Tuesday, January 31, 2012

01.31.12 The striper bite slowed...so I found some hungry trout

     I am finding the striper bite has slowed down the last few days. Guys were into fish Saturday night and Sunday morning and since then it's just about stopped, although I met a guy late today who said he got one this morning. I think the ridiculous rock crab hatch is done, and now we will find the bass on something else, like sand eels. The crabs had been hot mid MoCo and sand eels off Sea Bright and Monmouth Beach, well now I think the sand eels are coming down to a town near you. 
     So today was such a nice day that after finishing up some image file sorting and editing I decided to change 180 degrees and go TROUT fishing! It has seemed like an eternity since I've been out on a stream or river, and it was great. It was such a nice day that I didn't even care if I caught anything, but the above beauty made it even better. Not only was it pretty, it was strong. After a quick pic and some to and fro in the water it splashed me good bye, or, said f@%k-off! I had another nice fish on while fishing low and slow with a dark brown Woolly Bugger but lost it on the way in. I look forward to getting back out there soon.  

     It was really the first time I was able to fish with the new Orvis Hydros floating line, and man it stays on top of the water like a bobber. It was great because there were so many hazards in the water all I had to worry about was the fly getting caught, and not my line.

     I had to see what was going on down by the ocean on my way home so I stopped and found at least a dozen guys fishing the groins along the shore towns. I watched and bs'd with some guys for a while and neither they or the guys we watched hooked up. I did watch as a fly fisherman and his buddy launched their kayaks from the beach. I don't now how they did but there were birds working off in the distance and they were pointed and rowing out towards them as I left. 







01.31.12 Took the time to look up this morning while looking for bass

     Well after last nights quick outing I figured I'd give it a go this morning. I got to Asbury at first light at 630 and watched a calm skinny ocean until the sun came up. The water was too low to fish anywhere but at the tips of the rocks and I passed on fishing it. I saw a few guys on the rocks a town over and I didn't see them doing anything. 

It's going to be warm the next few days so if you can get a rod in your hand and bother some kind a fish for a while, even if it's sunnies at your local pond. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

01.30.12 Couldn't find the bass...or leader material in my bag

     So after the Fly Fishing Show I was all jazzed up with the news of a local hot bite throughout the last week. I put my stuff away on January 11th.. or so I thought. So last night I decided to go give it a shot. I got out at 9pm and fished till 330am. I fished in Asbury with three guys and none of us got a bite and then moved to Deal where me and another spin guy fished hard and came up empty. I was fished tight to the rocks and snagged and snapped off a few flies. Right after I lost and re-tied I felt the fly on the rocks, I pulled up hard, only to have the rock-BASS flip off right at the surface. I tried a 2-for-5-dollar fly show special that just looked like something that possibly might resemble the crabs that bass are on. I walked that fly along the bottom and up and over the rocks, and, well, it didn't didn't get a sniff. 


I hit it again this morning in skinny water and didn't last too long. So after some editing I gave it one more try after a friend said he was going out around 330 pm. I went and he was a no-show. I walked way out to the end and then up and down the rocks to a perfect perch. I had my fly dangling as i moved into the last position and don't you know it I got it stick on the rocks, and wedged in on the mussel bed that called the two rocks home. Forget it. I took a shower trying to get it and didn't want to get hurt for it


so I snapped it off. Problem is it snapped all the way back to my butt section. I reached into my Orvis Gale Force bag and swirled my hand around trying to feel my fly wallet and camera looking for a spool and came up blank. I forgot to put them back in my  bag. So I took the long walk back to my truck and decided to see if my buddy Joe was out fishing so he could hook me up. He wasn't out but I found Jerry who just got done giving it a whirl to no avail. We sat and talked for a bit and watched the below anglers for about an hour and not one of them hooked up. I decided to pack it in, maybe I'll give it a go in the morning. Then I will be done till spring, for sure.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

01.29.12 Fly Show recap...no FFF...watched lots of tyers...didn't win a raffle...and what is this guy taking about?

     I had a great Fly Show....as did just about everyone I talked with. If you work it it can be a long and tiring weekend. I remember putting together and breaking down The Fly Hatch booth....that was a ton of work. But it always good when the weather is good and there's no Super Bowl on that weekend. 

Fly Show Somerset, 2000 - The Fly Hatch booth

     The big thing for me was testing for the FFF Casting Instructor certification. The cert includes three parts, a class, a written test and a performance test. In short, I passed the class, passed the written, but spit the bit on the performance part. I had great evaluators and I just came up short. I choked when it came to the instruction portion of the exam, which isn't usually like me. I can re-test within 1 year and look to sharpen up a bit and meet the standard and pass. 

     Outside of the testing on Friday and Saturday I spent most of my time at the Jersey Shore TU booth where we were selling raffles. We are offering three prizes one being a charter trip for 2 with Captain Jason Dapra of Blitzbound Guide Service. Most folks that took a chance want the trip with Jason, who's a great skipper and fly fisherman. 

Joe and Jim at the JSTU booth

     The floor of the show looked great and I enjoyed as always watching Lefty for a while and seeing old and meeting new friends. I was even able to meet my best friends in the world for the first time face to face, well they're not really my friends but Facebook friends!, and that was fun. I stayed over Friday night and Jim and I had a good time meeting up with some friends of friends and then doing a bar hop between the hotels. 
     For me though, this show was all about the fly tyers. For the first time I was really into watching them on fly row and taking in a few lectures. John Collin's assortment of Sculpin flies tied with the Fish Skull heads are great and Joe Calcavecchia's Striper Dragons looked like they push a bunch of water while on 



the continuous move so I purchased them in each color. I really enjoyed watching and sitting in on Bob Popovics. By chance I stopped into a class after getting out of a great as always Jim Freda of Shore Catch Guide Service Fall Blitz lecture. Bob was talking about how he maps out his flies on paper by filling in what he is trying to tie. He draws a bunker, and then figures out on how to fill it in from hook to head. 


     I also sat in on his Bucktail Deceiver class, again being able to watch him layering the bucktail to make big Deceivers was great. That will come in handy while I'm tying big bunker flies for the spring. On the last day I sat in on Bob Clouser's class on tying the Clouser Minnow and Half and Half. It was great to watch and hear Bob explain how to tie probably my most used and go to fly.


    And finally, if you were at booth you must have met Frenchman Rene Gregoire as he made his way around giving out samples of the next great invention in fly fishing. The problem is, no one I saw could understand him or figure out what he had handed out. I got home and still don't. I think it's a way to fly fish without using a rod. Similar to fishing with a soda can. Here it is...what the f@%k is he talking about? 

On a side note, on Saturday I covered the Friends of the Upper Delaware (FUDR) booth as Lee, Sheri and Dan went and gave a lecture. I proceeded to goad my fellow JSTU buddy Jim in buying a few chances for a 10 ft 5 wt Helios that Joe D donated on Orvis' behalf. Well, Jim won. That's a nice win. I was really gunning to win the Atlantic Saltwater's fly assortment of 250 saltwater flies, and, I didn't. Then I went and watched the Bayshore Flyrodder's draw for their 250 flies, and, I didn't win. And then, I stopped at the Coastal Flyrodder's as they drew their ticket and, my fellow JSTU buddy Bill won it! I gladly offered to take them home for him and....since Bill doesn't fly fish in the salt much (yet!)...he gave them to me. That's over 150 saltwater flies. WOW! Thanks Bill. I'll be putting some of them to good use tonight-it's time to get back on the rocks!

Friday, January 27, 2012

01.27.12 Off to the show...be back Sunday

Off to The Fly Fishing Show at Somerset...be back Sunday

Thursday, January 26, 2012

01.26.12 Busy day and one day away....

     Busy day today getting some things done before the Fly Fishing Show in Somerset. This show is the big one so if you can make it you won't be disappointed. I was there today helping set up the Jersey Shore Trout Unlimited booth located right at the main entrance. We selling raffles for our chapter- 1st prize is 1,000 dollar Cabelas gift card, 2nd prize is a charter for two with Captain Jason Dapra of Blitzbound Guide Service and 3rd is a 200 dollar gift card. Stop by and please support our chapter.

After casting again for the last time for a few hours I took my boat over to Gateway to have them remove all the old bottom paint and polish her all up to the gunnels, and lastly repair the skeg. Should be all ready come spring.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

01.25.12 Occupy...vacant loft space for last minute practice...

     Well it's getting down to the wire. I have been reading and practicing for my FFF CI (casting instructor's) test. I am sure most of you don't care, or have already passed it. I think at this point I am doing worse then better. I hit a plateau about two days ago where things were going well, then things just stopped working. Wide loops, snaps here and there, couldn't find the middle of a hula-hoop, and my roll casts weren't rolling. Had to start back at the grip, then wumpf-wumpf ( Mel Kreiger style). Today was better but the last two days a NW wind has been killing me. So earlier today I occupied a vacant loft space and attempted to practice inside simulating the testing conditions. Well I could have used 40 more feet in length, 10 more feet wide, and definitely 10 more feet high. And, the flouro light fixture didn't help much either.
     After this I had to give it a break and found that the wind had died down tonight and by casting near street lights I could see my line roll out on both the front and back casts...maybe all is not lost.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

01.24.12 Got my new business cards...

 Got my new business cards in the mail. They are along the same lines as my old ones just edited down a bit and they now sport the Orvis Endorsed logo. If you never seen them they are pretty cool. On the back are images that I have taken while fishing or guiding. I added a few from this year and below are a few of my favorites. I am lucky to be able to work in such a beautiful place and meet and befriend such great people. 


Monday, January 23, 2012

01.23.12 Videos at night & casting all day...the FFF CI countdown begins....

What a great instructor! Luckily I found a bunch of Mel Krieger videos on You Tube. I also found a bunch of Wulff, Kreh, and Rajeff videos also. They are not only entertaining, amazing and fun to watch, they are also a great studying tool as I get within four days of my test. I am at the point where I am able to see my mistakes and poor techniques based on reading and watching the correct way, over and over , and over again. Today I couldn't find my roll cast...it was gone...I needed a quick refresher so I watched a Mel video. I started fly casting and fly fishing 20 years ago, the problem is, it's my way, not always the right way. My preparation for this testing process has helped me greatly.

In the above video one of my favorite lines is at the 2:29 minute mark where Mel says, " You old f@*kers".

Mel Krieger was instrumental in founding the Federation of Fly Fishers "Flycasting Certification Program". Not only was he a great caster, but a great instructor also. Mel died in 2008 at the age of 80.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

01.22.12 Year for record striped bass catches...

     Last year the World Record striped bass of 81 pounds was caught off Rhode Island, and on Friday angler Cary Wolfe caught a potential Virginia state record striper weighing 74 pounds. The previous record was 73 pounds. 

Story and image provided to the Richmond-Times Dispatch

Saturday, January 21, 2012

01.21.12 It's amazing how much you don't know about a subject until you study it...

  I get all types of anglers that read this blog, and I fish with both fly, spin, and conventional anglers. However, I only fish with the fly rod, and only guide anglers in both fresh and salt waters with a fly rod in hand also. It's not snobbish, or elitist, it's just the only way I have fished since 1991. I don't think I would be able to do both. I have a hard enough time trying to do one type at all.

     In 2009 I took my first casting lesson with Jim Valle, a local FFF Master Caster Instructor. Over the next two years I took more lessons with Jim and saw the results out on the water. I have been reading the literature that supports fly casting instruction and technique. Well, next week I have my own FFF CI test to take. I'm getting a little nervous. According to the FFF, about 40% of CI's pass the test the first time. Gulp!
    All along I have been studying and practicing but now that's it's crunch time I'm really trying to study before a few days of review before the test. For me, it is amazing that I ever presented a fly at all yet alone properly before knowing the things I know now. The amount of information on the subject of fly casting is amazing, and the knowledge needed to be a casting instructor is a lot. Not only is there the knowledge, written test, portion of the testing process, but the performance, casting, test, is hard core also.

Just a few terms that I have needed to study, and know the correct definition for- casting stroke, up feed, target plane, straight line cast, convex path, concave path, overpowered curve, and line slip, just to name a few.


I will be spending my days and nights reading, getting drilled on flash cards, and watching videos by Joan Wulff, Tim and Steve Rajeff, Mel Krieger and Lefty Kreh.

Friday, January 20, 2012

01.20.13 Getting back in an Upper Delaware state of mind...

     It's official...I am over the salt and striped bass fishing till spring. I have been editing my website and will have a new-look-re launch soon. I was looking through some images from last years trips on the Upper Delaware. One thing is for sure, there was a lot of water early on. We were floating late April and early May with the West Branch between 7,860 cfs-5,220cfs and the East Branch 8,060-6,020, and the Main was just too much 15,400-12,500. That was all the first weekend it May, but things got better and even better through the summer. 


One day this spring I had the pleasure of having Joe and Z in my boat for a West Branch float and the anglers and the fish didn't disappoint. We had a great day. I am taking reservations for trips up to the Upper Delaware starting mid April. Check out my website for more info and give me a call 732.261.7291, or drop me a line colin@theaverageangler.com

Thursday, January 19, 2012

01.19.12 Buckling down for my Casting Instructor test next week

I spent a good part of the day studying for my upcoming FFF CI test next week. I'll be testing at the Fly Fishing Show in Somerset. It's made up of a written and practical test. I have been practicing with my Hydros 7 wt, watching John Wulff's video, and reading Shiels Hassan's new book, Fly Casting: A Systematic Approach.

Tomorrow I'll be watching old Mel Krieger videos and working in the office with my Fly-o in hand.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

01.18.12 Guys still giving them a shot...

     We've been kind of waiting to see what happened to the bass after lasts weeks blow and drop in air temperatures. I haven't fished but spoke with a few guys who caught a fish or two and or knew someone who got one or two. Nothing like last week. The birds are still here, picking at the rocks crabs at the ends of the groins. And a few days ago the gannets were diving and the whales were blowing off Allenhurst.

As of today NOAA has the water temps out front at 46 degrees with a few days of cold weather coming, it could be about the end till spring.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

01.17.12 Might be heading back down to the Bimini Big Game Club in March...

     Last year I was invited down to the Bimini Big Game Club-a Guy Harvey Outpost for the Writer's Challenge. It was an opportunity for the fly fishing media to see the "new" and recently renovated and opened facility. If you can remember from my writings last year, it's a first class operation. Besides being set in the beautiful Bahamas, the guides, staff, and managers made our visit enjoyable and memorable.

    Today I spoke with one of the managers and although they are not having the Challenge this year, he invited me down again this year. I am looking at March to see if it works with my schedule. After having been there already I have several ideas for stories and photo essays I would like to do. Now all I have to do is throw them out to some editors and see if I get any bites.