Striper Stories: Memorable Fish [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Striper Stories: Memorable Fish

11-21-2001, 07:00 AM
The personal reflections Thanksgiving brings can't help but also bring back to the surface memories of the season past and special fish. I thought people might want to share a few of their stories, hopefully the true ones, of memorable fish.

I had two personal bests this striper season, the first I had to kill since when I tried to release him he didn't really have the energy to take off.

The second was one very early morning, in the dark, waiting for the sun to start to rise before I started paddling (alone) to the spot where I killed the fish mentioned above. I was in a boat basin and knew the contour of the bottom, having dragged my kayak across it at low tide multiple times. I was pretty sure that with a dropping tide there would be fish sitting just behind the bar picking up bait as it washed over them.

My first few casts tested the current and depth, looking for fish in the shallows as I inched out. I picked up 2 stripers @ 30" as I kept working my way out to have a better cast at the now formed seam of current off the back of the bar. I made the cast, coached myself against starting the strip too soon, on my second strip there was a subtle hit that I missed, two more strips another gentle hit that I didn't miss.

The fish started off like a regular schoolie, I was able to steer him away from the moorings but the schoolie kept going, he was picking up speed and now taking backing. I didn't want to lose my line to any other moorings out there so I started to crank down on the drag - ever mindful of my super light 25# tippet (HA!).

To make a long painful story short, I muscle this fish up into the shallows, I'd backed up into about 1.5' of water, I hadn't really seen him yet but finally turned on my headlamp - WHAT A HOG!
I get my hand on my leader, start to reach for the lip and the tippet breaks, right at the fly, I see it happen, I can't believe it!!

I let out a yell of frustration which is cut short as I look down and see the fish hovering between my legs. What the hell, I grab him by the tail and he almost pulls me in! I throw my rod up on the beach and try to grab him by the jaw with my free hand. This is when I realized he was a little bigger than usual, another stumbling/ wrestling match ends with me NOT in the water and lipping the biggest striper I ever landed. Got my fly back (black, brown & gold flash real eel) and let him go.

Have no idea how big he was, will aways remember the crisp morning, the commercial fleet heading out in the dark, the personal satsifaction.

Couldn't have done it without the lessons learned from the many
members of this board.

Thanks, happy Thanksgiving!


Dble Haul
11-21-2001, 10:00 AM
This is a pretty easy call for me. A friend and I had each taken a day off in the middle of a mid-September week so that we could drive to Rhode Island and chase some fish deep into the night before. We left at 9:30, and started to fish at about 11:30. By midnight we had taken a few small stripers and weakfish, but then we went to the Weekapaug breachway and all hell broke loose.

I like to think of myself as a fairly stable person, but what I saw at the tip of the east jetty was beyond description. Bluefish were chasing bait and pushing them into the whitewater at the base of the rocks. The sound of slashing and grinding (yes, grinding) rose above the sound of the breaking waves. We fumbled with nervous hands to get our flies into the fray, and we both immediately hooked up.

Now anyone who has ever fished this breachway is aware of the safety issues. Korkers and a wading belt are a must, and on this night the remnants of a tropical storm were kicking up some huge swells that very nearly crested to the top of the jetty. Seeing how we were both hooked up at once, we had to each land our own fish. We decided to try and let the rising swells help bring the blues to us, and it worked. Actually, it worked a bit too well. One large swell rose up with my tired fish and hit me just below the knees so that my legs wobbled a bit. I took a quick step backwards to steady myself, but instead found myself suddenly on the seat of my waders. And in my lap was about 7 pounds of thoroughly confused bluefish with my deceiver in it's lip.

That fish was the first of many for another 90 minutes, and we decided to rotate on the casting so that we could land each other's fish. But that first blue is my most memorable of the year, because it was my first at that breachway, and because of how it literally fell into my lap.

11-21-2001, 11:09 AM
Many memories, but this was the best !
While fishing with my brother, John, who does not fish much, we left Great Bay, Falmouth. Started out at Middle ground, and decided that the rip was a while from forming with any decent amount of flow, so off to Menemsha Pond. Stopped at the harbor on the way in for lunch. Then out to the pond. The tide was about an hour into the drop. Crystal clear water. And we're fishing live eels (my bro had not tried the fly rod yet), just inside a sandbar, we cast into the eel grass and let the eels drift/swim out over the bar and into the chanel. The stripers were following along the edge of the eelgrass, and as they came to within about 25' of the boat,they would cruise out over the bar and find lunch waiting for them. The first to hit was a fish around 36", we watched as she inhaled the eel on the end of Jacks ( I'm the only one who calls him Jack) line. He plays it beautifully, not rushing, big smile from ear to ear, "If she goes left, you pull right " I'd say. He does everything right to land his first ever striper. Me, on the other hand, I , right away start looking for the camera. All the while, Jacks saying, "Just wait until we get him in the boat, will ya !" Nope, not me, then I grab the leader, coaxing her a little closer to the boat, just a little more, and then I feel the hook sliding out of her mouth. Circle hook BTW, it seemed like the darn thing took forever to pop out, and there should have been something I could do to land the fish, but, one quick flip of the tail, and she was gone.
I've lost my share of battles with some nice fish, but this one being my brothers, and his first ta boot. Man, I felt like riding home in the bilge. (good thing I have a small boat or Jack may have stuffed me in there). After a few more stripers on my hook, the action slowed. Back out to Middle Ground, trolled up some nice fish, Jack got his first striper, although not as big, as well as some nice blues.
On the way home, he's on the bow of the boat, and finds a peanut bunker about 2" long, holds it up proudly, I snap a picture, and threaten to post it on this site if he tells anyone about trolling, eels or my dropping his prize.
I love my brother, and I can't wait to go fishing with him again next season. I just hope he feels the same. (I know he does)

Tod D
11-21-2001, 12:27 PM
Nice stories all. Roop - you've got to get that Yak down to Duxbury next year and do an an early am sortie w/ me!

For me, best was probably July 4th this year. Fishing alone on a quiet Barnstable bayside beach; 6 a.m.-ish low tide. Fishing a large sand eel pattern (7" or so). Picking up solid schoolies and an occasional 30" consistently. Doing a bit of sight casting as the fished cruised the sandbars in search of food. About 8 a.m. the tide begins to swell over the bars and I start to catch some bigger fish. Look at watch, should get on the road. Few more casts I tell myself.

Next cast, 2' of water, whoomph! Water absolutely explodes & I managed to set the hook. Fish tears off towards Billingsgate. Say out loud, "this is a nice fish". Fish beats the #@*& out of me for the next 10 minutes or so. Finally I've got it in close to get a good look at it. Got to be 35". Swear the fish looks at me, gives a massive head shake; all of a sudden the line goes limp. Unrepeatable tirade follows. Check line, leader and knot. All are intact.

Draw out some line from my reel & make another cast to about the same spot. Whoomph! Repeat steps above, but this time manage to land the fish: 37" tip to tip. Still feisty as hell (the fish that is, I'm shaking all over), release it and watch it swim away. Next three successive casts, land fish 35", 32" and 33". Then it was over. What a morning.

Happy & safe Thanksgiving all!

11-21-2001, 02:21 PM
Is it the fish or the fishery?

Each year, the Nor'eastern members of the forum discover a killer spot or demystify something about an otherwise overlooked spot without fail. We are not talking about your average spot, we're talking setting the high mark in your flyfishing career spot. This year was no different.

But first let's talk about the previous year's striper mecca - Big Girl Bar. When one of us figured out that a train would come by the station almost every day, figured out when it would come by, and how to stick your thumb just right to hitch the big ride - we didn't horde that knowledge but shared it so others could experience it.

For many people that train was the biggest ride of their lives (to date, many surpassed this year), in fact during one tide change at least four stripers over 40" were hooked and all but one landed in one morning, from shore, using flyrods. For some these were the first flyrod keepers of their lives, and for all it was the first over 40". I wasn't even there that day, I was Bob's guest on Double Happiness, having an unbelievable day. We came a thrown hook away from a slam with huge bass, blues and albies busting on highbank. I didn't have to be there to know Big Girl delivered that day.

Yes, indeed - Big Girl was phenomenal but there was no single fish that made her so. It wasn't the first 20-25 pound cow, that didn't mean anything but luck. It wasn't the second or the third, although there was a definite trend forming. The twin cows trick Roop and I pulled off was only surpassed by Lefty, Bigcat and I tripling up the next weekend but still it was not a single fish that made her what she was. She soon became a victim of our own publicity and before you know it old man winter took her away as quickly as mother nature gave her to us, a one-year wonder.

And what a year it was, even without mentioning Big Girl's virgin sister, the Monomoy South Island rip.

Just to close the book on last year, the most memorable fish was my son's first fly keeper sight fished on Monomoy.

And then came 2001...

11-21-2001, 03:32 PM
The most memorable fish of the season.... hmmm ... That would have to have been during my Dad's trip out here in July. We took him to start the day at the Crib and in the shallow flats water he took his first striper ever and on a fly.

But that wasn't the "special" fish. After the Crib we headed out and south to THE rip. We hiked to the spot and soon discovered Dad's casting skills weren't quite up to dealing with the wind so Mike and I took turns getting his offering out and into the sweet spot. We were picking up fish but mostly smallish blues and schoolies. It was my turn to cast for Dad and I got a particularly good one out there. I handed the rod to Dad and he began "the swing". Strip .... tap .... set ... rod bent .... and ZZZZZZZZZZ. Hang on Dad, don't be afraid to give him line - you'll get it back, back up on the beach so you can walk down to the softer water. He fell on his backside in the surf but like any experienced fisherman he kept his rod high. After a good fight he brought the 33 incher into the surf. That fish was released to the grill to end a fantastic father and sons day on the water.[/url][/url]

11-21-2001, 03:47 PM
WOW - yes George is lucky to have that day and that fish with his sons and your recognition as your most memorable fish of the year is understandable indeed. I very much enjoyed spending the time at Boneclave with him this fall, he's a lucky dad and you're lucky sons too.


Ok, time for a day off... nice to kick it off with the thoughts of the most memorable coastal gamefish of the year.

Let's see... man, what a year it's been. This is gonna take a while. I'll wait until I get home for this. :)

11-21-2001, 05:43 PM
I have to say that my 45 incher at big Girl two years ago, but there were a number of them at the light house over the years as well as the Blue I caught this year. I remember mostly the circumstances and who I might have been with more than the fish itself. For example ,I remember the big ones at the end of the rip in the middle of the cut this year. that first 36 incher. For others... ask Terry:D

Bob Pink
11-21-2001, 07:17 PM
Early season and I'm wading on the inside edge of S.Beach (Chatham) just at the entrance to the bathtub. My first real visit there and one of my first serious wading trips in a long time. Tides turned to flood and I've found a small but noticable point that extends out into the 'tub' so I station myself there and start letting a real eel drift along the bottom.
Fish start to show and take the fly willingly, most are in the 20 - 25" range but very active. Next I start to see them moving in all around me, at one point literally surrounding my position, cast at 12, 9, 6, 3 or anywhere and there's a schoolie ready to pounce on it... I stand there amazed and observing when suddenly they dissapear. I mean GONE!
I chalk it up to my ever obvious ignorance of fish behavoir and begin considering relocating to find them, but my inability to make a decision leads me to stand there and begin casting along my original pattern but with a longer pause while I let the fly settle to the bottom. Strip, pause-pause, twitch and the line goes tight. At first it doesn't even feel like a pickup, more like I've solidly snagged bottom but them the bottom starts moving. Not a panic run, just a casual movement away from the instinctive source of it's irritation.
A nice give & take results in a wake starting to push the surface about a 100' out, next the dorsal and tail start to break surface and I'm crossing my fingers that this isn't two fish because they are about a far apart as I have ever seen. Back up into knee-deep water and bring a thoroughly gassed 43" fish alongside me. Camera's in the backpack but I'd have to get to shore and then get the camera out. Decide this fish wouldn't survive this extra abuse, spend quite a while getting her ready for a frisky dearture and figure that the image will be vivid in the memory of an occasional retelling. Like this!

11-21-2001, 08:46 PM
Had a long hard think about this one - there were many memorable moments like my first keeper of the year at the spring clave and some wonderful sight fishing at Monomoy. But I have to go back to one epic battle on Christmas Island with a large Barracuda ...the following is an excerpt from the Journal:

.........At the far end of one such flat our guide, Peter, lobbed out pieces of chum and we worked our way along the edges with poppers (we were hunting Giant Trevally at the time). I had a number of follows from small queenfish so just for fun I added a dropper with a small clouser to the hook of the popper. This resulted in a couple of queenfish in quick order followed by a GT which came up from out of the depths to hit the clouser. Scratch one clouser and GT number 2 (I had parted company with a 70lb'er the previous day). I re-rigged with a 20lb dropper and continued casting. A while later I was aware of something very large coming over the drop-off. At first I thought “big shark” but it didn’t look right. The guide suddenly got very excited and shouted barracuda! I had the popper on a 100lb shock tippet but wanted to get rid of the dropper. As I started to lift off, another queenfish grabbed the clouser and I just managed to horse it out before the giant cuda struck. I must confess that the next bit has little to do with flyfishing. I clipped off the dropper, hooked the small queenfish onto the popper hook and lobbed the whole lot out over the drop off. About 10 seconds later the big cuda returned and grabbed the free meal. A couple of hard strip strikes and he was firmly hooked. About sixty yards of flyline and backing were ripped from the reel followed by an awesome tail-walking display. Now we could really see the size of the fish. I stand 6ft tall and it was bigger than me. As it crashed back into the water we parted company, the 100lb shock tipped bitten clean through. I didn’t see barracuda on my prior trip to the Island but a world record has been taken there. Had I been properly rigged with wire shock leader (not good for GTs) we might have set another that day!

11-21-2001, 10:55 PM
Those were all great stories that I enjoyed reading very much. The one that especially came close to my heart was the father and son story. I did not have any real mind blowing day's this season except for a couple of good Albie day's but there was a day or should I say night that I will never forget and I think it is appropriate to this thread. I will keep it short. A couple of years ago my father and I were out in mid-June fishing with bunker chunks just off of Gulf Beach in Milford CT. My Dad really used to love to go chunking and I enjoyed the time with him. So we are out there targeting big bass, after about an hour I had landed about 4-5 mid-30 in. bass and my Dad had only run off's that he could not set the hook on. Well he get real mad and takes a whole dead adult bunker and puts it on the hook. He heaves it out maybe 25 ft. saying "whatever eats this is going to be big". About 20 min. later his drag starts to go out a little at a time and then screams out, he lets this fish go halfway to L.I. before I tell him you better set the hook you are running out of line. He sets the hook and is solid to something BIG. Maybe 15 min. later the fish is next to the boat and I put a light on him and it isn't Moby striper but his cousin Moby bluefish. I wasn't sure how to break the news to Dad but I tell him the good news and the bad news. I haul the fish into the boat with Dad cussing the whole time, then he see's the fish and almost has a heart attack. We weigh the fish take a picture and release him. The scale read 14 pounds and we knew it was off, so the next day we checked the scale and it was 6.5 pounds off, Dad had caught a career bluefish at close to 21 pounds and I will never forget that smile. Postscript to the story is Dad has been battling cancer for the last 2 years and unfortunately has not been fishing so this story has some real meaning to me personally, thanks for making it come to mind it was a memory I will never forget. I Hope you all have a very safe and Happy Thanksgiving this year because we have alot to be thankful for this particular year.

11-22-2001, 06:34 AM
For me it was a guided trip that I took this June with my good friend Dick and Capt. Todd Murphy. We were taken to a secret spot to fish and the fishing started off very slowly. Then Capt. Murphy says"Here they come. Pretty soon fish , very large fish, were boiling around the flats skiff. We tried every fly we had in the boxes but could only land three fish*between us. The highlight of the trip was the last cast. After reeling in Capt. Murphy started the motor to bring us in. As far as the eye could see there were boils like a B52 bombing run. What a site I'll never forget it. Yet the fish won this time. FishHawk

11-22-2001, 10:20 AM
Still thinking about this incredible year for stripers, assuming Roop is talking Northeast coastal experiences and not including tailwalking coho and leaping steelhead in other parts of the world.

I've never had the pleasure of the quantity and quality of large stripers as I have this year before in my life and it's particularly hard to choose just one striper. After much thought I have to settle on a fish that was not my biggest but it is the most memorable because of what it represented.
Notice how loose the sand was (covering the tail), the bars were changing even as I stood on them

As mentioned above, the magic of each season for me is the emergence of new and unique spots sculpted by the chaotic artistry of wind, weather and tides. Even if one was to learn everything there was to know about fishing, they can not predict what mother nature will bring to the shore angler each year. We scramble out onto the beach to re-learn the newness of the shore. The skill with which we achieve this depends on the knowledge gained in the years prior.

Hence that fish. It was the first fish I landed on a transient weather-formed structure that is all but gone now a few months later, and doubtful that it will be anything like it was even if it exists at all next year. As far as we know I was the first to explore this spot, and the experience once again led to numerous 40 plus inch stripers on flies from shore for Forum members. Unlike Big Girl, this one was not given away on the board for the lurker to exploit.

This fish was not the best of the year for me, not even the biggest of that morning. The first fish I hooked nearly spooled me and I lost it. But between daybreak and 9am I was landed fish after fish with 7 stripers between 35 and 40 inches with barely a moment to spare between battles and without lingering in one spot for more than one fish so that I could place a cast in as many different features of the 2001 one-year wonder we dubbed the 'mecca'.

Next year there will be another mecca. There will be another and yet another for the rest of our lives.

For this and all of the wonders of life, I am deeply grateful this Thanksgiving Day!

11-23-2001, 09:13 AM
Well, since I don't catch a lot of fish this is easy for me. I had two this season that will provide pleasant thoughts thru the winter.

The first was the Father's Day "fish that was a hoot". Stopped by my favorite bayside beach on my way home. Fog, FAC and fishy. While wading and casting on a hump 30" + stripers would slide from behind within 10'. There were endless serpintene plumes of sandeels. Got many hits before finally hooking up to a fish in 1 to 2 feet of water that proceeded to drag me, my line and backing down the beach.

The second was right in front of the light to the right of the small point that sheds the reverse flowing eddy on the outgoing. I was talking to a stocky guy who was obviously "not from around here". Had never been saltwater fishing. Bait shop sold him some eels and he was asking how to hook 'em. I told him what I thought then where he might try his luck and to be careful and, I think, stay off the berm down by the point. As he walks away I hookup with a surprise that gets into the current and strips off line and backing. Fish was in the 34 to 36 inch range and heavy. It was fun having an audience - the guy "not from around here" was impressed. As much fun as that fish was a damper was put on the morning when, a little later, I was landing a fish out on the outer bars and broke the tip of my rod.

Anyhow a day or two later word of Pete's rescue came to light and for a couple of days I was bugged by the thought of the stranger sliding down the berm and into the current express to Portagul.

Fred A.

03-16-2006, 08:46 PM
I know I am digging up an old thread but anyways. Last august in front of Harbor Point apartments in Boston where I was living at the time. Outgoing tide if memory serves me right, really warm night and virtually no surface action or waves. Almost glass smooth. It was around 3am and I had come back to my apartment from a study group with a few friends. I made my way down to the point and fished halfway to it in order to fish a section that enabled me to make a decent back cast off the stone wall. All summer I had been catching dinks nothing over 20 inches at harbor point but I am not complaining in the least. Anyways it was a beautiful night and for once the entire population of the apartment complex wasn't out enjoying the nice breeze and making a racket. Fast forward to a few dozen cats and a few fly changes. I tied on a black rattle eye clouser and probably a dozen casts later hooked into what I first thought was a clump of mud and sea weed that dots the bottom. This time the hang up moved and because of the shallow water and the mud flats the striper made a decent run and I got to see the flourescent backing for the first time that summer. Anyways the fish wasn't huge but a good thirty inches and by the time I lipped her I was shaking with excitement. I finally got to prove to a few locals fishing bait that night that a 8 weight fly rod and a three inch black clouser is indeed a deadly combo haha. It was the highlight of the year although I did hook and land a few stripers that might have been a few inches longer in Newport that fall. Anyways...I cant wait for the stripers to start calling me again. I relish those late night excursion in Boston Harbor...Tight lines everyone and may the fish gods bless us all!

03-16-2006, 11:12 PM
My two boys (ages 15 +17 then), Dan and Jeff and I had assisted with the Big Brothers Fathers Day outing at South Beach. When the guests left, Keith took the 3 of us over to N. Monomoy and we headed to the North end. Before we got there "herds" and "flocks" of stripers started to appear on the NE Flats. Dan had lost his sunglasses that morning and couldn't see any of them. Jeff drops his spinner in the sand and jams the reel. I hook up, Dan hooks up and gets his spinning reel spooled, I hand Jeff my rod and he promptly breaks off a dandy. I spend the next 15 minutes getting Jeff's spool onto Dan's reel and retying my tippet. Dan hooks another toad, I hook another fish and give Jeff the rod. Jeff breaks off another one and completely snarls my entire leader. We finally land Dans fish (about 36"), I try to get a picture and realize I have used all the film at South Beach. While I am retying my setup, Dan hooks another one and hands Jeff the spinner and he busts another one off. I get everything re-rigged and Jeff and I finally land twin 34"ers. This scenario continues for about 30 more minutes and Keith picks us up.

The next morning I head back with Dan, Jim and Chris Simms. When we get dropped off Dan infoms me that he forgot his sluggos and hooks. Keith acts as the tackle shop (after I call Admiral Ed on the cell phone). Chris lands his first striper sight fishing (a keeper) and we all had a stellar morning. At lunch time Jim hands Chris a cream cheeze bagel and apple while Dan attacks the "Big Blue Cooler" and makes a monster sub. We hand Chris a roast beef sandwich and a beer- we make a friend for life and Chris asks Jim "why don't we bring a cooler".

Great couple days.:biggrin:

03-17-2006, 07:33 AM
Dennis, Chris and I won't forget that day! In fact, as I remember, Chris started to get frustrated, watching you hookup, and you yelling to him that they were coming toward him. He couldn't see them. You then told him to walk toward you. Chris spooked a fish, and said, "that's what they look like." Now he spots fish I don't see. That was the beginning of some great times with you, Dan and the California/Colorado contingent.

See you in a couple of months. Don't forget the blue bag.

Dble Haul
03-17-2006, 08:43 AM
Holy blast from the past!

Good reading, especially since the stripers are only about a month away down here. :cool:

03-17-2006, 09:25 AM
Picture this... A young man traveling to the Cape for his first time with his father. His dreams have been consumed with fighting monsters from the deep with his trusty fly rod, built by his father. Countless hours spent in the back yard attempting to perfect the casting stroke that had been ingrained in him so long ago. There he stands, on the edge of the N. Monomoy Bowl, eyes squinted, glasses on, hat pulled down to block the glare, staring like a falcon into the water to catch but a quick glimpse of the monster.

"Coming right at you".... His eyes squint even more and he attempts to penetrate the depth with his keen vision. Nothing. The young man beside him casts, reel screams. Not to worry, there will be more. Again. "The are coming in beside you." He turns his eyes to the water on his left, nothing. The only sound is the water beating against his waders, followd by the sound of a reel screaming. Not mine. Frustration starts to step in. 'but I've got great vision, I can see trout all time...'. Betraying thoughts enter and leave his psychie. The newly befriended voice screams out, "Just walk towards me." He begins his treck towards the man, fighting the current, cursing the elusive beast when from the sky a ray of heavenly sunshine fills the water in front of him. Was that a flash? He quickly scans the water, first a shadow, then the silhoutte of the beast. He casts..... Fish on. Thus began the addiction.

Following his victory on the flat is his most favorite time of day...Lunch. His father, who has always taken very good care of him, hands him his lunch. A small bagel and an apple. For the father, who is 5'10', 150 lbs this is a filling meal, but for a young man standing 6'4" 275 lbs, this is not even a snack. ZZZIIIIPPPPPP. A large blue cooler open, out comes a sandwich cart complete with New York Deli owner. Taking pity in the poor buy holding a bagel, which looks a small doughnut in his massive paw, they fixed him a sandwich.

This tale was told prior to this posting, but I had thought about posting this for some time. This was Myself, my father Jim S, Dennis, and his son. This is my greatest memory of the Cape. Thank you to all the players and I look forward to making many more memories...


03-17-2006, 10:08 AM
Well, this story has been told here before but with spring just around the corner and visions of knuckle busting bass dancing around in my brain I say lets tell it again. It was late May of ’02 and I was finishing up my first week on South Beach. I spent each and every day of the Memorial Day week waking up in my apartment in Providence and making the trip back and forth from South Beach to my bed each night. The fishing was absolutely insane and I had caught too many fish to count spoiling me for life. I met up with Jeff B this fine Saturday morning and he, his father and I were going to go over sand out to the “honey hole” on the back side of Nauset. Fishing was slow there that morning but I wasn’t complaining. I was seeing a new spot and enjoying some time with a new friend and his dad. After a few hours we decided to leave and head over to the refuge. The ferry had already made its run to South Beach and wasn’t leaving anytime soon so we decided we would walk and fish our way around the tub and as far up SB as needed till we found some fish. Fishing continued to be slow with overcast skies and a bit of wind and Jeff and his dad decided to call it a day. I was not about to give up as I needed to catch at least one fish to prevent a skunk free week. I walked and fished almost all the way out to the drop off point and finally landed a small schoolie. The Rip Ryder came by and asked me if I wanted a lift in but I declined as I really felt something good was about to happen. Well, a few minutes later starring down my long walk back I was cursing myself for not grabbing that ride while I could. I began my long walk back to the car fishing a little along the way but mostly hoofing it. I finally made it to the corner of the tub when a few fisherman coming over the dunes mentioned there were a few bass and some blues hanging in the waves. This was what I was waiting to hear. I jogged over the dunes and as soon as I got to the beach there they were. Huge bass surfing in the wave break. It was dusk and I tied on a large herring pattern given to me by a knowledgeable angler. I made a cast as a pod approached doing my best to manage wind, waves and beginner casting. The fly landed in front of the pod and a few seconds later I was tight. What I didn’t realize was that as I was paying attention to wind and waves I wasn’t watching my running line which was now wrapped around my feet. I stood there hopping up and down on one foot at a time trying to clear the line just praying this fish didn’t break off. I managed to clear the line and it was game on. I yelled to the surf casters to please watch my line as I scampered down the beach trying to keep up with this fish. A few minutes later I had her at my feet and what a beautiful fish she was. I had to have a picture to capture the moment so I reached into my wader pouch to get the disposable. Of course I forgot that I also had my keys and cell phone in there as well and proceeded to drop them in the wash. They were in a plastic bag but it wasn’t sealed all the way. Tossing my rod in the sand I scurried into the wash hoping to secure them before they were lost forever. I was able to retrieve them and one of the surfcasters was nice enough to capture a few shots. Fishing was done for me as my reel was now encased in sand and I wasn’t sure if my alarm key was going to allow me back into my car. I made it home that night but my cell phone never rang again. I will never forget that fish and wish I could find those three anglers and thank them for their part in my angling history. The fish went about 42”. I have had some great days since then and still have many milestones I hope to achieve but this will always be the one that lit a fire in me I hope never dies.


03-17-2006, 10:30 AM
Charlie -

This should be the thread for the striper fly contest...


03-17-2006, 11:46 AM
Jim, Chris,
Cool to hear your rendition of the day. Stripers, sand, buddies, beer and the big blue cooler not a bad way to spend a vacation.

03-17-2006, 04:24 PM
DK..."BIG BLUE"!!!!!!!! Back on the sand again?:whoa:

03-19-2006, 08:39 AM
Hey Guys,
You will all be pleased to know that during the course of cleaning out the house, prior to the sale..., I found another new "big blue", still in the original wrapper. It doesn't have the same "salty character" of the old one, but it won't take long to break it in! I think this one will serve us well for a few more years, and the zipper hasn't had the chance to rust yet!
I'm pretty certain that at least 50 different salty dogs have been well served (fed/beered) from the old one. Sure met alot of nice guys over the years with big blue and accumulated several cool flies!
See everyone if a couple months.

03-19-2006, 01:08 PM
A lot of fish have come & gone since the begining of this thread and I'd forgotten that morning. Thanks for the reminder.

With my shoulders back to a somewhat normal state, I'm really looking forwad to fly fishing this season and hopefully the memories of my kids first fly caught stripers.

Best of luck,


03-20-2006, 08:41 AM
I'll chime in here.
The most memorable fish would have to be my son's first Deerfield River trout. He had been flailing and whipping a line for a number of years- and catching fish- until this trip. We ahd fished this part of the river several times but his season he was finally big and strong enough to wade it with confidence. He had woken me up early that day and said " We need to get on the river, which in itself was a reversal in routine that pleased me in itself. We were staying at my brother's in the Berkshires specifically to fish the FFO water on the Deerfield.

I had sat down to watch him cast this particular morning. As I watched I saw it click. His stroke had matured and he was getting it. I watched as his timing and feel for the loading of the rod came together and it was beautiful. Watching him in the morning sun flicking casts off with prisms of light shining around him through the droplets of water he was putting into the air. Later he said to me " Dad I get it, I'm feeling the rod load and I'm banging out casts". I said to him that I had been watching and it was like a switch had been thrown. He has been able to translate that into a fine saltwater form as well and is handling a 9 weight as well as or better than a lot of guys I have fished with.

03-20-2006, 09:49 AM
Chris -

Now THAT is what it's all about brutha!!! He has become quite a man, you must be one proud dad.

03-22-2006, 08:50 AM
My first keeper was caught with the help of all the guys on this site. It was at the big girl bar 3/4 years ago, when the current ripped through there left to right. I was fishing next to Roop with a fly a friend of mine (Dave Person) came up with made out of Rabbit Strips. I cast out and mended out all of my fly line and some backing and then started the short fast twiches that Roop had showed me. Then blam I felt the take and used the strip set that Juro had shown me and I was on. Cut to the chase, it was a 44.5 incher my first keeper.

03-22-2006, 06:49 PM
As long as we're telling stories and digging up old posts, here's one that I posted almost 4 years ago:

4/30 - First Flyrod Striper!

I went to the Connecticut coast yesterday to catch my first flyrod striper. I figured that there must be enough fish around by now that I would have a good chance at getting one, but all my usual spots seemed barren and I was starting to think that I'd have to ride home with the skunk. By late afternoon it had clouded over and started to rain periodically. I was ready to call it quits, but before going home I decided to check out the area near the Audubon Coastal Center at the mouth of the Housatonic River. I had never fished there before, and after walking over to the beach to take a look I decided to wait and try it another day. I had no idea how to fish the place and I wasn't in the mood for exploring in the rain.

Back at the parking lot I stopped to talk to a fly fisherman who was just heading out. He explained how to get to the river channel and persuaded me to give it a try. I suited up, grabbed my gear and started out towards the channel. The closer I got, the more it rained and the harder the wind blew. By the time I reached the river channel I was cursing myself for being so foolish. Then I tried to cast. More cursing. I couldn't even cast 10 feet. I gave up.

I reeled in my line and went over to the other fisherman to thank him for his help and ask if he had caught anything. He said he caught one and just had another hit, and told me to try to get a cast out far enough so that I could feed line into the current and let the fly drift out into deeper water. I went back and tried a few more casts. More cursing. I still couldn't get my line out. By this time it was pouring and the wind was really blasting. I gave up again.

I reeled in my line and started to go back to the car. Then I noticed a spot where the channel curved just enough so that I wouldn't be casting directly into the wind. I decided to give it a few more tries. It worked! I was able to cast just far enough so that I could feed the line out into the current rather than having it drift right back at me. I dumped most of the fly line and let my fly drift for several seconds before starting the retrieve. After two or three strips I felt a little bump and then a nice head shake. No blistering runs. No bloody knuckles. Just a bouncing fly line and a smiling angler. I decided to put the fish on the reel since there was only a couple feet of slack anyway, and I easily reeled the fish most of the way in. Then the real fun started. The fish was pretty big and I had a heck of a time trying to land it. After several failed attempts I just grabbed the fly line and pulled it in by hand. I had my first flyrod striper -- a fat 27 incher! Not a bad way to lose that skunk!

Suddenly it didn't seem quite so cold anymore. Funny how that happens. I stayed until it was almost dark and managed to catch 3 more stripers between 16" and 18". All fish were caught on an olive/chartreuse/white Clouser.

I think I like this game!


This story seemed appropriate since it's almost time to head to CT and try for my first striper of the season :cool: .


03-22-2006, 07:52 PM
That was quite a morning Craig speaks of. I think there were several "biggest on a fly" caught that morning. Last weekend in September 2000. There was quite a conga line set up but the guys at the end did most of the hooking. In the pic I believe, are Roop, Bigcat and craig, before the hordes and the fish showed up.