: Mid-season for striper country...
So here we are and half the 2002 season is gone in the northeast -
Did your gear purchases get a rigorous field trial? What worked, what failed?
Did your learnings from last season turn out to be repeatable or just flukish success in 2001?
Did you learn a lot? Did you share a lot?
What's up for the second half?
07-23-2002, 07:40 PM
Liking the 10 wgt DFR more and more. Certainly a step up from the All American 9 wgt in terms of backbone. But I don't get to see backing like I did with the 9 wgt.
Like the TMC 811's. Also a step up for sticking fish over the Mustads 3704 (or is it 3407).
Sandpiper chestpack is ok but could be a little bigger.
Pamlico tandem is nice solo, plenty of room. It's ok for liesurly paddles with my wife, getting somewhat use to it. Also liking the Pungo more. May have to get a SOT so we have 4 seats (three's a crowd, right).
Preseason Goals and Results:
Fished the bayside hard, as I planned having not spent enough time there last year. Feel like I've progressed through a step change on the learning curve. Didn't use the yak as much as I'd hoped but for the end of the area I concentrated on you really don't have to have it. Lots of opportunities to sight fish and to see winter daydreams come to reality. Relative to past seasons for me, guess I have to give the first half an A+.
Been in a funk this week thinking the best of the season is over but I'll get over it. Having focused on the bayside so much I really missed being down on the beach at the light and seeing the fashionably late, Striblue Strut in the morning. Will be dredging down Chatham way, when not away, during August and September. I'd like to do some midweek bluebird specials out to Monomoy - work on those sight fishin skills with fussy fish. Right now I'm sick of crowds and would just as soon avoid the weekend follies. Tunoids - I don't know, they just don't float my boat yet. Still trying to become somewhat competent with stripers.
Fall run is to dependent on timing. Never did squat in the fall but will try hard this year. But I think, when you only get out once or twice a week, you gotta be lucky.
07-23-2002, 11:46 PM
...Area 61 has made a big difference for me (and a few others too)...(although I REALLLY miss getting up in central MA at 0200 so as to be at the LightHouse @ 0500 to meet up with the Oracle of Chatham, the Right Honourable Mayor StrideRight!)...
'Seems like most of the fish spent the winter in school...courses like "Flatzz Survival 101/202/etc" & "Risk Assessment Management" & "Fly Rejection Made Easy"! Darwin would be proud!
After the relatively typical opening, this season has been challenging and there have been few "easy" fish...Pleeeze turn down the wind machine...ThankYou!
I've been using a 9wt Orvis T-3 with an AirFlow intermediate and I like it BIG...Last year I did well blind casting...This year I've spent much more time sight fishing and find it much more "difficult" but much more "rewarding"...I'M HOOKED!
The BaySide Summer School has been an education and a pleasure, although the scratches on the new MYLU (MultipleYakLaunchingUnit) have left quite an impression...It's nice to have viable "options" and they don't get much better than the BrewsterFlatzz!
Looking forward to advanced YakAttacks far from the maddening crowdz and the arrival of da tunoidz.
Da Fat Lady isn't even warming up yet!!!
Give a man a fish...feed him for a day.
Teach a man to flyfish/C&R and you'll quickly see manifestations of obsessive compulsive disorders not known in common times!
Welcome to the FarSide (of the Canal)
Area 61 affected me, not only do I need a new calender (one full of Saturday's), but I think I'm in need of some serious medical assistance. I've got what Juro's got - coastalis wrongsidus. Over the past few years I have watched this malady manifest itself in the Schnausser in his obsessive monitoring of the steelhead board from Boston! Through increasingly frequent red-eye trips to the PNW - some of them just to attend a CASTING CLINIC! This is an evil desease indeed. While I thought it a sad and somewhat strange affliction of the Jedi Master - I am now frightened by it. I spend more and more time monitoring this board - from Vancouver, I am trying to figure when I can get back to those gorgeous flats... help! I need air miles points, lottery tickets - something!
That is what I've learned in the first half of the season.
In the second half of the summer I will just have to make do with salmon guiding in the Queen Charlottes, interspersed with an occassional power trip down to the Skykomish for summer runs and maybe a rush trip to the Skeena at the end of August for steelies. Hmmm, I'm feeling a little better.
07-24-2002, 06:02 AM
Freshwater trout fishing has been excellent for me. Saltwater started off with a bang and then went downhill fast. I am getting sick of the skunk. Camping at Nickerson has return marked on it. Have discovered some hidden gems which will be further explored in the second half.
Equipment. Sage is the way to go. One of the best rods on the market. Like the Airflo lines.
Second half: Hope the Yak attack can take place, we seemed to have gone our seperate ways.
I love the Wayfarer 5pc 8wt. 5pcs are better than 4, and I think six would be better than 5. (you can break it in half then.)
My SciAng 325 gr is toast...3yrs and out. I have to get a Cortland DC after trying one. That thing flies.
Yak Improvements work well. The anchor system and rod holder are awesome. I just haven't had a chance to use them yet. I'll post pictures sometime.
Got bit by the sight bug last year. Really felt confident finding fish on the flats early in the year. Haven't had a chance to get back, but would love to duel with some of the fish I see reports of.
Summer is for flexiblilty. Don't lock in schedules in May.
BB Day was awesome. I haven't gone or caught as many fish as I'd like, but that's what the second half is for.
Tunoid from Yak. I've been successful these last two years, but I just jinxed myself by writing this. But I think by acknowledgeing the jinx, I unjinxed it? Maybe? Come on!
I need a Summer 2K2 Fish. You know, the one who's pic goes up in the cube for the days of snow. The one that lives in your memory for years to come. The one that defines the season. Doesn't have to be big, just memorable.
Other than that, I'm just hoping to get a few more bluebird days fishing the water, bumping into friends.
07-24-2002, 09:06 AM
Love my 9'9wt Powell Legacy now that it's overlined with a 444sl (a tip from some dude I met on the flats) Punches a cast through a 25mph wind but still takes a sweet bend when it comes tight to a legal. Could not be happier with my Velocity 4 which could stop a freight train and is easy to clean and take care of. Oh yeah - and Gammi hooks rule!
Things Learned in the 1st half:
Conditions are everything on the flats...Never trust a cape weather report...Barefoot wading is a lot less tiring than slogging around in waders...Presentation is more important than fly selection
Most importantly, I now have a better understanding of the saltwater scene by fishing/chatting with the members of this forum - who represent a wealth of information which they are gracious enough to share with others
2nd Half goals:
Get my little brother into his first flats fish, and of course....
07-24-2002, 09:44 AM
A re-evaluation of all the 9wt rods I own which I believed were too soft for saltwater casting. After spending a day with Lefty Kreh and discovering that each can cast 80 - 100ft comfortably, I now own more 9wts than I know what to do with :rolleyes:
Cheap Aurora reels don't stand up to the kind of abuse I give my gear (a couple of minor engineering jobs on the bench for this coming winter). I should mention that one of them landed two Tarpon on successive casts and didn't blow up.
Cheap Redington ALs are fine if you strip 'em down and wash them thoroughly after each trip.
Kayak - a seriously awesome addition to the arsenal which I am still having fun figuring out.
Things learned in the first half:
Discovering 'the surf' - I now have some idea of what all the white tumbling comotion is about and how to deal with it with a fly rod. A real bonus for days when sight fishing is off the menu.
Flats challenge - effective presentation and dealing with drag - just like a river only seems 10 times worse. It really is so much easier in a flats boat - but not nearly as much fun!
Go nocturnal during the dog days.
I really enjoy helping complete beginners learn to cast - ( Casting Clave and Big Brother day). Joined FFF and thinking about working up to certifiction - seems like a worthwhile goal.
The second half:
Will last until Christmas :hehe: since I plan to explore South of CT - specifically Island Beach State Park (NJ) which looks and sounds a lot like the outer cape only its 2 hours closer to home. You never see much written up on it so it must be good!
Cracking the dog day night-time code. The fish are there in good numbers, they are big, the water is full of bait - now just get them to say 'yes'.
Make a few more trips to the Cape - only two days sight fishing so far this season :(
Check out the Housatonic trout management areas (Sep / Oct).
07-24-2002, 09:48 AM
New Gear: Fell in love with my Sage 9wt 5pc RPLXI and the new Ross BG5 reel. Rod casts like a dream come true, just the right flex for my casting stroke. The reel is a gem too. I have owned pleanty of reels but so far the Ross has been by far my best purchase in a long time ( besides my Abel #2 ). Keep up the good work Ross.
Things I have learned:
#1 Do not try to cast a 1/4 oz Clouser with a 30mph wind at your back .... OUCH!
#2 Do not get comfy using your favorite fly 99% of the time. Switch up and try something new.. it pays big dividends at times.
#3 Double check to make sure you put the plug in tight on the boat or better yet make sure you put it in period.
#4 Just because bluefish are blitzing does not mean they will take your fly.
So far that is what I learned this season. Luckily I will be fishing well into December ( weather dependent ) so I still have pleanty of time to learn and to make mistakes. If any of you are having withdrawls in Nov. let me know because the action is usually red hot down my way.
Growing family + growing business = little to no time for friends and fishing.
Need to change something.
My goal this year is to fish my plan, not be distracted by reports or siren songs of fish somewhere else!! This has really paid off as my learning curve has rapidly increased.
Last year I feel I became rather proficient at knowing where to find fish in deeper water. This year my goal is to become proficient at knowing where to find em in the skinny - I think I'm getting it.
Flies: I'm starting to believe that 90% of the time it's not what kind of fly but how you deliver it.
Gear? Why mess with perfection? T&T Horizon #10 casts a # 9 intermediate 325 - 425 grain QD & has enough backbone to turn big stripers!! St. Croix Legend Ultra #9 as back up - OK but I want all T&T's now. (thanks John!)
Tioga reels CANNOT BE KILLED! I have tried and they just take a beating and keep coming back.
Good thread I hope others contribute.
07-24-2002, 01:26 PM
Despite intentions to the contrary, work & life often get in the way of fishing....have been out even less this year than last!!
I'd nearly forgotten how much I truly LOVE fishing for stripers at night.
A sure-fire spot let me down for the first time in 5/6 years...but there's always next year...
Bonito are back....I am psyched! (that also means FA's will be on the scene soon). Will be interesting to try the new "stragedy" but if this year is even half as good as last year was, I'll be perfectly happy. :D
Looking forward to sea-runs, salmon, eagles, & the clipper in a few weeks.
What a difference a fly rod makes in terms of ease of use, accuracy and fish fighting ability. I put the St. Croix Legends in the backup category and started the season with a Sage RPLXI 10wt. While the 10wt is overkill on the twinkies and schoolies, it is a pleasure to cast, and feel it load. While it has a somewhat soft tip, it has a backbone unlike the St. Croix. Don't know whether an 8wt or 9wt will be the next Sage, but it will be a Sage. That isn't to say that T&T, Winston and Powell don't have the right stuff, but then again after trying them all, the Sage fit my casting style.
Several things were learned the first half of the season:
1. Get away from the crowds on the flats. My observation was that most of the crowd doesn't have a clue, and if the fish were there, they are no longer there.
2. On the bayside I have always believed that an outgoing was the best tide in creeks and estuaries. Tried incoming, and bingo, hookups were almost as good.
3. Began to spend more time on the oceanside at low tide observing bars, bowls and cusps for prominent places to be on the incoming.
4. While fishing reports are generally reliable, they in fact indicate where they were and not necessarily where they are.
During the first half I would be hard pressed to state how much information I have shared, but I tend to generally be open and share what I can with people. I did become a life member of FFF this year. It is the only organization I know that is dedicated to flyfishing education, conservation and flytying on a worldwide basis for all species.
Second half activites will include:
1. Opening up new areas via a kayak.
2. Experiment with presentations. One thing that I don't do on a regular basis with sinking lines is to insure that it is down before I start stripping. My mantra will be one thousand, two thousand...
3. Spend more time finding new sports. I tend to get in a rut and fish spots repetitively.
07-24-2002, 03:49 PM
As many of you probably know, this is my first year flyfishing. After several years of chasing stripers with light spinning tackle (8-10 lb gear) I finally decided to try the long wand. Now I'm kicking myself for not trying it sooner. My spinning gear is now collecting dust!
I started out with a "loaner" 9wt (thanks Juro) and bought a Tioga to go with it. Spooled it up with some donated intermediate line (thanks GregO), got some casting lessons at the Casting Clave (thanks Hawkeye and others) and I was in business. Now, after hours (and hours and hours) of casting and rigorous testing, I can report that it has performed beautifully. I'm probably ready to test out some new rods and buy my own. This rod should provide a good basis for comparison.
As for the fishing, I'd have to say that the first half has gone pretty well for me. I fished the saltwater much more often this spring/summer than I have in the past few years, and I've caught more "quality" fish this year than in prior years, although I'm still waiting to put my backing to use. I've experienced the thrills and frustrations of sight fishing the flats and I hope to do more of the same. I'm really looking forward to the second half. I still need to make it out for a Rip Trip, and I'll definitely be trying for a bonito as soon as there's even a remote possibility of catching one from shore. Then it's albie time :D . If I still haven't seen backing by the time September rolls around, I know I can count on an albie to do the trick :smokin:
07-24-2002, 08:26 PM
I have to think about this more before I post...I am still down here in Chatham so I will post some of my thoughts later... but will try for Tuna this weekend. I do miss the Roopster and I have not fished enough with Penguin and FredA...a nd where's Nick? Jimmy is comming down to Chatham today and staying at area 61 so the season rolls on.
07-24-2002, 09:09 PM
Good luck hooking up with Charlie!
I'm right here. I'll be on the Cape Saturday. Too bad you'll be out chasing some knuckle busters!
07-25-2002, 11:12 AM
Okay, I have to agree with the others who have said that the presentation of the fly is far more important than the pattern itself. In addition...
1. I love my Redbone 10wt. It casts into a headwind easily and whips big fish in a hurry.
2. I love my Battenkill reel. Very reliable drag system and easy assembly/disassembly for cleaning.
3. Fishing below the bait ball is usually more productive than fishing above or in the bait ball. Reminds me of a song, eh Roop? :p
4. CT shore fishing continues to yield surprisingly good results, and at times in surprising places.
5. I've been able to fish with a few more members here....Roop, Bob Pink, and Striblue. It's been a pleasure.
Second half plans...
1. Get a bonito or albie on the fly. This will probably happen for me in RI.
2. Get back to the Cape for the fall migration (October is looking good for me right now).
3. Potentially have another CT Clave down this way in the fall.
4. Keep having fun.