02 May “Go To” Flies for False Albacore
“Go To” Flies for False Albacore
The late summer and early fall is a special time for saltwater fly rodders in Southern New England. The anticipation and often spotty arrival of bonito and then false albacore have anglers gathering intel and making plans. Bonito typically arrive first and then get muscled out by the albies. Then tropical storms that bring heavy rain and wind dirty the water have us all holding our collective breaths that the hardtails will return. Most years after the albies leave a bigger bonito (sometimes 10lbs) can pay one last/ short visit to our shores.
That said there are seem to be a few sensational days every year where it is going off up and down the coast and quite a few where the fish seem hard to fool. Tons of bait, busting hardtails and no tug. On those days there a few “go to” flies that you should try to mix it up.
Weighted Bonito Bunny – Cast the fly and let it settle throught the commotion. I sometime use a slow hand twist retrieve just to stay connected. Hardtail use there speed to over take thier prey. They don’t turn on a time like a bluefish to hit a bait they missed. Letting the fly settle makes it appear to be a stunned or injured baitfish and less likely to escape. Leaving your fly it in the “wheelhouse” longer can pay real dividends. This is also the fly I blind cast with when you know there are fish in the area; but none on top.
Skok’s Whitebait Mushy Tutii Fruiti – When there is so much bait be it anchovies or peanut bunker. Dave Skok’s pattern stands out. I also throw a Tutti Fruiti Clouser if you want to get deeper
Mud Dog’s Cichetti Sand Eel – Try a realistic pattern that is larger than the bait with out being ungodly so. Fish this around the edges.
Sometimes Mother Nature is just too generous with the bait and no matter what you do it seems hard to compete with the volumious bait. This can be a frustrating experience. Here is a Tackle and Tactics post on “How to Fish Bait Balls” that might help.