10-25-2003, 11:23 PM
After the fun and games at the double hander event, I went up to Weakpaug with my old 15ft Spey to try the surf. Way too much wind - the big rod was getting pushed all over the place but the fish were in close. Looked to be mostly blues - guys throwing plugs from the jetty were getting multiple hookups and the fish were occaisionally busting in knee deep water. A few breaking fish in the channel might have been bass - spin guys there were complaining of getting no hits.
10-27-2003, 05:25 AM
Good to see you again. Napatree was the same in the afternoon. Too much wind. FishHawk:smokin:
10-27-2003, 12:07 PM
I feel sorry for you purists!
I was among the shoulder to shoulder surfcasting crowd on the east jetty saturday afternoon. I can vouch for at least 3 hours of nonstop action with 10 casts between fish considered "slow". For awhile the school stretched hundreds of yards along the shore and everybody was hooked up on both jetties, both inside and out. That's something I have never seen there in over 10 years!
I can also vouch that the schools contained many more stripers than met the eye. By using my secret striper plug with no steel leader, V-E-R-Y slow retrieve and short casts near the rocks, I was able to keep my striper to blue ratio at about 10 to 1. Only a few stray stripers were picked up by the steel leader, popping plug, fast retrieve crew [the majority]. Some of the less perceptive guys were wonderous at my secret touch with the bass. I really knocked their socks off by throwing back all my keepers! At dark I finally packed it in as I had neglected to bring a flashlight. I have no doubt it continued into the night and know for a fact it reoccured again the next day. See seperate post for details.;)
Kudos on the striper hound inside track.
As a self-inflicted purist myself, I wanted to mention that right after you left we broke out the LC-13 rig and just about everyone shot the line it's full gamut of approx 145' on the parking lot. I would imagine that would translate to about 100 or 120 into a headwind, but 80 is enough to play striper stealth games as a so-called purist ;) in the nastiest wind. On the other hand, I guess that line setup throws me out of the purist club on my head :p
We're just beginning to scratch the surface of what new lines and rods will bring to the party. I wish I were there to try a few things while you had the situation dialed in. I'll bet the holeshot line setup would have been up to the task of dealing with the wind, if I had the fly and retrieve to go with the distance it might have been a purist party too! :devil:
10-28-2003, 07:11 AM
I'm sorry I missed the Big Gun demo.
On the other hand, I was in a hurry to grab a good rock on the jetty. Things might have turned out different if I was further back in the line up.:hehe:
I agree that fish could have been taken from my position on the jetty by a good caster with the right rod.
I have only two misgivings about that.
First, in my humble opinion, although do-able, it would not have been easy or comfortable. I enjoy flyfishing a great deal and when I first got into the long rod in the salt, I stuck to it as a purist wannabe. Eventually, however, after two or three seasons of 100% FF only, I found I wasn't satisfied catching little schoolies in the sheltered backwaters and longed to return to the jetties and rocks I knew so well. This I did, and had some moderate success. I even started taking on flies the 36 to 40 inch stripers that were so plentiful in the late 80s. Nevertheless, usually it was more ball buster than relaxation. I found myself frustrated and cursing the shortcomings of my self inflicted handicap. I was no longer doing it because I liked it, but because, Dammit, I'm gonna do this if it kills me!
Well, as I get older, I find that peace and tranquility are more valuable and healthier than winning every dam battle and proving every dam point. I was not getting peace or tranquility fighting wind and surf and wearing myself to a frazel watching surfcasters catch fish after fish while I just got tired.
The turning point came one fall day at Watch Hill during a prolonged blitz which hovered tantalizingly just half a flycast out of my reach. I cast and cast and cursed and cursed but for the life of me, I COULD NOT GET A HIT! Meanwhile 20 surfcaster around me hooked good fish on every cast. Just before I tossed my flyrod into the sea, a stray schoolie wandered close enough to see my fly. When I hooked that fish, the surfcasters near me actually cheered me as if to say "Look, the poor handicaped boy finally caught a fish". I've been carrying both my flyrod and surf rod ever since.
My second misgiving is more practical than philosophical. Quite simply, on a weekend in October, the best spots are just too crowded with surfcasters. True, during good albie runs enough flycasters congregate to take over a stretch of jetty. A crowd of flycasters only can work together. A mixed crowd rarely can. Fact is, the surfcasters let us get away with hogging the West Wall or Weekapaug jetty only because your average steel leader type doesn't care to waste time on false albacore. When the bass and blues are blitzing, all bets are off. Sorry to say it, but, the worse thing I can imagine is a fanatical flycaster with a 13 weight two hander trying to ply his trade in the midst of 20 or 30 diehard surfcasters used to working elbow to elbow with their peers. Peace and tranquility? I doubt it!:whoa:
Having said all that, in no way am I passing judgement or critizing anyone else's point of view. In fact, the last thing I want to do is come to a flyfishing forum and influence people to stop flyfishing! I've been flyfishing for 30 years. My Dad, who taught me, is still a Purist. I love it and I'll never stop till they pry the long rod from my cold stiff fingers. I just don't intend to stand on a jetty watching other people catch fish that I can't just to prove a point. To those who can, more power to ya!
You raise some good points, Mike - it's all good fun! I don't even like to flyfish at all from jetties, period. I do it sometimes but I don't find it enjoyable trying to get down those deadly rocks to get the fish. I much prefer the beach, flats and inlet rips. The conventional and spin gear is far superior in those situations, more control.
But I've stood side by side with gear guys on the big beach and kicked their butts with the two-hander when the stripers are eating sand eels suspended severl feet under the surface. Sluggos weren't working for them with lead heads, and they couldn't cast them far enough without them. Big fish too, and it was silly how fast I could get tight again between fish about 80-90 feet from the breakline. I felt sympathetic to them, suggesting maybe a teaser rig retrieved slowly.
Then I walked over the dune to the flats when the sun popped out and sight fished with small flies, landing fish to 38" in the middle of the day on the stealthy presentation provided by an intermediate line in as little as 18" of water.
Each style of gear has it's place, and fishing is a broad spectrum of techniques and species that a person could explore for a lifetime.
10-28-2003, 08:26 AM
I was fishing next to Adrian for a little while in the surf just west of the jetty. There were fish everywhere, and it was a sight to behold seeing them in the waves! I got my butt kicked out there. Zero fish for me and my nine weight. Had a nice dinner with my wife and that was the end of that trip. Great to see everyone, already looking forward to spring!!!!