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Wait for it... Ok, it's just a Wiper

Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:19 am
by Ulygun
Hello there butter-stick wielding gents, hope y'all have been having some fine time in Texas this summer. Hopefully better than mine at least given my saga of broken heart and a couple of broken rods.

But my luck was about to change and hopefully for the better. After the "No Bueno Striper Hunt @ Guad" heartbreak, my Striper research went into overdrive mode. For what it's worth I might've read through almost all of TPWD and a several other ones online on Striped Bass in Texas, the waters and tactics. This search finally led me to a decent stretch of wade-able water "relatively" close to Houston and hopefully snag this beast on fly.

It took me several attempts to get this place and to finally understand the water, layout, flies, and finally the tactics to get it close to the fish. Initially and always in the beginning I was striking the White and Yellow Bass, an occasional gar here there and one which broke my rod. One broken rod by the fish and one more broken rod by a muppet/me.

This put me out of action for a couple weeks, I'd like this to be reason instead of the Mrs. fuming at me when I mentioned rod and money in the same sentence delaying the timely acquisition of a new rod. Once the domestic cold war over semantics had thawed after substantial completion of house chores and accumulation of legendary brownie points, I was lucky enough to find a nice slightly used rod. Finally I was armed and dangerous, come to think of it I distinctly remember the Rambo-I theme playing the background, or very possibly I was going Striper crazy.

I was ready to hit the water and then I get a phone call from work to come over during the weekends for next couple of weekends straight. There goes the theme song and the time on water spiraling down the WC. This gave me more time to introspect on the curve ball universe likes to throw at you and I was hit straight in the gut, more than once in the same spot. Until one fine Monday afternoon when I managed to slip out of work early and peeled out of the parking lot leaving tracks from the work to home. Gathered everything I needed to fish with in one single swoop and managed to get myself on water faster than Trump's dishonorable discharge of Mucci!

Fast forward to couple of hours on water fighting overcast condition, getting a bite here and there but mostly WB, was a bit disheartening. The conditions were perfect for the big boys to come play and they did so by chasing Shad on the extreme end from where I was fishing. I was fighting headwinds and I was using a sinking line with a heavy dumbbell eyed fly. Nonetheless I kept trucking ahead and I made a cast of a lifetime, have you ever had a feeling when things just fell into their place perfectly? That cast I actually placed it on the dime, one word, beautiful. I am not a good caster, I am an average caster at best and especially when there is support from wind.

Then this happened.

Bam, I was stripping the line as fast as I could and then I thought I snagged a rock, until the line started peeling from my palm. And it kept on peeling and peeling and almost into the backing. This fish whatever this was was finding the opposite bank. Stood still for a couple of seconds and then started chasing at me, I was reeling in as fast as I could with all my might and millions of years worth of human evolution in dexterity. Then the line went limp, well I guess that's what happens when you're inexperienced at situation like this. I tried my best to keep the pressure and lost it when the fish was running towards me. When I was almost about to pick up the line again to inspect the broken leader/tippet, the line went tight again and again this thing took off like a freight train and held a seam for what seemed like an eternity. Peeling line a couple of times. At this point I thought that this was a catfish, I don't discriminate, with a fight this good the fish deserves pat on its back. After about 10 odd minutes of tug of war she finally succumbed. Lifting her mouth and to my excited and one track mind, looked like a Striper.

I was confused and taken aback on what was at the other end of the line, it was like a deer caught in a headlight kind of a moment. An older gentleman was next to me fishing and he offered to take pictures of this beauty as I was struggling to get my cellphone camera out and hold the fish at the same time. When it came to release the fish however, the older gentleman was shocked as to why I was doing that, it simply did not compute to him I guess. It looked like a female full of eggs to me and I did my best to revive her after ~7-8 secs above water pics and finally saw her snapping the powerful tail to find the depth of the river.

I don't think I can better this with my current setup and experience and I feel this was sheer luck more than anything else.


Here's to all chasing their dream and making things happen. May your reels scream like a banshee....


Re: Wait for it... Ok, it's just a Wiper

Posted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:09 pm
by Zack Evans
Nice report and congratulations on the fish! Your description of the take was spot on and what I love the most about Striper fishing. Also, next time a fish is running at you ditch the reel and start stripping. You can take up line much faster stripping compared to most fly reels. Once the fish is under control you can get him back on the reel.

Re: Wait for it... Ok, it's just a Wiper

Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:10 am
by Ulygun
@Zach, thanks man. Point noted, you make sense actually. Not sure why I didn't think of it. Hopefully I'll be in this situation again in the future and use your technique.


Re: Wait for it... Ok, it's just a Wiper

Posted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:19 am
by Texjbq
Great Report!! Thanks for sharing and congrats on the amazing catch.