Ken is a great fly fisherman and fly tyer...period. That said I have in the past had the pleasure to watch him tie flies and today fish with him on the beach and groins. Ken was born with acheiria, the absence of a right hand. I can say that doesn't slow him down, make his flies swim funny, make his loops less tight, or limit him in fighting and landing a fish.
As fly fisherman we find our strengths and limitations and work with and or around them. Bad back, or bad joints we compensate and alter our casts, retrieves, and hook sets accordingly. All day Ken shot easy 60-80 foot casts, worked the water far and near, and found the bass. He is inspirational to watch and showed me that anything can be accomplished if your heart and passion are willing.
We started early on the mid flood tide. We watched as bass rolled and swirled on mullet and some rain fish as the night turned to day. We went with a black Snake Fly switching to white as the light grew brighter. We had a take that dropped before Ken made a nice cast, two strips, and hooked and landed a nice 22" striped bass. Being Saturday there were others anglers out and we saw some spin fisherman land a few small bass, blues and a hickory shad.
Ken was interested in learning more about and fly fishing from the groins. As the tide rose we jumped on the rocks and discussed groin and jetty structure, effects of current and tides, and where and how to fish from the beach to the tip. Around slack we jumped in the truck and grabbed a coffee and did a quick tour scouting some of the various groin types and locations in the area. It was an easy and fun morning hanging out and fishing with someone who has a love of fly fishing and striped bass as I do.
At the start of the ebb we jumped back out on the rocks and switched to a sweet sand eel pattern Ken had tied. I introduced him to Jim Matson's Pulse Discs and after some work on the south side we hooked a bass that came unbuttoned. As the clouds and rain arrived we called it a day. It was a great day and I can say I won't be bitching anytime soon at the vice or while casting because I can't get it done. Seeing is believing.