Peninsula Fly Fishers

Curly Tail Striper Flies

by Tom Kilfoil

August 2004

Black striper fly

Recently I had the pleasure of fishing for stripers with Rod Neubert, one of our charter members, who now lives in Fairfield. We fished near Rod's Duck Club that is located on the side of the vast salt-water ponds that were used by Leslie Salt years ago off Highway 37 between Marin county and Vallejo. When the tides are right, the ponds get a big influx of salt water full of bait, which turns the stripers on. This pond has a very large population of juvenile stripers (3 lbs. to 15 lbs.), as well as some big lunkers.

The day we fished in April was clear with a little breeze. Rod suggested using a sink tip line with one of his striper flies with a wiggly tail. It was a deadly pattern in the Rod's hands. He landed six fish before I even got a bump. We kept one of the fish that weighed about 5 lbs. to cook for lunch.

Rod Neubert with striper

We filleted the fish and dipped it in a dry batter of corn meal and wheat flour, then into hot oil to be cooked till it was golden brown. It was delicious! I thought I'd died and gone to heaven, if you know what I mean.

Rod gave me a few of his striper flies. They have a black thin rubber wiggly tail that he got from Cabela's out of their 2004 Fly Fishing Catalog, (Page 106). The fly is easy to tie.

hook Mustad 34007 in 1/0 size or similar size hook.
tail Black wiggle tail made of thin rubber.
body Silver tinsel.
wing Three clumps of black marabou, sparse, spaced over back of fly. You can wet the marabou so it will stay still as you tie it down.
Over-wing Gold Krystal Flash, 6 strands tied down then doubled over.
finishing touches After building up the head with thread and securing it using head cement, paint head with Testers White gloss enamel. When it dries use a toothpick to paint on black eyes. I finished the head with a coating of Loon's hard head cement.

Using Rod's pattern, I tied up a white version using the white tail and a yellow pattern using the yellow tail. I haven't fished these other colors yet but I'll bet they will work. I'll be trying them out at the O'Neill Fore-bay. The instructive pictures below show the white fly.

Tying Instructions (in pictures)

Attach tail
Attach the curly tail.
Wrapping tinsel body.
Wrap the silver tinsel body.
Maribou clump tie-in
Tie on the first maribou clump.
Second maribou clump tie-in
Tie on the second and third maribou clump.
Krystal flash tie-in
Attach gold Krystal Flash.
Final fly
Final fly with enamel head and eyes.

Thanks go to Rod for bringing these wiggly tails back to my attention with a pattern that sure worked on stripers. Many years ago, around 1978, right after I had joined our club, Ken Eugene showed us a wooly bugger type fly with a similar wiggly tail that he used to catch large mouth bass. Some ideas never change.

Tight lines!


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