Today many anglers are travelling to fish the east coast for striped bass. Fish that can often weigh twenty and thirty pounds. Striper bass are a tough quarry, the perfect target for a fly fisher from the beaches, rocky outcrops and jetties. Without doubt the best way to go striper fishing is book one of the many guides. Some of these guides work from the shoreline while others will take you afloat. The guides will supply all the equipment, if needed, including food and drink. The guides boat will be very clean, well maintained with all the safety equipment and a coast guard certificate. Most times the guide will be licensed to take you fishing without you needing a fishing permit - it's an excellent idea as you can drive or fly to your chosen fishing spot then step aboard the boat without the worry of trying to get a fishing permit in a strange town early in the morning.

When booking a guide, ask a few questions such as; the cost, time spent afloat, is tackle provided, does the guide supply food and drink and any other queries you might have. Most of the fishing is catch and release. You will also find most of these guides are usually very conservation minded, treating the fish with great respect. Most times when I have been striper fishing the fish have been unhooked in the water. Several guides today are also experimenting with circle hooks including many world famous writers such as Lefty Kreh. The jury is still out on the subject of circle hooks.

If you're planning to take your own tackle you will need a nine foot nine weight rod. I also take a ten weight should I need to chuck some very big flies and where there is chance of very big fish. My latest buy is a ten weight rod from Thomas and Thomas, it's a Horizon model which I feel is a superb bit of kit. My choice of line when shore fishing is a Cortland Ghost tip. It's a beautiful shooting line with a clear fifteen foot sink tip. When going afloat I take two other lines with me. One is a slow sink, the other a very fast sink which you might need when it's necessary to get down a few feet in a strong tide. My saltwater reels are loaded with 200 yards of twenty pound micron backing. I then attach the fly line with a Bimini twist.

The idea of using a lot of backing - it's not because the fish will strip a hundred yards of backing and fly line off the reel. The backing is there to make sure the reel is well filled which helps when fighting a fast running fish, especially when that fish is coming towards you. A word of advice when playing big saltwater fish. Keep the rod low and to the side. Do not lift your rod tip higher than around elbow height. It's very easy to have a smashed rod, which usually happens when the angler is holding the rod high. You take in line by short pumps, don't take in line when lifting the rod, only take in line as you lower the rod tip towards the ocean. If you're new to saltwater fly fishing I recommend the following books Fly Fishing Saltwater by Lefty Kreh from The Lyons Press. Two books from Ed Mitchell are Fly Rodding The Coast and Fly Fishing The Saltwater Shoreline published by Stackpole books. Finally Tom Earnhardt's book Fly Fishing The Tidewaters (Lyons and Burford). These titles will certainly give you some interesting and informative reading