Cape report - 6/24 thru 6/25 - Fly Fishing Forum
Stripers and Coastal Gamefish Stripers, Blues, Inshore tuna!

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Old 06-26-2006, 09:16 PM
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juro juro is offline
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Cape report - 6/24 thru 6/25

I fished with Brian Chou of Seattle WA, a Yakima River guide and soon to be Flyfishing Forum Sponsor (thanks Brian and WELCOME). Brian is a certified instructor and extremely knowledgable angler. Talk about fish-juju and enthusiasm, if we could bottle his and sell it we'd be rich. On second thought I wouldn't want to compete with a horde of hims so never mind that idea

Hit the various spots around Chatham in the driving rain after the lightning storm ended thankfully. Fishing wasn't all that great on the ebb but picked up on the flood considerably. Bait was present in the shoreline sand bars and the bass and blues seemed to be aware of it as they came right to shoreline as the light faded. We ended the day with some nice bass and a blue that did not bite off, and some that did. Peculiarly, the silversides were still absent but the sand eels were there. We saw no bunker or shad anymore and all the stripers were definitely acting in resident mode, flashing and root for sand eels as the light faded and we made the hike back to the parking area.

Then Brian had enjoyed a huge lobster roll, I had steak and we met up with an old friend Don Julio for a restful evening despite being unable to find limes. Thats the good thing about quality tequila, you don't even need them.

We planned for an early start but it didn't quite work out that way, Don's fault. Turns out we missed one of the best mornings on the bayside in a while. All the gear guys had two fish on leashes ranging from 31 to 34 inches. Funny they were still fishing, must have been going for bluefish

Well we didn't miss all of it, ten casts into it and I strip set on a definite 40+ entry that was of exceptional size and strength. Brian accidentally forgot the stripping basket and I was host on this guide's swap outing so he got my basket. I was fishing Alan Caolo style (no basket) and working the line fairly short in the increasing tide flood current when whuuuuuuuuump.... whump... a weight like a sofa on the end of the line starts ripping the line deep into the backing and boils a vicious boil in the current waaay the heck out there in the next time zone.

Since we were just getting started and Brian had yet to feel a 'real striper' I handed him the doubled over rod and the fun began. (see video clip) Like ten minutes later the abraded 15# leader came back, looking awfully feeble for a power source of that intensity. 20# for me from now on, except maybe on mid-day flats situations.

The video clip if you haven't seen it yet (1.9 mb)

Funny how after that fish his juju went astronomical and he started hooking fish non stop for a major part of the day. We lost that behemoth but a little rubbed off for sure.

We switched gears until the tide would let us back on the flats and found out where the silversides had reached on the south cape thus far. I suspect by the weekend they will be in Chatham. Anyway Brian was on fire here consistently hooking fish sometimes on consecutive casts and although not big enough to ride on at seaworld like the morning's beast they were nice.

The highlight was a fish we got for a grandma and her little cherub granddaughter who's enthusiasm for fishing actually exceeded Brians, if that is possible. In fact if we could bottle her enthusiasm for fishing and sold it to adult couples then the divorce rate for anglers would probably be close to zero in no time!

This wonderful grandma and the young cherub asked us for some assistance opening the new blister pack kid's rod she bought. The cute kid had an amazing appetite for fishing like it was the most exciting thing in the world. Kind of like it is to us

How could we say no! Not only did we open the package, but seeing that it did not come with any terminal tackle we made it our mission to see to it that her wishes are realized.

Now I KNOW Brian is a great trout guide because his adept response for three inch largemouth bass and pumpkinseeds was nothing short of the challenge of a trophy brown in the Yakima. He whipped out his trout flies and in no time a beadheaded crawfish imitation was the fly of choice.

Now with nothing but a fly on a snoopy rod, one has no choice but to "fly" cast if you will. Brian handed me the rod and stood attentively in a slightly crouched position like a German short hair on a quail as I made my cast from the boat ramp concrete rail to the other one a challenging 7 feet away.

"Nice double haul" says Brian as I miraculously somehow did make a little (keyword little) haul and send that crawfish fly to the ledge over the opposite concrete rail. The intensity of this moment, with the girl biting her lip in anticipation and grandma praying for liberation from this bundle of fish-seeking energy; Brian in guide stance, and me double hauling a snoopy rod was really something. I was either going to give up striper fishing and buy a snoopy rod or laugh so hard I would fall into the water off my concrete perch, one or the other! It was really something I tell you!

Strip... strip....strip, strip.... "he didn't want it" I say. Flies no good. Instead of cracking up Brian says with completely seriousness "yes... hold on I have it!" and zips to the truck to come with another pattern, this time a tiny yellow legged thingamajiggie that drives westslope trout out of their mind. He says with complete assurance "this one will seal the deal". I suggest he make the cast, and he says "no it's on you man, go for it". I felt as if I was being guided for the most difficult fish on earth, and by the only man who could untangle the enigma.

I made another cast, this time the haul felt natural. I tried not to look at the cartoon figures on the reel cover so as not to dilute my intensity. The fly landed again on the ledge and began it's descent... suddenly a green flash and we are ON!!! We're ON!!! All are cheering this 3 inch largemouth barely big enough to engulf the trout fly in it's maw as we hand the rod to the girl, fighing the fish with considerable skill until the little bass throws the hook on the shore sand with half it's back out of the water, eyes down thinking what now?

Brian makes a lunge for this micro-micro bass but it evades the maneuver and we are foiled! Undaunted, Brian returns to his flybox and enters a state of contemplation. Grandma, who btw is a wonderful lady just to bring her here, shows signs of waning hope. The girls intensity only heightens as she says "catch another!"

A light bulb pops like a beacon over Brian's head and he says "I've got it! A soft hackle hehe, no prisoners". I am amazed at how seriously he approaches this challenge. I look at the girls face. Suddenly I am very serious too.

He returns with a tiny black CDC softhackle and shows it to me with confidence. He flips his leatherman open and in a jiffy it's ready to fish. Again he motions for me to take the cast. Well he's the guide I think to myself, and make the cast to my trusty little ledge and begin the descent into the channel.

BANG! I three inch pumpkinseed grabs the fly and we are in FAT CITY! We decide to handle the fight and let her net the fish this time (grandma also bought her a net) for insurance. The net slips under the prize gamefish and it is safely put it into her beach bucket.

It was as if we won the superbowl. Brian and I high fived (half in jest) and the saved the day for this fair maiden and her caring guardian. Victory was ours, and we exchanged pleasantries before moving back to fish the flats as the tide changed.

I wouldn't have given up that pumkinseed for all the stripers in the world at that moment.
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Last edited by juro; 06-27-2006 at 06:25 AM.
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Old 06-27-2006, 01:48 PM
bostoned bostoned is offline
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That is awesome. Really, isn't that what it is all about, having fun and sharing with the sport with the kids? The picture of that little rod made me laugh.

It's great to hear that you gave that little girl some memories that she'll remember for a long, long time.

Thanks for that story.
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Old 06-27-2006, 02:17 PM
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Adrian Adrian is offline
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Location: Connecticut/New England
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Actually I was hoping to see some video footage of the small rod action - maybe next time

Great report - hoping to connect with one of those freight trains this week-end
When sight fishing, look over your shoulder from time to time, you never know who's behind you
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