Landlocked Stripers on the Fly

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Landlocked Striper on the Fly. Photo By: Louis Cahill

When the weather turns cool, it’s time to get excited about layering up and getting on one of my local reservoirs for some landlocked stripers on the fly.

The fall and winter months are great times for both numbers and big fish if you’re willing to battle the cold. Dropping water temperatures get baitfish schooling up and very active, and you’ll find schools of hybrid bass and striped bass following their every move. It sounds easy right? Tell me that again when the alarm clock is ringing at 4:00am and it’s twenty degrees outside.

For best results you’re going to want to get on the lake early, well before sunrise. You will find your best opportunity for breaking fish is the first three or four hours of the day. Once the sun gets high on the horizon the baitfish and the striped bass usually go deep. Even with full sinking lines you’ll find it hard to effectively present your fly in the strike zone when fish are deep. Long points close to deep water or flats and humps surrounded by deep water are hotspots for stripers and hybrid bass driving and abusing baitfish. Sometimes stripers will also use the backs of coves to trap baitfish so don’t overlook those as well. If you’re not seeing any breaking fish or activity on your electronics your best bet is to run the lake looking for surface activity.

Pay attention to any birds circling in the air as well, they’re after the baitfish also, and can often give you a clue to where the concentrations of stripers are located. You’ll also want to have a wide selection of baifish fly patterns in various sizes. Many people think in order for you to catch a big striper you have to fish a really big fly. I can’t tell you how often a 2 1/2 – 3″ clouser minnow is the ticket. Striped bass will key in on naturals just like other gamefish, so pay attention to the size of baitfish on the water and match your fly accordingly.

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline
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7 thoughts on “Landlocked Stripers on the Fly

  1. Thanks for this post. I live and work on Lake Martin, AL, and we have tons of stripers. I can’t find a whole lot of info on how to fish them in the South, on a freshwater lake, with a fly rod. Most of the guys with conventional tackle either troll for them or jig for them vertically when they find them deep. I have caught a few over the years on the fly rod, but it’s been pure luck when a school was crashing minnows nearby. Lately I have been doing some thinking about how and when to target them, so keep this great info coming. Thanks!

    • John,

      Glad you liked the post on landlocked stripers on the fly. I will post on this subject again down the road. In the meantime, I would recommend you book a fly fishing guide who targets stripers on the fly in your area. They would be able to teach you a ton about this subject.

      Thank you for your comment and following G&G. We love the feedback.

      Kent Klewein

  2. Striper on the fly is on the list of things to catch in the near future. Anyone need an ass to fill a seat give me a ring 🙂 Great post and another FANTASTIC pic…..where does Louis keep all those backdrops? I wish they had those when I was in school.

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