Striped Bass Fly FishingWhen I first moved to New England I heard people talk of salt water fly fishing. Being from Pennsylvania, I thought that they must be crazy. I was accustomed to fly fishing small streams and ponds. How can this be possible? How do you find the structure where the fish might be holding? We moved away for a few years and upon returning, I began reading more about it on a local fly-fishing site here in CT, but still didn’t think much of it. About 3 years ago, my wife had a business trip to Maine and my work schedule allowed me to go as well. I started looking for things to do while she would be at work and ran across Flies and Fins. I started watching the videos and seeing what salt water fly fishing was about – the intensity of fish taking your reel into the backing, the fish busting on the surface – looked awesome and I had to give this a try. My first few attemps were a bust, mainly because this is a whole new game and I had no idea what I was doing. The heavier weight fly rods and line, larger flies, changing tides, so many unfamiliar variables left me more confused than ever. For my birthday this year, I received a great gift – a guided trip with Ryan Sansouncy/ Hush Fishing. I had seen Ryan on Flies and Fins, but had also heard his name many times from people at work, people on other websites, and folks at the local fishing stores. So we connected and set the date. It was a beautiful morning. Fog covered the bay where we started out, and we headed out to see what was going on. I took a few casts, shaking off a lot of rust and quickly recognizing that fishing from a boat with saltwater gear and tons of line out is not an easy thing. We got to a spot and fish started busting all around us, it was amazing, the only other time I had seen this was on the flies and fins videos. I panicked, my casting was erractic and I threw plenty of knots in the fly line and leader. Actually this happened the first few times I saw the fish really…I was just too caught up with what was going on. After a few encouraging words on how to handle the situation, we got back on the fish and I hooked one! The line went tight and the fish started peeling line off the fly reel. Diving deep, I could tell this was not the normal trout / panfish fight I was used to. We got the fish up and I thought it was giant, however I learned it was not that big for a striper. Throughout the day Ryan worked hard to keep me on fish and they kept showing up. And the size of the fish continued to improve. I learned how my fly casting technique could be improved, and what a difference it makes using the right casting style and making the line work for you will do. This is one thing I definitely need to keep working on to be even more successful. I was able to hook a few using a top water fly, which was even more amazing – watching the fish inhale my top water offerings. After having my fill of the stripers in the deeper water, we headed in for some flats sight fishing fishing. Light fog and flat light were making it difficult to see, but the sun finally burned through. Sight fishing by command is even better than I thought it would be. I had my chance at several large fish in shallow water but spooked them with some poor casting. We pushed on and I was able to hook into a fish – what a different fight. Instead of heading to the depths, the fish headed out, pulling tons of line with it. Even better than the reef fishing! All in all it was a great day and Ryan worked hard to put me on a lot of fish. I had aspirations of making a flies and fins worthy video, however I think I only put the rod down once the whole trip – trying not to miss a thing. I woke up this morning with a sore arm, thinking about the ones that got away and what I will do differently next time. Many thanks to the folks here at Flies And Fins for keeping the stories, videos and forums together and thanks to Ryan for getting me on my first striperd bass on the fly. I can now say that salt water fly fishing is not crazy, and I can’t wait for my next chance to get out there again.