God I miss this blog. And I miss fishing. Well sort of.......
I see the last post I made was August 19th. That's almost 60 days ago. I can remember I would rush to get a post up within 60 minutes of leaving the beach. and, some days, I would post two or even three times. Needless to say things have changed, in so many ways I don't know where to begin. In short, I remarried, I moved, I re-started a new career.....and unfortunately I had to put fishing on the back burner while I got my life in order.
I have to returned to nursing, working as an RN in a hospital-based pediatric psychiatric crisis unit. That started the first week of September and since then it's been M-F straight days, but luckily now I am on 12 hours shifts, which, gives me my life, and fishing back. Although I live a stones throw from the Navesink River it doesn't compare living in Ocean, or even closer, when I rented on Phillips Ave in Deal. There's no quick run down, no smell of the ocean, no sound of the bell coming from the Shark River Inlet. But, I am glad and fortunate to have job that I love and a schedule that will again allow me to fish, alone, with friends, and clients. I will join the ranks of guides that have another gig, and that is good since last year I made just above the poverty level in fishing. Additionally I am pursuing my Nurse Practitioner license, which should take about three years, going around the calendar.
With my schedule change I was able to fish the last three days. It was fun trying to find all of my gear and even funner trying to find my "jetty" legs when I got on the rocks. The changes to the beaches and groins are horrible and it's hard to find some semblance of what I used to fish. Even though I didn't post in a few months I did get out a few times, but nothing to show for it. I was glad to see that after last weeks blow the beaches have been washed out to see....when will us humans understand this ridiculousness.
I was greeted the last two days with pretty sunrises, ones I haven't seen in some time. Today it was overcast, but the surf a little more active then the glass of the last two days. Yesterday the birds were over the albies about a mile as far as you could see left to right. Today no such action although I did see a few dolphins and some bait spraying out of the water.
Besides missing the beach and the rocks, and the fish.......I miss the guys. Although I had Richie with me the last three days I miss the other ones that called Phillips Ave home, we went as the Phillips Avenue gang. Me, Richie, Al, Bob, Lief, Andy and Bucktail Jimmy were daily visitors to the stretch in Deal. It was always fun to drive on Ocean Ave in the darkness and see who was where, Richie on Phillips, Jimmy on Roseld, Al at the hump, Lief near the pilings, Bob on the move, and Andy making casts up the beach as he looked for sharks teeth. Fishing, and the lack thereof, and the destruction of the fishing grounds, has sadly interfered with true and cherished friendships. Fishing and "home" was the glue, and it is gone, for now, as is Marine Place, as in the photo below.
After fishing with only a tap from a hickory shad, and no fish for four anglers I decided to drive and check out home. Sickening, but, it is already changing. I walked and made some casts on 8th Ave, a place I spent so many nights illuminated by the parking lot lights and the ones along the boards in Allenhurst. If I just looked straight out, it was like home again, but a quick glance right and left reminded me of the changes.
Things are looking good for the rest of the fall, that's my optimistic prediction. Lots of bait out back, and still enough fishable water out front looking for the collision of bait, bass, and tides. My new life prevents me from getting out everyday, but I am looking forward to getting back out there and even finding a new, but adopted "home", closer to my new life.
Soon it will be the International Fly Tying Symposium, then I am running an Orvis 301 Class at Island Beach State Park November 7th, and then in January the Fly Fishing Show. Bob Popovic's new book is due out and some of my friends and clients may have made the photo cutting table. In the meantime I'll still write and look forward to being out there more than I have been, but a nice regular direct deposit paycheck is a nice thing too.