The Annisquam Project [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: The Annisquam Project

07-23-2001, 02:00 PM
I have been accused of being a Chatham bigot. Well, it's not true... I just believe it's the best fishing >dOh< there I go again!

Seriously folks, I believe that somewhere between the endless flats of Wingaersheek Beach on the north face of Cape Ann and the cut to the bay on the other end is the optimal temperature, abounding forage, and a very content population of Monomoy-like stripers that would be fished in the same manner - by sight on the tide changes. We know that the water at Wingaersheek is the gender-bender type of cold, and I don't imagine wet-wading there for more than 5 minutes at a time... but once the tide floods into the estuarine system (which connects to MA bay on the other side) the bright water and flats structures should balance things out to make a veritable heaven for our inshore feeding friends with stripes.

Now that greenhead season is nearing an end, I would like to propose a sortie' to investigate this sometime in early August. For the sake of expediency, we should first set out on power craft to cover water. Then through further investigation kayaks and wading excursions should be sought out and researched.

I can't directly take part in every mission but I would like to as much as possible. Since my family takes weekends and vacations down on Cape Cod I could not bail to the North Shore on those weekends, but I would like to participate as much as possible just the same.

I sincerely believe there is a world-class mid-to-late summer fly angler's mecca in the Annisquam estuary waiting to be discovered.

If anyone is interested in this please reply here.

07-23-2001, 02:28 PM
Given the boat traffic, off peak would help. Also, just to the north, Essex. Now there is an estuary! Much quieter, and harder to access. You've got Chatham mastered, try and crack this Cape Ann. Lots of deep water where the chunkers and live liners only can go. It's a project.


07-23-2001, 02:53 PM
Starting Point:

07-24-2001, 07:54 AM
[quote]juro (07-23-2001 03:53 p.m.):
Starting Point:

Juro, if your interested I used to fish that area all the time, ( one of my favorites ) drop me a email offline, and maybe we can get together and wade fish the area. There are some awesome backwaters off that river.

let me know-


07-24-2001, 08:55 AM
Interesting! Looking at the map of Ma., the overall driving distinace from CT looks to be less than that for Chatham. I always imagined it would be the other way round! That could make it a real possibility for me in late August once the golf tourneys are over!

07-24-2001, 09:19 AM
Arthur -

Your knowledge will be a real asset in this quest. Thanks and I look forward to it. Of course I'll have to stop at Lobsta Land (if it's still there) on the way home! That's where I ate my first steamer as a little kid. Chew chew chew... eyes watering... chipmunk cheek... here goes... gul...gul...gulp! Didn't eat another for several years. Of course I love them now. Repeated that at the raw bar, love those now too.

ameuse (07-24-2001 08:56 a.m.):

Juro, if your interested I used to fish that area all the time, ( one of my favorites ) drop me a email offline, and maybe we can get together and wade fish the area. There are some awesome backwaters off that river.

let me know-


07-24-2001, 12:01 PM
Oh, yes the lumberjack...although I don't know anyone that can actually finish the plate. You are soo close to amazing fishing while at Lobsta land...and you don't even know it.
So are you going to provide the blind fold??


07-26-2001, 09:52 AM
juro, did you get my offline email?? Web's been acting up here lately....


07-26-2001, 11:16 AM
ameuse (07-26-2001 10:52 a.m.):
juro, did you get my offline email?? Web's been acting up here lately....


I've been backed up on the emails, I'll go look for it now...

07-29-2001, 09:11 AM
I'm back from Winni & caught up on the board. It goes without saying that I'm always interested in new territory, especially when it is less then 100 miles from home!

BTW: Jack recommends a Giraffe for Boston Harbor, But for Winni, you can't beat a good Zebra!


07-30-2001, 06:04 AM
A classic! We need to start a humor section.

I can see it now...

GregO: "hey kid, yeah you with the giraffe... wanna make a few bucks?" }>

07-30-2001, 08:30 AM
The Zebra is a great inland water platform, Greg, but where did you put your all important saddle bags? :)

On a different note, when you first mentioned going to the lake, you asked about what to use? - what fishing methods/kind of lures/flies did you use; what success did you have this time of year. Thanks.

07-30-2001, 09:28 AM
The only thing I caught on the flyrod were Perch & Panfish. A beadhead nymph on a sink line was deadly. the Bass did not have a chance cause those little buggers would hit it right away. I had a couple of chances at Smallies; I could coax them out of the lilly pads, out from under Rocks & Logs, & get them to follow, but they would carefully inspect my offering, then turn away, D'OH! I tried popper bugs, streamers, Nymphs, you name it. One thing I noticed was that Charteuse is NOT a good color; it seemed to scare off any fish. Natural colors seemed better.

My best success was using spin gear, 4" Power Bait worms on a 1/0 hook. The day before the front pushed throuh (& temps went from mid-90s to Low-70s), I caught 3 nice Large Mouths. The first one was 2+ lbs & I was using a 5' Ultra-Lite spin rig with 4lb test, what a blast! Then I went to my 7' schoolie rod with 10lb test; the next fish was 3+ lbs & it pulled my canoe around & did complete Flips out of the water. The third fish was caught right off my boat dock; I had seen this 3.5+ lb monster earlier in the week & named him Hermin! I went out around 10:00 PM to store my gear & lockup the boat; I heard a single loud splash (not a duck landing), so I grabbed my rod which was rigged with a rubber Helgramite (Thanks SSully). I casted between the channel & a patch of lillipads that were some 30' from by boat, twitched the line, nothing. One more cast, let it sink, twitch it; Oh great, I snagged one of the roots. No wait this thing is Moving! Hermin knew were my O/B motor was & headed right for it. This fish was very strong, but I manged to mussle him away from the O/B land hin & release him, a little tired but unharmed.

I have some pictures, which I'll post later!

07-30-2001, 09:55 AM
I will need to get one of those.

07-30-2001, 10:42 AM

You know there is a simple way to prevent the spin gear from outfishing the fly gear. Don't use it! ;-)

Here's my story, whether it applies or not I don't know:

I sold all of my non-fly gear at a garage sale one day. Until that day, I was never what I would call a successful fly fishermen. Occassionally lucky maybe, but never reached any degree of proficiency. As long as spin or levelwind gear was handy, the ease of reaching for the flip and crank was my downfall. Sure I'd give the flyrod a try, but as soon as the rubber hit the road I would reach for gear. This might not bug others but it bugged the heck out of me.

So one day my dear wife said "can I sell some of your fishing gear" and on a whim I said "yeah all of it except the fly gear". I think I surprised the heck out of her. My wife was elated at the chunk of cash this generated, our neighbors (block garage sale) were amazed at our total earnings, and I stepped up to Sage rods with some of the cash. This was many years ago is in the land of steelhead, which are the PhD of flyfishing and the difference between getting one on the fly and on gear is like night vs. day. It's not easy on drift gear, it's a true accomplishment on fly gear.

Yet this was the single contributing factor that made me able to catch the species I wanted using the methods I wanted to catch them with. It was a rebirth of my love of angling and redefined everything for me. Years later, yard long summer steelhead were torpedoing my dry flies at dawn on a pristine Cascade mountain pool, bending my Spey rod deep into the blank as the drag screamed out it's song into the towering cedar trees lining the river. I would have never been there had I not sold all my gear rods.

And because of this decision, I've had the privilege to experience dozens of keeper bass to 40" on fly gear this season - every single one on a flyrod, to feel the rod load and release of the cast, to activate the fly with my bare hands rather than a crank handle; and reach into the depths with my mind instead of lead to seek the reward of feeling the simple reel spin wildly as the backing shears into a rip behind a big cow. No advanced multi-gear ball bearing high ratio devices necessary to do battle with striped monsters of the surf, though it would be 'easier' for sure.

Not everyone feels this way, nor should they. It's an individual thing. Some guys are happy being successful by either method, or even both - and they truly may be... but I sure wasn't and until I eliminated the possibility of having the 'real' luck on the 'other' gear that was the situation.

Just my .02! Not intended to do anything more than share my experiences and opinions. Afterall, this *is* a flyfishing site! }>


Jay C.
07-31-2001, 07:12 AM
Does Annisquam lend itself to spey rod work?
I was down on the Canal recently trying out the long wands and I am sorely in need of practice, maybe this is a good excuse for the two hander club to get together.....