From the sandy beaches of Plum Island to the rock piles of Gloucester and north to New Hampshire, Cape Ann is prime real estate for striped bass. Capt. Nat Moody fishes these waters hard all season long, and has found a pattern that catches more big spring stripers for him than any other: a huge Clouser minnow with a rabbit fur tail.
.”hen the big bass arrive, this big Clouser works for us everywhere, in every part of the water column.”Moody says..”e drift it deep with 400-grain lines over offshore humps, we throw it into the middle of breaking fish on the surface, and we fish it close to the beach when the fish are feeding on sand eels. The tremendous motion of the rabbit, combined with the great action imparted by the Clouser design, just seems to draw more strikes.”he concludes.
Moody¿’ Clouser begins with a full 7-inch long, white magnum rabbit strip tied on a 4/0 Trey Combs Big Game hook. A belly of white bucktail is added along with several strands of pearl and silver flash and Krystal Flash down the sides. The fly is topped with a pinch each of white, yellow and chartreuse bucktail and finally eight to 10 strands of peacock. The eyes are extra large, pearl with black pupils, and after applying epoxy for durability, red gills are drawn in with a magic marker.
.” like to work this fly deep and slow.”Moody says,.”ut when stripers are feeding on the surface, this pattern will get down fast to where the bigger fish are.”
Variations on a Theme
Patterns like Lefty¿’ Deceiver, the Clouser Minnow and Lou Tabory¿’ Slab and Snake Flies are popular because they work year-in, year-out on so many kinds of game fish and in so many different situations. The versatility of these tying styles is demonstrated by their many variations, which have been created to meet specific needs. The flies described here are prime examples of how these great patterns can be modified to match the hatch wherever you fish, but if you find yourself in New England during the spring run, throw one of these in front of a big striper and hold on!