: Monomoy Report 7/20 and 7/21
07-22-2003, 08:05 AM
Had a good Saturday doing the South Beach "walk" with Striblue.
Fished south end on N. Monomy on Sunday, 7/20, alone. Landed 4 fish, 2 were decent (27-32"). 3 were sight fishing, 1 blind casting. Fish were spooky, had several refusals (even with good casts!) on crabs and small eel patterns, switched some small (size 8) modified crazy charlies with chain bead eyes (clear and olive) and started hooking fish. Ideal morning for sight fishing. Sunny, no wind, went through 2 qts of water and could have used more. Took the 2:00 pm shuttle back. Low tide was about 1:30 pm. Saw a giant ocean sunfish beach itself in the crib.
Sunday, 7/21, hit N. end of Monomy. Clear and windy for a few hours. Picked up one sight fishing on small (size 6) epoxy eel pattern. Wind kicked up and sun went behind some clouds about 10:30 am, headed to NW corner of island and fished the flats, before the drop offs. Picked up a couple more.
Found a wallet (NO Money!) on shore! Sent it back to the owner.
Caught the 2:00 pm shuttle back, finished painting Dads house and I am now westbound to Sacramento!
Hope to see you folks later this fall, or next spring.
Dennis, glad you were thinking out of the box on NM's fussy fish. One observation was the number of red sea worms that I saw burrowing into the sand. I would think that a San Juan worm type imitation might be worthy of consideration. Any thoughts?
07-22-2003, 08:38 AM
I did not see many sea worms. I have used a rust colored wolly bugger in the past to imitate them. I have had good luck with it on the Bass River. I think they were picking up small shrimp, as they just seemed to be slowly cruising the flats. It was pretty easy to tell the times they were hammering the sand eels, but I was watching fish feed and it did not appear to me that they were hitting the worms or sand eels,at times.
The seaworm fly is my fly project for the year. I hope it comes together faster than my flounder juvie fly, which has been in the works for 4 years :rolleyes:
I've been experimenting in search of a worthy seaworm pattern for a while now, despite the fact that my philosophy in curing refusals has least to do with the fly, it's an important part of flats success to have a full repertoire in the box. It's the three more important factors that get you more fish than fly selection, but just the same...
with the various test patterns I've had some profound success on some days, although there is no panacea. If you find a place where the current washes over a recently clammed out flat on the start of the rise you will find willing worm eaters on the lee of the flood current. Especially if they have been munching on chopped seaworm chunks in the immediate time frame. A dead drift with an unweighted version got mid-30"s bass to come up off the bottom to eat the fly in a subsurface rise, which was a real treat.
I could see a flatwing filling this washout worm niche, but I'd save the jungle cock eyes for my steelhead and atlantic salmon flies. Give me stick-ons and dumbell eyes for my briny, sand-grinding surf flies and the crab-crunching mandibles of the linebacker bass of the flats. Although these are my two 'religious' fisheries I see them worlds apart. Besides, worms don't have eyes at all.
Anyway, haven't completed the R&D phase on this pattern but on a recent outing I tied a prototype seaworm fly onto my client's line much to his surprise. Not only was it's coloring very visible to us, but the fish responded very positively and he landed several good fish on it and lost a real pig. This was after lukewarm reactions to shrimp, crab and sand eel patterns.
I have 5-6 different versions but none perfected yet, most recently working on a three-strand tight-napped chenille with dull orange/red on either side of an olive middle strand. It creates a flat nematode profile with the proper green middle stripe between the wormy red sides, very promising. The problem I am having is effective means of longitudinal adhesion along the chenille without killing the natural wiggliness. How's that for tecno-jibberish? :hehe:
I used mink fur strips with very good success (fish liked it) but it does not come in the right colors. It's like rabbit fur but with a very short hair and thick underfur, very wormy. A dye job of olive on the hide and worm red on the fur would make life pretty easy for me.
I started all this with a strip of craft store yarn braided thick with the right colors, that worked great but fouled and was embarassing to show people ;)
Rooster, the bonefish fly you showed me suggested seaworm colors in fact that was the first thought that popped into my head upon looking at it.
Sea worms... they're not just for bait fishermen!
07-22-2003, 09:21 PM
Good to hear from both of you. The little bonefish flies I was using were the "clear", classic crazy charlies, with a sparse, tan/pink beard, pink thread.
The other one was tied the same style, but I used green dubbing, with an orange tail. Both worked. I think the "lack of splash" made a huge difference. The water in the crib was dead still on Sunday. This has happened before. They seemed to like the sparse patterns, with bead or mono eyes. I think alot of it has to do with not disturbing the water in front of them, when you cast.
If I was going to tie a sea worm, I would use the rust colored sealy bugger,(similar to wooly buggers, in the appropriate six. I like tying them on 2xl size 6 hooks. The sealy bugger is a Denny Rickards pattern that is quite popular on N. Cal/OR lakes (it is in his book). It is essentially a sparse/thin wooly bugger, tied with seal fur (or imitation seal fur) the tail is normally marbabou, and is about 3/4 as long as the body. I normally do not palmer a hackle over the body, but some do. It is always palmered with a thin wire (normally copper). It is important to pick out the body, to give it a rough, ragged finish. (I use a dental tool that they use for cleaning teeth, it is straight and is rough on the sides).
Try this pattern, for your sea worms. It can be fished dead or twitched. I tie some lead in the thorax part of the bodies on some of them. It would work well in a calm flat with a floating line, or with the intermidiates in most of the Monomoy waters. I have had my best luck with this in the Bass River, but I have not used it alot on the flats. I would have used it, it they did not take the bonefish flies.
Let me know what you use.
PS. Jim, you PM box is full.
Answer to your questions, I don't think I'll be back this summer. And my folks house in W. Dennis is available for rentals in Sept.
07-22-2003, 11:40 PM
Rooster, I was the guy who walked with you down to the Crib on Sunday. It was a tough day. Had four takes and landed only one (it was just a small blue). I fished the west end of the Crib and didn't see much at first. Some blues were chasing up some bait right along the drop off and I picked up one small one. Around 11am I ran into a school of small bass cruising up and down a weed line. Lost a little guy on an olive/white jiggy. Moved up to the common flats and saw lots of decent fish. Had one finally take the jiggy just has I was lifting the line off for a backcast. At one point, a cruiser came up while I was changing flies. I bent over as low as I could and watched him stick his nose right into the sand. I think he was picking up small shrimp (there were lots of them). Moved up to the north end around 3pm and missed one and lost a real nice fish when the fly came out (just like you said above - small clouser with bead chain eyes). Did see one monster as I was walking back to the ferry, had to be 20-25lbs (he didn't even spook... he was too cool for that). Thanks for the tips you gave me. Hope your trip back to CA was a pleasant one. Tight lines!
07-23-2003, 10:30 AM
Glad to hear from you. I was wondering how you did.
That giant ocean sunfish that was in the crib, died on Sunday. It beached itself during the low tide. Several folks tried to get it back in the water, but it's time had come. Saw lot's of fish, but they were tough, as you found out. I think the N end offers more possibilities, with the right tides.