BONECLAVE 2005 [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum


05-08-2005, 07:49 AM
I propose a new twist to the Boneclave this year. Please all you BC veterans and aspiring Boneclavers chime in and be heard...

I suggest we do it over on Martha's Vineyard this year. I have been looking at off-season camping rates, car rentals, ferries and the boaters won't need the ferry.

One big difference is that there will be more shore fishing, although the Wacky inlet is a hoot from the rocks MV has a lot more to offer to the shorebound angler.

The ferry gets into Edgartown or Oak Bluffs and I am thinking of renting a jeep (Budget, etc). If four go into the rental share it's peanuts for the weekend.

The campsite looks fantastic with cabins that sleep 6. That's even more affordable than motel 6.

I would enjoy being a guest on a boat or exploring the inlets on the MV shoreline or paddling my inflatable kayak amidst busting hardtails.

We would still have the fireside pow-wows at night, and the landlubbers could pick up / drop off the boat owners at marinas to return the favor of rides on the boat for a change.

We know one thing - the hardtail action is going to be more intense on the islands. Sure we love Washburn but a little variety is going to heighten the experience IMHO. We could try Nantucket next year, Montauk another, etc.


05-08-2005, 08:02 AM
Would not want to do if durning Derby time. Also, for those of us without a boat ride the cost of getting overthere would be high and we would have to be concerned about parking our cars . If we took our cars we might not get on the Ferry because it would be booked. Also, if we went with someone in a boat where would we park the cars?I raise this issues as a retired guy on a limited budget.
as a counter perposal I say we make the BoneClave a little later than we have been . Better shot at the hardtails and the logistics are much easier. Just my input.

05-08-2005, 08:24 AM

I think that you have a good idea here. Variety is the spice of life.

My family and I took a trip to MV last year during late June. During the trip my Dad and I booked a guide and had a pretty banner day fishing for stripers. As we cruised around from spot to spot I asked our guide, Kevin, if he could be so kind as to point out the decent shore spots for targeting hard tails. As we cruised around Edgartown he was pointing out various spots that were easy access for the shore bound angler. And he said that they were damn good spots.

I also fished a fair bit near some of the bridges in Oak Bluffs. I met a hard core FF guy and he told me about some epic days fishing at the outlets near the bridges. We were in the season for great nights fishing for stripers. But he was talking about epic hard tail afternoons.

And then there is Menemsha.

I was impressed. I wanted to fish there some more.

Washburn is awesome but when you are limited to the shoreline I would opt for MV. The Boneclave is special because of the generosity of those with boats. Without boat access I would opt for MV in a hearbeat.

My thoughts,


05-08-2005, 04:18 PM

The idea of fishing MV is definitely tempting but I would have concerns from a logistics stand point. Lets face it, we live in the NE and the weather is unpredictable. Most of the boaters have CCs in the 18'-20' range and many with even smaller craft. I can definitely imagine some circumstances where I would not want to be taking the boat over or back from MV especially loaded up with camping gear etc (its currently blowing 30 mph with white caps in the harbor down the street)... Assuming the weather was perfect what is the availability of temporary slips/moorings that time of year and what would the cost be? (just did a quick search at it appers it would be about $60 a night for each boat with a 2 night minimum)

I would offer two alternate options. The first would be to stick with Wacky and book it later in the year, say mid-late September, for a better shot at the hardtails (as Fishawk suggested). The second would be RI. Camping is available at Fisherman's and Burlingame parks. I think we all know the hardtail action from shore is readily available as is the opportunity for Bass and Blues. Boaters could launch from numerous ramps including Barn Island in CT which given the right conditions could mean a shot at Montauk. I think this option might also entice a few more boaters to make the trip but I could be wrong on that one.

Just my $.02.


05-08-2005, 07:37 PM
Good suggestions

However Waquoit does not rent the sites after Labor Day since they suffered vandalism a few years back, and the shots at bonito are better earlier although the albies are best targeted later as mentioned.

Inclement weather at Rhody is just as restrictive as inclement weather between Falmouth and the Vineyard (or more in fact), keeping boaters in behind Napatree or up inside the breachways and the shore fishing is limited compared to the island.

Nantucket Sound from Stage Harbor west and Vineyard Sound near shore are excellent hardtail waters at the right time of year. After Labor Day this opens up a huge array of options.

Keep the ideas coming.

05-08-2005, 08:14 PM
Inclement weather at Rhody is just as restrictive as inclement weather between Falmouth and the Vineyard (or more in fact), keeping boaters in behind Napatree or up inside the breachways and the shore fishing is limited compared to the island.


My point about the weather is that we need to be there for the weekend and cary gear with us over water in the Vineyards case. That could mean getting stuck over there should a storm kick up. Not so Rhoddy. Also, in Rhoddy you have the option of a twenty minute ride to be in the lee of LI Sound which can make all the difference should we get stormed out. I think it would be awesome to fish the vineyard just not with a group this size.


05-08-2005, 11:23 PM
The Vineyard is a big jump from Washburn. The ferry last year was $125 to bring a car over and back. If you try to get into the campground this season your response will probably be an amused chuckle. The logistics for an affair like this would be huge and need a much earlier start. My vote would be for Rhoddy in Sept.

05-09-2005, 04:19 AM
I vote for Rhody also. Some of the best Hardtail water is near the Sluiceway near Fisher's Island off of Niantic which would not be that much of a run from Barn Island.
Mike Mayo took me out a couple of yeara agoand we had a blast . Hardtails boiling all over the place. Once you fish that water you'll wonder why you have not fished it. Just my .02
FishHawk :smokin:

05-09-2005, 06:43 AM

Rhody is the October event. I doubt we'll be in the hardtail timing in September. We could essentially combine the two as some have suggested, or we could keep them distinct.

I am starting to think it's time to give birth to a new and separate clave, the island sortie'.

Strafing the island...

There is a big misconception of cost if you run the numbers. Bringing a car and/or boat over on the ferry would be out of the question and unnecessary. Renting a full sized 4x4 SUV rental on the island would cost $25 per person for the duration of the clave. The cabins eliminate the need for a tent or dry storage devices, tables, etc. These cabins are cheaper than the car. Carry-on what you need as passengers on the ferry. With food, the whole weekend could run you less than $100 (not counting indulgences).

Back to Boneclave:

Washburn may or may not be available, I am contacting the HQ today in about 20 minutes. All this hypothesis may be moot if the site is not available.

If available, Washburn will be booked as available. If not, I move we postpone Washburn to 2006 (little choice in that matter) and do the island sortie' this year for the September event as well as a more emphasized Rhody Octoberfest to make up for the missing Boneclave proper.

Great to get people's opinions. Please keep in mind that your vote is proportionate to your willingness to organize, contribute, and meister the event.

Belly up and be heard.

05-09-2005, 10:49 AM
There was a feeling at the end of last years events that we needed to rest the BC before it got burned out, or perfunctory. So a change of venue or a year skipped is a grand idea to me. MY .02.


05-09-2005, 01:33 PM
Boneclave or not, I'd be interested in a weekend trip to MV (preferably not during the derby). I've only been over there on day trips, usually with my girlfriend and without a vehicle so my fishing was extremely limited with respect to both time and location.

As for the boneclave, I liked it better when we did it in September even though there were no bonito. Too bad they stopped allowing camping on Washburn after Labor Day.


05-09-2005, 01:46 PM

I have been calling the HQ all day long... no answer. Tried the 617 alternate # as well. :mad:

05-09-2005, 11:38 PM
This is the number - no answer all day: (508) 457-0495

05-10-2005, 07:42 AM
Same again this AM... maybe I will call Mike Brady over at Monomoy to ask what the deal is.

05-10-2005, 02:33 PM

I called the ReserveAmerica number listed on the website for Washburn. While they don't book for site #9 they were able to book for the other sites up until Oct. 9th. Makes me wonder if they have extended the season for the whole island. If we do Washburn, I am definitely of the opionion that later would be better if possible.


05-10-2005, 06:36 PM
Thanks Sean,

I will continue trying to get thru to the other number(s).

05-10-2005, 07:06 PM
I've fished MV from shore a fair bit, usually for a week or two at a time. It's a blast over there but you've gotta have wheels. There are taxi services and that might be an option to the suv rental, although I don't know how early they run. There used to be two campgrounds on the island but now I only know of one, MV family campground. For a week it's worth bringing a car over but I don't see it being worthwhile for a weekend.
I wouldn't count on many boats because while it might be smooth sailing on the way to VH one could easily find the return trip to be too dangerous and get stuck for a day or two. The great thing about MV is you don't really need a boat to get into some fantastic areas. A yak would open up all sorts of possibilities at Tashmoo, Menemsha and even in the harbors. Menemsha and lobsterville beach would be my pick from shore, there's plenty of beach, an inlet, jetties and great rips within casting range down at dogfish bar. The ferry dock at OB is know for bone hookups but it would be my last pick for scenery. Wasque used to have a great rip where the blues ran the curl of 3' - 5' waves like clockwork but the last few times I've been there the point had changed, more like disappeared and the rips are now for boats only. You'd drive out on the beach as the ranger when are they hittin' - should be around 2pm today might be the answer and you'd bump it up an hour every day, so long as there was no East wind it was a sure thing.

I opt for Burlingame - mid to late Sept. Capt. Ray and Art Burton have been saying get to Rhody in Sept. for years - after catching little bitty blues at Washburn for a while I'm ready to listen. The BoneClave is a great event even with the lack of fish and the usual weather factor and I look forward to it next year. A agree with Sean and would like to see it later in the year even if it means forgoing the Bonito, I'll settle for Albieville. A few of us hit Rhody the Friday before Halloween last year and the fishing was good I can only imagine what it's like in prime time.

05-11-2005, 04:14 AM
To target the albies is a sound idea. I checked my log and the albies are around RI in mid Sept. I agree with Jim W good thinking. FishHawk :D

05-11-2005, 04:58 AM
So let me understand what you are saying (last two posts)...

#1 - Boneclave should not be at Washburn this year even if we get the site
#2 - Rhodyfest should replace Boneclave, in other words they are combined this year later than the usual BC date but earlier than the usual RC.

Reading the posts, the lines are very blurred. Let's be clear...

Is this what is being proposed?

05-11-2005, 05:17 AM
I'd be up for either the MV trip or the Rhody trip. I'm still drying out some of my gear from last years trip to Washburn. :chuckle:


05-11-2005, 08:08 AM

I would concur that if our only option for Washburn is Mid-August that we should opt out for Rhoddy later in the year. I have been to three Boneclaves now and I can only remember one hardtail caught. I have to disagree about your earlier opinion on September being early for Rhoddy. Labor day was probably the best day of the year last year. However, if Washburn is available say mid to late September than we have something to think about.


05-11-2005, 09:22 AM
I was with Jim on that outing off Rhodey in "Almost November". We hit a school of 7 lb Bonito. 3 were boated. And I always remember Art B. bringing a bone for the grill at the Rhodeyfest. It might be a boaters only game but Rhodey does have the potential to really produce them. in the fall. On the other hand a bunch of us stuck on jettys with Fly Rods waiting for Bones to show sound goofy. Sure a few albies at Weekapaug but a better strategy would need to be developed.

As far as the Vineyard, sounds really cool but it's tough for me to overcome the exclusivity factor in high season. Has anyone checked for availability of the cabins there? It's not a bad idea if those logistics a doable.


05-11-2005, 03:05 PM
From what I read most of us would like a little later date than we had. If it can't be Washburn then it would be Rhody. The Vineyard durning derby time would be very crowded. Just what I have read into the posts. Also why the focus on the Bone.?Albies while they are not good eating are a terrific fish to catch and more plentiful. Just my .02 FishHawk

Dble Haul
05-11-2005, 03:16 PM
I don't think anyone is focusing just on the bonito here. There seems to be interest in the potential of overlap, where anglers could have legitimate shots at catching both bonito and albacore on the same trip, which sounds reasonable to me.

That being said, August is simply too soon for albacore. And as has been stated above by Sean, early to mid September is when the albacore action has really been picking up the past few productive years in RI. Labor Day can be an early indicator, with my birthday (the 16th) always being a safe bet that the fish are around.

My opinions here are not based on me attending this event; rather, in the interest of all those trying to get this off the ground and running remember that September is not too early for a RI clave.

05-11-2005, 07:13 PM
So let me understand what you are saying (last two posts)...

#1 - Boneclave should not be at Washburn this year even if we get the site
#2 - Rhodyfest should replace Boneclave, in other words they are combined this year later than the usual BC date but earlier than the usual RC.

I'm not saying don't do the boneclave at Washburn, it's a blast and a tradition worth continuing. The odds are if you hit it the end of August every year it might just happen. With a limited ammount of free time I'm putting my bet on Rhody for the big trip but that's partially because I can hit the cape quite easily on a day trip. My outlook is try something different this year be it MV and/or Rhody not to say we cannot have a Rhody speedster clave in mid Sept. and Rhodyfest in Mid-Oct.

05-12-2005, 12:12 AM
It` time for me to chime in on this one. I`ve been to the last 2 boneclavs and had a wonderful time in spite of the lousey weather. It` a unique experience and I`d do it again in a heartbeat. Weather is always the problem when planning anything in advance. The last Rhoddy clav had a tropical storm, the people who made it down for Fri morning had spectacular fishing from the West Wall, those who couldn`t get in till Fri night got blown out, se le vie!
The West Wall is one of the premier shore spots on the whole coast for tunoids. The Bones will show in early August, spotty but they`re there. The FA`s take over by Labor Day( which is late this year, Sept 5) and hang well into Oct. Then the Bones make another push through late in the month.
Some observations from 4 yrs of fanatically pursuing these fish. The WW for the last 2 seasons, tide does not matter(as long as it`s moving), the first 2 hours after dawn always had fish. The Breachways only have fish on the rising tides, during the drop the fish stay well out. Napatree Point is likely to have fish at any time, but access is almost impossible.
Just in case...I`ve been checking the charts. For Sept at the WW, lows will be 1 hour before, dawn and one hour after on the 9,10,11 and again on 23,24 and 25. Add 3 hours lag time for the breachways and it means turning up around 9, 10 and 11. The odd week of 16,17 and 18 will have dawn highs at the Wall and the breachways will be topping out around 9. For boaters the center wall and the Watch Hill/Napatree area will have fish all day.

05-12-2005, 05:43 AM
here is my two cents. I was at last years boneclave and had a great time and would do it again. However, trying new places and getting new experiences makes me understand the salt alot better. I will attend the function no matter where it is.

fish we must,

05-12-2005, 08:28 AM
Slingers right! I tell all my clients, if they want to chase tunny fish, than the last two weeks in September thru the first two weeks in October are prime times. The weather is more predictable as far as storms and wind. Temperatures are great, and the fish are starting to move through.

Lil' Rhody gives the shore bound angler many more opportunities to land bonito.
As Steve said, "The West Wall is the Mecca." What's great about the south shore of RI is as Steve implied. The breachways lag behind the tidal changes. All can be reached easily. The opportunity to catch fish than can happen at any time during the day. As long as there is bait around and the wind is from the south/southwest, fly rodders have an excellent chance. There is plenty of flexablity, access and different types of shoreline to suit anyone. You have flexability with boats too. Not a problem launching and most areas can be fished safely by anglers who do not have knowledge of the area.

In the past, the Claves have been too late in the year. With air temperature and water temp changes quickly, wind and rain has become a problem. Fishing quality is better earlier in the season and more confortable to be out there all day.

Trivia question? (To the best of my knowledge), there has been only one bonito caught and eaten by fireside during all the Claves we have had so far. Jim Whalen can answer this, because he risk life and limb landing this fish. He wasn't about to let it get away and was prepared to jump in too. Surprising enough the fish was caught on the first and only cast of the day. That how a legend are born. You know then to quit when you're ahead.

05-12-2005, 10:35 AM
The bone clave a couple years ago had at least 4 bonito caught and consumed. Two were caught the day before the clave and two were caught on day one. If you are talking only Rhodyfest then I do believe you are correct.

05-12-2005, 12:37 PM
What Ray is referring to goes something like this:
Rhody - some years back Al D. had co-ordinated boats and people for a day. Ray was generous enough to offer his fine craft and local knowledge to who ever was willing to go and a motly crew we were :hihi:
The seas were too nasty to venture outside the harbor of refuge on my shift (mid-afternoon) so we covered the area within the barriers stopping here and there to probe the depths. The keep-ya-ins on Ray's boat came in handy that day with three of us trying to fly fish off the boat in less than favorable conditions. We were working along the Northwest? section when I spotted some birds working, Ray was already on 'em. I had been encouraging the Captain to do a little fishing but he had refrained. We finally talked him into it by placing a spin rod in his hand, it was rigged with some big rubba.
One cast - One Bonito. When Ray hooked up on what we initally thought was a big blue, spirts rose, he quickly fought it to boatside. Now we could see the profile and being late in the season we thought it was an albie - not the case. Ray said one word - BONITO and suddenly tailing the fish had new meaning (food) Well I did practically dive in after it and put a death grip on it.

I remember cooking a small piece of it on a thin strip of firewood right in the coals. Good Stuff - Great memories.

Thanks Ray.

05-12-2005, 04:06 PM
I'm not sure my $ 0.02 is welcome here but I'll offer it anyway.

Vinyard is out of the question for me, forever. I've done it twice before which was two times too many. There's nothing there that can't be had for half the effort and quarter the price elsewhere. Sorry if that rankles, it's what I do.

I heartedly concur with the Rhodie guys that early september is HOT for albies. Not only are numbers good, but I believe the fish are more aggressive than later in the season. I've seen days in september on the wall when dozens of fish are hooked. Similar days in October had fish showing and splashing but with far fewer hook ups.
An advantage of the wall is that shore bound fishermen have equal chances which has always been the drawback for me at Washburn. For that matter, we could have the entire group side by side on the wall with room left over.

Naturally, as with any open ocean front, weather can shut you out. There are many alternatives close by. Behind Napatree and inside the ponds as Juro said but also many protected bays and coves inside Narraganset sound.
Also if weather makes the albies scarce, often bass and blues provide a suitable alternative with endless number of shore spots within a half hour of Burlingame.

05-12-2005, 04:56 PM

First of all your voice is ALWAYS welcome here dude. And when we read your advice we know it's sage advice that was earned the ol' fashioned way - time on the water.

Overall the replies seem to speak of each event as a replacement for another... NOT!

We are going to do all three. I got a reply from the refuge that communications were down due to a tree falling on their wires. At least no one esle could get thru either, so Washburn is still a possibility.

That's in addition to, not in place of Rhody regardless of the month.