Thursday, June 30, 2011
This morning I loaded up my gear and took a quick drive down to Long Branch to see if anything was going on. I went to Pullman and found a few guys fluking, but no signs of bait or bass. I moved south down to Marine Place and found these boats off Darlington live lining bunker below the large pod. I stayed on the fleet for about a half hour and no anglers hooked up while I was there. The bunker were just Jersey Shore happy, not nervous in the least.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Took my boys up to Ausable Forks to tighten up the houses. We left around 5 am Monday and came home about 5pm today. We did a lot of work and the boys were great most of the time. I spent most of my time seal coating the macadam in front of the lodge ( 10 5-gallon buckets) and the boys painted. We also did a ton of yard work between the two houses. We took plenty of meal breaks and last night had a great meal at the Great Adirondack Steak and Seafood Company in Lake Placid, followed up with shakes at Ben and Jerry's. It was more of a work trip but I did sneak out around 6 am to fish my "home waters" in front of the place.
We have decided to sell the "blue house" or future fly shop as I would call it. It sits on the banks of the West Branch of the Ausable. It is empty inside, I mean empty as in gutted. It's needs to be done from top to bottom. The view up the river is phenomenal and watching the hatches and guys fishing from the deck overlooking the river is great. You have one neighbor, me, and no one up river of you for miles. The sale price is $ 50,000, firm cash as-is. I will be putting up a formal blog post on the sale shortly, for now, the sale sign is planted on the lawn.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
06.26.11 The law comes to Marine Place on Saturday...and happy bunker stay off the beaches this morning
Late yesterday afternoon I had to get down and see this late day bite which has been hitting like clockwork everyday. I drove to Allenhurst and saw 25 guys with poles pointed up jockeying for position at the end of the rocks. Summer is in full swing and parking around that area is nearly impossible, so I went over to Marine Place. I watched as each groin tip got populated with anglers waiting for the stripers to push the bunker within striking distance. I watched a full out blitz last for several minutes about 500 yards off the beach. One boat was on it and I saw one large bass caught.
The law visits Marine Place in Deal
What caught my eye more than that however was a NJ Fish and Wildlife Officer making his way out on the rocks at Marine Place. I could tell from his walk he was on a mission. He stopped and checked coolers and stringers and directed three people off the groin to the street where Deal police officers were waiting. I thought at first he might be checking the NJ Saltwater Registry cards, but I guess short fluke are a better hit.
This morning I did the Long Branch to Ocean Grove tour. Acres of bunker with an armada of boats on the water. I saw one guy walking around with a crusty striper he got on a pencil popper around 2 a.m. I didn't wet a line but did scout some water in Ocean Grove. I drove past this town 1,000 times a year, and only fish it a few times. The beat in the picture looks promising. Can you look and see where fish may be holding?
The fleet off Bradley Beach
Saturday, June 25, 2011
I got out early this morning and stopped at Allenhurst before settling into Deal. I talked with a guy who said the last two nights have produced fish, and that Wednesday there were "epic" blitzes along Monmouth County. It's been late afternoon to early evening. All quiet- then things blow up- and then it's quiet again. I heard the bass were trapped at the Breakwater and "60" huge fish were harvested. Glad I wasn't there.
But this morning started out grassy on Phillips and slow and remained that way all morning. I fished the wash north of Phillips without results and then headed north to the Alley and fished the waters behind the rocks there. I really like the water and beaches there, untouched by beach replenishment. I stayed for about an hour with a few other guys and tight boats but saw no hook ups. Later I scouted at Marine Place and watched as a pod of dolphins rolled through bunker about 500 yards out. I then watched a fly guy head down the rocks, turn and look, see a few fish busting, and then run back down to the end. I quickly pulled around to Deal Esplanade, parked, put on my spikes and went out on Marine Place. By the time I got there it was gone, if it really even ever showed itself. My thought was it might have been blues.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
On my way home from Morristown tonight I figured I go out and give it a shot. Rain had moved in and the winds were from the east with strong gusts. I stopped at a few places before settling in on Big Monmouth. I had the beat to myself and worked the wash with 30 foot casts into a tough wind. I kind of went half-ass and trying to cast with no stripping basket made me look the same. I was in over my knees trying to manage my line when I felt this hard knock against my left leg. I looked down and a large section of a piling was being pushed up on the beach. Luckily I only got a glancing blow. If it caught me "leg on" I am sure it could have hurt a lot more or worse.
Words of advice: always use a stripping basket and watch for debris when in the water
Since I've been away for the last few days I decided to do a short tour along the beaches to see what was going on. Pods of bunker continue to travel up and down the coast. Early this morning boats were mixed in with surfers and bathers as bunker came in close with a few fish under them. I saw the boast hook into big fish. Guys on the end of the groins were waiting, and they waited, but never got within range of the snagging hooks to snag and drop.
The last few nights the fish have been on the bunker from Monmouth Beach down to Allenhurst, it's just a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Which yesterday was late afternoon in the middle of the rain and lightning storm.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Back from two nights at the Borgata. We spent more time at the blackjack table and slot machines then on the beach. We did hit the southern AC beaches and found turbid water with a gusting S wind. Not a pole in the water left to right. I'll be back out on the prowl in the morning. Had to defer two last minute Delaware float trips for this upcoming weekend which is a major disappointment. I could't move things around in short order. I hate turning trips down.
Monday, June 20, 2011
I went down to the beach today and saw bunker up just off the rocks as far as I could see from north to south. Guys snagging and dropping with not a fish to be seen.
Off to Atlantic City for a few days so I don't know how much fishing I'll get in, but I'll have my rod and stripping basket in the car!
Off to Atlantic City for a few days so I don't know how much fishing I'll get in, but I'll have my rod and stripping basket in the car!
Sunday, June 19, 2011
It's a great day to be a dad, have a dad, or know someone who is a dad. Lucky for me I'm in all three groups. I went down to Deal and Allenhurst this morning still in pursuit of some stripers but haven't seen one in a while. I decided to just fish the wash and along the groins this morning leaving the spikes in the truck. I met up with Rich in Deal who nailed a few short fluke while I was there. He moved down to Brighton and I jumped to Allenhurst where I found the above father and son team fluke fishing. I thought that image was a great one for Fathers Day.
I am very lucky to have four beautiful children to help me celebrate today. They gave me cards, bagels, coffee, and IOU's- they even helped me move 500,000 river rocks, well okay 200 rocks, around the yard today. It is amazing how each child brings something unique and special to my life everyday. I love to see them grow up, but hate it at the same time.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Stopped by in Deal this morning to see what was happening. Beautiful morning, water is clean, lots of bunker, tons of boats, but no fish. Guys have been waiting for something to blow up since the bunker is back and relatively close to shore. There are big blues in the surf but the stripers have been spotty.
The "kids" following Juliet's 8th grade graduation
On a non fishing note, today is my oldest girl's graduation party- now Cindy and I will have the following fall of 2011 lineup- first grade, 8 grade, 9th grade, 10 th grade, and first year of graduate school!
Friday, June 17, 2011
I went out last evening with my daughter and tried to get a fluke on the fly rod for her. The wind was blowing from the south and after I caught my Half and Half dead in the center of my back on my forward cast at 100 miles per hour I called it quits. It stung so much I felt nauseous.
This morning I got out around 530 am in Deal, only to catch heavy rain and lightning after about 10 casts. Later. I got into my truck and drove to 8th Ave, lots of guys sitting and waiting. Wind should change later today so hopefully that'll be better. "Winds from the south, fish shut their mouths."
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Bunker on the move off Allenhurst
Got down to Allenhurst before 6 am and found pods of bunker just off the groins heading south. I watched them travel from Deal to Asbury Park in minutes time. There was no sign of fish on them. I made some casts into a glass-like surf and managed one fluke. I think one of these mornings I am going to go just fly fishing for fluke. I would like to bring one home for the wife so she will finally believe me that I go fishing everyday!
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
I switching up fly lines on my 5wt Helios setup. I ordered a WF 5wt floating line. It's the Orvis Generation 3 Wonderline. I've heard good things about it. I'll be giving it a whirl soon up on the Delaware.
Today I got a call from Z, one of my clients a few weeks ago. Him and Joe were heading back up and were looking for a float trip this afternoon and evening. I am swamped down here in Jersey otherwise I would have love to oblige.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Finally back home after a rough two days working in the Adirondacks. Of course I couldn't wait to see what was happening down on the beaches. My wife and I picked our favorite place for dinner after seeing our daughter off to her 8th grade graduation dance. We picked Mister C's in Allenhurst, one of our favorites. Besides great company, I was able to watch and see what the anglers were doing from Allenhurst down to Asbury Park. I gotta get a life!
Monday, June 13, 2011
In between breaking my arse cleaning up both yards in Ausable Forks I took some time to fish my "home" waters. The lodge and future fly shop sit on the West Branch a few hundred feet upriver of Junction Pool, where the East Branch joins the West to form the Ausable River. I went out at 6am and fished Junction Pool down to Gordon Oil. I used a bead head nymph before turning to the go-to fly of the day. It's Adirondack fly fishing guide Rich Garfield's creation, it's called the Ausable Ugly. You can check out Rich's website and place an order at www.flyfishtheadirondacks.com. I caught a few and missed a few more. While I was fishing a guy from the Ausable River Association stopped to chat about Didymo. It is part of their education program aimed at educating anglers about invasives.
I went back to landscaping and around 130 I gave it another shot. I went back down to the Ausable and fished there and connected on a few before making a move upriver into the West Branch. I wanted to fish heavy pocket water so I took the five minute drive and had the beat all to myself. There was nothing coming off so I stayed with the Ugly. I hate fish and numbers, but I can say I lost count. It was a great afternoon, so great I fished the same stretch through twice and was glad I did.
Late in the afternoon the rain began to fall as I was slaving in the yard. By 8 o'clock I was done so I jumped in my waders and fished my stretch of the river from the Jay side. It was a good way to end a long hard day. More then one time I did say to myself, " I wonder how Aaron would do here?." Aaron in Jasper, the current Euronymphing guru. I see his name everywhere, he's in the Catskills, then he jumps to the Adirondacks. I've never nymphet that way, but I am sure today was a prime example of where it would be effective. But, how many more fish would I want to catch?
If you are interested in a guided fly fishing in the Adirondacks trip please call me as there is availability. These trips have a two night three minimum. Included is lodging on the West Branch and round trip transportation from New Jersey can be arranged.
I'll post pics tomorrow, I can't figure out how to do It with and iPad, I don't even know if it can be done.
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Fluke, aka summer flounder, taken on a Half and Half in Avon
Went out at 5am looking to fish the outgoing tide. Started in Avon where choppy grass filled waters reminded me of a warm West Branch of the Delaware after a heavy release. After every cast the fly or leader knots had to be cleaned off. I was in the hunt for stripers, but soon was catching fluke, aka summer flounder and sundials in the wash. I had one keeper sized fluke (above) that hit a Half and Half like a bus. My fellow anglers were in shock as I released it back into the ocean.
I stayed there till about 730 and then drove up to 8th Ave in Asbury Park to see if it looked any different there. Another stop check in Allenhurst before settling down in Deal. Deal didn't have the same amount of seaweed in the water, but it was more stained. I started fishing between Phillips and Brighton and was soon back into fluke again. I fished the wash between the groins and lost more then I landed. I jumped to the north side and fished there without getting a fluke before calling it a last cast at 915. Then on my last retrieve next to the groin, a striper jumps clear out of the water. I went at him with the half and Half, switched to a Deciever, then finished with a Softy Minnow. I made 1,000 casts for the next 45 minutes to no avail. Today I'll break my saltwater gear down and give it a good cleaning as I'm heading up to the lodge in the Adirondacks for a few days.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Anyway, it's 930 pm and I'm just getting around to this. I woke up early and headed down to Bayhead. Nothing going on there so I hit the Manasquan Inlet and found this kayaker fluking in between the party boats and normal heavy weekend boat traffic going, and the trawlers coming back in. Hey, what ever you're into. I fished on the north side of the inlet and did nothing. I moved to one of favorite spots in Avon and hooked a nice striper but lost it in the wash. I fished later in the day, high tide, choppy wave, string gusty northeast wind. My favorite weather to fish in. I hit Marine Place but didn't do anything but two guys were fluking and got two smalls.
I made some cool photos today, and agian have to do some post production on them so I'll get a gallery up this week. I'll be heading out tomorrow morning, fishing the outgoing tide.
Friday, June 10, 2011
It was time for me to update my Orvis Fishing Report, which you can see HERE, so I decided to drive my beat from Monmouth Beach to the Manasquan Inlet. Things were quiet as the low tide approached. There were a bunch of boats off of Allenhurst but they quickly broke up.
I pulled into a parking spot on the Manasquan Inlet and grabbed my camera to go and see what was happening on the jetty there. About three quarters of the way out I spotted some schoolie and keeper sized bass swimming along the rocks. The water was crystal clear and they were in no rush just going up and down the feeding lane. All I had was my binoculars and camera. So I carefully went back to my truck and retrieved my "new" Helios 9 ft 10wt and a few flies and headed back out. I was rigged up with my Depth Charge line and 7 ft fluorocarbon leader down to 15 pound tippet. It was fun sight casting to stripers, although being 25 up, and 20 foot out and above the rocks makes it a little nerve wracking. I had a few follows but had to pick up or bury my line or fly in the mussels that cover the rocks.
Soon schools of silversides were traveling the same beat and bluefish in the 3-5 pound range were on them. I hooked into one and had a hell of a time landing it. Remember, I broke a Helios fly rod last week attempting to land a striper on the rocks in Deal. I managed to crawl down and get a grip on the fish before a quick pic and release. It went well, but there's a lesson here. Irresponsibly, I was "armed" with worn out Crocs on my feet, no spikes, no net or gaff ( not that I use one) or other device to help land a fish from the jetty during dead low tide. During the last week I busted a rod on an attempted landing, and busted my ass on the rocks in Deal when my spikes came loose on my foot and my foot came out.
I think it's okay to kind of go and throw off the beach, but when you are fishing off the jetty or groin you have to either go all the way or no way. There's three things that could happen, the angler gets hurt, the equipment gets damaged, the fish gets stuck it the rocks or injured trying to land it. I have to look into a net for fishing the rocks, or some other catch and release contraption.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
I had a last minute opportunity to have breakfast with my buddy Al. Al is my wise old jedi striper master. He's the one who got three in 30 minutes last Friday. I wrongly listed his age, it's not 84, it's 87! Three fish to 30 pounds. The biggest problem he said he had was trying to lift them up out of the water to get the hooks out and release them. He's on his way to Cape Cod and has hired a boat for two half day trips.
Since I am a little jammed today I decided to stay local. After breakfast I hit 8th Ave in Asbury Park and met up with another friend Nesmond. He was excited to see his picture on one of my business cards. It was a shot of him I took here last year. That's him below,
Nesmond on 8th Ave, 2010
We talked for a bit while we melted from the 90 plus degree heat in the parking lot. I think the senior citizens building blocks the wind because it was just dead heat. There was a south-west wind and that felt a little better on the end of the groin. I stayed for about an hour watching as boats moved along Allenhurst and Asbury Park following small pods of bunker that had fish mixed in that were busting on the top. The birds were overhead and did move within casting distance for someone other than a fly fisherman. The sun was high and bright and the water crystal clear. I fished along the submerged rocks on the incoming tide with no bumps or hits.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Seems like the southern anglers are getting their shot at spring run stripers. IBSP and Seaside and Ortley have been hot. I'm going to take a ride and see if I can get a shot at them down there.
Upper West Branch brown
Had a great day on the West Branch, and Main Stem, before the heat wave hit and while there's still cool water in the Upper Delaware. I left my house in NJ around 5am and got to the Circle E Diner in Hancock for breakfast around 830. I took a bacon and egg to go and drove to West Branch Anglers to get some flies. I decided to fish one of my favorite although heavily traveled beats, the Deposit Sewer Treatment pool, well the riffs right above. I ran through twice fishing for about 2 hours and brought one to hand and lost another.
I then moved down and parked in the Lower Gamelands parking area and walked down to the river which I shared with one other angler. I moved slowly along the bank and found 2 fish, one 18 and the other slightly bigger, in the shallow water below the tree cover. I could understand why, it was almost 90 degrees. Well I worked that fish for over two hours, threw the box at him. Sulfurs-not, March Browns- not, Olives-not, Grey Fox-not, and I threw nymphs, emergers and dries of each. I made some cool pictures there breaking out my macro set up to get some good bug pics. Well, as luck would have it, my book caught my camera strap and swung it around into the water. As it traveled in the air I kicked it with my other foot shattering the filter and drenching the grip anyway. Very bad.
Very bad, camera and water doesn't mix
I was sick as packed up my camera gear. I tried to unscrew the filter, no go. I shook the water out and when I installed the battery and turned it on it just beeped and hummed. But I still had my old reliable G12. That camera I take on rivers and jetties, in sun and rain- salt and fresh air- takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'. So I decided to fish Bard Parker (Junction Pool) and started out in the Second Heaven riffles where I missed one nice rainbow stripping downstream. I fished through, then repeated it, but this time, I FELL IN, and socked my Canon G12- retail $499.00. I went in up to my head in three feet of water. I was sick again. But I decided to stay. I emptied what water I could from my camera and hip pack and fly boxes and went at it in the large pool. Guys were set up across the river and large fish started to rise along the center in the faster current. Right before 9 pm the guy across the river must have hooked a 15 pound fish. I couldn't see but the reel screamed back and forth for about 20 minutes.
I made some really nice images that I have to do post work on but will post them on my main web site in the next few days.
Monday, June 6, 2011
Fished this morning and again this afternoon. High, bright sun has the crystal clear water lit up. Drove up and down from Sea Bright to Asbury Park with not a sign of bait nor fish. It appears that the heavy bunker that was here until Friday has moved out or up or both.
While I was up in the Catskills I got an email from my buddy Al who caught a evening low tide blitz in Deal on Friday night. He said the big girls had spearing, rainfish, peanut and large bunker pinned to the wall at Marine Place. He caught 3 fish to 30 pounds, all released! And, he's 84 years young!!
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Tom with a Willowemoc brown
Just got back from my Friday to Sunday Catskills trip. Left Friday around 430 am and by 8 I was with Jim and some of the JSTU guys for breakfast at the Roscoe Diner. Jim and I decided to float the West Branch even though the winds were steady from the north at 20, with frequent strong gusts. We got the boat from the Roscoe house and stopped at the Butternut Grove Campground where most of our guys were staying. I set up our shuttle and we put in at Hale Eddy around noon. Jim started throwing a leech, then moved to nymphs, then ended the day with a dry fly- all waiting for targets to show themselves, which they never did. We floated down to Shehawken and took out around 830 shortly after the wind died down. I heard guys who waited to just before dark were rewarded well.
JSTU at Butternut Grove Campground
Jim and Ken at the Catskill Fly Fishing Museum access area
Bill the cook
My float trip I had booked for Saturday cancelled so I took the time to fish the morning on the Beaverkill where I picked up two twin 10 inch browns below Butternut Grove. After a noon barbecue I asked if anyone wanted to hit the West Branch, and there were no takers so I took a quick drive to the Lower Gamelands and had targets that were on March Browns and Grey Foxes. I landed two and missed two more.
In the evening I fished with Tom and Jim on the Willowemoc. As soon as I got in the water I caught two fish @ 8 inches, followed by one @ 6 inches. It was then I realized I had become a Delaware "snob". I wanted to get outta there. I could only imagine how the Upper Gamelands, Methodist Pool, and Bard Parker were doing at that time. I just stood and waited until Tom invited me down to fish near him where he caught at least 20 fish. I fished the water he had fished and caught two fish, one nice fish at 14 inches. But I realize I only want to fish the Delaware if I am within 200 miles of it. No others waters for me will do, that is a shame. I'll have to work on that with my shrink!
On Sunday we ate again at the Roscoe Diner before I dropped the drift boat off and headed back home to New Jersey.
West Branch of the Delaware brown trout
Thursday, June 2, 2011
I'm outta here! I had enough of those striped bass anyway. I've been fishing almost every morning the last few weeks through the south winds. I have been picking up a fish here and there. This morning the wind was west, and the big fish crashed the beaches from Long Branch to Allenhurst. Now, wait, not every beach had bunker flipping on them, but the fish did make a push in and they were in range, closer in some spots than others.
So Friday morning I am off to the Catskills, and by 8am I'll be meeting my JSTU friend Jim for breakfast and then a float later in the day. My Saturday client cancelled so I have made a few contacts to try and get a float in. Otherwise it's another day on the river, the crowded river, for me.
My TU chapter, Jersey Shore Trout Unlimited, is having their annual trip, as are other TU chapters, so I'll have plenty of company up there.
Might make for a lower West and Main Stem kind of weekend.