Thanksgiving reflections: Season highlights [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Thanksgiving reflections: Season highlights

11-21-2005, 06:51 PM
Evening temperatures will plummet into the teens along the shore over the weekend which has lead me into the hibernation stage of another long, cold winter. Gannets are still wheeling and diving into sub 50 degree Atlantic sea water for 8" herring too far out to reach with traditional fly rods. I'm putting mine away for another hopefully warm day. Maybe a Shetucket Atlantic Salmon venture in December. I think it's now time to recollect, with thanks, fish caught, lessons learned and new friends made.

Without thinking twice. What was your favorite flyfishing experience or two in 2005. Making a new friend? Catching that once in a lifetime personal best Tarpon, Permit or Bonefish? How about that striped bass that ate a hickory shad whole and nearly tore off 250 yards of backing only to wrap a rock and break the leader. Another $60 line on the bottom. This should make for interesting time spent at the computer over the holidays. Let the stories begin!!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!


11-22-2005, 04:25 AM
Fishing with CSJ60 and Jim Sims on the Flats and catching my personal best Striperof the season. Fishing adventure with Paxton. :lildevl: The October Fest and meeting Bonefisherman . Watching Adrian work his magic with his tandem fly rig. Fishing with Drew and Chris. The Canal secrets revealed by JBasser. My best season so far. Looking forward to 06.

11-22-2005, 05:59 AM
Highlights of 2005.......the anticipation and excitement while driving 2 1/2 hrs to the Cape....getting there and each time just marveling about the beauty of the area...meeting up will Ken, Jim and sons, Bill and Phil and talking about fishing and best of all, just life......meeting new fanatics and showing them around.......watching the smile on my daughter's face when she hooks a striper....learning something new each spring, laughing at horseshoe crabs as they repeatedly bump into my boot.....the warm greetings by the Captain, the Admiral and Cloe....just thinking about the day on the ride back home....the anticipation of doing it again next May.
Guess my highlights are the same each year thank God!
AND FishHawk.......there really was a "highpoint" where we crossed the flat....may we each grow another 4 to 5 inches over the winter so the crossover will be a tad less adventurous :smokin:

Dble Haul
11-22-2005, 08:02 AM
In no particular order:

Phil helping me get into my new personal best striper

Many new areas accessible to me with my first kayak season

Fishing with Adrian aboard Captain Art's boat

My wife getting her first bluefish


Don't worry, all. April will be here before we know it. :)

11-22-2005, 09:50 AM
I was just thinking about this the other day.

A few 'firsts' and a lot of great memories;

- My fist Hudson river striper on fly (after many prior-year attempts).

- Close encounter with a 175lb (est) Tarpon that rolled under my fly whilst kayak fishing in the Keys this past May

- Some great days on the Cape with Craig (CSJ60) Jim Simms, Rooster back in the early summer.

- The Apres-fish cameraderie at the Simms' Tavern, Tanqueray & Tonics with Big-Dave ....

- Having North Monomy all to myself for some awsome sight fishing during July and August. "There are NO FISH on North Monomy" :lildevl:

- First fly caught Carp at Quentin's secret spot. :smokin:

- Fishing with Mark and Capt. Art

- Late season South County fun with Bonefishmon, FishHawk, Grizz.

- Chasing blitzing birds and stripers in Quonny in November by Kayak with Mark and GregD

Not a bad season all told.

Dble Haul
11-22-2005, 11:20 AM
Oh, and how could I forget fishing with Frenchcreek, and seeing his son catch his first ever albacore? That was a great day on the water with Pete, Chris, and Sean.

11-22-2005, 12:50 PM
The back porch cocktail scene in Chatham was a highlight for me (I think) :Eyecrazy:







11-22-2005, 08:51 PM
Well, this was certainly a great year for me with the new ride and I caught my fair share of fish. The surprising thing for me however was the excitement and satisfaction I got from watching others land some great fish. One event that definitely comes to mind for me was a day in August with Porkslice aboard. We had been in SBFT for most of the day but they had been tough to hook for one reason or another. It was getting late and we were looking at about a 10 mile ride home in solid 3-4s with a few 5-6s thrown in for good measure. We started to make our way back and the look on my partners face was that of despair. We saw another pod ahead and I told Jimmy this would have to be the last shot so make it count. On went the Gummy Minnow I had success with earlier in the day. We eased up on the pod and Jimmy made a solid cast. A few strips and he was tight. All I could think was please let this fish come to hand. A few minutes later and it was in the boat. This wasn't Jimmy's first or biggest and I don't expect it will be his last, but I bet it will be one of the one's he will remember forever. It certainly will be for me.

11-22-2005, 09:10 PM
It's hard to verblize the fealings that a day on the water with a good friend brings,
but one look on my face says it all! :biggrin: Sean thank you for all the great memories .


11-23-2005, 12:51 AM
I`ve caught more than a fair share of fish over the years. These days it becomes more and more about the people. The friends are what make it great. From the day with Big Dave on board and Mike Mayo on our starboard while big bass chowed down on squid over Sugar Reef, and I turned green with the rips and had to cut it short, to the morning with Phil when we blew a trailer tire at 4:30 in the morning and I woke a good friend and he got out of bed and opened the garage and found and mounted a tire and had us back on the road by 5:30. Then there was the day with JF when I strained with a doubled over rod while he picked at a tangel in the line to try and save the Albie on the other end, now that was teamwork, Albie and rod both survived. To the many times this spring that Sean saved me from going insane while I had 2 boats in the yard and niether one could go in the water. Or the day we both felt uncomfortable south of the Block so headed up into the Bay and found hundreds of Bluefin on top within spitting distance of Scarborough. It`s the sharing with friends that make a good day great! Oh and through all this there were some fish too!

11-23-2005, 07:23 AM
All in all a good year at the Middleside so trips to the Farside were few except for the Spring Clave with Fred A and the BoneClave with Jim W...Too long ago to remember what happened at the Spring Clave :smokin: but the Boneclave produced more than a few Albies for Jim W's boat. :lildevl:

I remember a trip with Slinger when he announced that "Buzzards Bay was devoid of fish except for those small Bluefish" which turned out to be early Bluefin when I made a cast with the "fishfinder" :D

Managed to land Bluefin, Bonito, and Albie on the fly before the Bluefin Feeding Frenzy started :biggrin:

Brought Fishhawk to a Middleside spot where the Stripers were so close to the road that a passersby thought that the Hawk was going to Church in his waders.

Saw my buddy Chris drop a 50 when it wrapped a mooring line :tsk_tsk:

Spent considerable time with the Cape Cod Canal Regular Adhoc Albie on the Fly Fishing Club waiting for the Albies to show at the canal. They never did. Turned out they were all visiting a well known SuperFund Site when all the experts were saying that they needed clean water.

Saw my buddy Bob drop a 50 during the October Canal Blitz when the fish rolled over on a rock and spit the pencil popper.

Had a great time at the Fall Bonefishmon Clave.

Bought a new Lami and Daiwa Emblem Pro combo capable of 500 foot casts for those breaking fish when the tide turns East at Daybreak third week of May 2006. Can't wait :devil:

and A Happy Thankgiving to all...Remember to watch a little TV and relax, there is a long Winter ahead

11-23-2005, 10:04 AM
and as previously opined, without good friends, a mediocre year at best.

Chronologically speaking, the year began with a week at Acklins Island with 8 guys on a DIY trip. Without Juro's due diligence, the trip could have been a bust. But, after some long death marches, we did get into lots of bones. If you have a yearning to go to an unspoiled outer island for bonefish, go for it! I'll be back.

Fishawk and his largest bass to date sightfished on the flats of South Beach. CSJ60, sightfisher extraordinare, gave Bill a headsup on the fish, a fat 35-incher. What a day and what a smile on Bill's face.

Paxton and his daughter, Amy, doing death marches to the end of South Beach. Yes, we hooked some nice fish, but equally important, watching Amy progress with the long rod, and her dad as proud as a peacock.

There is a modest, quiet guy named Ken McCrae, that is a fishing machine. We did a lot of flats fishing together this summer. His willingness to share a heap of info confirmed to me that my learning curve is still straight up.

Rooster and the crew from the left coast. Good guys and good fishermen. The flats wouldn't be the same without them.

Fishing with my sons, Chris and Brad. While they both had limited time to fish this summer because of work and school, it was pure joy to watch them handle fly rods like pros. They both look forward to spending more time on the flats in 2006.

Monomoy lighthouse. An overnighter at the lighthouse with my wife, Pam, and son, Chris was a true highlight of the season. Fishing the rip with my son, CSJ60, and Penguin was a bit humbling when the albies were blitzing just out-of-range. If you want a wilderness experience with some amenities, plan an overnighter at the lighthouse.

SBFT. I'm hooked. CSJ60 and I spent a day with Jeff Smith south and east of Chatham chasing them in the fog. We hooked 10 and landed 5 on conventional tackle. Next time it will be on the fly.

The Brits. I include the transplant, Adrian, in the group. Watching Adrian manhandle some really big blues was exciting for all who watched. Heavy hard Mason tippet was a good idea, but it doesn't replace wire, right Adrian? Then there is the UK contingent. Jamie, Stevo, Silas, Matt et al that have a real passion for our fishery. I was really impressed with their knowledge and skill in unlocking the code for successful striper fishing. Rumor has it that a large contingent will be in the Chatham area next June.

In 2006, I look forward to seeing the ironman, Striblue, back on the flats. God bless you John.

11-23-2005, 01:01 PM
Please give thanks! Bless those who protect our shores and country that we may fish in freedom.

Like some of us, serving our country for four years during Viet Nam left us very little fishing and family time. I've made up for lost time since than with many memorable experiences and friendships.

11-23-2005, 04:53 PM
I'll chime, in but briefly as I am sure there are others in line. I give thanks to Juro and all involved in putting this site together so that I could have the pleasure of meeting all of the above! Oustanding gentlemen, all, that I otherwise would never have met. Keep the stories coming fellas! The Icebreaker Clave is just around the corner! LOL!!!!! Pray and give thanks that we may fish another day and in the words of our mutual friend Chuck, "Fish we must!" Happy Thanksgiving.


11-23-2005, 05:00 PM
Like I've said since day one, I just built a pub... four virtual walls and an unlimited number of stools - but what this place becomes is completely defined by those who walk in the door... YOU!

I have a lot to be thankful for in 2005... from Spey Days to Acklins to Somerset to Marlboro to Wilmington to Golden Gate to Chatham to Douglaston to Denver to Wasburn to Catttaraugus to Skykomish to right here at home where my heart lies, with my family and friends.

Many great adventures, so many many more to experience... lets make each better than the last.

11-23-2005, 07:54 PM
1) Getting married on Old Cape Cod to a very beautiful woman.

2) Having Fred A come to the reception with his lovely wife and stay the entire evening celebrating with folks he had never met in person, ever, including me. Thanks Fred, Tracy and me, we love ya.

3) Fishing with Fred on both the bayside and South Beach. With may I say really big fish in spooky water in one spot.

4) Just being able to fly fish the Cape again. I was 19 the last time I had done so and that would be 35 years ago. Yik...

5) Though I see Juro once or twice a year somewhere around the NW. This was the year we almost got to fish and a couple times at that. Next year Juro :smokin:

6) As much as I love to fly fish I realized me and my new family have bigger dreams to chase and by god we are making those dreams come true.

7) Hope all of you had a great year on the bays, creeks, rivers, ponds and lakes thoughtout the world.

11-24-2005, 09:16 AM
Hope you all been fasting and have stocked up on Tums. It’s not going to be a day for an after dinner, calorie burning, walk on the beach. So you’ll probably sit on the couch, watchin football and continue to feed your face. In any case, Happy Thanksgiving.

Mixed season for me, not enough fishing and I never really got into a groove. Never the less, there were plenty of lingering thoughts and memories, new friends made and old acquaintances renewed.

Acklins was a blast. The long hike down Binnicle way with juro is still intruding on my consciousness all too often.

Truck fishing with basser at the spring clave, looking for a spot without rain was fun. Older and wiser, we didn’t get out of the truck much, except to eat.

Fishing with OC was a highlight. The wedding reception was a fine time – I only wish we’d stayed a bit longer for the entertainment. OC, by the way, what was that tune that you and Tracy had your first dance to. Being a rather conventional, “responsible” sort, it’s great to have a friend who lives out on the edge. I’ve been pumping him for updates on his boat search and planning for his circumnavigation. Also provides me with conversational fodder for my sailing relatives.

Fishing with J Jones (and OC) on South Beach.

Had a great day chasing baby bluefin with basser and his buddy Chris.

Stole a few hours up in Maine to fish the Scarborough Marsh outlet with Chris D.

Had a great day on South beach with Pete and son Chris, Silas and finally got to hook up with Jim S.

The South Monomoy get together.

Lingering thoughts:
A sense of sadness and empathy for a good fishing friends loss continues to intrude on my thoughts. Godspeed through the holiday season. I look forward to seeing the striblue strut out on a spit in Chatham next season.

11-24-2005, 12:52 PM
For me, as it is for others who have posted, it is all about the people. My wife who supports, sometimes reluctantly, my FFishing passion, all the great Cape Buddies" I've met over the years, the many local buddies I fsih with and the good health to continue to do it year after year.
Three highlights this year:
1- The trip to the great Canadian north for monstre pike and lakers with a good friend
2- The September visit to RI and the Cape, meeting up with Capt. Ray,Mark, Sean, Steve, Fred, Jim S, Silas etc. etc. etc. My son's first striper,blue and albie
3- A return to the Thompson after a great many years absence, with Dana, Tyler, Sean, Nobuo etc. etc. etc. 3 hooks ups, none landed!

12-01-2005, 03:29 AM
As you can see from the posting time, I`ve fallen into my winter ritual of tying till the dawn comes up. While doing up some clousers I remembered one of those days that make a season. I specificaly went out to target Squeteague, cus I haden`t gotten any yet this year. Weaks are suckers for yellow, so with a half doz newly tied Yellow Clousers, with red eyes, I headed for one of Roddys most famous shore spots for early season. The sun was still well up and I had the place almost to myself, plenty of room for a lot of fishermen here. While standing on the shore just watching the water, I saw a swirl close in. With the fly allready tied on, I dropped a cast in the vicinity of the fading ripples. Bang! Fish on! Good fish, into the backing, hell of a fight! Went I got it in it was a good Bass, over 30". By the time I rinsed off the fly good fish were swirling all around. A few cast and bang another hefty Bass! By the third fish I was starting to attract company. A fly fisher moved in 30 yds on my right, no problem, lots of room. Fish were showing everywhere from Sally Rock to the point in Greenwich Cove. There were probably a doz guys fishing now, all doing pretty much zilch. But not for me. Those fish seemed to be lined up waiting to eat that Clouser. Paused long enough to give Sean a call but he couldn`t make it down, too bad! The fishing stayed hot for over 2 hours till the sunset was just a thin glow in the West and I called it quits. The guy on my rightmust of thought i was either God or the Devil as he didn`t get one fish till I was getting ready to leave. I would have gladly given him one of those flies if he just asked but he wouldn`t, stubborn I guess. Final tally for the evening was 14 or 16 Bass all between 10 and 15 lbs. dam fine fishing from shore! Was it the fly? Was it luck? I usually wouldn`t fish a yellow fly for bass. Who knows, but that was sure one for the books! Some days, as Mel Brooks said " It`s good to be the King".