Friday, September 30, 2011

09.30.11 Spent some much needed time at the vise today

     Today I hooked up with Matt the Chef who I worked with on the assignments for Cooking Wild magazine. Matt and I used to work together at The Fly Hatch way back when. Matt not only worked the store but also tied for the shop and taught classes. Today I sat down with him and we tied up some of my favorite and most productive flies to fish, the Clouser and Half and Halfs.

I heard today that albies were spotted in the surf somewhere along Monmouth County. I went down to Sea Bright and when I got there it was cloudy, choppy with a S wind, and no signs of birds, bait, or albies. My buddy Al was at his usual when the fish come around, hitting the fish at 630 on a popper.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

09.29.11 Up to Ausable Forks for more post Irene work...lots of river work going on too

A most interesting trip up to Auable Forks this time. I watched as the true changes made by tropical storm Irene continue to show themselves, and found new changes made by machine and man.

Well, let me state the facts. One, I am a fly fisherman, guide, and Trout Unlimited member, a chairman of a stream restoration project in New Jersey, and a supporter for causes about the environment and life itself. Two, I own a home near the Jersey Shore and two homes in Ausable Forks right on the West Branch of the Ausable. I'll stick to my Ausable Forks facts. Every year the town sweats as ice dams form and flood the town. They also sweat if we get a heavy runoff coupled with heavy rains- like happened this past spring. They also worry if a tropical storm comes through and pours water down the mountains where it collects into the bigger rivers and then floods towns, houses, ect. Those are things I've learned since buying in the Forks in 2004. I've also learned how nice it is to be so close to the river.
     I  know that many people say, "Why would you buy a house on the beach or on a river, one day, the floods will come?" They are correct too. I had 5 feet of water in the basement in the spring, and 7 feet after Irene, but this time part of the foundation was washed downriver.

     In the past few weeks I've seen all types of repairs to the riverbanks, roads, homes and businesses around town. Everyone is trying to do the right thing. I know a lot of people are doing the best they can with what they can. With regards to the town and the river, balance is always best. The idea would be to balance the needs of the townspeople while protecting the habitat for the insect and trout life in the river. After Irene the APA (Adirondack Protection Agency) lifted the need for permits to do post storm work. Some would say that is fine for what happened and what could happen in the future, others would say it gives a green light for owners, towns, government to go and do whatever they want in the rivers.
     Well, there's a lot of work going on along the banks of streams and rivers in the Nroth Country and the Ausable and it's branches are included. After shooting some pictures and video I stopped by to see Town of Black Brook Supervisor Rick Nolan. He has been fielding phone calls from people on both sides and I could see how concerned he was for everyone involved. The town had a excavator and dump trucks working this side of the river and Jay had a crew working there's. What was told to me was that so many rocks had been carried and put down on either side of an island below Junction Pool. The rocks are round river rocks and they don't hold onto each other nor smaller stones and sediment. The idea is to remove the smooth rocks, replace the banks with shot rock, or rock that is irregularly shaped, and fill in one side of the island, the Jay side.
     I am working with the USFWS and a stream restoration expert from Montana on a 1/2 mile stretch of a 4 feet wide nothing of a stream in New Jersey for my Trout Unlimited chapter. There are surveys, studies, calculations, forecasts, and discussions and re-evaluations that need to happen at each step. It's a check-double check-triple check system that has to be in place or all the work will be for naught.

I hope someone is checking that list in the Forks. Late winter and spring is just around the corner up there.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

09.27.11 Checked out Keyport, found more bait than predator fish in the Raritan Bay

     If you can't find the fish, maybe it's a good time to watch and catch the bait. Several anglers were on the waterfront fishing in Keyport this afternoon. While I went there with a friend to go to Mike's Subs, I pulled out my fly rod and walked the bulkhead just in case something was happening. Nothing. One guy was netting spearing and killifish, ie; killies; ie; mummichogs. These brackish water baitfish are great because they can tolerate low oxygen and warm waters. 

I am on my way up to the Adirondacks for more post Irene home damage work. Hopefully will be back in time as the surf erupts with albies and stripers!

Somebody keep me posted! 732.261.7291 call or text or email me

Monday, September 26, 2011

09.26.11 Had to give the night outgoing a shot in Allenhurst

     At 830 I was quizzing my 6 year old daughter on the following words, then, than, they, that, and this. By 930 I was sweating to death and having problems breathing trying to breathe this thick 150% humidity air while casting into the wash first in Deal then Allenhurst. I figured it wasn't going to be good but not seeing a car in the lots and no headlamps on the ends of the rocks only confirmed my feelings. Two guys were soaking clams and they were just soaking clams.
     I hit my usual spots with first a Banger and then a Clouser. As the minutes went on I felt wet down my legs. But it wasn't leaky waders, it was sweat running down my back to my feet. I gave it a good college try. Things should bust open by the weekend, the weather will change and things will get better, or not.

You know, I published this last November and still love it! And it's still all true.

Hit the double arrow to see it full screen.

A new fly fishing guide and his wife
by: theaverageangler

09.26.11 Just saw this and had to post it..."Here you go Rich!"

    At sunrise a few mornings ago on the beach in Deal,  my buddy Rich says to me, "Can you please get rid of that stupid Grateful Dead music on your blog. I read it at 430 in the morning and sometimes it blares when I open your blog!" Well I kept the music but silenced the auto play. If you'd like to hear some Dead you'll have to scroll down and hit play, you win Rich!

Well, I just saw this video on Jeff Dement's Facebook page where he posted it along with news that his friend had passed. I know Jeff from striper tagging at the American Littoral Society. He does great work for the ocean, the beaches and the fisheries. Sorry for your loss Jeff.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

09.25.11 Nothing out front from North Beach to Deal...but lizardfish on the fly on the Raritan Bay side

     Another early morning. Out on the beach at 530 for the start of the outgoing. Bunches of anglers out, hoping. Ran the usual over the breakers and in the wash and came up empty. Started with a Bob's Banger went to a black Clouser. Uuurrrghhhh. Met up with some regulars and it was nice to catch up since I haven't seen them much since the spring. One had a large bass blow up last night on a popper, but he couldn't hook up. The water was 68, winds still S-SE, swells to 4 feet. I had to cut today short so I was done and hour and half after I started.

     Still thinking of the outgoing tide and the sun that was overhead I ran, well took that long ass walk in very loose sand, up to North Beach. Several anglers were out and party boats were nearly parked on the nude beach. Saw some rain bait in the water and made many casts to fish that weren't there. I hoping for an albie sighting but that wasn't to be. At one point I turned to the tip and saw the above large vessel passing by two fisherman who were unphased by the sight. I had to do a double take since it was moving in stealth mode.

     As the current moved fast past the end of the hook I looked left and liked what I saw in the cove. Silversides were being chased by something. I figured snappers or cocktail blues so I picked up and entered "the flats". This is my kind of fishing. I made several casts and felt a good hit, a good hit, on my gray and white Jiggy. When I landed the fish it was a 14 inch lizardfish.

     Lizardfish are home in the tropics and subtropical marine waters. Since Irene came and went, several party boats have reported lizardfish catches, according to The Asbury Park Press in a September 2, 2011 article written by Dan Radel. They are uncommon north of South Carolina, so it wil interesting to see of they stick around.



Saturday, September 24, 2011

09.24.11 Beautiful but disappointing morning

    Got out just as the tide began to fall which was an hour before first light. I was hell bent on getting a bass to blow up on a Banger so I went with one and worked it in the darkness. The S wind came and went and I landed the fly over the breakers on the sand bars in Deal. Just at sunrise I had a schoolie breach as it went for the barbless-one-hook-fly. With plenty of time left I switched over to a black Clouser to imitate the mullet I could see in the crest of the waves. There was other small bait to that the snappers, now almost cocktail blues, were on, probably spearing.
     As it brightened up I met up with Steve who is another regular fly angler. His home is on the rocks, and he can always be seen out towards the end, cigar in mouth. I worked the wash as I made my out of this stretch of water. Two spin guys with Ava's caught two bass to 24 inches at daybreak.

The bait is here, the bass are here, water is still around 68 degrees.

I stopped by 8th Avenue and talked shop with regular, I mean several times a day regular, Gus who fished this morning, and the last several days without a fish. He did say albies showed up and blew up on mullet right at the tip at 8th Avenue a few days ago. But like albies are, they were here, and then gone.

In other news, got my truck back from Ryan's Auto Body in Ocean. They fixed it all up after my deer accident. Looks good as new.

Friday, September 23, 2011

09.23.11Great looking morning but things never got going

Spring Lake

     I really thought today was going to be a good day. I was on the beach in Avon on hour 2 of the outgoing tide. It was dark when I got to one of my favorite spots and I started out with a black Clouser and then switched to a Banger. I ran that fly along the rocks and through the wash all the way across Avon down to the Shark River Inlet jetty. Along the way I met both fly and spin anglers who didn't have a bump. There was some action Monday here and the same guys had a feeling about today also. The mullet that was here and pushed in wasn't in sight. There was small pods of snappers here and there but that was it. I left there with time to spare on the tide, and took a ride to Spring Lake.
     I got another good feeling in Spring Lake. I saw one fly angler working the bowl at the outflow and another guy netting mullet in the trough. I went back to the Clouser first/ Banger second approach and did nothing, but had a good time. I pulled out at slack tide and got a bite, then headed to Deal for the incoming.
     At Deal I made my way up the beach and made my first cast an hour after low tide. About 45 minutes later I watched as a large striper surfed down the front of a wave chasing mullet. I made several casts with a Banger in the area without a nod. Soon the rains came in sideways and I finished fishing the stretch back to my car. 

Things should get better as the warm cools off and the bait and fish start to move in. 


Thursday, September 22, 2011

09.22.11 Before the fog rolled in more snappers galore in Allenhurst

     I got out on the incoming tide with the "new" SW wind. Things were quiet on the beaches and horizon. Saw a few anglers throwing bombers and a boat or two along the coast. I stopped in Deal and fished along a blocks worth of beach in bright sunlight without a bump. As the clouds moved in I moved to Allenhurst where snappers dancing in between the rocks were eager takers to a black Clouser. I saw some, what appeared to be, happy bunker out a ways. There didn't appear any fish around and no birds waited overhead for an onslaught.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

09.21.11 Gators invade Deal...okay caught a couple of snappers

     Okay, the picture tells the story. I've been down in Atlantic City since Monday and as soon as I got back I headed down to the beach. When I left the wind was NE with a steady blow and the water was turbid. Now I'm back and the wind has shifted and slowed but the water is still not clear out past the groins.
I toon my loyal scout out with me today to check on conditions. For 5 months old she's a trooper. I love taking her down there, but hate taking her home afterwards. She's wet and sandy in the car, then I have to wash her off at home with the hose, then keep her on the deck to dry off. But she is a water dog no doubt.

    After getting her set I went back and fished hours 2, 3, 4 of the outgoing. I was throwing a black Clouser and managed a trio of snappers. I fished pretty hard but no other results. I saw mullet cruising just beneath the surface but nothing on them. Two guys soaking clams and one with worms managed a kingfish between them.
    At night I went down and hit 8th Avenue to see how the 3, 4th hours of the incoming would be. Not a bump, although I did see bait in the water but couldn't make out what it was.

Monday, September 19, 2011

09.19.11 Made a slight adjustment to my stripping basket

     Recently I have been having a problem keeping my stripping basket up. Yes, some abdominal work might help, but that's for later. My buddy Al has an old military belt that he uses and what I liked was it stays firm and solid. My "wader belt" webbing doubles over and tends to slip. So I went to an Army Navy store and purchased a pistol belt. It fits in the slot holes in the rear of the basket and seems to work better. 
The belt was $ 12.99.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

09.18.11 NE blow has fishing going from quick to slow

     After a quick start over the last few days things slowed down a bit today. Winds from the NE at 15-20 with a steady blow up to 30 kts. It's been an N-NE blow for a few days and the first 1500 feet off the beach  is turbid. Early this morning I went to Deal and fished there without a bump. I broke out the 10wt Helios with the Depth Charge line and that made casting into the wind much easier. I stayed for about and hour and then headed out for Sunday a.m. kids stuff.
     By 11 am I was itching to get back down to the water so I wet waded in front of the Allenhurst Beach Club. In the distance I could see two guys on the end at 8th Avenue in Asbury Park and that was it today for anglers. Except Al and his son Mike and one other guy were in Deal this morning.

     Last night I ran over to Avon to check on things there. I fished one of my favorite notched groins and picked up a feisty striper of 15 inches while "high sticking" my Clouser  around the break in the rocks.

Notched groin, Avon,  

Saturday, September 17, 2011

09.17.11 Fly rod stripers in the surf in Deal... and Al gets a nice keeper

  Beautiful morning. Up and out by 515 am putting me on the beach minutes later. It was still dark out and I went with a Bob's Banger to open with. Had a steady NE wind that didn't help with casting. Worked on the downside of the breaking waves for a while without a bump. As night turned into day I switched over to a tan/white Clouser and soon after hooked up with a nice fat 18 inch fish.


     I moved down to the rocks and missed a two, and then hooked and landed three to 25 inches. The waves quickened their sets so I jumped over to the other side of the rocks on the downwind side. As I waded out I turned and saw a guy walking with a keeper just past two guys soaking clams. As I looked closer, it was my buddy Al. I can't believe what a stud this guy is. 87 years old- carrying a 12 pound striper for blocks along the beach. I was done so I went to meet him and help carry his first keeper of the season to his car. Al's like me and many of the other anglers out here, keep one or two per season, if we keep any at all.

It was nice to fish on such a nice morning, even nicer to get a few good fish on the fly, and even nicer to see Al so happy.

Friday, September 16, 2011

09.16.11 Checked out North Beach...lots of bait, one fluke, no albies

     It's been a few months since I took that long walk to North Beach out on Sandy Hook. When I got there it was nice to see the water clearing up nice. Saw lots of tiny bait, maybe spearing in the water. Managed to grab a short fluke who grabbed my fly in the wash. No signs of albies, although it's looking like perfect albie conditions. Any day now, any day.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

09.15.11 Great Project Healing Waters outing at Pequest


  Today Dave Bucko and the New Jersey Project Healing Waters held an outing with the Veterans from Lyons Hospital at the Pequest Trout Hatchery. Volunteers started to arrive at 8 under clear skies and a nice morning. After setting up the tents and getting the rods rigged up the heavens opened up. It rained for about 2 hours, hard at times, but luckily the Vets were running late. They pulled up around 1130 and as soon as they stepped off the bus, the rain stopped. For the next few hours we had a blast catching monster rainbows in the teaching pond. This is always a great event for folks on both sides.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

09.14.11 Deer damaged truck is being dismantled for repair

     Hopefully my truck will completed as promised by next week so I can get it all set up for the fall run.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

09.13.11 Let fall 2011 begin! Out with Al and had one bass blow up

     It was a pleasant surprise, but not really a surprise, to see my buddy Al's car in the lot of the beach club in Deal. Fall is here, although summer days still poke around now and then. Anglers I haven't seen since the late spring will start to show themselves on the beaches and rocks. It's fall, and although a little early, and the run is here.
     As I made my way down the north side of the pier I saw Al throwing a popper with spinning gear into the surf. My first impression of the day was that this could be the start. I gave Al a good strong happy-to-see-you-handshake and then we went right into what's going on. He hadn't moved a fish, but he had lots of bait in front of him. I Had my Orvis Access 9ft 9wt rigged with a Bob's Banger and made my way down to the waters edge. It felt good to cast with purpose again. I made several casts working the popper over the backside of the breaking waves. With Al to my right a bass blew up on the popper. I didn't hook up but it was a good sign on the first day. We had mullet making v shaped wakes as they cruised just under the surface. Even though they moved in nice size schools, the fish never were on them. I know, it's early. Soon it will be good.
     We left Deal as the tide moved in thinking that maybe later on the outgoing the Shark River Inlet may be worth a look, there's a perfect albie storm there. Current, bait, and hopefully the albies are there. But you'll never know unless you go.

Monday, September 12, 2011

09.12.11 Time to break out the binoculars....albies!

     Soon this will be a common sight at your favorite access as anglers are on the look out for birds, bait, bass, and soon-albies!

Today I scouted from Shark River Inlet to Sea Bright. No sign of anything yet. I'll be out in the morning tomorrow giving it a shot.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

09.11.11 Amazing it has been 10 years since that day...and all done up North and headin' home

A prayer goes out to all the victims and their families from events on or related to September 11, 2001. 

With time and stone running out, it's time to head home. Hopefully I have done more good then bad and the water will find it's way down to the truly one, "Mad River"!

09.10.11 This picture tells it all...

     I did have help today, Saturday. Here I was trying to dig under a concrete walkway and my faithful companion Lola jumped in to help. 

Below are images from Lincoln Memorials in town. Horrible.