Well sports fans! Another great contest comes to an end, and we do have a winner. t.kelly does it again with his fantastic story about Blue Fish. It is reprinted below for your reading pleasure. Great story t.kelly, PM me with your snail mail and I will send you your fly.
Also, take a look at the Warmwater flyfishing Board for the April Fly of the month contest.
Originally Posted by t.kelly
Back in the 60’s my father loved to fish the herring run in the canal. My four brothers and I couldn’t wait for him to come home to see the fish he had caught, and hear the stories of “THE BIG ONE “that got away. I especially enjoyed the tales of the bluefish that were occasionally taken there. Back then bluefish never ventured much farther north than the canal and to listen to his stories of this fish that fought twice as hard as a striper and had powerful jaws with a mouthful of razor sharp teeth gave this fish an exotic quality to me. So you can imagine my excitement when in the late 60’s they invaded Boston Harbor (practically our back yard). The news papers were full of articles of how an epidemic of unsuspecting fishermen were showing up at area hospitals with bloody hands and severed fingers after trying to remove hooks from these beast. It is this back drop that the Kelly clan set off to catch its first bluefish.
We launched the boat at the Dorchester Gas Tanks and were heading over to fish the Army Base Channel in Southie when my father noticed that none of his five sons had any shoes on. He reminded us of how vicious these fish were and that one of us could be coming home minus a toe if we weren’t careful .My four younger brothers looked to me to see if this was true or just another one of dad’s “tall tales” .I assured them these fish were indeed that nasty and mean so if we get one in the boat be careful. When we made the turn around Castle Island and got our first glimpse of the Army Base Channel we couldn’t believe the number of boats that were already there. Boats of all sizes from 12ft. prams to 32ft. cabin cruisers were very orderly trolling down one side and back up the other. It looked like the Sagamore Rotary on Memorial Day weekend. One kindly angler took pity on us, noticing my father and the boat full of boys and yelled for us to cut in front of him, we did and joined the parade of boats hoping to catch a fish. Periodically we would see a boat stop, hear some yelling and watch intently as they did battled; all this did was to build our anticipation for soon we knew it would be our turn. So when on our third pass one of the rods sprang to life and the reel started to scream we were all primed to tangle with our first bluefish. My father threw the boat into neutral, removed the rod from the rod holder and started to reel. Dad always like to give a running commentary when he’s fighting a fish; “Boy that’s a strong fish look at him run I don’t think I can stop him” and his friends have always accused him of “shaping it up” to make a fish seem bigger than it actually was during the fight, but the tone of his voice this time was different this time he was telling the truth. After about ten min. up from the murky waters of Boston Harbor appeared a bluish green fish with a big yellow eye and a James Cagney smirk on its face. (“You’ll never get me in that boat you dirty rat.”) After some wild thrashing and dives under the boat my father was ready to land the fish and yelled for me to get the gaff. Now for as long as I can remember I’ve been afflicted with a condition that whatever my father told me to get I could not for the life of me find, even if it was right in front of me for some reason I would never see it. So it was with great trepidation that I went to the gunnels of the boat to search for the gaff.
“WHERE’S THE GAFF”
“I CAN’T FIND IT”
“I KNOW IT’S IN THERE”
Finally I see a rubber handle. This must be the gaff I think to myself and whip it out of the gunnels to show my father that I found the boat hook.
“THAT’S A BOAT HOOK YOU AMADAN” (amadan is a Gaelic word meaning that you’re not exactly the second coming of Einstein)
I go back to looking for the gaff when my father who has many virtues patience not being one of them grabs the wire leader and swings the bluefish into the boat. I hear a loud thump and look back between my legs and there flopping around on the deck is a 12lb bluefish. My barefoot brothers’ shriek and not wanting to be toe less jump up on the seats. I’m about ready to do the same when I feel a tug on the back of my pants; I bend over and look back between my legs to see bluefish hanging down from my pants. The reality of what happened is one of the hooks had caught in my shorts while flopping about. My perception of what happened is the fish jumped up and bit me in the seat of my pants and soon would be working its way through my clothing until it made its way to my rump roast. I panicked and started to run around the confined quarters of the boat pointing back at my derriere yelling “GET IT OFF, GET IT OFF”. To this day I have never seen my father laugh so hard. After several boats trolled by with my father pointing out my dilemma he unhooked the fish. That was the only bluefish we caught that day (thank God) and when we got home my father came up from the cellar holding the infamous gaff. He had brought it down there to sharpen before and forgot to put it back in the boat the amadan.