05-15-2000, 12:21 PM
With all the fish reports blasting across the net now, I have to laugh. I can not believe how many guys are reporting Stripers caught in the low to mid 20 inch range casually, as if they are just another 15" schoolie. God I love fish like that on the fly. And whenever I get one you're sure to hear me screaming like an idiot (which isn't very often, I catch one that is).
I agree. It's a sad day when one no longer appreciates a good fat schoolie on a fly rod. That's like someone who can't appreciate an 8" wild brookie in Vermont.
I will contend though that there are those times when quantities of cookie-cutter fish are 'appreciated' for the number of fish as opposed to the quality of fish, and at these times it would probably be better to choose the least damaging technique of angling and/or move on in search of bigger challenges.
Right now (May), the sizes of the stripers are mixed. We are literally catching rats on one cast and keepers or near keepers on the next. We are also driven by the desire to shake off winter's shackles. It's a great time to fly fish and enjoy the school bass, as well as the bonus surprise keeper. These mixed bags tend to sort out by late May/June and the brood fish arrive. At that time there is an opportunity to apply different techniques to target bigger fish away from the schoolie pods.
So I agree completely about appreciation of every striper no matter what size, I do contend though that during mid-season anglers who robotically catch schoolie after schoolie year after year to say they caught 40 or 50 as opposed to hunting one good fish (and perhaps failing) are missing the point IMHO.
<font size="1">BTW - Terry: this really had nothing to do with your initial statement on appreciating every 22" striper... just a mental segue and was not intended to imply counterpoint.</font><!--1-->