Chatham Bound [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Chatham Bound


Quentin
06-03-2002, 09:26 PM
OK, I can't stand it anymore! I'm heading to Chatham tomorrow morning. ETA 07:00. I may try to grab the first ferry to South Beach or I may just hoof it from the lighthouse. Anybody else gonna be around? I'll be the guy untangling his leader. I'll also be wearing a khaki hat w/green brim and carrying a red soft-sided cooler. Give me a shout if you see me!

Q

Revised ETA 08:45 :hehe:

On my way!

Nick
06-04-2002, 07:59 AM
Quentin,
Stuck in Boston working...hope you do well. Let us know!

Nick

steelheadmike
06-04-2002, 09:24 AM
I will be driving up tomorrow around 9am. I should probably be there in the early afternoon and begin fishing in the evening. I'll keep a look out for you.

striblue
06-04-2002, 09:40 AM
I will be there this weekend.

steelheadmike
06-04-2002, 10:00 AM
Good deal! Leaving later than I wanted on Wed. I need to swing by the local fly shop for last minute supplies. I refuse to be gang raped by the shops up there. Plus I get a GREAT discount down here. Retail.. HA! Is anyone looking to buy a 9ft 2pc 9wt DS2? Cheap. The only blemish is a chip on the grip from the rod holder on my friends boat:(
Other than that its brand new. Make me an offer. Does $100 sound fair?

Quentin
06-05-2002, 01:32 AM
Oh, man :whoa:

Oh man oh man oh man :eyecrazy:

he he he ha Ha HA ha HA HA AHA HA HAAAAh :D :D :D

More to come . . .

Q

Nick
06-05-2002, 08:06 AM
Sounds like someone got the Chatham bug...:eyecrazy:

Can't wait for the report

Quentin
06-05-2002, 06:27 PM
That's what the guy said to me at the Chatham Light parking lot while I was packing up for the ride home. I just smiled and thought, "It's all a matter of perspective."

True, the action was a little on the slow side. I only caught about 12 fish and had a few other hits and misses. However, I also shattered several personal records on a day that may very well qualify as my best fishing day ever.

I left the house just as the sky was starting to lighten. Not 10 minutes into the ride, a HUGE black bear ambled across the road in front of me. I knew then that this would be no ordinary day. As the miles ticked by on the odometer I enjoyed the spectacular sunrise and daydreamed of the fish that I hoped to encounter when I reached my destination.

I arrived at Rip Ryder at around 9:00 a.m. On the way over to South Beach, Captain Keith and I chatted about the FFF website and the upcoming Big Brother event. Of course, the subject of fishing came up as well and he was kind enough to give me some pointers. I was soon marching down the edge of the harbor towards the area Keith recommended. It was a couple of hours into the ebb tide and I could easily see where the flats met the deeper water. I made my way out across the flats and started casting towards the deeper water, all the time scanning the flats for movement. All I could see were a few horseshoe crabs scurrying around on the bottom while a steady parade of seals patrolled the edge of the flats. I hadn't seen any fish at all and I was starting to wonder if the seals were keeping them away.

Suddenly a striper appeared right in front of my feet. Of course, I had too much line out to properly make a cast and the failed attempt sent the striper off into the depths. Ok, so at least I saw one. More fish started to appear, but I wasn't seeing them soon enough to be able to put my fly in front of them. Then I realized that I was standing where the fish were trying to cruise, and they would quickly move into deeper water when they got too close to me. I backed up and started scanning the flats on both sides, and before long I was able to see the fish in time to make a cast. Still, I wasn't getting enough successful casts to be able to determine whether they would take my "deep eel" or not. I'd been fishing for an hour or two and I still smelled of skunk.

Just as I was thinking of changing flies I saw another school of fish headed my way. These were darker looking fish, swimming very close to the surface, and they were BIG. Bluefish! First cast -- not even close. DOH! Wait, they didn't scatter! Second cast -- perfect! (well, perfect enough anyway!) As my deep eel crossed in front of the school, one of the blues casually opened its mouth and chomped down on my fly. I set the hook, fully expecting to feel that quick tug and sudden slack bite-off. Nope, rock solid! I watched the fish shake its head a few times and I waited for it to start peeling off line. Surprisingly, it just kept pace with the rest of the school while shaking its head and flashing in the sunlight. I started to apply some pressure and the fish didn't like that. It stripped the line out of my basket and was soon on the reel. Still, it ran only as far as the edge of the channel and then held its position. A stalemate. Then I noticed the seal that was intently watching the battle. I started to apply more pressure to pull the fish away from the seal and the fish ran again, only to turn around and head straight back at me. Uh oh. Now what? Reel, reel, reel, reel, reel! Good, still hooked up. Now the fish was tired enough for me to try to land it. I was a little worried, however, as it was the biggest bluefish I have ever seen alive and I wasn't quite sure how to proceed. I also wanted to get a photo but was afraid that the fish might get free during the landing process, so I held the rod with one hand as I fumbled with my camera. The fish took this opportunity to make another run, but I was able to regain control and steer it into position for a couple of photos. Somehow I managed to grab the fish by its tail and pop the hook out of its mouth. I briefly held the fish along my leg to get a measurement before reviving and releasing it. With the fish's nose on the sand next to my boot, my hand was at my hip. This fish was very close to 40".

http://home.nycap.rr.com/qholesphotos/bigblue2.jpg

http://home.nycap.rr.com/qholesphotos/bigblue.jpg

After I retied my fly I began scanning for more fish. A few more schools and singles passed by but I was still having trouble putting the fly in front of them without spooking them. After a long lull with no more fish sighted I decided to check out the surf side. I didn't see any fish over there either and the wind was in my face so I went back across the dunes to the harbor. It was now close to low tide and the current was slowing. As I scanned the water and wondered if there were any fish around I noticed a flash near the bottom. Then a shadow drifted past. Yup, the fish are here! A couple of casts to cruising fish produced no hits, so I decided to change flies and tied on the epoxy minnow that GregO tied for the fly swap. Smart move! Next fish I saw was swimming past just 15' away. I flipped the fly out and gave it a couple of twitches and was soon hooked into a 25" striper. Thanks GregO!The next fish I saw was an even bigger striper. I flubbed the first cast and immediately picked up the line and recasted in the direction that the fish had gone. Strip, strip, strip. Oh well, might as well bring in the line and wait for the next one. Thump. Fish on ! ! ! This one was definitely over 30" but it pulled free while I was trying to get a photo so I didn't get a measurement.

There were now terns diving for bait in the weeds along the edge of the deeper water. I heard a splash nearby and looked over expecting to see a tern fluttering back up from the water. No tern, but a very large swirl. Maybe a seal? As I looked closer I saw another splash and another large swirl. Bait scattered out of the water. Then I saw moby striper as it porpoised after the baitfish. Its rear dorsal fin and tail looked like they were nearly two feet apart. I hurried over to get into casting range and saw the fish swirl again. I casted at the swirl, let the fly sink for a moment and stripped some line in. The fish followed. Another strip, GULP (me and the fish!) a solid hookup and instant mayhem. The fish thrashed on top as it tried to regain its bearings and head for deep water. There wasn't any. More surface thrashing, then it got its head down. The drag screamed and I laughed like a maniac. It took me right down to the backing, but the dacron never touched the guides. I was able to stop the fish and regain some line before it made another run and tried to break my knuckles. A couple more runs and the fish was close enough to try to land, but instead of dealing with the fish I reached for the camera. Stupid move! The fish pulled free while I tried to get it in the viewfinder. Arrrrrrgh! I would have released it anyway, but I would have liked to get a true measurement. And a photo would have been nice. I really need to work on my end game. This striper was every bit as long as the bluefish and definitely heavier. Without a doubt, it was the biggest striper I've ever caught by any method of fishing. Now it's just a fish story :rolleyes:

I managed to get a couple more small stripers before it was time to catch the return ferry. After I got back to my car I drove straight to the lighthouse and hoofed it back down the beach and over the dunes. I wasn't ready to stop yet! The tide was halfway in now, the sun was low on the horizon and the stripers were up on the flats again. I had gone back to the deep eel because the water level was higher, but the fish didn't seem interested so I tied on a smaller epoxy sand eel (also courtesy of GregO). I saw several more fish despite the reduced visibility, and I even managed to catch a couple more schoolies before dusk. By this time I was getting cold and hungry so I went back across the dunes and headed towards the lighthouse. As I walked along the high tide line and scanned the waves crashing on the beach I thought I saw a shadow glide by. Hmm, was that a fish? Guess I could take a few more casts. I started fishing my way back and then saw a swirl that looked a little different than the regular waves. I tossed the fly into the wash and immediately hooked up with another 25" striper. I continued on towards the parking lot, although I was really tempted to stay. One more striper, a micro this time, and I was done for the evening.

As I drove home I kept bursting into spontaneous laughter every time I pictured that monster bluefish chomping on my fly, or that big striper hanging broadside in the current. Not bad for a slow day!

Q

striblue
06-05-2002, 07:00 PM
That's not fair...I am at work and you are fishing..great report and pics.

juro
06-05-2002, 07:02 PM
Yup folks... he's got the BUG alright :hehe:

Q -

Do you remember rule # 94569784?

"fish first, camera second" ;)

Smcdermott
06-05-2002, 09:29 PM
Quentin,
Great report. It is wonderful out there isn't it. Looking forward to meeting you father's day weekend.

Sean

Quentin
06-05-2002, 09:45 PM
Originally posted by juro
Yup folks... he's got the BUG alright :hehe:

Q -

Do you remember rule # 94569784?

"fish first, camera second" ;)

Yeah, I'm Jonesin' big time now -- I need another fix! Carp are the only type of fish in my area that pull that hard, and I haven't figured out how to catch them on the fly rod yet.

I'm aware of rule # 94569784. I'm also aware of subpart (q) paragraph 27, which states in part, "Should an angler successfully catch a large fish, said catch must be corroborated by a witness or clear photograph. Absent such corroboration, said catch, and any resulting measurement, shall have no greater significance than a "Fish Story", as defined in Rule 171 (b)(s)." :chuckle:

Q

(edit) Sean, I'm looking forward to the 16th as well, although I may just have to make another trip out before then. BTW, you deserve some credit for my success. I got some very useful information from the message you posted, and your message played an integral role in my decision to make the trip in the first place!

Jimmy
06-05-2002, 10:23 PM
Q,

Fantastic! Almost as good as that day in Milford. :rolleyes: :chuckle: Great report.

Adrian
06-05-2002, 10:50 PM
Way to go Q!

Bursting into laughter in the car on the way home is a sure sign of a slow day.

Now you know there are no fish at Chatham too ;)

ssully
06-05-2002, 11:43 PM
Great report Q!

I was gonna reply. Oh great he starts FF and is a Chathamaholic. :D

Psst...there's some fish up here now that will bust that new rod or your knuckles. :D

DFix
06-06-2002, 09:35 AM
Congratulations and Best Wishes for the future. Great report.

Tod D
06-06-2002, 11:32 AM
Quentin - I hate you...

Kidding! What a terrific report. Those maniacal laugh situations are the best! Boy, you've got me thinking a car ride from God's country (i.e. south shore MA) is in order!

Dble Haul
06-07-2002, 10:46 AM
Egads! Sounds like you had your own personal clave. The only drawback is that you're going to be constantly thinking of getting back there for more. :p

Quentin
06-07-2002, 11:05 AM
Thanks for all the kind responses ;)

Yup, I'm already plotting my return. I'll be there for Father's Day, but I may not be able to wait that long. That 4 hour drive is brutal on those one-day trips, but man oh man . . . .

Q

juro
06-07-2002, 12:18 PM
Q -

You know that there is an offer for accomodations for B/B Mentors who want to stay over and fish the next day, right?

Quentin
06-07-2002, 01:11 PM
Originally posted by juro
Q -

You know that there is an offer for accomodations for B/B Mentors who want to stay over and fish the next day, right?

Thanks Juro, I sent you a PM.

Q

pmflyfisher
06-07-2002, 05:18 PM
Yep Quentin has the fever bad, I remember when I would do those one day trips to michigan driving 4 hours each way.

Was a zombie at the end of those days, but had some great memorable days like Q had above. Actually had my most memorable days when I was on solo trips for the most part.

have not done that for probably 10 years now need to go for at least 3 days to justify the drive and keep my aging body together etc....