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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bill O'Connor invited me to join him on his boat today to try for some stripers (or rockfish as we call them on the Chesapeake Bay) during the last few days of this year's catch and release season. The day was beautiful, although a bit windy with 10-15 MPH out of the northeast. Catching was very good so we quickly forgot about the wind and Captain Bill was a great host, guiding me to pretty much constant action for 8+ hours!!

Here is a shot of the good captain with one of the average size "schoolie" stripers we caught:



Here is a picture of one of the bigger ones:



Here are some details of our trip:

Time fished: 5:30 am to 1:30 pm
Tide: second half of incoming and first half of outgoing
Water temperature: 59-60 degrees F
Flies used: 2/0 chartreuse and white half and half with a "flash tail"
Lines: Airflo 300 grain and Teeney 450 grain integrated shooting heads
Rods: Bill used a Loomis 8 wt. Cross Current GLX and I had a Sage 9 wt. TCR
Number of fish caught: about 25 for Bill O. and about a dozen or so for me
Size of fish caught: 16-28 inches estimated (one actually measured at 28")
Strip: quick 24" strip followed by a pause. Fish usually hit at the start of the pause

I started using my own flies but Bill quickly caught 10 while during the same time I caught only one or two. Bill's fly has a freshwater flashabou and crystal flash "flash tail" which extends about 3/4" behind all the hair and hackle. We believe this is what makes his fly so effective. Once I tied on one of Bill's flies, which he so generously gave me, I was in the zone, too.

Great day on the water. Thanks Bill!

[excited]
 

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A fine day on the water, indeed. From what we could see, everyone was into fish all around - although at 5:30 AM, with the wind honkin' at 15 kts., there was nobody else around, yet! We were hoping to get in a little top water action before it got too light - I had one fish take down my popper, but I was too late in striking and missed it. I was somewhat surprised that the fish could even home in on the popper, given the choppy conditions. It was nice of ma nature to drop the wind velocity later in the morning.
Numbers-wise, it was my best C&R day on the Flats.
Thanks to my bud Willy for supplying the Coronas and turkey subs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Here is a picture of the flies that Barnacle Bill ties for the Susky Flats. Notice the copper and silvery flash that is the longest material in the pattern. Guess which fly Bill O. fished with for the entire 8 hours:



You guessed it, the one on the top with the paint knocked off the eyes, the bucktail gnawed off, and the hackle missing in action. (And I fixed up this fly a little for the photo shoot!) The one on the bottom is one that I caught a few on but it didn't see as much action because I was stubborn and wanted to catch'em on my own flies, then when I changed to one of Bill's, I lost the first one due to a long distance release caused by somebody's knot failure. (Darn fluoropolymer. I've never had a problem with knots unless that stuff was involved.)

The fly on the bottom looks pretty much like Bill's original recipe.

Thanks again for a great day Captain Bill.[smile]
 
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