could help me out?
Adam Young - Queensland, Australia
P.S. Your site rulz and so do your flies!
Id be happy to send you our new 1999 catalog of saltwater flies, along with our new bumper sticker! If you're lucky you might even get a free sample...
P.S. I love it when our site rulz!
November 30, 1998
I just thought that you might want to know that if anyone is planning to come down to Pensacola, Florida anytime in the near future the bonito are plentiful as of now. They are eating anything white and pink. I am using a white clouser with a chartreuse thread head and they can't resist it. These bonito are averaging 8-12#, so plenty of backing is the name of the game. For some real fun just a few miles off the coast bring a 9weight and get a good forearm workout.
Joel Howard, Pensacola, Florida
We're grateful for the report. If you have any photos of the fish you're catching - send them on! We'll send you a coupon for 10% off anything from our on-line store if we use your photo in the pages of Saltwaterflies.com! Please e-mail your photos to us at email@example.com, or send them to: Tight Lines, PO Box 362, Housatonic, MA 01236. If you send hard copies via snail mail, we will return them to you after we scan them.
November 2, 1998
I am a new salt water flyrodder. I am looking for some leader recipes for surf casting for stripers/blues/anything. I am using a 9wt. rod and an intermediate line. If you have any info please e-mail me.
Wayne Halsall, Fair Lawn, NJ
Thanks for e-mailing. The best all-purpose leader system that I have found goes as follows: Butt Section: three feet of 30# - 40# test nail knotted to the end of the flyline (or looped to a braided loop connector at the end of the line for big-game offshore stuff)...A four or five foot 12# to 20# tippet with a Bimini Twist and Surgeons Loop in one end added to the butt section with a loop to loop connection, then the fly attached to the end of the tippet with an improved clinch knot or non-slip mono loop. This is the leader that I will use 90% of the time for stripers, false albacore, etc. Bluefish require the addition of some heavy mono or wire as a shock tippet. Such a leader will serve you well with a floating or intermediate line; heavy sinking lines generally require shorter tippets to produce fish consistently.
If you will e-mail me your address, I'll send you an example of such a leader, along with our 1998 catalog of saltwater flies.
Your best bet in the long run is to get Lefty Kreh/Mark Sosin's book; Practical Fishing Knots or Practical Fishing Knots II. These books give the straight dope on saltwater leader systems, including special purpose leader systems such as those designed for very toothy fish like blues, barracuda, and even sharks.
At some point you must learn important saltwater knots like the Bimini Twist, Surgeons knot, and the Albright, or befriend some angler who knows these knots well, so I would highly suggest that you pick up Lefty's book. It will mean the difference between landing and losing big fish. In addition, the leader system outlined allows the angler to quickly change or replace tippets without tying any knots, so that the only knots that the angler needs tie on the water are those knots that connect the tippet to the fly. This keeps your knot tying chores at home under controlled conditions where you can be assured of doing a good job. Trying to repair a leader in a rocking boat, or on a windy beach in the middle of the night with wet hands is an exercise in futility, and generally wastes valuable time while producing less than satisfactory results.
The easy answer to a good leader system is to put a little time in at home learning how to construct the type of leader that you will use most often - this investment in learning will pay off big when you hook up with a heavy fish, or in your general level of comfort with replacing tippets and tying on flies.
If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to e-mail. As I mentioned earlier, e-mail me your address and I'll send you a saltwater leader. Best of luck with all of your fly rodding adventures!
October 20, 1998
I was out on the North shore of the Northern Fork of Long Island this past weekend (10/17 - 10/18). I flyfished from a kayak along a riptide and the fishing was fantastic. I was using your Sparkling Squid and caught plenty of blues, false albacore and even two stripers. One of the albies was caught on a backcast that mistakingly touched the water! (It is hard to get height flycasting from a kayak.
I had two questions:
I have been using an Ugly Stick flyrod that was given to me. It is 9 feet tall and can carry 9 weight line. I don't like the way it handles. I have been freshwater flyfishing for years and something about this saltwater flyrod doesn't feel right. I don't think there is enough flex in the tip. It is plenty strong, though. Can you recommend a good (ideally under $150) rod for saltwater flyfishing where the fish would range from 5 to 12 lbs? I already have a decent reel.
Second, how is the fishing in LI Sound in March/April compared to the Fall? What is running?
Thanks again for a great set of flies and all your help in getting me started in saltwater flyfishing.
Very glad to hear that you are enjoying your time on the water. Sounds like you've got the kayak thing figured out - I often fish from a canoe myself, and this is a very effective way to fish in some situations, although clearly some care is required in order to stay safe.
The problem with the fly rod that you are using may be that this rod is manufactured by a company which primarily builds spinning rods. Try a rod by a reputable fly rod manufacturer. Thomas and Thomas makes a great rod (their ES series) for about $275.00; if you can't spend that much, I might suggest one of Cortland's 9 foot for 9 weight Presentation II rods. These rods are really affordable, and of excellent quality for the price.
In response to your second question...things may be a little slow in March and April, but late april can bring some good fishing to Western Long Island Sound if you concentrate your attention on river mouths (Housatonic, Connecticut, Thames, etc.) These areas hold fish, mostly stripers, throughout the winter, and when water temps in the spring start to climb, these fish will begin to feed. Keep your eye on other anglers; many boat fishermen will work these areas on the warmer days, and you can quickly locate some of the hot spots that will produce striped bass in the early part of the season.
Best of luck in all of your travels, and keep up that good work with the fish!
October 19, 1998
I joined up with Andy Harris on the grounds of Millstone Power Plant - first time ever there for me - for some albie fishing from shore. Got there around 12:30 PM as the big moon tide was beginning to fall. Albies were stacked like sea green cordwood practically up against the grate, all in the channel and were surfing the waves created as the outflow formed a rip against the prevailing southwesterly. Seeing those fish swim and flash and surf was one of the most beautiful things I'd ever seen, and for awhile I was pretty content to just sit and watch the fish - they were gorgeous, all backlit by the October afternoon sun. Threw about ten different flies at 'em - nada. Went down to the rocks and studied the bait, found a small school of baby bunker, a small school of mullet and lots of rather smallish silversides all along the rocks. Then I thought , "Why not a popper, right in their face - kind of like what you do do with salmon and steelhead-when they won't eat streamers?"
So I tied on one of Joe Blados's huge Crease Flies, tossed it out there, two pops and my long-dreamed for afternoon of "dry fly fishing" for albies began. They tired of that fly quickly, took two more on old Farnsworth flies - pearl sliders - they tired of that. Then I tied on an olive/white Slim Jim and "the games" officially began. For the rest of the afternoon I fished the Slim Jim or the Beach Glass Silversides. Hooked an astounding 22 fish between 1:45 and 5:15 on these two flies. Landed 6. First three were in the 11-13 lb range. As the tide fell, and there was less water in the outflow, the fish got wildly careless. I hooked all fish on Ande 20 lb; problem was Andy and I were trashing tippets on every fish, because of all the rocks and barnacles (now I understand how these guys were breaking off so many fish and trashing fly lines out there - I was very lucky as three fish went around the corner and made as if to go up the "other" outflow-I was really lucky I turned them and they came back out!!!) By the end of the afternoon we were out of 20 lb and could not hold them on anything less. So... what to do?... yeah, you guessed it. I cut the perfection loop off of the Ande 40lb butt and tied the fly directly to 40 lb test. Butt was not even 3.5' long - hooked last three fish on straight 40 lb test. So much for the need for fluorocarbon...
Andy and I had to call it quits because we both forgot water and were seriously dehydrated by the end of the afternoon. This was an afternoon that will get me through the worst parts of February and March. Hope you have one too!
Once again your fishing report takes the cake for a great description of exciting action. Keep us posted...
October 13, 1998
Ed Mitchell graciously invited me to fish out of his Hyde drift boat in Jordan Cove and along Pleasure Beach/Seaside this morning. The albie bite was in full swing in the early dark hour between 6 and 7 am. Ed & I lazed out of the shore anglers' way and over to the beach part of Pleasure Beach. I hooked an extremely fat false albacore (over 10 lbs) on my second cast. Really fantastic fight and two very long runs. The 16lb Jinkai held up no problem, as did my fly line. About an hour later an even fatter albacore came right out of the water and nabbed the fly. When I saw the size of this gator as he/she began to circle the boat I was amazed - this fish was big - and I've caught them over 14 lbs. Kind wore a rut on my left middle finger as the gel spun backing zigged and zagged over my taped fingers. This fish was spectacular - a real tank - with the shoulders of an offensive lineman. The we poked over to Seaside as there had been a good bite there yesterday. The big bite did not really set up, though I got two nice bass and another, much smaller albie. After those other two brutes it felt quite light and we were hoping it was a bonito - but no such luck. Still bonito-less in the Sound, and its mid-October. But life is good...my shoulders are sore.
This was a wonderfully relaxed way to fish and stealthy too. Very enjoyable time. You can book Ed and his driftboat by calling him at 860 529-0685.
Thanks for another great report. You've peaked my interest - I'll be giving Ed a call this week. Glad to hear that you got a big one - Keep those reports coming!
October 10, 1998
I have a small flyshop in Seaside, Florida (panhandle). I began using your
stuff a while back and would like to offer your product within my stores. I
also guide here for tarpon, reds, specks, etc. Should you ever get down this
way, please give us a call.
Best regards, Gordie Hinds
Thanks for e-mailing. We love to hear about exceptional catches that people have made using flies tied with E-Z Shape Sparkle Body. I hope that you will carry E-Z Shape Sparkle Body in your shop - this will be a great service to anglers in your area.
October 3, 1998
There are, as many of you know, just BILLIONS of baby bunker in LI Sound. Yesterday was into bass, blues and albies from shore in Old Lyme no less - saw eight fish come straight out of the water representing all three species - wild! The bunker are getting bigger and harder to represent with a fly.
Thanks for the report! I hope to see you on the water.
August 27, 1998
My name is Eric Naguski - you might not remember me, but I wrote you a couple of months ago about fishing on Martha's Vineyard (I'm the guy from Central Pennsylvania). I just wanted to thank you for your help on wading spots on the island. I mainly fished around Menemsha and Lobsterville Beach and was able to consistently find fish. I did not catch any very big bass from shore (the largest was about 25") but I probably averaged 3 or 4 fish every time I fished during the two weeks I was on the island (I only missed 3 days). I also fished with Mo Flaherty twice and had a blast! Too many fish to count out of the rip at Middle Ground, mostly in the 4-8lb range. I did manage one bass which came in at 15 lbs. I also got got two shots at bonito and got two strikes but I was unable to hook up, very frustrating after chasing those things around in the rain for two hours. Anyway, thank you for your help. This winter, if you want to find rising trout any day of the week (as long as we're not flooded out), give me a call. I owe you a fishing trip.
I remember your e-mail! Glad to hear you enjoyed yourself on your trip to the Vineyard. Nice work on those bass - don't be too hard on yourself about the Bonito. Your experience is typical; Bonito are one of the most challenging gamefish that you can try for with a fly rod in New England.
I'll be fishing with "Mister Mo" myself this coming Tuesday as long as the weather holds and this approaching hurricane doesn't mess things up. Check out Capt. Mo Flaherty's webpage here at saltwaterflies.com. Thanks for the invitation to fish - If I'm down your way I'll be sure to give you a call. Thanks again for e-mailing!
August 20, 1998
Brilliant! I am just in the process of embarking into the field of saltwater flyfishing, having never fly fished before. The Internet seemed a logical place to start looking for info, but what I found has overwhelmed me. But by far and away, one of the best sites I have come across for useful info is your site. The step by step fly tying guides are excellent, and I have printed out every last one so that one day I might be able to tie my own.
So, thank you for sharing your knowledge and the information. I look forward to seeing more flies up on your site!
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Thank you very much for the kind words regarding Saltwaterflies.com. The feedback and comments that we receive from viewers like you help to keep our website entertaining and informative, and we always welcome the insight of the fly fishing public. Best of luck with your forays into saltwater fly fishing!
July 11, 1998
John Schillinger weighed in a 6.6 lb bonito at Larry's in Edgartown this afternoon....taken off of Dogfish Bar. Yes! Let the games begin in Paradise!...
Thanks for the news! I'm sure we'll all be looking forward to the games! Tight Lines!
July 1, 1998
E-Z shape arrived this morning. Great service. Tied a Grass Shrimp using the Pearl E-Z. Great Product. I'll give my Devcon Epoxy away soon. Please keep me in mind when you have the clear developed. At that time I'll probably want a Pure Black for eyes. I would appreciate you sending me your fly catalog. By the way I appreciate the Shrimp Pink E-Z. I'll let my fly tying Club members know of your great product.
Thank you! Great to hear that you enjoyed using the 'Sparkle Body. Please let us know if we can do anything else for you.
June 30, 1998
I just wanted to say thanks again for one of the best fishing trips I ever had. You made it really exciting and fun, and the keeper striper I caught was a big bonus too! I hope I get invited back next year to spend time fishing with you...and by then you will be my brother in law! Thanks again so much for everything; my sister is a lucky lady. By the way...the kids loved squidding alot!!!(so did I).
Your soon to be brother in law,
Your words of thanks make it all worthwhile! I can't wait 'till we do it again next year. See you soon!
June 27, 1998
Just returned from a great trip to the Vineyard; amazing fishing for stripers but even more amazing was the guide. He took me and my son Greg to some of the most beautiful spots on the island and we took stripers up to 40 inches. He was very patient with my fly casting and I learn a lot from him each time out. His companionship was delightful and many other fisherman on the island were familiar with him (perhaps he's becoming legendary).
Just wanted to tell you about a great trip. By the way, the guides' name was Chris Windram, my soon to be son-in-law, and I also want to thank my daughter Jennifer for sharing Chris with her father this past week.
I can't thank you enough for the compliments, and the great times we had together. I'm looking forward to many more trips out to Martha's Vineyard with you, Diane, and all of the Dyers!.
Greetings, Friends of Saltwaterflies.com!
Having recently returned from my spring trip the the beautiful island of Martha's Vineyard, I wanted to take a few minutes to thank all of those folks who make the island such a wonderful place.
Thanks go out as always to Bob Lane and his wonderful wife Jill for their generosity and hospitality. Thanks to Gary Moscowitz and Charles Cutler for joining me on-island to enjoy some excellent fishing together. Many thanks to Ruth Meyer for allowing us to rent her lovely house in Edgartown. Anyone interested in renting this place as a base of operations for fishing should call Ruth at (508) 627-4223. I know that September and October are still pretty much open for now!
Some of the more memorable events...Bill Dyer gets a forty inch fish at a place we'll call Gus' Reef... Greg Dyer beaches his very first striped bass, and gets a 33" keeper the next day... Biking along Beach Road in Edgartown with the lovely Jennifer Dyer and then jumping off Anthier's Bridge to cool off... Losing a really big fish to a straightened hook on the North Shore... Catching and releasing two 36" fish in Menemsha one night while accompanied by fellow fly rodders Morgan Davis and Charles Harner...Grilling a nice keeper bass caught by Bill Dyer for the family...Watching a sea otter catch a big skate at the Brickyard...Seeing a whale breach off Lobsterville Beach first night on-island...seeing a big shark later that evening...Getting rained out in a major way the night of the Catch and Release Tournament.
As usual, no end to the fun and exciting things to see and do on that beautiful island!
Many thanks again to everyone who helped to make our spring vacation such an enjoyable one. Tight Lines!
May 20, 1998
Had some great action this past weekend here on the Vineyard. Went down to my favorite spot Friday afternoon around 5 and had non-stop bluefish action until 7. Used your deep sparkling sand eel with a #50 test mono shock tippet almost the whole time only took around 15 fish because it would take so long to get them in. They were in the 4 - 9 lb size range. Near the end that one fly had just about had it but was still catching fish. I then switched over to your white spun deerhair head fly and was getting all bass (biggest was 34") while the guy next to me was getting all bluefish!
The most memorable part of the evening was the sight of thousands of fish lined up in the crest of the waves. They were mostly bluefish but once in a while you could see a bass in among them. I've been here 10 years and this was the first time I remember seeing them in the waves like that.
Now get this, I saw Jeff Sayre in the shop on Sat and he told me he was at my spot with John Schillinger on Friday and it was dead. I asked him what time he was there and he said he left around three. When I told him the news that he should have stuck around he was bummed out. Then a few minutes later a guy came in the shop and recognized me from the beach on Friday and he told me I left too soon because the bigger bass moved in about an hour after dark. Then I was bummed out...I guess it's all relative.
See you soon,
Great reporting! I'll be joining you on the island next week - keep tabs on those bluefish!
May 20, 1998
I was thinking of you last night while fishing a stretch of the East Fork River headwater about 40 miles northeast of downtown Cincinnati. The hybrid stripers are running and of course I'm chasing them but in heavily stained water last night I couldn't get one of any size to accept an offering. I threw every fly I owned at them without any luck. I finally tied on a 1/16 ounce chartreuse jig and got hit by a freight train on the first cast. I pictured the filet on the grill while waging a 5 minute war to land him. Yup. You guessed it. 3 lb carp!! Lost my appetite but hell of a fight though. If I recall correctly, you once told me they were your favorite fresh water hookup and this encounter reminded me why.
How's the fishing been where you are?
Good to hear from you. Thanks for the story about the carp! Carp fishing just got hot here - I've been out guiding for carp - three trips in the past week. In addition to 30 - 40 fish taken in the usual way this past week, my friends, clients, and I have taken about 15 carp on dry flies this week! Biggest fish this week was one of about six or seven pounds taken by my future father-in-law, Bill Dyer at my favorite "secret" flat; biggest one on a dry - about 3 pounds - on 6x tippet!
I hope to see you on the Vineyard in late September...I'm basically having my bachelor party there...stripers not strippers, and hopefully lots of false albacore. I'm headed out there this coming monday, and staying for about 3 days, the blues and stripers are in!
Keep in touch,
May 12, 1998
At the Australian National Dictionary Centre we're trying to track down the term 'swoffing'. A search on AltaVista for 'swoffing' took me to your forum site, but I couldn't find the term on the page. The other sites all have Australian addresses. We have been trying to establish whether 'swoffing' is an Australian flyfishing term, or whether it is used world wide. Can you provide any information?
Thanks for e-mailing. As far as I know, swoffing is a purely Australian term for flyfishing in saltwater (saltwater fly fishing becomes "swoffing"). Take a look at Chris King's message to us dated August 20, 1997 on our "Forum 2" page. Chris King's message is listed about halfway down the page. The term "Swoffing" may have originated in Australia, but thanks to the power of the internet, it may be a world wide term shortly!! Best wishes to you and everyone at the Australian National University.
May 6, 1998
Thanks for the super delivery. I used one of the chartreuse and white sparkling deceivers last night on a 5 wt LL to catch a 20-22 in. 6 lb fish and in the process won 2 dollars from my fishing buddies in a " First One To The Beach " contest. Some day you have to tell me about the lovely little cigarette boxes you shipped them in. They look like antiques. What is the significance of the numbers or dates written inside the lid of the boxes in pencil? Thanks again. Your work is super and most appreciated here on Nantucket. Have a wonderful day.
Tight Lines (no pun intended),
Thank you very much for the kind words regarding my fly tying services. The cigarette boxes came from a tag sale; they sure are neat, and you might expect to get a few more flies delivered in these. They do look rather old. I'm not sure what the numbers inside the box are, perhaps the price or something. Keep up the good work, Bill.
Note: Interested readers shouldn't hesitate to check out Bill Fisher Tackle's webpage.
April 28, 1998
I have been fishing all my life and fly fishing for about 5 years, but I
never quite got the hook size thing down.
Thanks for e-mailing. You are not alone in trying to figure out "the hook size thing"! I thought I would take a few minutes to try to address some of the aspects of hook size, but upon further consideration, I realized that the information needed to explain this subject could easily fill a book (and I'm sure it has).
My best advice to you would be to write to O. Mustad and Son, the world's largest manufacturer of fish hooks. Their catalog includes an excellent discussion of hook sizes, styles, and terminoloy regarding the parts of the hook. I found the Mustad catalog to be an wonderful source of answers to questions about fish hooks, and the catalog depicts many hook styles shown in actual sizes.
As regards the flies that you see in the pages of SaltwaterFlies.com, probably 80% of these are tied on Mustad's 34007 stainless steel hook. A few flies are tied on Tiemco's 800S series, and my sand eel flies and some of the squid flies are tied on Mustad's 34011; a long-shank version of the 34007.
For a look at these hook styles, and others, take a look at our tying materials catalog's hook selection .
Request a copy of Mustad's catalog at:
Best of luck with your fishing this season, and thanks again for e-mailing!
March 21, 1998
Dear friends of Saltwaterflies.com,
I recently picked up a Richardson Chest Fly Box at one of the trade shows. This box is a great solution to digging around in a vest or chest pack for fly boxes, and it allows the angler to peruse the contents of the box hands- free. This is a great product! Check out the Richardson Chest Fly Box at their website.
March 17, 1998
Hello. I wanted to let you know that I landed a nice Giant Herring (54cm) on a Clouser Minnow with E-Z Shape Pearl Head. These fish are more often caught about 1000 k's north, but we still get a few down here from time to time. Real rockets, like a bonefish that jumps 2 metres out of the water. Good fun on a #5 sage! I've been sneaking back to the same spot in the hope of hooking into a full sized one which are normally just over 1 metre long!
Great to hear from you! Keep up the good work with the Giant Herring; sounds very exciting to me, especially since we still have a couple of inches of snow on the ground here. Best of luck for a big one!
February 9, 1998
I am a fly fisherman and fly tier (saltwater and freshwater). My name is Graziano Avanzi and one of my best places is the Yucatan (Mexico) at Boca Paila and Ascension Bay; over there I have matured a nice experience in saltwater for bonefish and permit (I have also two "super grand slam" in a week - August 1997- in Boca Paila). I have tested your nice material found in Kaufmann' catalougue, but I have seen only four colors, so I'm writing you to know more informations. This is the right material for my nice crabs with which I have hooked many permit. I hope you write me as soon as possible. Thank you and best regards!!
Thank you for writing. I'm very glad to hear that you have used E-Z Shape Sparkle Body successfully. We have fourteen different colors of E-Z Shape Sparkle Body: Pearl, Silver Scale, Fluorescent Chartreuse, Saltwater Blue, Black Pearl, Sand, Olive, Crayfish (Dark Olive), Gold, Shrimp Pink, Pure White, Pure Black, Pure Red Gill, and Pure Fluorescent Yellow.In Europe you can get all of our colors from Christian Billard at Earth, Stream & Fly, in Saumane, France. Their address is:
Earth, Stream and Fly
TEL 04 90 20 28 83
Check out more of the pages on Saltwaterflies.com for more information about E-Z Shape Sparkle Body.
Best of luck, and thanks again!
February 4, 1998
Cheers from dreary MVY (Martha's Vineyard)...MAN have we had rain... Geez Louise!
Anyway...to keep the boredom at bay, I've started tying flies...and lots of them with EZ-SHAPE SPARKLE BODY...but I'm having some difficulties. Got time for questions/tips?
When I apply the 'Sparkle Body, it goes on lumpy. I try to smooth it out a bit with the bottle top/bodkin, but that thins it out quite a bit. By the time I'm done with the bodkin, I've got a thinner application of the same lumpy body. Am I doing something wrong?
I recognize that the liquid "flattens" itself out rather well (it tries to form a continuous surface). But there are usually bends and turns left behind (probably from me messing around with the stuff too much)...any hints on what to do?
I tie off the bucktail/fur/etc. well into the shank, thinking this will add body to the fly, and allow the 'Sparkle Body to form up well (and thick). Should I wrap chenille/yarn/something else to help the sparkle body distribute better across the hook and give a thicker body to the fly?
How many coats did you have to apply to the minnow I saw at Larry's Tackle Shop in Edgartown?
Is there something that 'Sparkle Body won't stick to? That is, could I make a mold (wax/wood/etc) to receive a fly, and pour/mold the sparkle body by filling it into a mold? I love some of the squid-thangs you've done, but don't think I have the time/storage-while-drying to do it layer-by-layer, hour-after-hour.
I'm probably off to Belize for permit in March... Any suggested Sparkle Body flies I should take/tie?
Thanks buddy. I know I'll see you in the spring. By the way, did you know that the Catch & Release this year will be June 13&14?
Ciao for Niao...
Thanks for the opportunity to answer a few of your questions!
In response to your problems with lumpy bodies, the solution is to use the very tip of a needle or fly tying bodkin to drag a little 'Sparkle Body from a high spot to a low one. Using the side of the tool will just "plow" the material off of the area that you want to coat. If you still have lumpy bodies, you are probably messing around with the coating too much. You'll have five to ten minutes of working time with the 'Sparkle Body, but the less you manipulate the material after you have applied it, the better.
You can use a smooth yarn to build up a thicker body. If you want to lay on a heavy coat, you can place the fly on an epoxy turner after application.
E-Z Shape Sparkle Body does not adhere well to bare metals, so you can make shapes on aluminum foil, then, peel them off and stick them onto the hook. Wax paper will probably work too. All of the flies that you may have seen at Larry's are made in one coat, including the squid-thangs (Sparkling Island Squid). The "fin" structure on the "squid-thang" is supported by a yarn underbody. See the article on my Crab fly for an example of how to make a flattened body shape using yarn to create a supporting underbody.
The largest flies that you can make are best placed on a "rotisserie" while drying. E-Z Shape Sparkle Body will not drip or sag when used to coat average-sized flies, but there is a limit to how thickly you can coat the fly. Placing the fly on an epoxy turner can help you to make some of the larger flies.
Thanks for the tip about the dates for the Martha's Vineyard Striped Bass Flyrod Catch and Release Tournament. I hope to see you there!
January 28, 1998
I spend my summers up in Nantucket Island (right across from where you like to do your fishing), and I spend all of my time up there fly fishing. I go through flies like crazy. The bluefish, stripers, bonita, and albacore just tear them up. I have had great success with sand eel patterns like the hard body shiner, and with clousers on the flats between Smith Point and Tuckernuck Island. I'm not sure how familiar you are with Nantucket, but it offers some great flats fishing for bass. Anyway, after reading your article in On The Water magazine, and checking out some of your information on E-Z Shape Sparkle Body on the internet, I decided to purchase a few bottles and tie some sand eels to save some money; since most flies are about $5 apiece in stores. I was wondering if you could recommend any other flies that can be made with the 'Sparkle Body, and would work well for bluefish, stripers, bonita, and false albacore. If not, could you recommend any other flies that you have found to work well? This would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you very much,
Thanks for e-mailing! Sounds like you're having a pretty good time out on Nantucket. I've heard about the flats fishing from Bill Pew at Bill Fisher Tackle, but haven't seen enough of it myself. I did get over a couple of years ago for a spring run of blues at "The Fingers"; that was fantastic!
As far as some other patterns for our Northeast gamefish go...try coating the head of a Clouser Minnow with E-Z Shape Sparkle Body; you can use one color (like Fluorescent Chartreuse) on top to match the color of the bucktail wing, then use the Pearl color on the bottom to match the white bucktail. Use the E-Z Shape Sparkle Body to fill in the spaces around the lead eyes. This makes a very durable and attractive fly. You can make an attractive two-tone head on a deceiver in much the same way, then use our Pure Fluorescent Yellow and Pure Black to add the eyes. Another very, very effective fly that you can make, especially for flats fishing, is my Deep Sparkling Sand Eel. Check out this link for the article and tying instructions for this highly effective fly. This is one of the most popular flies that I sell on the Vineyard. This fly is basically a weighted sand eel fly which drops to the sand after every strip when fished in shallow water. The little puff of sand that the fly makes as you start or stop your retrieve really attracts the attention of the bass. As you'll see from the article, the albies love it too!
If you are looking for a good source for high quality flies at reasonable prices, e-mail me with your address, and I'll send you my catalog. I tie all of the flies myself, and many of the patterns are designed for our Northeast gamefish. Even if you don't order anything from the catalog, you might get some more ideas for flies that you want to tie yourself.
Best wishes for a good season in 1998, Teddy.Chris
January 20, 1998
I thoroughly enjoyed browsing through your home page; keep up the good work. I am interested in purchasing a video on fly casting; is there one which you would recommend? (there are a couple advertised on the internet). I fish exclusively in saltwater (Eastern Cape coastline, South Africa) and intend tying some of the flies listed in your home page. I get the impression there are more species of fish that will take a fly off the American coast than off the South African coastline, unless we are still too new to the game and have not experimented enough. Do you have any knowledge of our fish species or any fly fisherman (South African, American or other) with fly fishing experience along The South African coast? I would like to correspond with them if possible. Thank you
Great to hear from your side of the world. Thanks for the kind words.
In response to your questions...Check out any video by Lefty Kreh, especially
those that feature demonstrations of his "Modern Fly Casting Method".
December 27, 1997
If you have a few seconds, please tell me what vise you'd recommend for someone brand new to fly fishing. I'm like lots of folks; fascinated by the gadgets that go along with my hobbies - and it looks as though my newest hobby is gonna be fly fishing.
I'd love to learn to tie, but I'm painfully aware that I may either a) not have the time to do it right or b) not have the skill. So I want to start with an economical vise that will support moderate efforts and at the same time not fail me while I learn whether or not I want to "tie or buy".
If you have a few seconds for a recommendation, I'd certainly appreciate it.
By the way - your website is fantastic. Kudos to Morgan Davis. Congratulations to you for having him show you and your skills off to "the world". (And thanks for the trip to outer space).
Warm Breezes and Tight Lines - Steve Boothe, firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for your e-mail, and thanks for your interest in Saltwaterflies.com.
In response to your query regarding fly tying vises...I can recommend a few that have served me well over the years. The Regal vise is an excellent and simple vise that will serve well for a saltwater tier, and a freshwater tier as well. This vise can be found at a variety of shops, and the basic model costs about $75.00. The HMH is also an excellent vise with a long standing reputation in the field of fly tying. Cost of this brand may be a little more. The Nor-Vise is a unique rotary vise that you may see at fly fishing shows; this is the original centerline rotary, and though it takes a while to get used to, this vise can be quite useful, especially for a production tier like myself.
If I had to pick one of the above vises for a beginning tier, I would probably go with the Regal. This vise is extremely easy to use, and built to last. Any vise that you use for saltwater tying should be equipped with a "C-clamp" (with the exception of the Nor-Vise, which bolts directly to the table). "Pedestal" type vises move around too much when tying for saltwater.
Almost any vise which you find priced at $15-$20.00 should probably be avoided if you plan to tie mostly saltwater flies. If you tie mostly freshwater, these vises may be okay for starting out, but the lowest priced models are prone to wear and breakage, and do not operate smoothly, as a rule. One exception to this is a vise made by Sunrise; the Tyemaster model #8112. This is a simple, durable vise for about $20.00 or less. This model may be difficult to find, however.
I should point out here that I have no professional relationship with the manufacturers of any of these vises, with the exception of the Nor-Vise. I receive no compensation from the manufacturer of the Nor-Vise, but he has my endorsement all the same.
To my knowledge, all of the vises listed above are made by reputable manufacturers who stand behind their product. Some of these makers may offer a lifetime guarantee on their product.
Check out any or all of these vises at your local fly tying shop. I would suggest that you try a few of these out so you can see what they look like, feel like, etc. Also, if you ever have any problem with it, you may be able to get some assistance from the place that you bought it. The Orvis fly tying catalog also might have one or more of these vises (the phone number to request this catalog is listed on my mainpage).
Thanks again for your interest, and thanks for the kind words regarding our website!
November 11, 1997
Special thanks go out to Bob and Jill Lane once again for their hospitality during my stay on the island. Their patience with my crazed fishing schedule and albacore obsession is a testament to their most generous character. My thanks also for Mr. Lane's willingness to hike miles over soft sand on the mere rumor of good action. His persistence in this regard did not go unnoticed!
Thanks also to Jerry McCarthy, for teaching me so much about fishing false albacore from the shore. Jerry helped me to see many subtle, yet important factors which made all of the difference between success and failure for these challenging speedsters. My con- gratulations to Jerry on his 1st Place Shore Flyrod False Albacore in the M.V. Derby.
Many thanks to Ruth Meyer and Don MacGillivray, and all the folks who helped make being at Larry's Tackle Shop in Edgartown a pleasure. Without their help, Tight Lines might still be a dream.
Thanks as well to Jeff Sayre and Scott Patterson for welcoming an off-islander, and helping me to find some fish. They both caught a lot more albies than I did, but I won't hold it against them.
My thanks also to Morgan Davis, who kept SaltwaterFlies.com up and running in my absence. Morgan landed his first false albacore this fall. I wish you many more, and congratulations on your engagement.
I would like to express my gratitude to Bill Dyer, who also got his first false albacore, and first flyrod striped bass this fall. It was a pleasure to fish beside such an even tempered and perceptive angler. I look forward to fishing with you again for many seasons to come, Bill.
Special thanks as well to the lovely Jennifer Dyer, for taking care of business while I was away. Your patience and dedication is truly extraordinary.
Thanks again, my friends. I look forward to many happy returns.
November 7, 1997 Chris & Jen, Hi guys, how's the weather out there? Congratulations on the prize you won in the Octoberfish raffle, Chris. I'm going to try to get it from Ruthie and send it out to you with your cookie box. Great cookies Jen, I never knew fish could taste so good! Been going down to that spot I told you about pretty regularly. Took my British guest, Jeremy Barnett, down on one afternoon and got him his first striped bass in the channel. He was thrilled to say the least. He paid the price though because when I worked at Larry's Tackle Shop Friday evening, Peter Jackson came in and took the fly rod lead with a 9.55 striped bass, and fly rod second place with a nice bluefish. He told me he got them at West Chop, so I dragged Jeremy out there on Saturday. Now you've got to understand that the only reason we were still on the island on Saturday was because we were afraid they were going to shut down the boats due to the wind, and we canceled a planned trip to Boston. Needless to say we got a little wet and only one tiny fish between the three W's (wind, waves and weeds). We ran into Mike Stimola and his brother in Law Stephen Benedetto in Bunch Of Grapes bookstore on Saturday, just before we went to West Chop. They had been at Tashmoo Friday and saw fish way out, but they were smart enough not to go back out on Saturday. Anyways, after our soaking on Saturday I then took Jeremy to the Octoberfish awards ceremony. Ruthie had it next door at Georgio's and it was well attended. The Don (MacGillivray) won a T&T 10# fly rod for his albie, I won a nice Abel luggage bag in the raffle. Don already had three T&T 10# rods and had his eye on the bag so we struck a deal where I gave him some cash and the bag and he gave me the rod! Naturally on Sunday, Jeremy being the good fishing buddy he is, insisted that I take him out fishing again specifically so I could try out the new rod. Again it was raining but with a little less wind, again we got soaked and again the three W's prevailed with no fish to show for it. But the rod did cast nicely. (I think Jeremy has been bitten by the bug.) Jeremy and the British entourage went back on Monday so I was forced to go back to the spot by myself on Monday and Tuesday to really test the new rod. Monday I got three fish in the channel as the surf was much too heavy to fish outside. Tuesday I was able to get out on the bar and for an hour and a half it was non stop action. I managed to land 25 with a hit on every cast. Nothing over 25 inches, but what fun. Used the new T&T and the Teeny Line along with the leader and herring fly you gave me, Chris, before you left. Thanks, it's doing great, haven't changed anything yet. I keep checking the knots, shock tippet and the fly but all is holding up well. Had a meeting and then a dentist appointment on Wednesday but today, Thursday, is open with beautiful weather, moderate surf and very little wind. Friday through Sunday is supposed to blow and rain again. Don't know how much longer our spot will stay fishy, it's going on four months now. The longest anyone I've talked to can remember is six months, and that was many years ago. I'll keep you posted as the season winds down. Hope you've been able to get in some more Berkshire Bonefish action before it all pauses for winter. Tight lines, Bob Lane President, Martha's Vineyard Surfcasters Association
Thanks for the report, Bob. I had the best time fishing with you this fall, and I learned a lot about fly rodding the open surf. I can see myself spending a lot more time at this kind of fishing in the future, because the potenial is there to catch big fish; plus it's just plain exciting!
Glad to hear that you made a new friend in Jeremy. Perhaps he can make it back next year; I don't know how anyone could stop surf fishing after getting a good dose of it.
I'll be tying up a lot more of those herring flies pretty soon. After the fast action we had on them all fall, I want to be stocked up for next year, and everyone is asking for more. Stripers (and blues) love those herring!
I'm already looking forward to next season. Stay in touch, and I'll keep
you updated on the Berkshire Bonefish action (I took twelve in one day last
week, but I think it's about over)! Thanks again for everything!
October 24, 1997 Chris, Good to hear from you. Sounds like you've been having some good fishing. I've been testing out new patterns with E-Z on tailor which are what I think you call bluefish in the States. Chris Beech has developed an excellent freshwater pattern which has a bead of E-Z at the head of the fly. He lives in Tasmania and caught several trout in the 6 to 8 pound bracket on the first try out. We have included Chris's new pattern in our catalogue and have also devoted a page of text to E-Z which is on the last page of the catalogue. The first review of E-Z and advertisment is coming out on 16/12/97. The response from tyers who have used E-Z continues to be good... Thanks for the colour charts, I've put them to good use. Will send you some samples of the new patterns once the first batch arrives from the factory. All the best, Chris Dunham Anglers International Bayswater, Australia
September 2, 1997 I wanted to know if you can tell me when is the best time to fish for False Albacore, and Bonita in the Rhode Island and Mass area? I have a friend who told me around Columbus Day. What do you think? Regards, John Sisco
In answer to your question about bonito and false albacore, Columbus day can be a good time to fish for these species in MA and RI, but it also might be too late for the false albacore, at least in Massachusetts. Last year the albacore dissappeared from Massachusetts waters by about Oct.1, due to a strong fall storm that cooled the water. Since this is a cool year, the albies may show up and depart earlier, but no one can really predict the movements of these fish with any degree of certainty. The Atlantic Bonito will stay longer than the false albacore, often until early november. If you miss the albies in Massachusetts, you might head down to the Watch Hill, RI area, or possibly Point Judith. Lots of fish in these areas, but not as easy to fish from shore as many of the Cape Cod/Islands fishing spots. If I had my pick for the best time for the Cape and Islands, I might pick the last week in September, or the first week in October for the false albacore. In Rhode Island, more towards the middle or the end of October.
Your best bet to finding out about the movements of these fish would be to call some of the better fly shops in those areas that get the runs of bonito and false albacore. You could probably get a daily update by calling Larry's Tackle Shop on Martha's Vineyard at (508) 627-5088, Bill Fisher Tackle on Nantucket at (508) 228-2261, or Eastman's on Cape Cod at (508) 548-6900. In Rhode Island you might call the Maridee II in Point Judith at (401) 789-5190, or Capt. Johnny Glenn in Watch Hill at (401) 348-8716.
I sincerely hope that you get a chance to fish for these exciting
species this year.
August 26, 1997 Hi Chris, Thanks for the unexpected extras! The Sparkle body is awesome, the pics on the internet don't do the flies justice! Tied a few sand eels for starters. Hope to have some good stories from the Cape. Nice doing business with you. Mike Johndrew
Thank you, Mike! Everyone here at Saltwaterflies.com is wishing you an enjoyable trip to Cape Cod. Best of luck!
August 20, 1997 Hi Chris, I'm looking forward to getting the flies that I ordered from you. I had a great weekend catching 2-3 kg skipjack trevally in the southwest of western australia on light spinning gear, and think the sparkling leadeye minnow would be very effective on them when i go swoffing (do you call saltwater fly fishing that over there?) next time. Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks, Chris King. Western Australia
Thanks for the e-mail and the linguistics, Chris. I've never heard the term "swoffing" but you can be sure that I'll be doing some extensive swoffing for false albacore, bonito, striped bass, and bluefish during September and October. Tight Lines!
August 2, 1997 Hi Chris, Just wanted you to know I had a great trip! Bob, Don, Ed were all very nice and hospitable. I caught blues in the 25 inch range with spinning gear at the Wasque rip and then thankfully christened my fly rod on 21 inch stripers from the North Neck side of the Cape Poge gut--really exciting stuff! It was your chartreuse and white deceiver that got 'em. Please stay in touch so that we may hook up next summer when I return. Thanks again for all the advice, the flies, and the people to talk to. Tom Neess
Thanks for e-mailing, Tom. Glad to hear that you had a good trip. Bob Lane told me that you attended the Martha's Vineyard Surfcasters picnic! I'm glad that you found some stripers on the fly as well. I look forward to the time that we may meet on the Vineyard. Tight Lines!
July 8, 1997 Hi Chris Checked out your page - it looks great. Just returned from a trip to Long Island, fished with Glen Mikkelson and Joe Blados. Best fish was a 34 incher, most fish in the 20-26 inch range, we also had some small blues. The Catch and release tournament on the Vineyard was fun, Ken V. and I fished the next night at Lamberts cove, thought we would try it for an hour, got there at about midnight and didn't leave till 6:00 in the morning, had fish all night 2 feet off the beach chasing sandeels, had three keepers, 2 - 34's and one 35. When you get your link page set up would you consider linking my page to yours? My site is at www.enhanced-designs.com/veverka/. Take care Bob Veverka
Thanks for the kind words, Bob. It feels great to hear from such a fine fly tier. Saltwaterflies.com surfers should know that Mr. Veverka is a tier of some renown, and that his work has appeared in a number of books of classic salmon flies and saltwater flies. Bob's flies appeared in Deke Meyer's excellent book; "Saltwater Flies, Over 700 of the Best", in which I also had the pleasure of appearing. Bob's patterns were also featured in "Bluewater Fly Fishing" by Trey Combs, a fantastic book about the extreme fly fishing to be found offshore. I urge everyone who reads this to check out Bob Veverka's website for more information.
June 27, 1997 Chris, Thanks for your note... it was great seeing you and even better fishing with you. Now for a true (really!!!) big fish story: Charles and I went to the beach off Martha's Vinyard near Edgartown near the little bridge. We were told by an excellent source that there were some monster strippers (or is it stripers)... there. It's the fish I'm talkin' about... In the first hour or so after dark, we caught some nice fish... in the 20 to 22" range... nothing special, but still a lot of fun. I decided to walk down the beach about a half of a mile to a point that comes out quite a way... the tide was somewhat low, so I could walk out on the point and be only knee deep about 60 feet from the shore. After casting for a while, I hooked into something big about 15 or 20 feet right in fron of me. The line started comming right at me at what looked like 25 MPH!... It's the first time in my life that I was ever afraid of a fish... imagine, here I am 60 feet from shore, it's totally dark - except for a little hazy moon - and no one's near me to either offer moral support or just calm me down. Anyway, the line keeps comming right at me, and all I could think of was SHARK!!! da-dum, da-dum it was Jaws in my head! Well the "monster" passed about a foot and a half away from me and started heading in towards the shore... he probably didn't know that I was on a point/flat and the shallower water was behind me. I quickly got the line on the reel and watched the line shoot towards the shallow water.... then he figured out that he was going the wrong way! He turned quickly, and I could see his girth and length... and I hope that was perspiration in my waders... that monster was a striper bigger than I've ever had on my line... I guessed his length at around three feet plus! Now, you know how good the fishing has been over the past few weeks at the Vinyard. I must have caught 100+ fish... and few if any got me in to the backing... I have that new striper line that is 100 feet long and I also have 150 yds. of backing.... Well, the monster turned and ran.... my drag was shreiking, I was still hearing da-dum, da-dum... and my hands were jelly, and my 8 weight was bent in half.... The fish ran almost the entire backing off my reel... so I started palming... and .... and....and....the hook pulled out..... Now I thought about this for quite a while. If i had landed the fish, I would have gotten braggin' rights.... but by NOT landing the fish, I will have the memories for quite some time... and maybe that's even better. I hope you enjoyed this story as much as I did in the telling. Sincerely, Larry J. Newmark
Thanks for the exciting story, Larry. You're not the only one who's lost a big fish and lived to tell about it. Nobody ever forgets "the one that got away", so I'll be looking forward to hearing about this one again! I lost a big fish this year too, but since the story you told was so exciting, I'm not even going to try to describe that feeling one gets when the line goes slack. Oh, well...
June 23, 1997 Dear Chris: Just got back from Martha's Vineyard and very much enjoyed fishing with you, John, and Larry last Tuesday. We fished "the bowl" at Lobsterville a couple of nights later, and I stopped counting after the thirtieth striper, all between 18" and 27" long. By far the most effective fly was the Sparkle Body Eel. While it was still fairly light, the Sparkle Body Squid tied over pink yarn was very effective. It was also the most effective fly for day time fishing on the flats, which we did one day with superb guide Capt. Mo Flaherty. See you when you get back. Charles Wohl
Thanks for the kind words, Charles. I enjoyed fishing with Larry, John, and you. It's always a pleasure to fish next to fine anglers, and you guys found the flies that were working before I did. Funny thing that they should be my patterns! Oh, well, sometimes it can be hard to see what's right in front of you. I look forward to fishing with you again soon. Glad to hear that you had a good time with Mo Flaherty as well.
June 23, 1997 Chris, Thanks for all the info and the fly recommendations this week on Martha's Vineyard. The striped bass fishing was more than what was promised, and the bluefish were a big bonus. Fly fishing at night, though feared, worked out very well. You're right. You develop a touch after a while, a feeling that lets you know when all is working right. Or when it's not! Appreciate your taking time out to tape a show for the American Outdoorsman Radio Network, our Midwest network of 12 radio stations. It's an hour-long show, usually aired on Saturday mornings, and we plan to run your segments on July 5-6. In many parts of the country you can hear the show on WLW-Radio (700 AM) in Cincinnati or WTAM-Radio (1100 AM) in Cleveland, a pair of 50,000-watt boomers. Check in at 5:30 or 6 a.m. The newspaper article on fly fishing Martha's Vineyard will run June 27 in The (Cleveland, O.) Plain Dealer. I'll send you a copy of the page. A great time was had by all. Can't wait to get back to Martha's Vineyard in August-September for the bonita, stripers and great fall fishing. Thanks again, D'Arcy Egan
Thanks for the e-mail, and thanks again for the opportunity to appear on your radio show. I enjoyed our fishing together, and I look forward to our next meeting. Please say hello to Kevin, Tom, and Harold for me, and give them my thanks a well. My sincere wishes that you all may return to Martha's Vineyard for another trip quite soon.
June 18, 1997 Dear Chris: We met briefly at Narrow River in Narragansett, Rhode Island last year. I think. You were casting a six weight into a stiff head wind and doing pretty well. I still have one of your worm flies and hope to give it a chance soon. Striped bass and blues in Moriches on the South Shore are keeping me occupied. Great web site. Thanks for the good work. Oliver Cope
June 9, 1997 Hi Chris, What a great trip I had out to Martha's Vineyard. Fishing for Stripers with a fly rod was so exciting. I still can't believe the sheer number of fish out there. I hope I can get back on the Island this fall to test my skills against the Blues and the Bonitos. That sand eel fly of yours was killer. Almost all the Stripers I caught were on that fly. Even though I was there for the worm hatch, that's the fly that worked best for me. Like your friend said about the fish feeding on the worms, "There are a lot of sore lips and long memories." I guess those sand eels are something the Stripers just can't resist. Fishing way out on the sandbars into the deep canals was also a blast (as well as a bit scary). It was so beautiful out there. I felt like I was standing in a postcard as I watched the sun come up over the water. It was a pleasure to meet all the other anglers on the Island. What a great bunch of people. And it was great to get a chance to fish with you. You certainly know how to hammer those Stripers. Well, I am turning my attention back to trout fishing, but I won't soon forget the great fishing I had on the Island. I can't wait to get back for more. Best regards, Morgan
June 6, 1997 Mr. Windram, I have heard stories about forty fish days. Fishing with your guidance last Monday showed that even a mere mortal as myself could be in on the action. The fishing was great, the companionship even better. Tuesday evening the fishing was just as good but the catching wasn't. Thanks for your help. Charles Harner
June 6, 1997 Chris, Nice job on the web site. Good layout and flow. Heard from Page about the big night at Tashmoo. Hope the action continued. Later, Peter Jenkins www.reel-time.com
June 6, 1997 Chris - Just saw the Sparkling Crab recipe on the site. I've come up a variation of your Sparkling Sand Eel. Let's call it a Sinking Sand Eel, for lack of a better description. Instead of using barbell eyes, I tie a lead Twist-On strip to the top of the shank, folding over about about one-half inch or less at the head. This makes for a more uniform sink, instead of a dive-bombing Clouser, and the pattern sort of belly-bounces along sandy flats. Also, when you fold over the lead at the head, you create what amounts to a sculptor's form, making it a snap to just apply and smooth the Sparkle Body over the lead and hook. With luck, I'll have it up with photos by June 21. I've also come up with something you might like to include: Using the Black Sparkle Body to make "eye-dots" in those Spirt River "Real Eye" barbells. You know -- The ones with the recess that is "supposed" to be a perfect fit for stick-on prism eyes? It's a pain trying to get a stick-on to fit right in the recess. Instead put a spot of the black in the recess, add a drop of Gloss Coat or epoxy when the E-Z Shape dries, and what you have is a "molded" barbell eye. Looks great. The recess "cups" the Gloss Coat, and because the eyes have a flat surface, the Sparkle Body stays put. Later, Frank Dalecki, Jr. Managing Editor, Nor'east Saltwater http://noreast.com/fly/salt.htm
May 13, 1997 Chris, Made your Deep Sparkling Sand Eel and did a "one fly" with it. That is I took only that fly with me to the Cape on Wednesday. I stopped at Eastman's in Falmouth and they sent me to the beach adjacent to Waquoit Bay. There was lots of seaweed in the water but when the tide slacked off you could get a few clean strips in before the hook fouled. Your fly did awesome! However this time I am going to put some Super Glue on the threads over the eyes before I put on the Sparkle Body. I got up to 9 fish with the first one I tied before the eyes got beat out of them by some hungry bass. If you have to wait for the ferry when you come down, there should be plenty of opportunity in the area of the terminal so be prepared. See you next Tuesday? Bob Lane
Thanks for the good words regarding the Deep Sparkling Sand Eel. Sure was a
killer fly for me last year. I'll actually be down on the island on Monday!
I'm looking forward to fly rodding with you again, my friend. See you soon!
MAY 2, 1997 Chris, Went back to my spot yesterday. Had more time, no meetings, and picked up 17 fish with the fly rod you gave me last year. I would have done better but I really needed a sinking line but only had a sinking tip. When the current slacked off I managed to start getting the fish. I knew they were there because the people using spinning gear were getting them one after the other. Ran into "The Don" out there. He was leaving as I arrived. He had been very busy and got plenty of fish, as usual. Keep 'em tight, Bob Lane
Nice to hear from you again, Bob. Great to hear that you caught some fish
on that fly rod! I'll be out on the island soon to join in the fun. I've
just invested in a fast sinking line for situations with lots of current;
I'm sure that will be the ticket for some of those spots.
April 29, 1997 Chris, Yeah, your website looks great! Sorry if I make this short, I'm on my way out to my secret spot. Got 20 bass yesterday in a strong south wind with six footers slamming in. John Schillinger (the new guy at Larry's) took 100 fish there on Sat just after the pond was opened, one 28" keeper in the whole lot. Also, "The Don" took a bunch out at Wasque on Fri. Keep in touch, Bob Lane
April 25, 1997 Dear Chris: I recently used your E-Z sparkle body crab pattern, size 6, on the flats of Long Island in the Bahamas. When all else failed, this is the one the bonefish really went for. I used both rubber legs (marked with felt-tip pen) and pheasant tail fiber legs. Both worked well, but the rubber legs tended to pull out after the 10th bone! Tight lines, Charles Wohl
Thanks Charles! Our friend Cliff Snyder called about the crab fly as well.
His exact words were: "That crab fly pounded the sh*t out of those bones!"
I guess you guys did pretty well.
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