Mystic River---Medford, MA [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Mystic River---Medford, MA

05-28-2003, 07:30 AM
Decided to stop by the Dam in Somerville on the Mystic River last night as the sun popped out on my way home for work. Pull up to the PACKED parking lot, and get out to see what the commotion is. I look along the dam walls, and see schools of herring being herded and forced to take to the air. I ran back to the car, grabbed the kayak, rod, paddle and a few flies and headed out. Second cast I was on. Good strong 26" fish.

I was able to position the kayak in a pocket of slow water right next to the pilings that support some of the dam structure. You could hear the splashing and slashing inside this walls as the stripers hearded the bait up against the insides. A few times I was being splashed by the fish and bait through the cracks in the walls! You could always tell when they were about to move out into the channel though, as the herring gulls would take flight an instant before. 6th sense or something.

Little while later, hooked up with a good sized fish whose legth I'll never know. Hit the fly, sounded deep, and dove under the pilings. My 12lb tippet was no match. Learned my lesson from that fish though. As soon as they hit, I had to clamp down and paddle hard away from the dam.

Ended up boating a couple fish in the 24-26" range before I had to head home. Not bad for an hour or so! were taken on Large Yak Herring Flies and a Baymen Universal. Don't feel so bad giving the report as I don't think there could be anymore fisherman down there than last night. Jam packed. I had to constantly dodge flying herring, snagging hooks, and large plugs!:tsk_tsk:

05-28-2003, 10:29 AM
Great Report Nick.... That's what happens when you are paying attention to opportunities close by.

05-28-2003, 11:27 AM
The urban guerilla yakker has strafed the area! Too cool, talk about carpe diem.

05-28-2003, 11:46 AM
I look along the dam walls, and see schools of herring being herded and forced to take to the air
That image will stick in my head for the rest of the day.
Nice report.

05-28-2003, 12:56 PM
I saw that bait and lure flingin' picket line Nick told of from the train before Nick got there - about fifteen people crowded between the dike and the pilings; why won't the AE lock operators open the flowage and let some of those fish up into the river instead of waiting for a damn boat to request passage??? gee, does anybody think they're up there for a REASON- like to get up the Mystic River and spawn upstream?

Oh,and another conga line in the Pines River in Revere - it looked like half the population of Lynn & Revere combined. (Wonder how many fish were "taken" from both locations)

Nickster - care to chime in with the stomp'n'rip lesson on removing a schoolie from a hook ??? (NO, I didn't say that backwards...)

05-28-2003, 02:02 PM
As Dfix alludes too, it was quite a scene. Cast out treble hook, jerk hook in, snag herring, reel herring in, rehook in mouth, cast out again, wait for striper to eat. Once said striper has been hooked and landed, drag over rocks up onto mud. Grab with hands or sole of foot if easier, look around for pliers for 2 minutes, remove hook. Then, look around for another 3 minutes for a tape measure to make sure the 20" fish really is 20" and not 28". Then gracefully flop the fish back into the water.

I would have said something, but the group did not seem to be taking too kindly to my
C.)catching fish

I do enjoy fishing and the pull of a striped bass. I hope that the species can survive these people, but I'm not quite willing to risk life and limb to explain fish managment techniques to these people.

As far as the herring goes, boy does that dam make a great fishing area. It is this great downfall that will most likely end the herring run up that river eventually. I've been there 3 times in the past two years, and have seen the gates open for water flow only once. Not a huge sampling, I know, but still a sampling nonetheless. The only real chance for the fish to make it upstream is when a boat comes through the locks. Sucks to be a herring in that pool...treble hooks from one side, and stripers gullets from the other.


05-28-2003, 07:32 PM
Hmm . . . "Snagging" is on the "Prohibited" list in the Mass. Abstracts :tsk_tsk: . They don't elaborate (it just has "snagging" on the list) and they don't seem to make any exceptions for baitfish. Is it legal to snag herring for some reason?


05-28-2003, 07:45 PM
Just as it's ok to jig squid I am sure it's legal to snag bait, or at least it's culturally embedded and perfectly reasonable provided people don't fill a bucket with excess and dump a pile (which I have seen many times).

As far as fishing style, to each his/her own within the bounds of the law. To me flyfishing is a conscious decision made by someone for their own preferences and has nothing to do with others.

What I find most interesting if not entertaining is that flyfishermen are looked upon as elitists yet they are the minority and discriminated upon for their personal fishing preference!

Enough of that rathole, the part that is worth debating IMHO is the treatment of fish in these areas where it's difficult to care for the sub-legal's release. Is there any way to improve this aspect? I wonder if the awareness posters would help?

05-29-2003, 05:00 AM
Looks like you might have to contact the Penguin for a flax jacket when fishing those waters. Great report. FishHawk:devil: :hehe: :chuckle:

05-29-2003, 08:44 AM
The Charlestown Dam, The AE, The Pines, etc. - all short time jaunts between the headquarters of FWE Officers in Boston (251 Causeway Street), not to mention other five to thirty minute drives these guys could make to watch the festivities - and I bet there isn't one around when this crap takes place. Regardless of my acquaintanceship or friendliness with several EPO's, this is still a major sticking point with me, that stories of all kinds abound around violations and blatant disregard for laws exercised by "fishermen", and DFWELE saying manpower is either too thinned out to be effective or enforcement is moot at the judicial level.

Read an interesting entry by BobG on FFSW yesterday, regarding an incident with an EPO and enforcement down Cape way; kinda made me wonder whether the guys I know are part of the same cadre', or there's no percentage in doing the job by the letter and intent of the law, or what.

05-29-2003, 09:00 AM
I have no problem at all with fishing different ways. I have a problem being bombarded by plugs, lures, and live herring.

But the problem there, as you say, exists with striper treatment. That is a major issue, as is not letting enough herring upstream to spawn.

Fish however you want, just treat the fish with a little more respect, thats all.


05-29-2003, 09:41 AM
Yep, I sure didn't mean to direct that at anyone specifically I was just waxing about a point that has been on my mind lately since the matter seemed to have an effect on friendships lately.

I see what you mean, I guess you must've felt like a 'sitting duck!' Glad you didn't get clipped.

How about if you painted your yak with forest green and put a EPO insignia on the sides? :hehe: Never mind - you'd probably get twice the shelling from that crew! ;)

05-29-2003, 09:44 AM
Juro, don't worry. I know exactly where you were coming from.