Capefish Outfitters & Fly Shop

By Captain Matt Kelleher

This month we are talking all about tying for spring. This time of year it is always nice to think about those spring “schoolie” stripers arriving around early May. Looking through the fly box I realize that some fly tying is definitely in order. If you have been tying flies for a long time or are just a beginner, here are a few patterns that are must haves for stripers on the North Shore. What is best about these patterns is they are very easy to tie, and they work! If you have a computer there are plenty of videos available to walk you through the process on tying the patterns. I have also put together a quick shopping list of materials you will need.


The three basic patterns that I suggest you tie are:

1. The Clouser Minnow

2. Lefty’s Deceiver

3. Half and Half

These three patterns should always be in your fly box. My friends and I have taken many bass on these timeless and productive flies.

Materials that are needed to tie these flies are pretty basic. Starting with hooks, we like to use a classic Mustad 34007 or a Gamakatsu SS15 for the clousers in size 1 and 1/0. We use these hooks for the Deceivers and the Half and Half as well but sometimes tie them on a Gamakatsu SC 15 in 1 and 1/0.

Materials you will need for tying the flies are as follows:

• Bucktail- white, chartreuse, olive and a little blue (use any color you like, but for early spring these are our favorites)

• Krystal Flash – silver, pearl, copper, gold, (whatever you prefer)

• Saltwater Neck Hackle – white, olive, yellow, chartreuse

• Thread  – 210 Denier, white and chartreuse or mono thread

• Eyes – Simple lead dumbbell eyes, painted or plain; small and medium size; simple round prismatic for the Deceivers.

You will also need some basic head cement, like Hard as Hull or Sally Hansen.

UV cured Clear Cure Goo works great as well for the Deceiver.

That should just about do it. With these simple materials you can make a lot of flies that are great for our waters. Again for instruction on this, simply check out you tube, or visit some of the tying sites online. We have plenty of materials on hand here at the store, and don’t feel shy about shooting us an email, giving us a ring or just stopping by for some instruction. Fly tying is a great way to hurry up a stubborn winter. Good luck in your tying and catching some schoolies on your creations.


FORECAST BY: Captain Matt Kelleher is a certified fly fishing guide with Fat Tuna Guide Service. A native of Beverly, Massachusetts he fishes the waters on the North Shore. Matt is the owner of Capefish Clothing Co. located in Hamilton, MA. The store offers premium fly tackle equipment as well as lifestyle apparel such as Patagonia, Simms, and Mountain Khakis. Visit