Playing the weather gamble [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Playing the weather gamble

09-17-2005, 11:06 AM
I had been chumping at the bit to get down to RI to hunt for FA and the weather of the last week had me positively quivering to get out.
All whole week of sustained south wind in September in Rhodie's south coast is absolutely reliable for stirring up the fish.
When the souther is followed by an approaching low pressure system with heavy rain but light wind, I simply can't stay at work any longer.

Thursday was torture for me as I couldn't get away and my fish sense was tingling so bad in the rainy weather I couldn't concentrate on my work. Having now heard of the carnage which took place on that day, I regret missing it but am glad at least my instinct was confirmed.
Naturally Friday I simply had to go. Either that or quit my job!

I sure did like the look of the weather and the water when I arrived pre-dawn. No albies were forth coming at first light and I soon got to playing with the schoolie bass which permenently inhabit the base of the jetty. I would dapple my fly on ten feet of line into the pockets in the rocks and the 14 inch cookie cutter bass played with me all morning. It reminded me of nymphing pocket water. If only I could have used my 6 weight! As it was, the beauty of the little fish was I could pull them up by my leader thus avoiding the ever increasing swells.
I did have to venture down to the surf to land a ~36 inch class striper that surprised me in my schoolie hunt. Now my morning was looking way up. I had already seen my backing and hadn't even hooked an albie yet.

The steady filling in of anglers along the jetty gave me more encouragment when I observed that with few exceptions, they were mostly the local highliners. Even the master of the W. breachway ventured the long walk onto the big jetty. These guys know their albies and when they all show at one place at a given time, it behooves us duffers to take note.

The resulting adventure of a long day totally satisfied my cravings. It was a replay of the famous "Hardcore Clave" of the same location and exactly similar weather. The driving downpoars at times seemed to threaten to reduce the salinity of the ocean, while the ground swells built all day until they resembled moving foothills crossing the sea. In contrast the over the shoulder breeze was just right to aid rather than impeed casting.
Oh ya, and there were some footballs. Lotsa footballs. I personally suffered equipment and temperment failures which limited my actually landings to one fish. I got to mess with a few others that may still be carrying my flies as sovenieers to the encounter. Others however did far better. It got crazy with the big swells and sideways rain and was no place for the weak hearted but no one wanted to leave, not even the guy in shorts and tee shirt who started his day getting nailed by a wave and finished several hours later, still in tee shirt and shorts drenched to the point of wrinkles. He fished next to me for awhile and I saw him make a slam almost on consecutive casts from the same rock.
A damn fine day!

As a side note, I observed through out the day a steady stream of monarch butterflies [yes, in the driving rain!] as well as scattered flocks of migrating warblers flying the wrong way! These were critters engaged in heading south for the season that had attempted to cross Block Island sound [presumably] and been blown back by Ophelia. All that I saw flew inland from off shore [against the wind]. The birds especially seemed bedraggled and exhausted and upon crossing the long jetty immediately turned inland and followed the jetty to shore. They were so beaten by the storm they simply needed dry land at all cost, even to the point of reversing their direction. It's easy to see that many such travelers must certainly perish at sea during these weather events. Just food for thought while minlessly blindcasting for the 3000th time of the day. ;)

09-17-2005, 03:15 PM
Great report Mike!

Glad to hear your efforts were rewarded :smokin:

09-17-2005, 03:30 PM
South county calls again! after Boneclave I'll be there for sure