Northeast and mid Atlantic anglers look forward to fall. Stripers and blues begin to feed actively and bonito and false albacore feed on top all day long. The major attraction is hardtail fishing. Other than the shore fishery in Martha?s Vineyard most hardtail fishing is chasing feeding fish from boats. Don?t drive over the fish. Work the edges and if fish keep popping up and down try to calculate their direction, get ahead of the fish and start casting. At times casting before the fish start breaking is effective. Small bay anchovy flies 2 1/2 to 4 inches long with light tan backs and cream bodies are effective. Mix up the retrieve?mostly fast but also try a slow retrieve. Fish an intermediate or a fast sink tip fly line. If a quick presentation is necessary the fast sinking tip is faster to cast and gets below the surface quicker.
The Massachusetts coast can have striper activity by mid September then the run continues down to the mid Atlantic lasting very late in the year. Both shore and boat fishing can be hot with, at times, surface feeding fish. Stripers are less skittish often staying on the surface much longer than hardtails?along a quiet shoreline they might stay up for sometime. One effective technique is to match the bait type and cast into the breaking fish. I like to throw big flies with a fast sinking line under the feeding schools because bigger stripers often feed below the surface action. This is also true fishing under schools of feeding bluefish.
Fishing from shore can be good. In the early part of the season low light is best but once the weather turns colder all day long can be good. An intermediate line covers most bases from shore. Fish 5 to 7 inch long mid bodied fly patterns with green, blue or yellow backs and white bottoms. All yellow or white can be effective.
Also expect to find bluefish. When fish are mixed wire leaders save flies but they can spook hardtails and at times even stripers. Your choice, catch more speedsters but lose more flies.
Fish enough tackle. Most conditions require a 9 weight and for heavy rips and bigger fish a 10 weight is better. And 150 yards of backing is minimal. I prefer 200 yards; plan for that big fish.
Lou Tabory and the Albright Pro Staff