Saturday, March 31, 2012

03.31.12 Great time at the Orvis NYC store

     Had a great time at the Orvis NYC store today! Met a handful of nice folks and after attempting to get my presentation up on the big screen....they had to settle for the iPad version. Lots of good questions and interaction on fly fishing the Jersey Shore. Afterwards Rob and I broke out the vices for some fly tying. I tied up a Clouser and Deceiver and then broke out the yak hair. Rob tied some Hollow Fleyes and then finished off with a nice hi-tie yak bunker fly of his own. He shared some great fly tying tips that I'll put into practice my next time at the Regal!
     The Orvis store in Manhattan is a great place to visit. I mentioned to Rob that it was nice to see and be able to touch the different products Orvis offers. We have become such web and catalogue consumers that it's nice to be in a specialty shop that carries flies, rods, ect. In New Jersey we've been without a fly only shop for years. If you are in New York...stop by and say hello to Rob and his staff...and check out the great selection of flies that Rob carries. 

Friday, March 30, 2012

03.30.12 Hitting Orvis NYC tomorrow

     On Saturday I'll be at the Orvis store in Manhattan giving a presentation on fly fishing the Jersey Shore and the Upper Delaware. After the show I'll be sitting down with fly fishing manager Rob Ceccarini and tying some saltwater flies. It should be a good Saturday....stop by if you can.

03.30.12 Caught a beautiful first light...what could be better

     After last evenings howling wind I figured I would set my alarm for 430 am and check things from my bedroom window before heading out. Well, I hit the snooze button and didn't get up and out till 6 am. When I got down to the ocean Gus was the lone angler out and didn't have a bite on a yellow Bomber. Two anglers had came and went before I arrived, with one landing and releasing a keeper sized striper.


    If I timed it right I may have hooked up a little earlier on the ebb tide, and left with the others feeling content with having caught a fish, but I feel I caught the best part of the morning. It's not uncommon to see anglers stop-and-pop along the beaches and groins before they have to get off to work but they often miss the amazing painting the sun does on some mornings.
    I love to fish, and catch fish, but I think that fly fishing allows me enjoy and get satisfaction from the settings in which I find myself as much as holding a fish in hand. I rarely leave frustrated if I don't catch a fish, although yesterday morning, after having fished for hours alone only to have the next angler come next to me and catch and release a 15 pound striper on the fifth cast...well, sucked.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

03.28.12 Out for a scout and threw the big flies tonight

     After a busy day I finished up taking the big bunker flies I tied last night down to the ocean to give them a test drive. I fished two, and both were great to cast and rode in the water well. It was low tide and just before I arrived a guy had two keepers, one at 14 pounds. I plan on giving it a go tonight, or early tomorrow morning. 
     I started my day down at Betty and Nicks buying up some good bucktail that John had said he got in. On my way home I stopped by the Point Pleasant Canal to see if anyone was fishing, and then over to the Manasquan Inlet. I saw one guy fishing between both stops. 

     My last stop before getting home to knock out a bunch of office stuff was the Belmar Marina. I wanted to see how work was coming along on the boat ramp. Below is a picture of the progress. I stopped over at Belmar Town Hall and was told it looks like mid-May for a completion goal, if the DEP gives them the thumbs up. It's starting to feel fishy again, just sayen'.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

03.27.12 Getting ready for the bunker attack

     After getting the CCG yesterday in the mail and trying it out on a bunker fly yesterday I spent most of my time in bed last night tossing and turning dreaming how I could tie some really good bunker flies.   When it comes to tying there are a million different ideas, techniques, methods and rules. I think the best way for me to tie is trial and error. Sit down at the vise, tie some flies, and then take them out and fish them. I enjoy going to the fly fishing and fly tying shows and listening to the famous tyers and their presentations. One of my favorite is Bob Popovics. During one of his talks he demonstrated how he builds a fly, from a drawing on a paper all the way to the vice. It was a great idea and I find it very helpful especially when trying to tie bigger flies.

     Last week I became part of the Regal Engineering endorsed fly tyer program. For a year I have looked into vices and what tyers are using what brand and I feel that Regal is the best fit for me. I placed an order and today received my vice via UPS. Since I tie mostly saltwater flies I ordered the Medallion Series Vice with the Big Game Jaws. You can check out their website HERE, in addition to the products they sell there is a list of some of the top tyers that use Regal vices.

       Above are some of the bunker flies I tied today. I used the CCG on the heads and mixed four colors of yak hair for the bodies. On the top one I cut and then dubbed a body out of yak hair that worked well and helped me keep a larger profile. I have some tweaking to do and then will take them out to cast them and see which style I should make more of.  

Monday, March 26, 2012

03.26.12 Got in on that "Clear Cure Goo" today

     Today I finally got in on the Clear Cure Goo craze that hit the fly tying world last year. I ordered up some on Thursday and asked Brian Carson if he could get it out that day. He emailed be back and said it was already gone. Today I cranked out some Deceivers and Clousers and can say that I'm done


looking at chartreuse and white. Later in the day I started playing around with some yak hair and tying up a bunker fly, motivated by the 12 inch bunker that I found in the Raritan Bay and Navesink River the last few days. I mixed up four colors and got the fly out to 10 inches. Just as I was ready to come up with a plan to finish the mailman dropped off a box and in it was the Clear Cure Goo.
     I opened up the box and remembered I had ordered the basic kit which came with two tubes of 'Goo" , a blue light, some applicators, and in addition three packs of eyes. I used the 8mm eyes on this bunker fly and the "thick" Goo on the head. I was able to apply and then form it while holding the hairs back easily and then hold the blue light to set it. In 10 seconds it was cured.
     I am looking forward to using it on other flies, especially the Clousers that take a real beating while fishing from from the surf and the rocks. My early concern is, I think I used a lot of it on just this one fly, and each replacement syringe is $10.50 for 10ml. Also the dumbell eyes, which are nice, are $6.75 for six pair.

I find that I beat the piss out of flies while fishing the Jersey Shore salt so I don't know if I need flies that are prettier then they are durable.

     Well the weather has changed up a bit. Wind's from the N at 27 kts and that should slow things down for a few days. Everyone is kind of on standby with the most productive areas the back bays late evening or at night as the bass chase the bunker in the shallows. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

03.25.12 More time at the vise...

     Busy day but I ended it back at the vise getting some ties in while I can.

03.25.12 Just tyin'...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

03.24.12 I love my three teenagers...but I really love my 6 year old daughter!

     Yesterday I told my six year old that during some time today we would tie some flys. Well all day the older kids had me running around ragged, the dog had to go to the groomer, and my wife and I had a quick date night grabbing a bite at the Keyport Fishery. Well, at 8 o'clock tonight I got a call from a teary girl asking me when we would be tying. I do love six year boys were like this too...but there's something about when a daughter is into you and anything that you're into.

Below is Erin's first tie...colors picked by her....I just wish I had the right sized eyes.

Friday, March 23, 2012

03.23.12 Look what's for dinner.....

     Since I skipped the river last night I went back today to see how things looked. Found a few guys snagging foot long cookie cutter bunker. As I watched on the incoming the flip-flopping started as the happy bunker enjoyed the back river water. The guys were holding onto the bunker and using sandworms looking for a striper or two.

Now that I've seen it for myself I can say there is bunker in the Navesink River and Raritan Bay.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

03.22.12 All quiet...on many fronts

     Got up to the Raritan Bay and found the parking lot jammed and 28 poles in the water soaking clams. As the sun went down happy bunker started breaking water all around. I saw one short caught on a clam. I had planned on going to the river but decided to travel south and fish out front. It was hour 2 of the outgoing and I had a good feeling. There were 16 guys on the three groins that I visited, and I fished one for about and hour without a bump and only saw a skate caught on a clam. I took a drive down to the Shark River Inlet and fished there and on one of the Avon rocks again without a bump. I went back to Asbury and did a drive through and then caught up with the large contingent of guys who had been out while I was, none of them turned a fish.

I have seen the good bait in the Raritan Bay, and will check the river tomorrow. Guys have been doing well down in South Jersey, and it sounds like Barnegat Bay has been fishing well.

03.22.12 Back to fishing...

     It's 70 degrees out and I am hearing that there's tons of bait in the rivers and bays so I'm going to give it a go. The bay is 59 degrees at the USGS in Keansburg so I am sure the flats are jumping.

03.21.12 Back from a long weekend in the Adirondacks


     Well I was looking to a nice weekend with my mother, brother and sister in the Adirondacks. It started out good, got, bad, then worse, then better, then worse and today is Wednesday March 21, 2012.

It would be easier to list the chain of events rather then write them-

1) Stopped in diner for breakfast in New Jersey, then stopped in a rest stop on the New York State Thruway to use the bathroom

2) Lost wallet

3) Drove to Ausable Forks to check on the lodge

4) Opened door, well had to ass it open, to find water blowing out of the ceiling in the first floor and everything soaked, moist, buckled, warped, or covered in mold.



5) Turned off water, called insurance company- "No worries Mr Archer- Like a good neighbor State Farm is there, we'll get the ball rolling right now."


6) Twenty minutes later an investigator called back and said, "We're not doing anything until I come up from Albany on Monday."

7) Heating guy comes Saturday and says we ran out of heating oil which burst the supply pipes to the bathroom.


8) Start the cleanup and documentation. Huge help brother Ryan breaks ass with me for two days.



9) Back on Sunday for more salvage and clean up, a nice Ex-Jersey guy offers to put me up and helps me at the house. Mom and brother head back to Jersey, leave me cash, still have no wallet

10) Monday insurance lady comes, very nice, but " Article 4, Line 2, sentence 2- "Failure to maintain heat on you"


11) Figure I'm on my own...order dumpster....start demo-ing the first floor- walls, ceilings, ect ripped out and into dumpster.




12) No license, so I cant rent a car, so I catch a ride to Plattsburgh Tuesday morning to catch an Amtrak train down to Poughkeepsie where my Father-In-Law will pick me up and take me home.

13) Can't buy a ticket nor board a train without 2 forms of ID

14) Walk halfway across Plattsburgh and then take a jitney to a Greyhound bus station, located in a cheap hotel

15) "South train just left, next one leaves at 7 pm, 7 hours from now" Eat at Butcher Block and come to hotel, sit in hot cramped waiting room alone.

16) Ask staff if I can rent a room for a few hours, yes, 35 dollars. Dad calls up and gives credit card and I'm all set

17) On my way to my room a toothless woman asks if I'll be staying here for a few days

18) Crank AC, put on Deadliest Catch, crash

19) Wake up at 4, walk to dollar store- but razors, body wash, OCC doll for my mom, and a bag of those candy cremes.

20) Take shower, drag cheap razor across face, eat cremes, get on bus at 7 o'clock

21) Mom and wife pick me up in Albany at 10pm and then drive home

22) That was my weekend-

NOTE- All fly fishing trips and lodging in the Ausable Forks lodge suspended till further notice

Thursday, March 15, 2012

03.16.12 Off to the Adirondacks for the weekend

Heading up to the lodge to check on things before spring. Looking to some time in the Adirondacks before a busy spring on the Jersey Shore and Upper Delaware.

The blue house located on the the West Branch of the Ausable is for sale, $50,000. Drop me a line if you're interested.

03.15.12 Cool video on making fly rods

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

03.14.12 Lots of micro bass in the shallows at night

Got in about 1 am. Fished the incoming with a few spin anglers. They all got micro bass on Bombers, most tail hooked. Gave my "creation" a go and then threw the fly wallet at them. Had several soft strikes that I couldn't pull the trigger on. South wind helped dive bomb my sink tip line and weighted Clousers into rocks behind me, and thus losing two on the back cast. Interesting to see this influx of stripers 12 -20 inches with a few 20-26 here and there.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

03.13.12 Awry at the vice...but I'm sticking with it

     I had some idea of what I wanted, and as time went it became the above. It has a little bit of everything, yak, bucktail, foam, Skull Head, and a secret inside- a large Pyrex rattle.

After seeing the herring come over the rocks last night, and spin anglers hooking up on large Bombers, some with rattles inside, I decided to come up with something. It wasn't this I had in mind but we'll see. It has all the components of a good fly, just maybe all together in that invention. I going out around 9 pm and will fish past midnight on the last of the incoming and then high slack. 

03.13.12 Great night for stripers on the fly...and herring up over the top of the rocks

     What a nice night to fish. When I left at 830 it was just 60 degrees. The wind was steady from the south pushing the incoming tide all over the rocks. I started north and then settled in in Asbury Park. A few other anglers were out and it seemed just about everyone had a short or two. I went two for two catching one before high tide and the other on the slack tide. The best part of the night was hearing a fish flop behind me after a large wave crashed on the groin. I guess the herring are here...and mot guys seemed to be hooking up on silvery Bombers retrieved slowly. It seems that fish 22-27 are common, with a few keepers in the mix. With the big bait around and warm temps moving in we should see things only get better as summer comes within the next month....I'm kidding, but who can tell.

I'll be splitting my time starting in late April through May between the Upper Delaware and here on the Shore. To book a trip, to give someone a trip give me a call or drop me an email to get something in the books.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

03.11.12 Got a great gift at the Asbury Park Fishing Flea Market today

     I got over to Convention Hall around 8 a.m. which was about an hour before the doors opened. The vendors were finishing their set ups and most of the club guys were milling about and scanning the tables before the show opened. After the doors opened anglers flocked to some of the more popular plug makers tables like Cyclone and TB Swimmers. I watched as the TB table got cleaned out in less than 45 minutes, and word was he had 160 plugs to sell. But I think I got the best score out of anyone there. John Scelfo is a fellow member of the club and has been fishing both the fresh and salt waters longer than I am alive. He's fly fished before "that" movie came out, and has spent lots of time in the Catskill waters that I so love. I mostly see him now spin fishing for stripers and casting the plugs he makes himself. I don't know him well but he would probably be one of the most all around versatile anglers I have ever met. He makes plugs, fishes the salt from Montauk to New Jersey and has tied his own freshwater flies and has fished some of the best trout streams from Montana to the Upper Delaware. So, today he approached me and said he would like me to have something. He pulled a box


of flies out of his pocket that said, "Flys by Harry Darbe(e) Roscoe, NY 1975". I was taken aback by the thought and his kindness. I looked inside and could just imagine when and where these flies were tied. I have read the stories in books of the legendary Castkill tiers authored by Mike Valla, and now I have my own piece of history to go with what I have come to picture in my mind.

     I spent the day taking lots of pictures for the club and put together a little slideshow of most of the images. I ran them in black and white as the mixed lighting and flash and no flash on my point and shoot has all the pictures with a different feel. Below is the show,

    And then as I walked and looked at all the incredible workmanship on those plug,s poppers, and needlefish- I wondered if and how I could through them with a fly rod. At one booth I found a large box of wooden blanks that I couldn't resist, and another booth that sold materials to build your own plugs, so I picked up some nose grommets and some Danny lips, just to see if I can create something that my 12 wt will get off the ground.