06-21-2007, 11:16 AM
The last several years of excessive micro catching had my enthusiasm for shallow inshore flyfishing waning. Based on limited fishing to date the mix of fish seems to have improved. Seems to be a lot of quality fly rod fish around, in the 26 to 30", that will at least put themselves on the reel.
The one disapointment for me was the upper bass river. Had lots of micro pests but few arm togglers. But I didn't fish it much so.
Chatham has been farly good for me. The ratio of quality fish to dinks has been very satisfactory. It'll be interesting to see how the west side flats do as the water warms up. Looked pretty good this past sunday.
I haven't got into the bayside groove yet. I've probably fished it less at this point than in the past seven years. Lots of fish around and I've caught a few decent ones. But they seem awful finicky. Fished it with OC yesterday and we had actively feeding fish all around us but only managed a few. If you had told me beforehand what the scenario was going to be I'd say we were going to get bored with all the catching. It'll be fun figuring it out over the next couple of weeks vacation.
I've often seen them in a total funk, but you say they were feeding so I am sure they were on sand eels and you know it so well I am sure are dialed in every other way.
So my guess is strip retrieve (?)
Can't wait to get out there this year.
06-21-2007, 01:07 PM
Sandeels were flying out of the water as you moved. We were both fishing deep eels or sandeelie clousers. I put on a GP for a bit for kicks. Should have tried something unweighted in a sand eel. But were only talking a couple of feet of water at the most. Fish were definately keyed on bait (sandeels) that was very abundant. In hindsight I should have been standing next to OC changing his fly every several casts til we got it right.
It wasn't the fly IMHO. It was the way those fish were eating those sand eels that was not the same as the way they were seeing them swim by.
Two choices - go to the ebb rip where the eels are being eaten the same way as they appear on a strip retrieve or match the burrowing behavior, or frenetic escape behavior out in the open.
Where the outflow crashes into the bay waves I find great fish hunting and no funny business they just eat.
The burrowing behavior is about hearing a lot of scratch on the sand, and the frenetic escape is about trapping the eel against the surface of the water or hitting it on re-entry. The sand eel is only vulnerable when it goes to the surface and the striper uses that liability to catch the eels I've watched them closely for hours.
A sand eel that pops and re-buries quickly is never caught. So use the surface to exploit that trigger, believe me it works.
To exploit surface focused fish just do long switch casts (roll casts) keeping the fly making a wake. Keep walking along the shoreline until you get a swirl, then cover the swirl with a normal cast - BANG. You break the ice with the slide then on re-entry they are waiting for it.
To exploit the ones rooting (red lips) use a full sink line and a deep eel and scratch that line on the bottom with the most amount of abrasion you can generate. Go for head shots not crossing shots. You will be amazed at how the line noise makes the fish eat when you can see their reaction.
One case where you can't get them to eat is when they are not in the mood and are warming their body temperatures in thermocline areas. Ask Sean McDermott about that. But those days are relatively uncommon, the water temps were absolutely frigid that day so that I could not wade for more than a few minutes, like being in Wingaersheek in March, gender bender material.
Anyway I am dying to get back out on the bayside!
06-21-2007, 03:42 PM
For the most part fish were being very selective , sandeel , sandeel and sandeels if it were'nt a sandeel they were'nt buying. The flooding tide had pod after pod of fat healthy mature fish mixed with smaller fish cruising in with the schools of sandeels, slapping and leaping out of the water as they fed and worked their way in ,as the tide reached close to flood they set up on seams and structure and picked away as the bait pods swam by. The ebbing tide mirrored the flooding tide .:hihi: