i’d already been formally introduced to the Atlantic (European) sea bass’ close cousin, a 22 lb Rockfish, which is in turn a Chesapeake Bay variant of the Striped bass when i was about fourteen years old. that’s far from a record but that size fish, specially at that age i guess, always leaves a taste for more.
although nowhere near the size of their cousins on the North American side, in France we have two distinct sea bass varieties, one in the Atlantic ocean and another in the Mediterranean sea. this latter one goes by the name of ‘loup de mer’ or ‘sea wolf’, a name given by the Romans, maybe because they where too full of wine and bloated on their conquering mission and couldn’t tell the difference between a mammal and a fish or maybe because of the very agressive nature these fish take on when on a feeding frenzy. since its not too far from where i live i somewhat regularly go after the Mediterranean variety but this week i had to go do stuff on the Atlantic side and decided to leave the day before and see if i could get them to take interest in my flies.

here’s what Atlantic sea bass look like,

and here’s where they live.

rather a nice place and one i’d happily live if i was a fish. speaking of, be sure to keep the fish image up top in the back of your mind because you won’t see any more in this post.

after wading in gently close to the remains of a long-abandoned pier and about fifteen minutes, all of a sudden the water started boiling just twenty or so metres from where i stood in the direction of the sun here.
a hunt was on ! i quickly cast my baitfish imitation, started to do a two-handed rolley-pully retrieve and snagged a what i didn’t know at that time, baitfish. i had felt a little bump but no real pull so i decided at the time that it was a missed strike, albeit a strange one, and let the fly settle before starting the retrieve again. seconds after that came the real strike but it happened to my ‘bait’ and not my fly. “no biggie” me thinks, just pick up and cast back to the boil but that first back cast felt a little heavy because it had half a baitfish attached to the hook…

by the time i’d remove the poor beast and was ready to cast again the boil had disappeared. for good. for the rest of the evening. for ever or at least until the next time, and i most probably won’t be there.
i never saw one of these hunting fish but i like to believe they where sea bass.

on the way back to the car there where some nice drawings in the sand
FullSizeRender copy
and funny looking spermy things laying about on the beach.
when i got back there next morning some nitwit had pulled the plug to keep me from fishing,
no water
but that’s ok, i got to fill my eyes with beauty.

Combed-Over twice

two options:
you can have your Comb-Over like this,


or like this…comb-over

being predominantly bald (by choice) i can’t help with option no. 2 (it is sexy though… ) but if you’re interested in serious streamer design here’s another great tying video tutorial from Curtis Fry at Fly Fish Food.
contrary to what seems like a lot of anglers/tiers might think, creating a successful streamer is a little more involved than just sticking a whole bunch of materials on a hook. Curtis demonstrates several key elements that not only make this design more ‘fishable’ but also more ‘fishyable’.*

“When you’re tying flies that will imitate any sort of baitfish pattern, there are a few factors to consider. Among these factors is buoyancy, lifelike action/look in the water and also “castability”. The Comb-Over minnow is an example of how to incorporate a few of these aspects.”

amongst other goodies to learn in this great tutorial, be sure to take note of the way the back material is tied in evenly around the hook bend, how the head shape is secured by a little dab of UV resin without having to create a hard encased ‘bullet head’ and the use of thinning shears/scissors to finalize the fly and give it the perfect combination of taper, shape and translucency. the last being a very important aspect in my eye with flies made of synthetic materials, something that really makes them come alive. enjoy !

and if you’re in an ‘out-of the-box’ frame of mind, some invert the color scheme on flies of similar design to be able to visually track the fly. a pretty ingenious idea that brings up the possibility that predator fish, similar to those who like to attack a fish that has just taken a smaller one,  just might be more attracted to baitfish that swim upside-down !

Paul's 'usd' double-bunny* the ability to excite fish while simultaneously relaxing them so much they’ll simply open their mouths and blindly gob.

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