Podcast: How to Catch Freshwater Stripers, with Henry Cowen


[Interview starts at 49:05]

This week my guest is Henry Cowen, author of the new book Fly-Fishing for Freshwater Striped Bass, which is a complete guide to chasing these great game fish. They get huge, they often feed in shallow water, and they are just about the perfect fish to chase with a fly rod. You’ll learn their seasons, how to present your fly, and what tackle and flies you’ll need to chase them.

In the Fly Box, we have some great questions from listeners, including:

  • How do newer Orvis rods compare to older ones like the All-Rounder?
  • Any tips for casting from a kayak?
  • How do the Orvis Hydros and Pro lines compare? Their tapers look very different
  • What do you think of Bob Wyatt’s philosophy on trout in the book What Trout Want?
  • What direction should I cast when fishing streams?
  • Can all beadhead patterns be tied with tungsten beads?
  • Why are my head cements too thick?
  • When looking for a new river to fish, what structure should I look for?
  • A tip from a listener that sometimes beaver activity seems to attract trout.
  • Does it matter which direction I twist my dubbing?
  • How will the 17-year cicada affect fishing?
  • Can I tie a piece of tippet to the main tippet above my lower fly with a clinch knot?
  • Why do people always tie their heavier nymph on as the lower fly? I have better luck tying the heavier nymph above my smaller fly.
  • Can I use the Palomar knot to add a second fly above my lower fly without removing the lower fly?

One thought on “Podcast: How to Catch Freshwater Stripers, with Henry Cowen”

  1. Tom,
    In your response to a question about kayak fishing I thought you were more discouraging than necessary around the issue of casting from a yak. I’ve been striper fishing from my kayak for about 15 years now, mostly using an 8wt rod and intermediate line. I can cast 50 feet or sometimes more, no problem, while seated in my sit-on-top (13ft Ocean Trident) and I’ve landed Stripers up to 33 inches. I do use the kayak to get to remote spots where I can get out and fish from shore, but I would say that more than half the fish I typically catch are while sitting. Yes, it’s a little more demanding to cast sitting down, but once you get the hang of it it’s no big deal. A typical trip involves about 6-7 miles of paddling, casting various flies I tie myself (including my favorite, an olive over white Puglisi fly I learned to tie in a class with Enrico himself and a very small clauser-style fly I worked out for sight-casting to tailing Stripers in a couple of skinny water spots). I’m 76 this year and raring to get out to fish favorite spots on Boston’s north shore—fish should be in in numbers by 2 weeks from now.
    I just discovered your podcast a couple of months ago and really enjoy your relaxed, conversational style. Thanks for feeding us fishing addicts, especially during the off-season when we’re restricted to talking and dreaming instead of fishing.

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