by Dan Blanton
Dave Sellers of Salinas, California, despite the fact he only began his marine fly fishing career a little over two years ago, has become one of the best striped bass fly anglers I know. He’s grasped the sport with the tenacity of a Pit bull. Fly fishing is his passion. He’s also become one of the best fly tiers in the game but that’s not surprising since he makes a good living as a full-time wildlife and landscape artist. His artistic talents are keenly evident at the tying table.
Dave’s “Sellers’ Striper Teaser” (SST) was born out of a challenge given him by close friend and northeast coast striper addict, Mark Susino. Mark was fishing the Susquehanna river for smallies with Lefty Kreh, when they both agreed that if a fly could be tied to mock the action antics of the incredible Super Fluke, a conventional tackle lure, a major breakthrough in fly design would occur. Dave seized the challenge and within three months the SST fly was born.
The fly has been used to take a horde of species both in freshwater and saltwater, ranging from brown trout to albacore but it has been especially productive for big impoundment stripers, the likes of which call our famous San Luis reservoir home. Dave has lost count of the Moes he’s taken from the lake on the SST. It has become common knowledge that the fly will outscore most of the best most of the time, particularly when retrieved by the skillful hand of Dave Sellers.
The SST is a style of fly similar at first glance to the epoxy-body types popularized by Bob Popovics but upon closer examination the design differences are huge. Remember the fly was engineered to have the action of one of the best gear lures ever developed. A great deal of thought and experimentation went into the fly’s design. The fly will not foul, it’s incredibly durable, sinks quickly and casts like a jet flies. It is also one of the most handsome patterns ever created – a true art piece.
To get the most out of the fly it must be retrieved with lots of quick, popping pulls, with many “stops and drops” – tease em to please em! The fly darts from side to side, in random pattern, like a pigeon trying to avoid the talons of a raptor – or a bait fish trying to escape the jaws of death…
The tying steps are numerous but most are obvious and require only good tying skills. In order to reduce the number of photos to the required six, we have combined from two to three steps in each photo. Read the photo captions carefully and note the fly is tied on an Eagle Claw 413, 60 degree jig hook, which always positions the hook point up like a Clouser design.
There are a lot of superb epoxy flies out there with Dave Sellers’ SST quite likely the best ever produced – strong words but true, at least in my long experience tossing some pretty good monikers at fussy fish.