Digest version: last weekend on Monomoy [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Digest version: last weekend on Monomoy

07-07-2005, 07:36 AM
Well the refuge did not let me down, I got the 'ooba gooba with the green teeth' out of my system with multi-keeper days and some really classic shots and hookups on the flats fishing with Kush and the penguin, met polareyez and ran into Paxton and his lovely daughter and wife, an Elvis-like sighting of Craig heading for the hinterlands, etc. Had a great time with extended family barbeques, took the nieces out to fish, and watched the fireworks at night.

On the refuge the southway has dramatically changed things, primarily it has cut off a whole dimension of the fishery that I believe was related to the flushing and filling of the basin at a larger scale than it is now, thus supplementing the resident population with fresh arrivals each tide at a dramatically higher rate than it does now. It seemed the fishery was primarily residents with a small percentage of transients whereby in past years (the last 4-5 at least) there were more transient fish per tide cycle than residents. The exception to this might be the southway itself within close proximity of the small channel.

But as for the main refuge basin and flats - I could be wrong but I get that impression from the time I have put in so far. This makes the refuge a much harder place to succeed than in the last few years as there are less happen-stance hookups with less roving pods of fish.

In most years big weather fronts have moved large numbers of fish inside from the outer shoals of sandeels (the summer fishery off Chatham) so I'll be curious to see if that trend occurs with the southway being so constricted. Of course I hope the weather happens during the week and clears for the weekend :)

My guess is that the fishing on the refuge this year will be tougher than it has been for the last few years, although there are definitely fish and many of the very large variety on the flats. These fish will be extrememely wary and it will be a year demanding serious refinement of our flats techniques, a year to 'get schooled' and for the dedicated students get spooled too - I lost one of the biggest fish I've ever hooked on the flats the other day after memorable shot, take and a long run. The cork was creakin'

This will be a year that separates the men from the boys on the refuge. Bring it on baby! This is old school Monomoy.

Dble Haul
07-07-2005, 08:17 AM

Based on your experience, what effect will the closing of the Southway have on areas farther up inside like the Tub? Will it be a less pronounced ripple effect than what you've described above?

Thanks in advance.

07-07-2005, 08:36 AM
I think it's wait and see mode but here are a few symptoms I think everyone will agree upon...

a) current reduction has caused many structures to flatten out, for instance the beloved 'humps' have become as level and hard as concrete in some spots

b) rate of flushing is reduced - tub water used to get pushed out with strong flood much earlier than it does now. The temps were often 15 deg higher during a daytime low so it was pretty obvious when it was flushed

c) north / south monomoy division becoming channelized - more distinct channels again flat bottomed and well defined rahter than feathered and humped, however boaters report it being a shallow undefined myriad at the edge of west common flats... hmmm kayak time

d) J bouy vee and rip gone :(

It's entirely possible that the refuge is holding more fish than past years, but I am pretty sure the influx of fish from the oceanside that brought big hunting pods inside was not evident on the tub-J bouy stretch as it was in the past. I relied on these frisky bonus pods to make guided trips more successful when the residents were eating tiny grass shrimp and thumbing their noses at us, or when my clients could not make the quantum leap to perfect presentations required to hook these most particular of fish in a single day (understandably). One of the most obvious ways you could tell was the color of their backs, often black and out of place over the sand. Easy to spot and most reasonable presentations rewarded.

Could just be a matter of finding their new locations, hunting patterns and behavoirs, time will tell. I have a list of prospecting targets I plan to hit over the next few weeks based on conjecture formed from the changes that have occurred last winter.

07-07-2005, 04:34 PM

I agree with you that there seems to be less roving pods, at least on SB, but it seems to me that I'm seeing more large fish. Also, 2 of the ones I landed last week were covered with sea lice which should indicate that they were fresh arrivals.

If the fishing gets tougher it should keep the crowds down....


07-07-2005, 07:17 PM
You know, if the Southway closes and it will... unless they dredge...which will only be a temporary solution.... and if Keith can get a further south drop off... we will have south Monomoy , both east and west.... new land, new experience, and we will find fish.