This is as big as I've seen it since Hurricane Sandy. With over two hours left till high tide Mother Nature is showing how angry she is. That's not in all places, those newly pumped beaches are holding the water back from the walls and houses, but in others the water is way up on the beach. Either way, there will surely be structural changes occurring along the Jersey Shore. We will have at least three more high tides while this storm pounds the Shore. Remember, on this day last year we had the 2016 blizzard, and if it wasn't 40 degrees out we would be probably shoveling snow.
I went from Deal up through Long Branch. The narrower beaches in Deal had water being pushed by the 50 mph winds. All of the equipment that had been in use or staged for sifting ordinances had been relocated to higher ground. Today was the first time that I had seen north of the Poplar Creek outflow project, and sadly, it's sad. It's basically a straight line from Roosevelt all the way north to Lake Takanassee.
I told Erin that we were going on an adventure. We loaded up Bianca and headed out on a cloudy day. She didn't know where we were going even as we pulled into Sandy Hook and walked the bayside beach. As we got closer I handed her the binoculars and she gave it a look......"Seals".
When you step back for a minute it is really cool to think that not only is the wildlife that makes the Jersey water's either home or a vacation spot but that we are a vital link in the global enviroment for so many species. The force of the Gulf Stream and its effect on the climate along the East Coast is amazing when you start to read about. It has such an effect on so many fish and mammal species that we target and see during all parts of the year.
I find myself "overdoing" it sometimes about nature, and fishing, when we are out enjoying the outdoors. Not every lesson has to be verbalized. Just the experience at times is all that is needed.
For those that call Jetty Country home we watch and wait with each blow or big tide to see when things might just return to normal. Well, Mother Nature has been chipping away at the Deal beaches this fall and winter, but in the end we might not like what we find.
Roseld was great. Better than great. This year it was a good place from time to time but in no way can be compared to what it was, and may never be again. Today I followed the rocks as they made their way under the sand to where they meet the beach. And I didn't like what I found.
It seems, and I may have forgot, that they notched Roseld and it looks like the below image shows where the rocks end. Interestingly, the north side pocket is trying to find its way again, but it will only be a matter of time until the waves and water start to chip away at the south side from the beach end. In the end, the only non-notched groins will be Allenhurst and hopefully Phillips. everything between has been cut. I'm not sure what they did with Whitehall but, even though I am done fishing, I may snoop around with a camera during the next months to see what things look like.
So Erin came to me last night and said, "I want to tie a fly". What a sweet sound to a fly-fisher Dad's ears. I was talking to her about fishing yesterday and my need to tie an orangy colored fly and that must have peaked some interest. I had my tying stuff in my Regal bag so it was easy to just break it all open on the kitchen table. She picked her bucktail colors and we started her first saltwater fly tie.
She was very interested in each step and surprisingly had more patience then I did, or do, working with bucktail. She wanted to finish her fly off with eyes which she applied and we hit it with some CCG Tack Free. The best part was she asked when are we going to tie again.
I did bang out an orange Deceiver with some crabby legs and fished hard for about 3 hours on the flood tide. Hit the rocks and walked the beach working the troughs but didn't get a touch, which surprised me. The NE swell and wind made enough white water which made it at least visually a bit better than yesterday's flat lake-like conditions.
Finally, I am done. Kids back to school. Working more. And me starting school next week with two tougher subjects than last semester, one which is Pathophysiology, which I hear is a bitch. Next week its the Fly Fishing Show, which is always a good time for Theresa and I.
Did another shot tour at work today, just in time to catch the top of the tide. Had a spot cut off by the endless heavy machinery up and down the beach. I know they have been digging and sifting looking for wartime ordinances but this seemed more intense right are Marine Place. What a gold mine the Army Corp and Weeks Marine are hitting.....money to pump and spread, and then more money to sift and spread. I hit 8th Ave and enjoyed the nice weather throwing flies into the clear and flat water. Birds were floating or submerging looking for what I think
whatever is looking to eat from the ocean is eating.......crabs. I'm seeing lots on the beach and lots in the bird droppings on the rocks.....orange legs and shells and shit. I'm thinking that I might tie up some orangy stuff tonight and try it tomorrow since the weather looks non-January like.
Well, I always tell the truth....the good, the bad, the ugly, the stupid. And it's not other people stuff it's mine. Today I went in extra since were patient heavy and staff shy. I saw that it was going to be a nice day and figured why not make a few casts after work.
I placed my fly rod in the back of my truck and headed to work. What I forgot was that I removed my fly from the last go and the line was free. I got to work at 0645 and found a spot. I backed it and then watched as my fly rod fly up into vertical position off the back of my truck. 'What the .....?"
The tire caught the line, stood up my rod, broken tip..........idiot move.
Since having that few days off in Atlantic City it was time to get back to work. Worked the two days and then followed day 2 with a few hours off before covering the midnight shift. I decided to bring my fly tying bag so while on break I could bang out some flies. It was nice, felt good, some came out okay, and I realized that I need to sink my teeth into Popovic's new book and really learn how to work with bucktail......consistently. Consistently like having two flies actually look alike.
Since the hospital is down by the water I figured I'd give it a go after swiping out. I'm not even sure what the one-day-post-full-moon tide was doing but it looked just about hight tide. I fished in a spot but didn't like the water color so I moved and found better conditions but didn't get a bite.
As you know I purchased a collapsable William Joseph stripping basket while in AC and today I gave it a go. One things for sure I didn't even feel like I had a basket on and the side and back support felt good and it didn't slide down a bit. Now there is nothing inside the basket to help with line tangles, and I escaped most of the one hour session without one, but in the end did have two occasions where the line found itself and knotted up. I think I can introduce something that will help. I also believe it easier to happen with a sinking line or tip compared to an intermediate or floating line. This is a good set-up during the right occasion. Great wet wading in summers, and even throwing line up on the Delaware.
Thanks for all the birthday wishes. Today's my 49th and tomorrow is Theresa's, well, birthday. Decided to take advantage of the generous comps from the Borgata and did a nice two night/three day trip. I tell all of my friends, if you haven't signed up for the Red Label, or Black Label, if you're a big spender, cards then do so ASAP. Every other month we get comped two nights, a comedy show, and a buffet dinner for two. And we are not big spenders and gamble responsibly.
One must stop is Angelo's on Fairmont Ave which is just on the other side of the bridge as you enter AC. Great for lunch or dinner. Good gravy. Nice and old school. We came out of dinner Monday night and got a call that my daughter was heading over to the ER at Mt Sinai in NYC, so we just started heading north. She's got a pretty bad ear infection and she was seen and discharged and we brought her home to her Mom. We did stop at Clancy's for some Irish Potato Soup and were back in the Borgata by 2 am.
The next morning we hit the tables around 10 am and started winning and drinking. We got up and stayed up (winning) the entire time, doing well at BlackJack together and Theresa on the slots. The comedy show was great and we ended up this morning back at the table and the slots where we went up some more before getting greedy.
I wanted to hit the Bass Pro Shop on the way out of town and enjoyed looking around and became interested in a William Joseph collapsable stripping basket. I have been using the Orvis one for years but was surprised at how comfortable this was. I grabbed a fly rod and stripped line into the basket and decided to but it. What I really liked was the padded back and side support. It went for $34.99.
Knowing that we were going to need some lunch we decided to go to the Shady Rest on Route 9 in Bayville. We reached out to Bob (Popovic's) and even though he wasn't there it was, as usual, a great call. Great food. Great service. And fun hanging at the inside bar with Sharon. As usual I found myself looking on all of the walls for Bob and fishing related items, and loved this mount of Bob releasing a striped bass. I'm going to have to get a picture of me doing the same this year and get one done. Really cool.