Monday, September 29, 2014

09.29.14 Stunning first light this morning....

     I don't know if I have ever seen the light show that I saw out there this morning. It came up slowly and then got more intense as the clock ticked. The colors were varied but they were in the deepest of hues. It was spiritual and calming.
     I was hoping, as were the regulars on this beat, that the post blow fishing would be good if not yesterday, then today. A west wind sat the incoming tide down and the water looked good but it was flat and lifeless. No bait, no swirls, no action. But the above scene made it all the worth while.
     I moved around a bit and in the end just settled in and sat and watched from a stand of rocks that have come to have a very special meaning. Although a different day, with a different view, and now alone, the memory of a few amazing moments there will always be with me, and I will cherish them always. It's not to powerful to say, "This kind of certainty comes but once in a lifetime."

Saturday, September 27, 2014

09.27.14 None for me but a beautiful place to be......

  Very fishy out there. Lots of white water on the flood tide. Didn't see any bait where I was but  friend had bait and lost a good bass. Funny sometimes how a few hundred yards can make the difference between victory and defeat.
     Went back to the "new" beach structure I found yesterday and fished it knowing there are plenty of obstructions under the water line that love to eat flies and lures. After a few casts I went tight, and realized I had donated another Snake Fly to the sea.

Friday, September 26, 2014

09.26.14 Lookin' good out there post blow.....

       Hit it for a little bit on the end of the outgoing. Found the water to be looking good following the strong NE winds and big tides. Lots of changes on the beach with troughs back up and down. I found them when I took a step and then looked down and saw the change in water color signifying deeper water. Can't wait for a tide or two to get the bait, and bass, back onto the beach.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

09.25.14 Angry ocean and one "angry fish".....

     Couldn't wait to get back to fishing the beach and rocks. I was hoping to get out before the blow started but I didn't. NE winds honking at 25-35 pretty much the whole time I fished which was 230-530 am.
     When I first got out it was manageable, but the problem was I couldn't find any water. Coming off the new moon the low tide was real low and there wasn't much for fish holding spots around. I took a ride inside but I was too early for slack so I went back out front. The flood tide was in hour two and there was a lot more water around.
     I was throwing a black Snake Fly and went tight after a pretty good cast along the rocks. It turned out to be a stargazer, aka an "angry fish". This blow will be around a few days and when its over hopefully it will only take a tide or two to clear up. And, more hoping, the mullet will still be around.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

09.24.14 The weather has me wrapping things up a few days early in Montauk....

     Last night most of us thought today would be a blowout day. My guys were planning on getting up and back to Jersey which seemed like a good plan. We were up early and my friend Jason said he was heading out to get the morning in. As I talked I saw the other guides at the dock getting ready to do the same.
     I talked with my guys and they were good sticking to their plan. Of course plans never go the way you plan them.....because for those that got this morning was great. Jason got his guys on the albies and some big bluefish in sloppy conditions. 

Blitzbound on the fish this morning

     Today the people in charge of the Redbone Tournament had to make a call if the event should go on. Thursday and Friday are looking horrible and just not fishable in any way. Since I figured if it was cancelled I might head back to Jersey late tonight putting me home in time to fish the beach in the morning in sporty conditions, which are my favorite. 
     I decided to tie up some bait, Snake Flies, and listen to a few old Grateful Dead shows on You Tube. It was a fun couple of hours. I got about a dozen tied up and ready to swim. It is going to be so good on the Jersey beaches after this new moon and blow.......I'd bet on it. 


     My week plus a day up here has been great. The fishing great, the sticks in my boat great, and most importantly the Montauk guides more than great. I couldn't have done it without the help and support of Capt. Jason Dapra from Blitzbound Guide Service.....always the friend and a mentor in saltwater boat fishing. Although the week was great, it wasn't without a few mistakes on my part, there's the plug incident- which didn't go over well with some of the guides here, and a moment where I got to close to another guides boat and we had a few backcasts brush their T-Top. No doubt class acts and hard working fly fishing guides up here....something I'm not used to in New Jersey....not the class and hard working part.....but the numbers up here are much different hen home. 

     I didn't talk about it much but I have to mention the several nights of a good hang at West Lake. On one night I met my sister Jess and her boyfriend and we had another great time and great food. Over the week I have ate more raw fish then I should have but the sushi, which I am no coneiseur, was off the charts. Every night I said I was going to order something else, but I always wound up with a plate called the Rough Rider, and usually backed it up with another. This is it below, shrimp tempura with lobster salad and whatever else, boy was it good. 


     And everyday I managed to swallow a perfect BLT from Gaviola's Montauk Market. I ate them in the morning, on the boat, and at night. We've all had a bad BLT, well this one is one of the best. 

     So even though I'm fly fishing, and a lot of the boats were, this is Montauk, where charter boats are a big part with charters concentrating on getting their clients on the fish, and fish for the cooler. Everyday, from the noon time return, to the evening returns, the fish were hauled off the boat to the cleaning tables. Although the bass aren't here, or yet up, the boats did harvest a lot of them, including some big ones. I sat forn several nights with a well known charter captain, who believes that something has to be done to save the bass, and he does his best to let his clients know that "take just what you need, and let the big ones go", and sometimes that falls on deaf ears. It was a pleasure talking with him and hearing his perspective on striped bass from the "other side" of the aisle if you will. 

     In the end the Redbone was cancelled so I will spend the afternoon securing the boat and loading up before heading home. It has been great and I look forward to returning next year maybe going a little deep into October to catch the bass, and most importantly, not missing my favorite early morning mullet and bass action on the beach and rocks back home. Low tide hits at 220 tomorrow morning so it will be  an early window if anything.

     I found this sign on the docks at West Lake and am sure it is appropriate for so many including myself.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

09.23.14 "They'e over here, they're over there.....

...they're up, they're down, 2 o'clock, 4 o'clock, 1015.....1015???, I'm in, I'm out, I'm tight, I'm off......and then just, well sorry, FUCK!!!. Those are just a few of the things you'll hear on a boat from guides and anglers while albie fishing....especially tough days, and today we heard a lot of them.


      Ran two half day shifts the first with Phil and Joe (Joe who remained fishless and pictureless due to some bad mojo) out for the morning. Super nice but slow morning with lots of trips back and forth in front of the Lighthouse. After lunch, well we got hungry and the fish did too, things picked up and we had some decent shots at albies up on bait. This was Phil's first time to Montauk and he went tight and landed his first albie. He can now cross that off of his bucket list. Joe, well, Joe worked like a dog and had some decent shots but couldn't get them to eat or get tight. He stayed true to the fly rod and after a shift change early in the afternoon he went out around the Lighthouse in his kayak, with no luck....

     For the afternoon shift it was Ian and Andrew back in to fish and Phil manning the video camera....both guys went tight and got bit off by bluefish early on. Then, it just got tough for us. A few follows, a few eats, one unbuttoned, one size 4 hook straightened out, and lots of albie fever frustration. We did see several boats hook up and bring the albies over the rail which only added to our frustration. We were back in at 630 and I have to say I was a little beat after 10 hours out there.

Tomorrow, and the next few days are looking like a blowout so I might be home on the sand sooner than later.

Monday, September 22, 2014

09.22.14 Got out for a quick boat ride in the afternoon.....

     With the morning a wash and guides and clients on standby, the weather Gods presented a window, just a slightly better one. I was waiting with some of the guides and they decided to head out after noon.  My crew was out at the lighthouse but Andrew was game to head out.
     We got out and found some boats and some fish, which appeared to be a mix of albies and bluefish. We had a few good shots but couldn't get tight. At one point I got a little to close another guide boat with our backcast nearly dusting their T-top. From then I just wanted to stay out of the mix and go and find our own fish.
     We were getting close to slack and driving round not finding anything for ourselves so I decided to start back towards in. We had a west wind, the incoming was about to start, and I didn't want to deal with the wind against tide ride. My thought was we could beat a wet ride in, we didn't, and do a sweep of the area out and around the inlet. We found some birds.....but no fish....and lots of bumpy water.

And, of course, just as we got in I heard it was going pretty good where we started.......

Back at he room I can't beat the Snug Harbor Motel hang on the balcony....

09.22.14 Monday morning standby....

     Went to bed last night with zero wind and flat water both inside and outside Lake Montauk. Woke up this morning to a tad bit different conditions. Saw a few boats making there way out, some standing by to see if conditions better as the tide ebbs. Hoping to make it out some time today even if its a short window.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

09.21.14 Great day out with some new bodies in the boat...

     Had a great day out with Andrew, Joe and Ian. Started out in some sloppy water where the albies were eating good. Less boat traffic out here today where we were so it made closing in on the birds and fish a little easier. We stopped and ate as the tide went slack and then had a slow pick in the afternoon before the clouds and rain moved in. Andrew and Ian had several fish and Joe had two on but they


came unbuttoned, so no pics of him just yet. On one fish Andrew who was fishing the back of the boat went tight and as the albie screamed into the backing he felt his line knotted up in a flash. I grabbed the line but the fish went under the boat and snapped off, at least we saved the rod. One thing about albie fishing, everything is quick. They are here and gone, up and down, and tight and into the backing before the blink of an eye. 


     Below Ian holds a nice fish sporting the STORMR Fusion jacket which came out this fall. I have been wearing mine the whole week and its the jacket I need for early fall before switching over to the STRYKER jacket. You can see more on the Fusion HERE

Below are a few pics of Montauk guides in action from today....

Saturday, September 20, 2014

09.20.14 Bit sloppy this morning but the afternoon was beautiful....

     Bumpy ride out and for most of the morning but the afternoon was real nice. Had a hard time getting into them but this will be the last picture of Charlie holding an albie you will see. Shift change tonight with a different crew coming in. Hopefully the weather will be good for the next four days they are here.
     One things for sure, I'd love to just be in chase boat all day photographing fly fishing at Montauk. In Jersey, there aren't a lot of fly rodders out at one time, here it seems like every small boat is throwing flies. Above is Captain Jason Dapra of Blitzbound Guide Service setting up his clients on some busting albies.

09.20.14 A few from Camp Hero.....

     Woke up to the sound of anglers and boaters getting ready to head out outside of my room. Decided to take a ride back to the Point and check out Camp Hero at first light. As always, love to find that lone angler through the lens and make an image. There were other anglers out but I liked the way it was framed with the points from the cliff and the sun breaking the horizon.
     I decided to soup a similar image in black and white, and although you lose the beauty of the colors of the sun the cliffs pop since I opened up the image a few stops.

Friday, September 19, 2014

09.19.14 Got out in some afternoon slop...

 The wind sat down a bit and we headed out after 3. It was a little sloppy but the albies were up and after chasing them around they settled in nicely. It lasted for a while and it seemed that every boat out was throwing a fly rod and at some point each was hooked up, some with doubles. This really is a special place with so much to learn and experience. I hope that the bass show up, on top, soon.

09.19.14 Beautiful morning out here.....

     Pretty stiff winds had the ocean angry this morning so I took a ride down to the lighthouse. Hoping to get out later this afternoon if conditions allow. Found surfcasters in their glory with big surf and plenty of white water. I can see why this place is so addicting to to those not fishing from a boat.

     At one point a husband and wife team made their way out to share a rock. I thought how nice that must be to have a partner that shares a similar passion, not that its necessary, but it must be special.