With clients in a wait-and-see pattern following the recent blow it gives me time to get out and find some new fishy spots. The only way to do that is to walk the beach on a low and high tide and read the water and sand. Have to thank my wife for handing getting the kids off to school today so I could see that first light high tide.
The winds were ENE at 10-15 with big, quick swells that made fly fishing....well difficult. My favorite stick in these conditions is the Orvis H2 11 weight. It's a stud. 350 grain Depth Charge line with two weighted flies and it works like a charm. That set up takes some getting used to if your used to throwing a 5wt for trout, or even a 7 or 8 weight for light saltwater. This aren't dry fly conditions when your standing in the water getting pounded, and knocked down!, and trying to get your fly where it needs to go.
Started in the dark with a line of guys where I watched a guy land a 15 + pound striped and nearly risk his life in landing it. It was all of 15, could have been 18. Again, the wind and waves and surf was up but I was able to work the north pocket from the rocks, and got a bump for the effort. I started out with a two fly set-up. Racoon Snake Fly leading off a Velvet Eel 25 inches behind. I stayed with that all morning.
I hit the beach below and the waves were breaking on the sand bar, rolling over and breaking on the beach. You can't see it but there were birds out a bit picking on bait off the tops of the waves. I took a beating there and decided to find more favorable condidions. And I had the ebb tide going to work for me.
The third stop was still big, but fishable. It had changed considerably post storm with a cusp and bowl now sitting just south of the groin. Fishy, but no fish for me. And again, a lot of work.
My fourth and final stop was during hours 3-5 on the outgoing. It's just where I wanted to be, I dreamed of it last night. The wind had sat down a bit, the tide ebbed, and the waves, well, were still big and quick.
I thought of venturing out on the groin knowing I would be taking a bath but decided to start close and then work my way out. On my second cast nearly into the wash the below beauty hit the Snake Fly like it hadn't eaten in a month. It took it about 25 feet from me and in no time I was into my backing and searching for flat rocks I could use to get back to the beach. Big current and waves made this fish feel like a monster. Sadly the picture doesn't do it justice, but look at the Benjamin Beufort Blue
(Forrest Gump's friend in Forrest Gump) bottom lip it has!
Here's a little clip from the movie....
Before I had left it was another keeper, two missed bumps, a tired ass elbow and shoulder, and a big smile. Things are picking up nicely as the bass show up along the beaches. I didn't see any bait this morning but the birds were busy picking.
If you like hard core fly fishing this is about as good as it gets. Over the next few days it should it will get easier as the wind is predicted to slow and shift over the weekend. Either, way it's fall saltwater striped bass fly fishing, nothing else like it.....now let me get that Icy Hot.