: Chatham Light milestones
i'm so outta here
09-30-2000, 10:25 AM
Every season has its highlights, one or two shining moments when the planets align just right, the gods smile on you, and everything just seems to go your way. Some call it luck, others refer to it as a moment when preparation meets opportunity. Call it what you will, when it happens, it's like Christmas morning -- better than the best sex you've ever had, better than hitting the lottery.
This morning GregO and I each caught a 40+ inch bass on the fly. For Greg, this was his first keeper of the season, second fish caught on something he tied, and single largest fish caught on the fly ever. I'm not sure what was a better moment for me: hooking my own fish or watching Greg's face light up as he realized his long run of sub legal bass had come to an end. I'm sitting here next to him now and he keeps asking if someone could please chisel the grin off his face!
Greg and I have been fishing together for decades. That we both caught such monsters on the same morning, well, maybe it's just karma.
We were not the only ones to take a trophy from the Chatham rips. Craig's bruiser measured in at 42.5". I'll let him tell the tale.... Others from the group most likely hooked up as well. Can't wait to hear the stories.
One special moment for me was when an old timer fishing next to me asked what fly I was using after watching Greg land and keep his fish. I showed him Juro's deep sand eel pattern which I've struggled to immitate all this season and just taught Greg last night. The man breathed a heavy sigh and said, "I'm afraid I don't have anything THAT big." I reached around to my pack and pulled out a nice fat greenie for him and wished him well. Glancing over two minutes later, I saw he was on to a linebacker and grinning ear to ear. He hollored over to me, "Got him on the first cast!" His fish came in at 36". I whispered under my breath "thank Juro...."
Greg gets the prize today for picking THE best spot in the area -- a jog in the current where the fast water collides with a bar. The Estey swing was all that was needed to get hit after hit. All the spin and bait guys could do was sneer and curse their luck. Hah!
We will definitely take this morning with us into the winter and day dream back to a morning when it all came together, when the strong, steady pull of a well fed striper sent wave after wave of addreneline coursing through our veins. It's not always like this, but it's these rare moments of angling bliss that keep us coming back year after year. Thank you to all who have contributed to our learning and may we all meet sometime out on the water.
Al & Greg
Sounds like a great morning. I also had good luck with that fly, hooked up on a keeper this morning on the back of the beach in Plymouth. I tried about 8 different flys before going with the big boy. The first cast with that monster and BANG – Backing. Unfortuantely I lost the fly on the second cast and had no luck for the next 45 minutes. Wish I was into the class of fish you guys found in Chattham.
Juro – Thanks for sharing that magic pattern.
I'm home bound for the rest of the day so it's off the bench to tie a few more.
09-30-2000, 02:33 PM
Not a bad birthday gift, eh GregO?
09-30-2000, 03:59 PM
You got that right!
I have striper marinating & it's goin' on the grill for my guests. What a season highlight to add to the list of what is shaping up to be a great season. Bass River in May, Monomoy, Exotics off Washburn, The Race, and so on. Well, looks like Outer Beaches then Rhodey; hopefully more highligts to come!
Can't wait for the rest of the Chatham reports! I wasn't my usual social self this morning, only had a few hours to fish & I think that Rip was calling for me!
BTW: My weigh in was 40.5" & 24.8 lbs. Al's fish was released, so accurate measurements could not be taken !!
09-30-2000, 08:26 PM
That was a great report and it was good the Lighthouse is still alive. I was planning on next weekend to be down in Chatham and still will ,but I think I know where you guys were from the description... and .... I have to do it... I'm heading down right now.. it's 9:30 PM and I will be down by 11 , up at 4:30 and back in Boston by 12. The weather looks good. That report reminded me of the Lighthouse in late August. I will be on the lookout for any of the crew.
10-01-2000, 05:31 AM
Congrats you guys! Breaking 40 with the fly rod is noteable under any conditions, doing it from the shore (and in the running water of that specific spot) is certainly a challenge. The deep sandeel does ROCK!
10-01-2000, 08:50 AM
It was a pleasure to finally meet some people from the board yesterday morning and even more of a pleasure to see Greg's face soon after he landed that 40 + incher. I only talked to Greg and Al for a minute or so both before and after they positioned themselves amongst the crowd that had lined up along the sandbar/rip at the light. Despite the short lived encounter I want them both to know that their performance out there was the highlight of my fishing experience yesterday. Not only did they produce 2 amazing fish but Greg also gave up his prime position in the hot spot on the rip so that he could go help Al land what appeared to be another formidable fish. I appreciate Greg's generosity in giving up that prime spot…especially to me. His motivation for leaving his post was obviously his friendship with Al but also a generosity that appears to be common among posters on this board. Thanks Greg...and man you did have a look of delight and quasi-shock on your face when you took off through the water en route to Al and his big fish.
My personal experience at Chatham yesterday...skunked. All I took home was a fabulous sunset and some great experiences via Al, Greg, my pal JeffB and JeffG. JeffG, JeffB and I all fished together for the entire morning. We found an opening on the rip that was closer to shore and we gave it our best there. Very few people hooked up except for a few bait slinging guys. We tried intermediate and deep presentations...lots of different flies and even more varied retrieves. Nada. As I was walking to Al and Greg's hot spot I saw a man with his rod bent over double. As I walked closer to the scene I discovered that it was Al. Soon after Greg gave up his spot in the picket line and I had a few shots at the fish that they had enjoyed.
Actually, on the way out to the hot spot I talked to the older gent that was carrying his keeper out. He told me the story about the generous men out there that had given him a certain fly. He showed me the fly and told me that he caught his fish on the first cast with that fly. He was thrilled and commented that after many, many days on the water the fish that he had in his hand was only his 3rd keeper of the season. He seemed impressed with the deep sand eel.
I was impressed with everyone that I met from the board and I hope to have a chance to fish with you all again in the near future.
10-01-2000, 10:42 AM
Here's my account of my trip to Chatham light Saturday morning 9/30/00. I arrived at the light at 6:00 am, noticing that I was a little late by the amount of cars in the lot already. Headed out to the point and started throwing a deep sand eel about 6" to 7" in length. Met up with Al, Greg,and Roop amoung others. Past the news along that Juro was going out on a boat with Bob Pink. We were all disapointed not to be spending sometime him. I kept throwing the big eel but wasn't having any luck. I was joking with Roop calling in the big cows "sue wee sue wee", Roop was telling me about the short quick strip action that He and Juro had talked about. Not having any luck with the big eel, I desided to try a pattern that Dave P. came up with.Its a bunny pattern that I believe he is going to post at some point. He had some succeess with it a couple of weeks earlier, He was throwing a chartreues pattern and the ones I had tied were white. Anyways,I tied one on and on the first cast after a few short quick strips Bang, I gave the fish a few hard wacks and the fight was on. It took out about 150/200 yrds. of backing. I had heard of people bendings hooks by horsing in big fish, so i just kept a lot of pressure on it until ittired.Walking out towards the point i gained my lie back and came up with a 42.5" cow. Thanks goes out to Dave P.,Juro and Roop in putting this one on the grill. I hope to post a pic sometime next week. All my neigbors had striper for dinner,they loved it! Hope to hear other success stories.
Lots of Backing,
i'm so outta here
10-01-2000, 07:06 PM
Mike - feelings mutual. This board just seems to have a lot of really good people on it. Jeff G. a thousand thanks for pointing us in the right direction. Craig, I'll be needing to see some pics of that bunny fly :) Congrats. And JimW, too! A little warm up for RI? Awesome!
Some of the details I left out of my first post:
I lost my first hookup which was most likely a 28 - 32" scrapster. Lost him about 20 feet from me so I didn't get a very good look. Great fight that would have alone made my day.
Second fish was the big one. Good solid take and a little rod pressure and off she went. Three distinct runs, lots of backing! Ran her down the beach to conserve her energy for the release. Still strong as the QD head came back on the spool, she showed me quite a few sights: her head completely out of the water, a broad back and full belly rolling close in, huge dorsal fin spines splayed out like a sail against the rising sun. Breath taking. But alas, damn barbless hooks, she spit my DDE (deep deadly eel) with Greg's hand on the leader. I've <b>got</b> to remember to keep that rod tip on the water when they get in close..... just as well since less stress is best on a released fish.
Greg's fish yielded about 12 lbs of meat and has fed a total of six families to date to my knowledge, one of which was mine tonight. Marinated in olive oil, lemon, garlic and spices; grilled on our camp grill as seen at the Boneclave and served with the very last of the good local corn and a heaping bowl of butternut squash. It was a meal to take you through winter..... wish I <i>could</i> hibernate through the months I can't fish.
So what's the plan going to be at the Jamboree next weekend? ...I know where I'll be http://126.96.36.199/images/flytalk/Wilk.gif
What a beautiful day.
I slowly & timidly followed a spin rodder out onto the bar before first light. Working out the kinks in the dark, enjoying the cool air, watching the shooting stars, feeling the bait bounce off my waders in the current. It's memories of these kind of days that keep me sane when I'm not in/on the water.
I hooked into a decent fish @ 06:30, & was not confident in my ability to safely follow him around the bar in the still very heavy current so I stood my ground & lost him. But, it was still a rush on the 8 weight.
I'm sure he was at least 60 - 65 inches.
The happines I felt for Craig as I watched him fight & land his first keeper was doubled when I saw that the fish came up to & past his waist.
Congrats to Al & Greg as well, you guys definitely were due.
Sorry I didn't get to see Jeff G or the others. Nate must have been wearing camo....
Bigcat & I hit a few other spots around Chatham, one situation was just perfect for big fish and we hit it with everything we had & every way you could with a fly rod but still pulled the skunk.
What a weird day.
10-02-2000, 07:51 AM
An interesting day to say the least.
First, it ws nice to meet a few folks and put faces with names, albiet briefy and in the dark.
Roop, I don't know how I missed you out there?
Al, I guess I should have followed my own advice and hit the edge of the bar with you guys--instead I took my time down to cast along the way (a mistake).
I got some great pictures of sunrise and a few will no doubt have the picket line of anglers on the left hand side. What I regret more than not taking a big ol' cow myself was getting a picture of two elated anglers dragging their prize catches up the bar to bury them in the sand--it wasn't until afterwards that I realized it was teh folks I had just met up in the parking lot--sorry guys.
It was nice to fish the morning wiht Doogue and Jeff, but our jumbo fish were not to be. As we walked back to the cars at 9:15 I took a few final casts and managed one small fish just to "get the skunk off my back." Doogue, thanks again for the jump at the lot--guess it's time for a new battery.
Simply a beautiful day all around, made even better by meeting some good fishing folks. I am off to my final wedding of the season next weekend and am therefore out of commission until the 14th. Hope to meet and fish with a few more folks before season's end--perhaps in Rhody.
10-02-2000, 08:28 PM