: Rhody clave II report
10-06-2002, 01:04 AM
My sons Joel and Matt and I arrived at the west wall at 5:00 Am this morning. As soon as we got out of the car we could hear the surf booming and feel the southwest howling. Without even seeing the water I went to plan B. After seeing the marine forcast I had hedged my bets by loading the car with OTFF gear [other than flyfishing]. We hopped back into the car and sped over to Watch Hill Lighthouse. Before I became addicted to chasing albies the lighthouse was always my GO TO spot, especially with a southwest wind and good white water. The stripers rarely fail to reward me for my endurance of the uncivilized conditions on a snotty day. Today was no exception. We started out with a decent blue, maybe the first one I've seen over 5 lbs this season. Quickly following were several schoolie bass which displayed the usual pattern of grabbing a swimming plug out of the white water. Then a fat 33 incher did the same and ended up laid out in my cooler on a bed of ice [only my second killed bass this year]. The last fish I hooked was a 40 inch [estimated] bass which hit at my feet and took off for Ireland before pulling loose. Although I was out of practice, I can still do that surf caster thing. It's interesting how those boulders got rounder and slipperier since the last time I was there. And I was reminded of one important rule of fishing the surf - keep your mouth closed when big waves break over you!
Later in the day we visited the usual spots to hunt for speedsters but the only action we had was from the ubiqutous 2 lb blues which kept the boys busy for quite awhile.
In the evening we hooked up with Slinger, Greg, Jim and Jim's buddy who's name escapes me [Sorry!] over at Quonnie where the cocktail blues were the only game in town. At sunset we called it a day and retired to the camp site for a feast. After supper and some visiting, I drove the whole 2 hours home. Unfortunately I have to work Sunday. Hopefully the others will be thinking of me when the nail some albies tomorrow.
10-07-2002, 10:46 PM
Well another great time was had by me and the boys at the Rhody Hardtail Clave. We arrived friday and set-up camp at area 1, then headed for Quonny. Got lots of bites from the Blues and the mosquitos, no albies showed.
Saturday we awoke to rain and blasting winds so we took our time getting out. Poked around at quonny for awhile and saw the exact same boat as mine only in better condition. I checked a couple of things and found my mechanically challenged previous owners had forgotten to replace a component on the gas vent. No wonder mine drinks so much sea water! Questioned a number of the locals about hazards of the area and fishing spots. Lots of bait and no fish biting we then took off to point judith with plans to go up to narrow river/Narraganset beach. At the boat ramp my motor died while warming up and found I couldn't pressurize the fuel line. Checked my float bowl on the water/fuel separator and found water and gook in the bottom. Time to change those filters, pulled the boat and fished around the ramp. Found some Small blues and lots of bait. Headed of to get a gas can and gas to make the filter change with.
Saturday evening we went back to quonny and found the blues were there again. Headed back just after sunset and had a great meal with good company. Finally met Slinger, MikeZ and sons. Mike brought some freshly caught striper that was the freshest and tastiest I have ever eaten, quite tasty for not having any of the usual fixins. Jim and Chuck cooked up some awesome Bluefin Tuna steaks and beans and rice and a soup I believe. I cooked up some hotdogs for the kids and had run out of gas in the stove for cooking the stir fry. By the time I had something to cook on most everyone was stuffed, with food still left on the table.I decided to save the veggies now that everyone was full.
Sunday Jim and Chuck headed out before sunrise while we snoozed. We packed up and headed for the Barn Island ramp to go fishing around Napatree. We arrived and found Mike Mayo fishing off Sandy Point. Stopped by and said hello and got a quick fish report. No Albies, just Bluefish so far. Just after talking to him and getting some advise. We both saw birds and fish accross the bay. We both headed over to find Albies coming through. I was into them for quite awhile fish busting all around with birds following. I didn't hook up, didn't have the right offering or they just didn't see it. Water visability seemed poor to me. Brandon was too frustrated by the high winds to cast and fish. We did manage yet another blue fish, no stripers or albies for us all weekend. Still great fishing and great company. When is the next one? ;)
I had originally planned on departing Thursday evening to get some fishing in Friday at first light. The wind forecast for Friday was honking out of the NE so I decided to delay my departure. Chuck Reid met me at my house around noon and we hauled the camper down to Burlingame. When we got to the ranger station Greg had put a note on the corkboard indicating heíd gotten area 1, a nice big group site. We made camp and set up a tarp that I still have nightmares about :hehe: We head to Quonny with the yaks and catch a few blues, Chuck also get a bass. When we are packing up the gear we meet Slinger, who got a bunch of blues from shore. A quick food fix at the pizza shop and some beverages around the fire and a few hours sleep bring us into Saturday morning. Well I somehow set the clock forward an hour when setting the alarm for 4:45 and we ended up waking up earlier than required, didnít know it until we were all geared up and saw the clock in the car.
Sat 4:00am: The west wall is calling. We drive up to Matunuk, you can hear the surf roaring from the parking area. We walk up over the hill and get hit with the full force of the wind. Itís quite obvious that there will be no fly fishing here today. A surfcaster is leaving the beach as we ponder our next move, he reports the water is clean but the surf is just ridiculous and waves are coming over the jetty. We bounce here and there, get some coffee and settle on Quonny. Chuck and I take the yaks across the breachway and fish some in the pond but there are whitecaps and the wind makes it difficult to cast from the yak. I beach it on the west side of Quonny and fish from shore having limited success with small blues. The guy on the East side hooks up on something, Chuck and I are thinking what the heck is he doing, we assume heís got a blue and taking quite a while to land it. Turns out its Slinger and heís got a nice albie on. I chased them in the pond for a while but they moved real quickly and I ended up with more blues. At this point the blues have beat up my flybox pretty good. Chuck and I take a look at Weekapaug and find Juro casting to some very uncooperative albies near the bridge. It was a great spot to get a look at them feeding or at least appearing as they were, frustrating all the fishermen in the area. Now that the tide is really going out full we decide to go back to camp tie up some flies and catch 40 winks.
Sat 3:00pm Back to Quonny Ė Blues, Blues, Blues. Iím sick of blues so I decide to explore the breachway in the yak. Chuck joined me later paddling up the breachway on the incoming, that current moves right along but it was doable and if you found and eddy it didnít take much effort to remain stationary. We saw some larger blues slamming baby bunker. Juro was nailing Ďem from shore. At least I got to ride the current down into the pond. A quick break to stretch the legs and say by to Juro and meet MikeZ We fished right into dusk at which point the wind laid down and we were drawn to the center of the pond where blues were going nuts bouncing off the yaks and chewing up flies. Did I mention there were a lot of blues?
Temperature wise the weather couldnít have been better for October, all in all a great day.
Sat 8ish: Time for dinner. Slinger had a bunch of quaohogs with hot sauce that were great. Mike got some striper on the grill. I cooked up some heat the hut beans, wild rice and beef soup. I marinated BBFT steaks in a sesame ginger sauce and grilled them while we feasted on the striper. . That striper was the best Iíve ever had, just salt and pepper but it was so fresh. Dinner was a success, great to meet everyone MikeZ, Slinger and watch the kids around the fire.
Sun 5am: Chuck and I head to Weekapaug with hopes of screaming drags. When we arrive and start to gear up, Slinger pulls in and heads for the end of the jetty. Mike had tipped us off that it should be good out there if they showed. Met a couple of guys in the lot, the guy fly fishing (Dave) said it was his first time saltwater fishing with the fly rod, I of course turned him onto the forum. J Chuck and I got some blues out on the jetty and lost some more flies. After about an hour of blues and the tide turning in I decided to keep the fly out of the water and wait for the albies. Well the guys at the end of the jetty were hooking up regularly, it was clear that the feeding zone was not where we were standing. Chuck and I decide to take a look up in the breachway as we decided what to do next. As we are about 100yds from the bridge I stop to talk to a guy fishing there, he says there are blues busting over there, motioning toward the bridge. I walk over there and I see albies in the cove on the inland side of the bridge, I pull of some line and the next thing ya know theyíre at my feet, I cast but nothing, I missed Ďem. Well they repeat this behavior and this time Iím ready. I lay a whopping 20í cast out there parallel to the jetty and strip rapidly, BANG! Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz itís heading for the bridge pilings, I crank the drag down hard and turn it only giving up ~ 20í of backing, the albie and I play give and take on the line and I never see the backing again but when it does run, WOW. I suffer a banged up knuckle but Iím phyched as this is my first Albie ever and I got it on the fly from shore. I had given Chuck my disposable camera to take a couple of action shots but landing it took longer than I thought so of course he went back to fishing. Now Iíve got a nice big albie in my hands posing for a pic. I tell Chuck snap a pic. He doesnít have the camera and thinks he left it on the rock behind me. I donít see any camera the spectators donít see any camera, (this is why I donít hunt), Well Iím pretty pissed off but donít want to kill the fish so I get a mental picture and toss it back head first. Chuck locates the camera, he realizes itís fallen down his waders. We fished the jetty again around 5pm but they never showed and the water got dirty.
To sum it up A Fantastic trip.
Thanks to Mike for pointing us toward Weekapaug Sunday morning. Nice meeting everyone and Iím looking forward to the next one.
I never really thought of Rhody as a day trip destination, thatís all changed now.
LOL! Believe me we've all had those "can't find the camera" fish in our lives. I've got both stripers and steelhead over 40" in that category myself. At least I had witnesses, as you did. The only one that counts is the one in your own head.
10-10-2002, 05:35 PM
Originally posted by JimW
I walk over there and I see albies in the cove on the inland side of the bridge, I pull of some line and the next thing ya know theyíre at my feet, I cast but nothing, I missed Ďem. Well they repeat this behavior and this time Iím ready. I lay a whopping 20í cast out there parallel to the jetty and strip rapidly, BANG! Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Do you happen to remember whether you were stripping the fly with the current or against it? Reason I ask is because I was at the breachway near the bridge casting at albies and I actually had two takes. Unfortunately, the first one didn't get hooked and the second one promptly snapped my leader at the surgeons knot. Both takes occurred while I was stripping the fly with the current. Cross-current or up-current retrieves drew some follows but no takes. While I was there, several other fly fishermen were also trying for the albies but none hooked up.
325 QD casting down current stripping rapidly against it with 30lb floro as a tippet on a 3' leader. I was using a bonito bandit, on a 1/0 gami. I've been in the middle of them several times in the yak and now I believe the sinking line is the way to go.
Good luck out there.
10-10-2002, 07:58 PM
Congrats on your first albie Jim! Whether you realize it or not, that was a well earned fish. Albies running inside the breachway are the toughest to hook. They seem to hit better in the rougher water at the end of the jetty. They seem even easier off the West Wall and easiest of all from a boat. My theory is that the albies can see the fishermen better and are spookier in the clear flat water inside the breachway. It sure is exciting to see those green missiles zip past you, but you know if you can see them so well, they can see you too!
Glad you enjoyed your Rhody trip, and hope to run in to you out there again some time. But in fairness to all the silent lurkers out there, we should tell the truth about Rhode Island fishing. It stinks! There's no place to park, no public access, the jetties are crowded, the locals unfriendly, prices are high, traffic is brutal, the fish are all small and there isn't enough of them. You'd be much better off at the Cape!
10-11-2002, 11:21 AM
Yeah, yeah, thats it , go to the Cape! Weekawhat, never heard of it!
OK I admit it. Made the whole thing up. There never was a Rhody II clave. I'm not allowed to leave the state anyway:hehe:
I would like to add that there are no fish in Plymouth, the water is completely devoid of life.:smokin: