Fly Fishing the Cape Cod Rips

by | May 19, 2023 | fly fishing Cape Cod

Cape-CodToday arrived early for us here on Cape Cod.  Even early by my standards and I get up with the birds.  At 3:30 AM my alarm went off and at 4 AM Costa’s Trevor Johnson picked Blane Chocklett and I up from our Hyannis VRBO and drove us to Falmouth where we met our photographer Rick Griffiths and Capt. Nick Kathmann at 5 AM.


Captain-Nick-KathmannThe weather was better than expected.  The forecast originally called for strong gusts and an incoming storm front but we faced average saltwater fly fishing wind and mostly sun.  Honestly, you couldn’t have asked for a better day on the water.  We headed out towards the famous Martha’s Vineyard to fish the rips for stripers.



Photo by Rick Griffiths

While Blane and Trevor are friends of mine, this was my first time with Rick and Capt. Nick.  Both guys are great.  I work with lots of photographers and Rick was quick to capture the behind the actual fishing scenes.  And I prefer guides that come to work with a plan.  Capt. Nick definitely had a plan and we stuck to it.  His boat cut the waves like butter during our 20 minute drive to the first striper rip.



photo by Rick Griffiths

My personal favorite rod for striped bass is my Winston Air Salt 9’ 9-weight.  A lot of striper guys like 10’s and I could go with a ten easily too.  I had two 9-weights both matched with my Bauer Reels.  One with a floating line and a popper and my other with a Scientific Anglers Sonar Sink Cold 25 300 gr. with one of Blane’s famous Game Changer flies.  My leader is simple – approximately 7-8 feet of straight 30lb Fluoro.  On about my fourth cast with my sink set up I got rocked and let out a yell, “Fish On!”



Marthas-VineyardStripers often travel in schools.  Particularly in these strong current areas with sharp drop-offs in depth we call rips.  When the guys heard me yell everyone got serious hoping to pick up my fish’s friends.  Within the minute some of the other guys went tight.



Photo by Rick Griffiths

Over the next few hours nearly all the time someone was hooked up.  I’ll bet we landed over 20 of these beautiful striped bass.  Probably more but no one was counting.  We caught several over 30”.







Photo by Rick Griffiths

The largest striper we measured was this 32” by Trevor.  I believe we caught several stripers over 30”.  I wish I broke out my camera some but when the fishing is hot it’s always hard to put down the rod.  I fact, even camera man Rick was smart enough to enjoy some of the action.



Photo by Rick Griffiths

There was one surprise fish.  I got yanked and didn’t see what I hooked into.  All I knew was that the fish was acting differently.  Often with the stripers you see them chase down your fly in the wave then they fight you hard near the surface.


On this particular fish I never saw him take my fly.  It was a quick grab then the fish dove.  And while no doubt, stripers pull hard, this fish took off in a furry.  He ran.  He dove.  Then there were a lot of violent headshakes.



Photo by Rick Griffiths

Bluefish have vicious teeth and can easily sever a 30lb Fluoro leader.  Whenever targeting bluefish I use a piece of 40lb wire bite tippet.  But every once in awhile you hook any toothy fish in the corner of the mouth without wire and land them.  This scrappy fish of mine finally showed himself with a dazzling jump and sure enough it was a bluefish with Blane’s Game Changer hanging from the corner.  I lucked out and got him and Rick snapped a few nice pics.


Costa-SunglassesOcean fishing and particularly striped bass fishing is very tide related.  Capt. Nick had us out there during prime time but as afternoon rolled in the stripers and bluefish rolled out.  We packed it in around lunch time and Trevor took us to the well-known Flying Bridge Restaurant where we indulged yet once again.


This evening the Cheeky Schoolie Striper Tournament kicked off with a party at the West End in Hyannis.  Though it is a party and I caught up with a ton of friends, its also the time when tournament coordinators register contestants and explain rules and etc.  The time is also used to discuss the importance of this event which is to raise money for striped bass conservation.  Bedtime!


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


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I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!