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The 1880 House

Bed & Breakfast

Pulaski, New York

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Kettle Creek Lodge

Cross Fork, PA

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Guides:

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Fishing the Salmon River

Salmon & Trout

Pulaski, New York

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Other:

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Dougherty's SEP Squid:

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Dougherty's SEP Squid (White)

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Dougherty's SEP Squid (Tan)

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Dougherty's SEP Squid (Lit-up Red)

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Materials

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Hook: 2, 7/0 Hoodlum 4X Strong Live Bait Ultra Point Mustads or Gamakatsu 18417 Live Bait or similar

Thread: Color-matching thread or Uni-mono

Tandem Connection: 40 lb. mono or wire fed within mylar tubing

Bead: Any color, used to prevent mylar tubing from sliding onto rear hook

Eye: 3/8" or larger 3-D molded eye

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Rear Hook

Flash: Several strands of pearl Flashabou 6" long

Wing: 8 saddle hackles tied surrounding the Flashabou

Collar: Body fur or heavily webbed saddle hackle

Eye: Optional, epoxy on collar or epoxy to mylar tubing on front hook

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Front Hook

Mantle Layer 1 - 2" medium mylar tubing, ends Zap-A-Gaped open, epoxy over Zap-A-Gap optional

Mantle Layer 2 - Krystal flash tied surrounding Layer 1

Mantle Layer 3 - Synthetic or yak tied surrounding Layer 2

Mantle Layer 4 - Pearl Flashabou sparsely tied surrounding Layer 3

Collar: Body fur

Weight: 7/16 Nickle mega cone head

Adhesives: Zap-A-Gap CA+ and epoxy

Makers: Optional, Black Prismacolor for adding spots

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 Buy materials now

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Why it's successful   Short stories   Fish pics

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Materials can be substituted or mixed. Most commonly used colors are white, tan and lit-up red.

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History

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What does SEP mean and where did it come from?  SEP is an acronym for the longer mature version, a name better suited discussed over drinks.  Suffice it to say, it was named by a fellow angler for its seductive movements and in a sense what a striper sees prior to taking the fly.

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The creation of the SEP Squid came after a visit to Martha's Vineyard in the Spring of 1999.  During a week's stay several runs were made to the Middle Ground, a bar north of the Island with 30-70 feet of water on either side.  These runs and the events witnessed set the stage for the beginnings of this fly.  Words could never do justice to the actions seen, stripers slapping, chasing squid, squid inking, lighting-up, jumping, an invariable mess of bait and mayhem.

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Squid flies probably existed then, but were neither obvious nor prevalent in the tying world.  I returned in the Spring of 2000 prepared with the SEP Squid.  After seeing my creation, fellow anglers commented about the size, 9" (too big), weight (too heavy) and tying time (too long), but on the water the fly performed and the comments changed.  To date it's taken some of my largest (landed) stripers, a 23 lb., a 19 lb. and a 17 lber.  I say landed because I've hooked and lost three additional stripers estimated between 17 lbs. and 28 lbs.  One striper was lost due to a poor crimp job, the other parted my 15 lb. tippet and the last lost to a poorly tied knot.  Eight pound and up fish have taken this fly.  Originally tied for the Vineyard, the SEP Squid has also performed well on the Chesapeake.  In the ultimate form of flattery, fellow Vineyard angler, Steve Samuels created his version of the fly, "The Bullwinkle".  In the Spring of 2004, Steve landed a 20+lb bass.

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As they say, big baits equal big fish.  Squid will always remain on the grocery list for large stripers and the SEP Squid Fly on my menu for what I'll be serving.  Tied in white, tan and lit-up red, the SEP Squid fly remains a big squid pattern for big striped bass.

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Mega squid flies in hand..

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What makes this fly a successful pattern?

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Like many other successful patterns, great thought went in to the design of the SEP Squid.  Many fly fishermen never stop to evaluate the fly they're catching their fish on.  They just know a certain pattern works and become confident using it.  It's usually the fly tyer who does something deliberate but subtle that makes a fly successful.  This subtlety may be eye placement, material placement, materials used or a mix.  The SEP Squid's success is derived from the following:

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1. Its second hook contains eight tentacle-like hackles and is attached via a loop verse being tied-in rigid.  The loop truly allows free movement and is partly why the fly is named as such.  Any thoughts of lost fish due to the looped second hook are unfounded.  This fly is inhaled, even with eight pounders.

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2. The mono or wire used to connect the second hook is covered by mylar tubing.  The tubing acts as a bite guard for mono and provides additional flash.

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3. Layers. Great care was taken to incorporate layers.  This layering technique embodies 360 degrees around its mantle.  The layers provide body, material to pulse upon retrieve and flash to the pattern.  The first layer to the mantle is the mylar tubing.  Next, the mylar is surrounded by krystal flash followed by yak or synthetic of choice.  Finally it's finished by sparse pearl flashabou.  Each material is tied-in 360 degrees around the hook and provides the body or mantle of the fly.

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The original version is not for the timid caster.  I fish it using either a 10 or 12 weight rod and open loops.  It's a specialty fly I use to probe deep water or when I feel large stripers are at hand.  Lite SEP Squid versions are possible by selecting lighter hooks and eliminating the mega conehead.  The overall length of the fly is 9" to 10".

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Three short stories related to this fly

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1. Using the SEP Squid I had fought and landed several stripers from a boat.  Upon attempting to land one more striper via the low spot of the transom, my tippet snaps losing the fly.  I quickly look away disgusted in losing the fly.  As I turn back to the stern to retie, there's my striper, trailing hook in mouth, leading hook caught on the motor's cable.  The fish is landed and released. (A Lit-up Red SEP Squid fly was used.)

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2. A buddy and I walk up to Big Bridge (Anthiers Bridge), Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard.  I prepare to cast from the rocks as he stands with a small crowd of on-lookers from the wood crosswalks.  People ambling along not much is happening.  I place a cast just up current of the bridge and begin my retrieve.  To everyone's amazement an approximately 35" bass rises from the depths, inspects and just before it decides to inhale the fly, the fly is swept unnaturally by the swift currents of the bridge.  The fish sounds and all you hear are gasps like WOW there's a fish that big there? (An all white SEP Squid fly was used.)

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3. A buddy and I fish a bar on an out-going tide.  The bar is covered by two feet of water but then quickly drops away to 12+ feet.  Schools of stripers are seen cruising onto and across the bar.  A school of three stripers is spotted and a cast is made just to the side of the school but close enough to draw attention from one fish.  Within 15 feet a cat and mouse game is played with a slight twitch of the fly followed by hurried interest by the striper.....THEN.....hell breaks loose as water and striper explode in the shallow water.  A five minute fight ensues followed by a release of a 9 lb. striper. (A Lit-up Red SEP Squid fly was used.)

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SEP Squid success:

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Chincoteague striped bass

Assateague Island, VA

Striped Bass (42 inches / 23 lbs.)

Caught on a White SEP Squid

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Vineyard striped bass

Martha's Vineyard, MA

Striped Mass (17 lbs.)

Caught on a White/Yellow SEP Squid

(Click to enlarge)

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Dougherty Flies:

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SEP Squid

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