Wednesday, August 10, 2022

08.10.22 Looking for snakeheads in Camden....

     Still on the hunt for snakeheads and bowfin, but mostly snakeheads. Outside of some intel from my buddy its mostly been a repeat of me hitting the same places without any luck. I joined a Facebook group and have been searching through some You Tube videos and, to me, it seems the bulk of the action is in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, and then in NJ and Pa south of Philly, on both sides of the Delaware. 

     So this morning I loaded up some gear and the wife and headed south. Goal- snakeheads. Basically what it turned out to be was a good scouting mission, with lunch at Burger King. We hit water like Newton Lake, the Cooper River, and the Pensauken Creek. I was overruled in getting 

out at Newton Creek south of Morgan Village after the ride down Broadway which, sadly, looked more like a scene out of The Night of the Living Dead. If tough access with tree and brush choked banks are what snakeheads like then this is the place. The water wasn't bad looking, maybe a little 

stained from the short bursts of monsoons we got yesterday. My last stop was over a creek. It was tidal and the water was moving in. I casted to the sides of the current hoping that this last ditch effort would be pay dirt. Well it was just dirt. As I made my way back to my wife's car I could only

imagine her thinking of her life's choices. Marrying a fly fisherman who parks her alongside the highway as tribute-axle trucks rumble past as your husband, "It that goofy outfit", desperately tries to dangle a fly in hopes of catching a fish. That brings to one of my favorite memes that I've seen this week, and boy is it fitting today. This one's for you Theresa. 


Tuesday, August 9, 2022

08.09.22 How far up the Delaware do stripers go?

      It seems very summer striped bass are caught up the Delaware River, way up the Delaware River. So if Delaware Bay is mile marker 0, and Trenton is 130, just below Cannonsville Reservoir on the West Branch is mile marker 330. One place that always seems to attract stripers is Junction Pool, aka Bard Parker, which is where the East and West Branches meet in Hancock, New York. 

     I've never caught one that far up the Delaware, but did try one time when I was guiding, after a trip of course. Stripers love trout. Either liveliness in deep lakes or rivers, but they'll blow up on a hooked trout like a shark does on a striped bass. 

     And it looked like this isn't a hybrid, but a striped bass from the ocean, that wanted to enjoy the cooler water temps, 70-74 that the junction pool brings this time of year. That's Joe D from Cross Current Guide Service with that nice bass. 

Monday, August 8, 2022

08.08.22 70 years ago today....

      Yes, that's seventy years ago today that Al got his first bass. I know you've seen that on this blog before. So, what more fitting than to go out and try and catch a bass on Al's anniversary, on a spinning rod, and on his favorite lure, the Creek Chub. 

     Al got his first at 7 am in Spring Lake on August 8th, 1952, 16 years before I was born. If we figure he stopped fishing 7 years ago, that means he fished, and caught, for 63 years. I thought about going back to Spring Lake but found Phillips Avenue to be more appealing as that is where we spent a lot of our time fishing. What was more fitting was having some of "The Phillips Avenue Gang", Leif, Richie and I, there on the beach this morning. 

So just before 6am I stepped onto the beach with a SPINNING ROD in my hand, but don't worry I had a fly rod and stripping basket in tow as well. I had the Creek Chub tied on and soon I was letting it fly. I'm not much of a spin angler and it took awhile to figure out the action, and how to cast it without getting the front treble hooked into the clip on each cast. Richie was working the tip and Leif on the beach. Interestingly I looked up the weather for that day back in 1952. It was a tad cooler

around 70 degrees in the morning and getting cooler throughout that Friday. Well we've been in a oven here in the northeast, well the United States, as of late, with feel like temps over 100 the last few days. The big thing this morning and most of the summer was the upwelling which has a freezer like effect on the water. Now the internet tells me the temps are 75, to me, it felt more like 60. 

After a bit I switched over to the fly rod and using a two fly set-up managed to pull a short fluke out from along the rocks. It wasn't what I was looking for, the goal was a bass on the Creek Chub. The 

water on the north side was off color and just ugly and Leif took the first walk south and connected with a nice little bass, probably not too far off in size than Al's. From then on I was determined to 

get one so I made sure I covered a lot of water both near and far. Amazingly the below pictures are us stepping amongst the rocks on the tips of the groin, which are usually all exposed and tough to get out to with the way the rocks sit in the sand. We moved south and I was sure The Hump would give up a fish. Al loved it there, and as he got older he started working spots closer to his car which was always parked at the Stanley Conover Beach Pavilion on Phillips Avenue. Once there I worked

that stupid, sorry Al, plug without a tap, but it was all good. Three of us fishing on Al's 70th, a fluke and bass to hand, and getting that Creek Chub salty again. On the way home I made my way up Spier Avenue and looked over at their house. It looked the same but someone had removed the copper tuna Al had up there for years. I thought about asking for it before they moved but it went with the sale. What I always wondered was why he had a tuna and not a striped bass. He fished for bass for 63 years and I never really heard him talk of tuna fishing.

     After todays trip I can picture Al saying in that low and slow Al voice, "Now Colin, I want you to stick to the fly rod, because, you know, you suck with the spinning rod", and then breaking into a smile and that Al chuckle.      

     Al's son Mike sent me some more pics that he found as he went through his collection and logs. If you click on some of the pics you can read about the locations and conditions Al had when he caught. Below is a great picture taken on September 23, 1952 at Nausett Beach, Massachusetts. The picture below that is one I would have had a field day breaking Al's chops about, look at that fine 

stringer full of trout, oh, they're striped bass that Al is proudly holding. Sorry Al, but c'mon man!


Friday, August 5, 2022

08.05.22 Heading in the right direction...

     I got notified that this blogs world ranking had changed in the right direction. I've always been in the mid-forties world wide but now find myself in the top 30 now coming in at 29. That's pretty cool, something must be working. I wish someone would sponsor it or turn it into a reality TV show, boy, imagine if all that has been on this blog were in TV show format. 

    Currently the big guns in the top 10 are Midcurrent, Moldy Chum, Orvis, Duranglers Fly Shop, The Fiberglass Manifesto, The Caddis Fly, The Fly Fish Journal, Avid Max Blog, Trouts Fly Fishing, and Hatch Magazine. 

      What is interesting is that most of the above blogs don't produce their own content. A quick search of Midcurrent shows a post written by Phil Rowley. It was originally posted on the Orvis blog in 2012 and re"published" a few days ago. Below is from August 21, 2012. 

While the below post is from August 4, 2022, just a few days ago. So, in this demonstrates how the new journalism and blog writing happens. Most blogs or companies that have a blog have a social media person who maintains the daily, weekly, or monthly content that is put on a blog. For Orvis that is Phil Monahan, and for Midcurrent its Spencer Durrant. They come up with some original content, here and there, or you will see there name as the "poster", although they do give credit to the person who originated the article or post. 

     Not to be outdone, Midcurrent jumped on the bandwagon a day after Orvis posted Phil Rowley's piece, well after Orvis reposted a post from 2012, and then put it up on their Midcurrent blog, with the "By: Spencer Durrant", and then a link to the Orvis blog. Wow! What a f'in mess. 

     And to not pick on these two blog giants, below is the X-pert Fly Fisher blog, who just two days ago, jumped on the Phil Rowley bandwagon and put up the same content on their blog. And of course all of them are littered with ads, which okay, you got to make some money. But what if they

had to come up with only original content and images? Or better yet, had to pay contributors for their submissions. Let's be real, the "big guys" blogs, usually managed by one person who scours the internet looking to hyperlink stories or grab content with just "credit" or a byline. Whatever. It's just pretty cool that a one man show based on the Delaware River is coming in at #29, all original, all my own stories. But one thing, I am sure my endless and pursuit of striking out looking for snakeheads and bowfin wouldn't get the clicks that all those "stolen" stories do on the big blogs. 

Thursday, August 4, 2022

08.04.22 Amazon must have felt my pain...

     Desperate times call for desperate measures. So after being frustrated with having to clean off my fly after each cast I decided to look into what the spinning guys are throwing. Went online to Amazon and found a nice assortment of weedless frogs. These looked super stealthy and just might

glide across the muck. So I placed my order on Tuesday late afternoon and less than 24 hours they were at my door. For $16 they were worth it. Best part is the keel weight can easily be removed making it kinda fly rod throwable. Not pretty, but throwable. So I had to give I a go around 630 am

before the heat got turned on across the state. Believe it or not, even from a sitting position I can cast these things like 30 feet. There's a big plop at the end but they may help gets something attention. And yes they glide across nicely. I work the banks, and the muck, and the pads without a tap. No 

wakes, no movement, nothing. I did have a bowfin breach the water about 35 feet from me and a couple of flicks of the oars and I was anchored into the pads. One thing annoying about kayak fishing, the kayak goes to where you are casting, so being locked into the pads was good. I threw it all around where I think it was, waiting, and just waiting and casting. I would love to have 

someone who really knows this fishery fish it and let me watch, or electroshock it the whole place and see what rises to the top. I'm about ready to tip my hat to the snakeheads and bowfins, the return on investment isn't there, at least not where I am fishing. And as far as time, again in a lake or pond, there's no tide to fish, its the same all day, and you can spend way too much time if you don't check your watch. I stopped by the tidal water at the end of the incoming and made some casts without a dimple on the water. I am so ready to start fishing the late shift in the rivers off the ocean, it's getting just about that time.