FLIES: EP Floating Badassery

Through a confluence of developments having little to do with me, I wound up hosting Tom Rosenbauer and Enrico Puglisi on my boat during part of the 2008 Flies and Fins Rhode Island trip. A hack like me can take away a lot by watching a top technician and tyer work together to catch fish.

We hit a spot where striped bass were popping bait on the surface along the edge of a rip. Rosenbauer decided to switch out to floating line and tie on a gurgler to watch the topwater takes. The fish wouldn’t hit. Puglisi reached into his bag and gave Rosenbauer an EP floating minnow, a baitfish pattern with foam flotation subtly tied into it so you can’t see it without close inspection. The original pattern was too thick, so Puglisi pulled out scissors and trimmed it to match the hatch.

Rosenbauer tied it on, cast it, and, instead of stripping it, gave it one simple twitch and let it float on the rip like a stunned baitfish. Result: Awesome surface takes. Puglisi switched boats and tied on one for himself and started fishing the rip. Result: Awesome surface takes. Rosenbauer gave me a shot on the rod and I cast out and mimicked his presentation. Result: Awesome surface take. The EP Floating Minnow is now taking a spot above the popper, gurgler, and crease fly in my saltwater topwater cluster, pending further investigation.

12 thoughts on “FLIES: EP Floating Badassery”

  1. You know Jean-Paul, I’ve been going to Florida so much for work that I hadn’t had a chance to hit striped bass for a while before this trip.

    And my plans for catching carp on fly still haven’t panned out. My three rough fish goals for the year–carp on fly, snakehead on fly, and now also gar on a hookless rope fly–still stand unmet.

  2. Tell me more about this floating minnow. I have been messing around with that sort of thing this summer for trout under lights but have not hit on anything that really works. I have tried Deceivers with foam wrapped on the shank and the same with Seaducers but have not been happy with the results.

  3. Pete,

    Sweet stripe. You are getting to be famous on those fish up there. Better watch out you’ll get a reputation.

    I second Gordon’s comment – tell more about the fly.


    PS. Carp 32 Murdock 1 … more later.

  4. Here’s what the fly’s creator says about the floater in the catalogue:

    “I really like top water action, especially when I go fishing at night in my home waters for Striper. Seeing this Floating Minnow create a ‘V’ wake and the explosion of the Striper taking the fly is simply breathtaking. An effective way to fish the Floating Minnow is with sinking line “strip and stop.” At the stop of your retrieve you will give the fly the time to float towards the surface; this is the time when the fish is most likely to strike. You should use long leader, at least 12 inches.”

    Letting it drift like an injured baitfish with a simple twitch and float was deadly on our RI trip.

    Looking at it, it’s got three small pieces of foam tied in close to the head between layers of EP fiber. The foam is not at all visible when looking at the fly’s profile, but you can see it if you pull back the layers.

    [Lee, let’s hear about that carp victory.]

  5. Pete, I had a wonderful time fishing with you and your brother. I loved the visual experience of the EP flies seeing the striper swirl behind the flies and then aggressively smash them. All around great flies that crush fish all day. Enrico is without a doubt one of the masters.

  6. Nice post! I haven’t ever thought to use a gurgler to simulate a stunned baitfish on a rip! Great idea! My favorite thing about fly fishing is that it provides a fantastic opportunity to be creative while you fish. Thanks for the story!


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