06-09-2002, 02:12 PM
Well it was good getting down here and my son and I finished the fence progect... This weekend in Chatham was more about seeing FFF buddies than with catching...at least for me. On at the light at 4:30 ..dead low..nothing ,which I suspected and did not see one of my townie friends ..which tells me something immediatly...Fished around the north section of south beach then back to the point..no bait, no birds and weather fine by windy out of the north... bumped into Nick and Sean at the point and left with them to fish the north tub...nothing... they leave for the Rip rider.. I go home to do THE progect... Saw Jeff B. and Mike D. at the Mobil station off the midcape at exit 11.. They were also heading for the RipRider.. Hope they all did better than me. Today... 4:30 again... light house empty and I had an extra hour of outgoing... this time a scouting trip... walked out as far as I could staight beyond the point.... at the breakers...Took some significant GPS readings.... nothing... seals but the potential out there is... well... nuf said.... not birds no bait... 12 other flyguys are there as I walk back.... They don't have a clue as to the tides at that location it seemed. I fish the rip right in front of the stairs. One guy ,who had a canoe and had been out at the bars fishes about 20 feet from me then this fly guy comes down with his buddie and casts right into the rip in front of me...they must be new to flyfishing. I decide for a ride on the Rip Rider... At Monomoy coffee I bump into Juro who is heading there as well... Off with a boat load of Flyfisherman and I am the only one with shorts... still windy and a bit overcast ,but SW wind. Juro and Bill Stanton get the next boat...but before I left I meet Juro in Chatham center and he gave me the stickers, complements of Chris D., for next weekend. I get off at south beach and the tub is like Park Street Station with all the fly guys at the edges..so I go to the ocean side and again no luck, but the structure out there to the right is something...next time.. Back on the 9:30 boat with a couple of other guys who were going to make it a full day but quit... I can see why...I suspect others will do the same.. If I had all day I would have been at the south point into the crib...but had to leave. Sorry for this long winded useless report but it was nice to see everyone...oh yes... Pete (Penguin) stopped by yesterday with a poor report as well, but he showed me some spectacular air shots of Chatham, Sandy neck, Monomoy and Lewis bay... I hope he scans them and posts them..I put a request for some copies..I think they are better than the commercial Photo guy..Kelsey something. No, better still don't scan them:devil:
06-09-2002, 03:27 PM
...'Stopped by the CAC...The fly boxes that the Right Honourable Mayer put together are most noteworthy...a great selection in a sturdy box (thanks Nick!)...Way-to-go John!!!
06-09-2002, 08:17 PM
After meeting John at Chatham light Nick and I headed off to catch the Rip Ryder. We proceeded to walk up South beach and did see some fish but they were moving in the opposite direction that I had seen them in the previous week and in much smaller schools. Combined with the wind being out of the north made for a tuff day and skunky rod. The honorable Nick did manage to pick up a few fish in a tough environment and made me realize I still have a lot to learn. Hooked up with Jeff and Mike and had a nice sandwich at Chatham Provisions. Great lemon squares if you are in the area. Managed to pick up one blue in Pleasant Bay. From the reports it sounded like deciding to sleep in this morning was a good choice. Looking forward to seeing many of you next weeked at the Big Brother event.
Saw Striblue at the light and dropped off the boxes. As John said good time shooting the $#$%, but the fishing stunk. Sean showed up soon after. Went on the Rip Ryder out to S. Beach with the bright sun just beginning to shed lights on the flats. As the sun rose, started seeing familiar shadows zooming around the shallows. Picked up two small fish and then saw a nice shadow cruising along in ~1-1.5' of water. Led him by about 10', twitched the fly once...he turned and looked. Another 1" strip and the striper inhaled it. It was awesome to see the whole thing unfold. If I thought I could pull myself from the flats thing, I was wrong! I actually said "If this ends now, I'll be happy as just seeing that fish take was enough" Line heading out, on the reel. All of a sudden rod is bending real good, and reel not spinning. Drag too tight? Nope, line around reel. $%#$@! One wrap around my reel handle, the the leader parted with a bang.
Jeff B and Mike met us on the flats, picked up a few smaller fish and then decided it was quits. Left Jeff, Sean, and Mike to head to Nauset. I passed the Penguin's MYLU (Mobile Yak Launching Unit) on the Causeway. I stopped and looked around, couldn't see you. Hope you had more luck than us on the flats!
Very tough day on the flats. Lots of follows right to the rod, no takes. Only saw one real school of fish, rest were ones/twos, but the ones/twos were much bigger than the school fish. Wonder if they're starting to set up?
Been a slow year so far early in the morning for me, most have been just some hanging out sessions with FFF guys, not that I'm complaining ;) Its always good to chat with you all:D But I'm beginning to wonder if the ~4AM drive is really worth it:confused: I'm beginning to think its more of Heat of Summer Kind of thing.
06-10-2002, 08:32 AM
Nick...Nice post! If you're going to do the "line wrapped around reel" maneuver, you gotta' use 40# tippets...
My day on the flatzz wuzz frustrating but good therapy none the less. 'Saw some fish, turned a few, got one to take, got alot of yak exercise...slept like a baby!
'Place in South Hadley closes this Friday so I'll be busy until...
Then it's the windy weekend Miller time again and I hope to start a serious fishing offensive...
Would someone please tell the phfish that IT'S TIME!
I'll be on the Cape in mid July, will I be able to pick up my walk the beach fish finder that you invented then? Sounds like you forgot to bring one with you in this last report.
06-10-2002, 08:45 AM
Nick, don't give up... the ride WILL be worth it... and the light house will be a good start..lots of interesting rips way out on a minus tide ... OC... yes I forgot it...left it at home..but I will have one ready for you with your name engraved on it, free of charge of course.
06-10-2002, 08:47 AM
Thanks for the phone call and info you provided. I was at the light around 4:45am on Sat. I saw your car ( parked in the 1st spot by the stairs ). You were already out by the 1st bar and to be honest I was tired of fighting the wind so I opted for another spot. The weather man should be shot up there!! Everyday he claimed 5-10mp winds. Try 25-30 sustained for 4 days with gusts to close to 40!! All in all it was TUFF. I managed one little twinkie the first day I got there and after that all I got was wind burn. I did however see some "30"+ fish hauled out as well as a small blitz of blues on Thursday. I have to say the conditions were the worst I ever fished in. I never had so many things working against me at one time. But would I go back and do it again? You bet! It was certainly better than sitting in the office.
06-10-2002, 08:54 AM
Mike, the conditions were hard and I could not spend the time I wanted... It was tough for Nick and even tougher for Roop and BobP in the MV tourney on his post.... they got some fish anyway.. As you know by now it was tough on the weekend even though the rain and wind died down...but not the cold...Sunday was the best bet...but I had to leave at 9:30 am. I am sure the the fishing will change, it always does... so for your next trip I hope the conditions are better. Even Randy Jones had a tough time. BUT>>>>This coming weekend is a minus tide...all outgoing at the light and perfect for walking down south beach on the drop at those Morning hours..just hope for a 5 to 10 SW wind and sun. The Kids in the big bros. outing should have a great day by the book anyway.
06-10-2002, 09:12 AM
I gave directions to Tom D on some Norwalk / Fairfield areas last week. I figured that Sunday afternoon I would check out one of the spots I suggested to see if my calculations were correct. Well let me tell you that I was on the $$!! I fished around 4pm at Pensfield Reef and the Shark Bar. As predicted the birds made a BIG showing off of the Shark Bar ( as they usually do ) on the first 2-3 hours of the flood. 10-15 guys out there with the rods bent. Nothing big that I could see but there were numbers. Unfortunately I went there with the girlfriend and the surf sticks so I caught jack poo poo ( could not reach the fish ). But on the bright side there was activity and lots of it. I hope Tom D took the ride and got a few. For those of you who would like to fish that area let me know, I'd be up for a run out there maybe even fish Sunken Island... if we could find a parking spot. :smokin:
I arrived at the bottom of the stairs at the Rip Ryder just in time to wave to Striblue who was on the 8am shuttle. It looked packed.
Juro came down the stairs before the 2nd shuttle took off. I was set on doing some site fishing even though the conditions suggested it probably wasn't the wisest choice for me. Hey, it's June, and Monomoy is right there.
I would guess the forecasts of 5-10 mph winds were off by about 15 - 20 mph, and there were only brief periods of sun, but I still managed to see some pods of fish cruise by the edge of the flats. Also saw some good size fish scoot directly at me as they came up on the flats (which reminded me to move back to thigh deep water as Randy says).
Probably got off 10 - 12 casts at actual fish sitings. Had one follow and take, but it was a good one. Watched the whole thing - pod coming, cast, one fish split from the pack, strike, charge for deep water, line zip from the basket! Funny how one fish can make the day.
On another note, I watched from a distance as Juro spent some significant time helping out two guys who were struggling to spot fish. He just met these guys, and he patiently coached them when he could have been hooking up himself. Using the scientifically proven Bill/Juro success rate conversion formula of 1 - 7, if I spotted some pods and hooked one keeper Juro could have spotted and landed, well, alot more. I'm sure you made their day, Juro.
Yesterday's conditions were the second worst I've ever attempted to sight fish in. Just ask my good friend Bill Stanton with whom I hooked up with at Rip Ryder. Wind? Gusty 20-25 in yer face. A 20 foot cast was damn good and a 30 foot cast qualified you for the olympics. My collar was flapping like a baseball card on bicycle spokes and my ears were constantly filled with the howling of wind. The stripping basket was just a little bit better than nothing, but not much. Visibility? Dark clouds on again off again and a 1.5-2 foot chop on the flats with mini-whitecaps slapping the legs. These were regular waves, not just chop, and between each wave the wind quivered the surface like honeybee wings. The surface, water and bottom blurred into one confusing chaos. A flyguy had to operate on premonitions and mirages yesterday to succeed. And it was cold... I wished I had gloves. My nose was running and my eyes tearing from straining to spot a ghost on the blurry churned up waters that on better days I've known as a thin glassy film separating my world from the striped stalker, sometimes so glassy that the fish had an unfair advantage spotting me where I stood above the water before putting on the afterburners. Yesterday the fish couldn't see me like that, but it took a sixth sense to figure out where the heck they were when the sun was behind the clouds. And crowded? There was a conga line of anglers standing waist deep in the main traveling lane of the fish in one of the best spots around, blind casting to beat the band. One has to wonder why people fish the flats, wade deep and then blind cast all day? You can do that kind of fishing anywhere, and have much better luck too. Although I could finally see into the water there, not even one schoolie came thru the picket line. I stood there for a full 30 minutes, thinking they would come... not one fish came through. You'd really have to work to find a worse set of conditions to sight fish in. You really had to work to find the fish and that's why... I LOVED IT!
Worked hard as hell and found 'em; ended up in double digits, all nice fish with a few legals mixed in. Got to fish with a good friend and then hook a couple of new friends on the flats experience (first-timers) all in the same day under the crappiest, most ridiculous conditions one could ever imagine for sight fishing.
It was much more fulfilling than the blue-bird days of big pod after big pod coming over shallow water eating everything in sight. A day where every fish was hard-earned and hard-won, a day that tested the true grit of the fly fisherman and his simple tools, a day I won't forget for a long long time, maybe never. They were the worst conditions I've ever loved to fish in.
Welcome BigDave! That "runner" at the end of the day made my day!
I understand what you mean about a tough day fishing can be rewarding. I have to add, that I only want those "tough days" every now and then. ;) The easy ones are fun as well!
It was rewarding grabbing those few fish out there on Saturday. I really was seeing the fish better than I ever had. I was getting nervous after last weekend fishing with Penguin. He kept seeing fish everywhere, and I'd only see them at the last second or not all.
Not surprised to hear that you once again sacrificed a day on the water to help some newbies. Great job!
You're right it goes both ways.
When I take others fishing I hope for the easiest fishing possible, for their sake as well as mine. When I take a day of fishing to get my own yahyahs out I like the most challenging conditions that I can still conquer. The more challenging, the more conquer, the more joy. No conquer, no joy. Note that if I were unable to make the connection yesterday I would be pissed even as I write this post. ;)
But I'll take mine with lumps, please as long as I survive the fight. I remember when I first started having consistent success flyfishing in rips that would knock a grown man down. I used to think of roaring tide rips from shore with the fly rod as futile. I unlocked the door to this world one season, and I have since passed that on to a number of folks who now also have consistent success in the same conditions. These are conditions where the vast majority of fly guys are snubbed completely. As a matter of fact, lots of spin guys are too. Yet a certain approach puts 40+" fish on the fly with some regularity thru the season. That's why this presentation is so fulfilling. It defies conventional thinking.
Steelheading is very much like this - long stretches of abstinence, thankless dedication, and hard work interrupted by moments of unequalled ecstacy and the feeling of total achievement; a native beast on a dry fly that exceeds a trout angler's wildest dreams. If they were easy, they would be chum salmon. If bonito were easy, they'd just be fat mackerel. If permit were easy, they'd be greater pomano. Such is the obsession that we call "fly fishing".
exactly what I was thinking. My analogy is..."I can ski the Blue Squares all day long without much difficulty...but for some reason, you'll find me on the Double Blacks when I'm on the slopes."
The greater the challenge, the higher the reward...or something like that is how the saying goes.