View Full Version : This is all Dean Campbell's fault

09-27-2008, 06:20 AM
One striper out of Dean's boat and I'm sunk. Here I am, two weeks later after Dean took me out on his boat. After that short trip, She Who Must Be Obeyed reminded me that she'd wanted a boat for the past 10 years, and I was the one who would not cave in. That caused a flurry of activity culminating in this:


A Sea Pro sv1900cc, which I intend to use to chase Striper in TN, Steelhead in MN, and Redfish in the FL panhandle as well as the Carolinas.

So yesterday was my first opportunity to fish in my new boat. I had the line recommended by Dean, the fly recommended by Dean, and I was fishing the same area we had been at. I don't have a fish finder or trolling motor yet, so I was setting up along the bank and drifting.

30 minutes in I had a strike, and fought the fish for about 30 seconds before I executed a long-distance (50 foot) release. I motored back to the head of the cove and started drifting again. Halfway back up to the dam, I had a strike. As soon as the fish realized he was hooked, he went absolutely nuts. At one point I looked down and realized I had 3 turns of fly line left on the reel. No fish has ever taken line from me like that before. I didn't know what would give up first - me, the fish, my rod, or my tippet.

When I got the fish to the surface, I started cursing to high heaven - you see, I don't own a landing net yet. It was big. The only fish bigger than this that I've caught was a Lake Trout, and that was on a beach rod with heavy line and a huge landing net. Here I am with this fish and a fly rod, and I've got to lip the sucker. Got it in the boat, and snapped this picture:


I'm guessing it was aa 23 or 24 inch fish. Holy crap. I'm having a hard time remembering now - why do I fish for dinky little trout?

Thanks again Dean. Your generous offer to fish and sharing some of your tactics was fantastic, even if it has cost me a LOT of money. :)

Gerry Romer
09-27-2008, 09:02 AM
Great report and very nice fish!!

Congrats on the boat, too.:cool:

I assume you fish for "dinky little trout" for the same reason everyone else does... because they're there, a bit more elusive, and a hecckuva lot of fun when you can outsmart them:biggrin:


09-27-2008, 02:07 PM
Great job Abe! I am glad the boat and rod are now properly broken in. My recomendation is to buy a BIG net! I had bought a new one this year, but when the 26 ponder came alongside the boat three weeks ago, I realized it was not big enough.
No offense to all the trout guys, I have caught my share and enjoy small streams with a 2 wt and dries, but experiencing a big striper is something that will rattle you and leave you wanting more. Two weeks ago, I was going to fish with Flat Fly'n, but I got there about an hour before he was due, so I motored on up to the dam to fish. With one generator running, I would motor up then float back with the current. On my first float, I hooked one that I could not even slow down, the second float I hooked and landed a twenty pounder, and on float three I landed a 14 pounder. As I was motoring back up, Flat called and said he was on the way. When I put the phone down, I realized my hands were shaking.... BADLY. Now that's good fishing! Even after chasing stripers for 20 years, the rush is still there. Just ask any of my fellow addicts.

09-27-2008, 02:12 PM
And I don't think trout are anywhere near as elusive as stripers, I have been skunked a lot more chasing stripers than I have on trout stream.

09-27-2008, 09:34 PM
Great report! Very nice pics of the boat and striper, even noticed the awsome FJ in the background!

09-28-2008, 09:49 PM

I have been wanting to do this for awhile but could really use some help. I have 14' jon boat with a 30 Yamaha collecting dust in my garage.

Do you guys fish with no generation, 1 generator, or 2? Sounds like your running up to the dam and then floating down a ways?

Can you recommend a sinking line for me? What grain?

I appreciate your help.


09-29-2008, 11:45 AM
And I don't think trout are anywhere near as elusive as stripers, I have been skunked a lot more chasing stripers than I have on trout stream.
I agree. Mountain trout especially, are about as easy to catch as bluegill. Anyways you will need a Big Big net like seagull said. Congrats on the boat and the fish.

09-29-2008, 01:39 PM
I prefer one or none as far as generation schedules go, with one you can motor up and float back, or ride back and forth on a big eddy that forms next to the lock. With none, you can prowl around and get the fly as deep as you want it. When Melton Hill is running two, then I usually go below Ft Loudon, which is so wide that even with all 4 generators running it is fishable (I even fished Loudon once with four spillways open, I caught some fish, but almost got seasick too).

I prefer Scientific Anglers Mastery Series Striped Bass taper full sink lines. Get the type IV (fastest sinking). These lines have a stiffer running line for fewer tangles, and shoot like you won’t believe. I rarely false cast more than twice, just a little double haul on the second forward cast, and away it goes! These lines are 120 feet long also, so if you cast the whole line, then you are the man. They are sold by line weight, not grains, and they are a smaller diameter than the same weight floating line. That means you can put on more backing, which is a real good thing when fishing for stripers. Good luck!

Butte Irish
09-30-2008, 12:03 AM
Hey Dean,

Good to see that you are still at it. I think you need to show the students the clouser minnow method you showed me a few years ago.

Drop me a line. I have news for you about Wyoming and Yellowstone and the Big Horn and Montana fishing for you on the easy. Also new address information for me.

You and Peacher will enjoy it.

The blue beast is ready to go I just need you guys to help.

Butte Irish Dave Duffy


09-30-2008, 08:17 AM
So are you just casting and stripping to top feeding fish? I know you're using the sink tip but I'm wondering how I could apply this here. I don't know of anyone here that FF's for the stripers. We have a self sustained land locked population in Buggs Island lake, they run the rivers in the spring(when most folks fish for them) and the rest of the year they stay down in the big water suspended in schools. The guys that troll down there use downriggers and fish from 25-40 foot deep pulling large crankbaits and buck tails. You're trolling in 80-100 foot deep water in a lake that only averages about 25 foot depth over 54,000 acres. Just wondering, I need to learn some more so I can start trying them here. I've caught a few over the years but all on baitcasters with heavy line.---Bran

10-01-2008, 10:59 AM
One of the keys to catching stripers is finding them in numbers. Around hear we are lucky with the dams and steam plants. The congregate below the dams in spring and fall, and a few usually hang around all summer. The steam plants have warm water discharges which pull in baitfish, which atracts stripers and white bass during the coldest part of the winter. Nothing quite like catching stripers during snow and temperatures in the 20's. As far as open lakes, you can find schools with a sonar and fish a sinking line, or catch them in the breaks in the fall and winter when they are feeding on threadfin shad. Crease flies work well when the are in the breaks. I have heard musky called the fish of 1000 casts, I would rate stripers at 100 casts. But it sure is worth it when you get into them. Just remember that catching ONE is a successful trip. Good luck!

Flat Fly n
10-03-2008, 08:08 PM
You ever go to the "brickyard" near Danville when they are running? I got to do that in the mid 70's. They sold a heavy white bucktail out of the back of a station wagon. Little did I know then I would use something similiar, some thirty years later.

As Dean said about location, but you have to cast and then count to get the fly down deep enough. A 60ft. cast is also better than a 20ft cast at getting it to belly right with that sink line when you are fishing in deep water. IF a count of 15-20 seconds doesn't pick up fish, go longer. Vary the strip, or even strip with two hands to speed it up.

Good to see I am not the only boat poor person out there from the addiction this man spreads!