Saturday, October 20, 2018

10.20.18 Night of 1,000 casts......

     I learned a few things last night. Don't go to the well and annoy the wife about going fishing if its not going to be really good. It will only ruin your chances of getting out unscathed when it is. I made the mistake of asking her last night after a 10-hour day of clinical, "Hey, can I go fishing later?".....whoops there it is.

     So I set my alarm for 320 am knowing high tide was at 445 ish. We the lazy tide not moving much water in and out I figured I would catch the end of the incoming and the start of the outgoing and be home by 730. 

     I was right on about the water, or lack of, in the sand-bar heavy stretch I was on. I threw a larger black Deciever for about an hour and a half without a bump. I met a young hardcore guy who had landed a nice 34" bass on another beat. With not a lot of water I decided to make a move.

     I should have left but figured I would wait for first light. When it did come I could see why I may have not connected. The SW wind and S swell with the hard right to left sweep had things a little too off color for me in the dark. 

     I fished for about a half and hour and when I could see my fly so did this feisty schoolie that grabbed it when I was up on the groin. No other bumps and I was home by 730. 

Friday, October 19, 2018

10.19.18 You don't see that everyday...

     So I'll start with this. I was standing on the beach just before sunrise. I was watching as the bait was getting pulled off the beach and across the bar and the birds starting to pick and the occasional swirl and blow-up happened on the other side. 

     All of a sudden I see out of the corner of my eye a small buck enter the water and start swimming out, and out, and out, until I lost him at least a mile out. Thought maybe it just tired and drown. About a half and hour later I see a boat high tailing it up the coast and then stop and circle around. Just ahead of it was the deer, it had somehow had the strength to make it back in. 


I called by deer-expert-brother who told me that this is the high part of the rut. The two to three weeks where the bucks must reproduce. They lose their minds in the pursuit of does, and it looks like this one did. I hope he scored later in the day, he gets an A for effort. 

     As I was parking in the dark I could hear no surf. I figured it was flat so I tied on a black Gurgler and made my way down. A few hours into the ebb tide and all that was showing was rain bait flipping in the wash. I walked up and down the beach looking and never saw a splash so I thought it was over.

Leif Petersen photo
      After the deer sighting I found the bait and birds and fish more active outside the bar. There were a few blow-ups and I made my way out and casted to them but never had any interest. There were clouds of bait as I made my way out.

     Funny thing about that mid-moon tide, it doesn't move much as the tidal range is smaller (in height) than on a new or full moon. West winds produce a blow-out super low tide. So what that means is you either get lucky when the bait is inside the bar, and there's enough water for the fish to be there, or you walk out on the bar and follow the bait as it exits and the predator fish patrol the outer bar.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

10.17.18 Wow!!!!.....

Rain bait
     So tomorrow I have a huge midterm exam......huge. I have been studying and listening to audio tapes to increase my knowledge depressive and anxiety disorder. This program is causing me both. I decided to take a break from the books and pipe the audio tapes through my pick-up and take a ride to the beach. Shortly after I arrived I found birds over bass on the rain bait. There were all out blitzes of mostly bass with some bluefish in the mix. 

     While it would be easy, and funny, to run and try and get them while they were practically on the beach we knew in time that they would blow up in front of us. The us is Charlie, another fly rodder who always seems to find the fish. If you look at the picture below you can see the bass patrolling the wash looking for rain bait to their port side. It was like sight fishing in the Vineyard again.

On patrol
     While I left Charlie to do the catching I couldn't help but just enjoy watching and trying to make some good images of the action. Taking pictures and trying to fly fish at the same time would be like having a spinning rod in one hand and a fly rod in the other. There were a few spin rod guys there and did get some, but today was a fly rodders paradise. Tiny flies 1/2" to 2" were the ticket.

     I did stop looking and shooting long enough to make a cast five feet into the water and got one and that was good enough. There were bigger fish in the mix and Charlie had what he thought was a 20 pounder follow his fly in. The bite died on the tide and I had to get the girls from school and get back to studying.

     It was good seeing a handful local fly rod guys there and I hope they had them again after I left. This temperature and pressure changes will do the fishing good. Lots of bait moving and yet to move. My prediction......a little flurry here with smaller bass, followed by some more weather, another lull in the action......and then mayhem hits. Maybe it'll be another Blitz-o-ween like in 2014, a day I'll never forget.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

10.16.18 Took a long time to find them...

     Coming from out west, well, really just sucks. Up at 410am and by the time I stop at WaWa and get there its about 530. Wind was honking this morning, dead low tide was around 7 depending on where you are up and down the shore.

     I stopped at spot one, walked too far on the beach, bailed, dido stop two, three, then into the bay, forget it, stop for bagel and another coffee, then back down south, tide change, some birds out, then back in the truck, drive north, two more stops, wind starts to die down, then he last spot, one that I was at earlier......

     I could see the birds before I could see the water. They were over bass blitzing on rain bait. It didn't last long. When it started I was just pulling up and the two mini-blitzes lasted a few minutes each. I was more looking forward to catching it with my iPhone then catching a fish. Another fly-rodder was there and connected on a schoolie bass. I waited for about and hour casting my fly and not getting a tap. The birds left, the bait stayed but moved around, and there were no further blow-ups.

     I did stop at another of my favorite fall spots only to find rain bait self-pinned into a short groin. Every now and then it got nervous but that was it. Some albies were busting out of range and after another hour it was time to call it a shift.

     I was hoping to get the boat wet but the dying wind came later than I expected and I am sure there was good action somewhere in conditions that were a little better than this morning. Looks like the wind will be a pain for days, or even a week to come. It'll be a wait-at-the-barn for the window the next few outings.

Monday, October 15, 2018

10.15.18 Orvis reel repair fail part 1......

     So I am in the process of going through my gear and updating where needed. I don't have the new Orvis Mirage reels nor the Helios 3 rods. I was never a tech guy having to have the latest and greatest. Problem is my gear gets a workout. Either from hard fishing, or more likely hard handling.

     When I received my latest Recon and Clearwater 9ft 10wt's I was puzzled that my reels, both my older Mirage and newer Hydros wouldn't fit. No matter which way I put the reel foot into the reel seat it wouldn't fit into the undersized-fits-exactly reel hood. On my Heios 2 the reel hood was larger, or higher, and would take a reel that wasn't exactly true.

     So I called my buddy over at Orvis and he took a new Recon and Hydros out of the box and gave them a try, "No, they fit just fine......" I have decided that my problem is I must have dropped the reels, although they look fine, or, they got bent from pressure while playing a lot of fish???, doubt that  one. So I reached out to Orvis and they said they can repair the reel foot(s) or could send them out which would be cheaper. That are around $9 a piece. I ordered two for the Mirage and two for the Hydros.

     So here's the problem. On the Hydros the screws to change the reel foot is on the outside which is easily assessable. However on the older Mirage they are tiny Allen screws that face inward. I luckily had the Allen key but after years in the salt they were just about welded in. No worries I'll just drill them out.

     So as I drilled I was careful not to have my femoral artery or manhood under the reel. I went through close to where I needed to and then switched to a larger drill bit. I started to drill applying "good pressure" and then all of a sudden the dill bit snapped and I put the remaining part of the bit

 into my left thumb, well actually the web between the thumb and forefinger. Its gross but I actually screwed tissue out of my finger. After the cleanup I was able to separate the reel foot from the reel

I see there is an aluminum piece that receives the allen screw and I drilled through both, but did elongate the hole in the reel, hopefully it will work. My advice to you if you have a similar problem it to just send the reel into Orvis and let them handle it. Trying to bend it, drill it, or even "open up" the hood on the rod reel seat will can only lead to additional damage or injury.

Friday, October 12, 2018

10.12.18 Love when a plan comes together......

     Last night I was back and forth texting a friend. We were wondering how Hurricane Michael would affect conditions around here. The wind was forecast to go NW bringing cooler temps and hopefully getting things going. There was a chance of overnight rain and that should have blown through by morning. 

     At 3 am I awoke to the blaring beep from my iPhone telling me there is a flash flood warning in effect. I got up and looked over the Molly Pitcher in from the 4th floor balcony and saw the wind and driving rain...

     I tossed and turned until 445 and got up and didn't want to meet my buddy who said he was going. A quick look at some intel had the pressure dropping and general fishing conditions "poor" and the wind from the N at 26-37 mph. Those are my favorite conditions so it was game on. 

     It was about an hour into the flood tide, the rain had stopped and I was below whatever NW wind was was perfect but I needed to find or wait for some water, and fish, to come in. It was a black and purple Deceiver that I tied on and did the trick. 

     It was a mix of bass from micro to keeper sized and one bluefish all taken in the corners by the rocks, both the north and south sides. It was clean and green but as the waves came over the bar the surf started to show debris so longer casts were needed.

     This was just what I needed, a good solid plan, great conditions at least for an hour or two, and bigger sized fish that get you quickly into your backing as soon as you hook up.

Hope fully this is the start to some good fall fishing. 

Thursday, October 11, 2018

10.11.18 Went back on the incoming......

.....and things were looking real good. Blue skies, sun, even kids and their mom playing in the water. Birds were over albies just outside the bar. Waves dark with bait were starting to travel across the bar.......just needed two more hours.

     I could feel the darkness behind me an soon it was traveling from left to right. First the wind swing, then the clouds, then the visibility, the birds left, the rain started, and it was over. It was fun being able to fish a lot while pulling daddy duty these past few days. Back to clinical tomorrow and then out west to start studying for the mid-term next week.

     I hope this cold front and northernly winds cool things down a bit. The bait has moved outside we just need some fish on them.

10.11.18 Don't know if I have ever seen this much tiny bait.....

     Went out for a bit at a usual haunt and didn't see any bait, birds, or bass, or even blues for that matter. Took a ride to scout some other spots I like to fish in the fall and after a few casts at each I lost interest.

    Wanted to see one more spot and as I approached I saw birds tight up on the beach for miles. They were 20 feet up on the sand and 20 feet out. I didn't see any fish breaking underneath them as I watched and waited.

     I found a group of guys set up in a nice spot that I usually like to fish alone. Soon one guy was hooked up to an albie blind casting metal. The other guy a bass. I found a bass but it came unbuttoned at the lip.

     In the top picture you can see the dark cloud of bay anchovies, and relive me, it went on for miles. I don't know why the birds would even bother flying around, although they have to do is walk the scarp for all the white bait they could ask for.

10.10.18 While you were sleeping....

     I still had some fishing in me and decided to catch the top of the tide out front. Nice looking water, enough light around to not feel like your fishing in total darkness, and the hope that some bigger fish come out at night.......well not yet.

     First cast and there was action. It was the shred the back end of your Snake Fly action. And while I went "tight" several times I never hooked one of those pesty fish. I lasted about an hour and packed it in without. bass. 

     I checked out the rivers next but had to wait for the tide to get right. I stopped at three different spots and on my last had the tide, the bait and the bass all lined up. The only problem was trying to get a good cast east-west and not always north-south. 

     The bass were blowing up on spearing, and although they may look like snd eels in the top picture, they are not. I was back by 1 am and when I walked into the apartment I could see my wife was up and could tell but that look like...."Really?".