Sunday, April 24, 2016

04.24.16 Started out front, finished in the river

     Started our early but didn't last long with the crankin' NE chilly wind which froze my ear holes and brain. Water looked great but left to jump on my buddies Paul's boat to check things out on the inside. Lots of racer and gator blues mostly taking subsurface offerings but every now and then blew up to stuff on top. I had a few unbutton, bite off, and landed one on the fly. Below is Jason holding a typical specimen that was out and about today.


     I decided to take a look again at duck and had a good bass swirl behind a Banger. Interestingly the last two days I haven't seen the birds or the bunker like I did a few days ago. Either it's down low or has moved along. They were in thick si it'll be interesting to see over the next few days.

Friday, April 22, 2016

04.22.16 Great day walking the bay.....

     Beautiful day. Great tide. Great wind (almost none). Great fish. It was nice to actually get into some fish and have me immediate area basically to myself and another fly rodder early on. When I arrived the plug guys were crushing them and after about 150 casts I got my first follows and misses and then connected. Had a few come unbuttoned but in the end landed three, which is really fun on the fly rod and from the flat. It's takes a spin fisher awhile to get them in, well it takes flyrodders even longer. The go to was a Bob's Banger with about 6 inches of a wire leader in front of it. Of course it wasn't easy because they weren't at your feet so the stripping baskets were basically submerged the whole morning. Best part of the day was sight casting to fins as they moved up and over the flat I was on, so much better than blind casting. Lots of guys must love the big blues because it was hard not to trip over them when walking off the beach. 


Monday, April 18, 2016

04.18.16 Things are about to get good for the fly rodders

     Gettin's gonna be good real soon on the fly rod. The warm air and water temperatures will set the table this week for some good action. When? Where? On what? That's for each individual angler to find out....for themselves. That more than half the fun. You just gotta get out there and put your time in. Now that's not to say a little help from a friend or two doesn't help.
     Water temps in the shallows of the bay are over 50, and even higher with the midday sun. You know what they say about the benchmark of 50 right? Topwater offerings start getting attention. Today I fished some creek mouths on the outgoing. First walking the sedges and then walking the flats. Absolutely gorgeous out there even though my first stop didn't produce.

          I stopped at a place where catching a sand bar can you put you out nice and far and into deeper water. I was greeted by the waft of burning wood which came from the remnants of a beach fire that either kids or anglers had fired up during the night. I had to position myself away from the debris and foam line that was created as the creek emptied out during the ebb tide. I didn't see any bait, except for a peanut washed up on the beach. I was hoping mummichogs, peanuts, or silversides would be at my feet but I think for now the fish are on the shrimp or the bigger bunker. Look for the bluefish to arrive any day, hopefully they'll hold off a bit and let the bass come and graze before they make their spawning runs up the Hudson.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

04.17.17 Right idea wrong tide

       After checking things out front I decided to sit on high slack in the river. Yes, incoming tides bring cooler water than the outgoing but you gotta go when you can go. Watched as few boats stopped and snagged and swam before heading out to the bay for more productive waters. Couldn't use the stripping basket with the rail in the way but the big water held the line just fine. Should be nice coming up on the ebb as air temps are starting to get in the 70's midday.

     The bigger bunker is in the back of the rivers but guys that were live-lining and chunking were coming up blank. Wonder if the bass will settle in on them before the toothy ones get a whiff.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

04.16.16 Scenes from this morning

     It's getting there.....just not yet. Waters in the low 40's out front and the fish and bait isn't there. The temps are better out back, and the fish are there too. Started on the rocks before moving to some open beach. Nearly got washed down the beach scarp, you know when you catch yourself going sideways before you get dragged in. Not a tap, no birds working, hopefully sooner than later.

Friday, April 15, 2016

04.15.16 Always know which way the water and wind is moving


     Saw this this past week and really didn't have much to say about it because it could have been me. Trenton Fire Department was called to rescue a stranded angler who lost mind of the tide.

     I can relate this to the "new" Jersey Shore we have were sand has found new home and created a mix of good and bad structure. If you are planning and wading out to the bar especially on the ebb tide make sure you remember how you got there and what time it flips. Anglers down on Island Beach State Park are used to this. those of us that don't leave Monmouth County not so much.

Just some advice- fish with a buddy, wear a wading belt, know the tides and wind, be smart!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

04.12.16 Great night with Ian at The Atlantic Saltwater Flyrodder

     Great night down at Klee's on the Boulevard in Seaside for the monthly Atlantic Saltwater Flyrodder's meting. Tonight we had Captain Ian Devlin from Connecticut as a speaker. If you know Ian you know when you are talking to him he is in another plane, meaning he probably has forgot more about the topic than you'll know. He is known for his Devlin Blends inspired from Steve Farrar's Flash Blend and his recent work work with Mark Sedotti, who took the ride down, on the G. Loomis ShortStix series.

    Ian is hardcore and not only questions anything and everything but then breaks it down and figures how it can be made to work better. He fascinated me when I saw him with a grain scale and he would spend time weighing his fly lines and heads for accuracy. He guides the Long Island Sound and the rivers in Connecticut near Norwalk. If you'd like to contact him he can be reached at (203) 451-9400 if he's not out on the water.

04.12.16 Still cold and early out front

     I was hoping the wind went more W than SSW earlier then it was scheduled to. Caught it on the start of the incoming. Sexy looking water that will produce fish, just had to travel south to see it. It's really worth getting out there and scouting the new look Jersey Shore, not only a stormy winter, but all the man-made negative changes that continue to occur.
     The next phase of beach replenishment that will put the nail in Jetty Country is going to start soon. That destruction will go from Phillips Avenue in Deal north to Lake Takanassee in Long Branch. 3 million cubic yards of sand will be irresponsibly deposited along the 1.3 mile stretch of fabled waters. There goes more of the neighborhood.

Monday, April 11, 2016

04.11.16 Didn't have much hope but did have fun

     Less than perfect conditions for some early season stripers but it worth a shot. Started out front on the rocks at low tide with SSW winds at 20. Waters cold and I didn't see anything for life while out. It was good though because I was able to scout some spots without water around and getting my confidence and rock feet back early in the season is always good. Made a stop in the river but by the time I got there the tide was still on the ebb and too fast to fish with the fly rod.

     Took the drive in the back where the wind was less an issue and the water temps a more favorable 45 degrees. Walked the beach and a made a few dozen casts before heading west a little more. Found


some guys soaking clams without a tap before making my way out into the skinny water. Rode a sand bar way out looking for some bass that didn't get blown over to the New York side but didn't get a bite nor see anything when the sun peaked through and lit up the flats. I have to remember to load my other stripping basket that has no holes if I'm going to be fishing on the move.

     I didn't see any bait or birds working but did see two straggling gulls dive into the water at some point which I thought could be promising. I snagged a grass shrimp on a retrieve which I'm sure the bass that are around are eating when not on the bunker or herring that is reportedly around. We need a good warm spell like we had a few weeks back where the temps in the bay were up just about 50 degrees. 

Friday, April 8, 2016

04.08.16 This is a must get for all salty fly rodders.....


     Over the winter my friend Bob Popovic's and Jay Nichols released a great new book detailing how to tie some of the most effective patterns for salt water fly fishing. I was honored to be a part of this book submitting several photographs that are included inside. I would like to thank friends and clients that allowed me to photograph them on our trips and can be found throughout the book. They are Joe Phiefer, Andrew Hamilton, and Mike Kelly.
     Bob is not only a great fly tying innovator and fisherman, but also a great friend and a great man. For anyone that has met or spent time with Bob you know how willing he is to share any of his knowledge of the sport.


Thursday, April 7, 2016

04.07.16 Back from the abyss.....well back from a years off journey

Good bye Roseld.......
      So I decided that today would be my first trip out. Didn't care about the wind, weather or tide I was just going to give it a shot as it has been far too long since I had a fly rod in my hand and the taste of salt on my tongue.


     After a tough 2014 year as a full time fly fishing guide I had to make some changes. I finally had realized that I was funding a hobby than a profitable business. I know that people don't guide to get rich, but for me, the fluctuations and variables that go with fish and cash flow were to unstable to stay all in. There are many out there that can do it full time, sadly with many mouths to feed, and more educations to fund, I had to make a move. I returned to nursing and took a job in a hospitals pediatric psychiatric crisis unit. It has been, well first a big change, and both emotionally and (steadily) financially rewarding. During this past year I returned to school and will graduate next month with my BSN and will start the Nurse Practitioner program at Monmouth University in the fall.

    So, I am back in. To those who looked forward and read the blog daily I am sorry that I had to go. I have seen over the past year when I did post I always would say "I'm back after a long break..." but then there would be a long break again. This time, I'm back in. I am taking reservations for walk and


wade and boat trips along the Jersey Shore starting in May. Today I visited my boat and made sure all the commissioned work was in place for smooth sailings this spring. For those that have contacted me I look forward to getting out with you again, for those that want to fish give me a call.

     I have a made few changes that may be temporary. For 2016 I decided to not be involved in the Orvis Endorsed Guide Program. With all the expenses hitting me I couldn't afford the program, and I'm still paying off the 2015 monies due. Even though I am not participating I will always call myself an Orvis guy, and guide. Also, I did not renew my credentials for guiding on the Upper Delaware Rivers, but one day hope to return. I missed not fishing there last year, and I haven't been involved in the FUDR One Bug last year or this year which is April 29-May 2. It is great weekend and it's again a thing that I dearly miss.

Sad news from up there is the recent passing of Dr. Peter Bossum,
a great man that I had the pleasure of fishing with, who was dedicated to preserve and conserve the Catskill rivers with the FUDR.



     So this morning I started by breaking in a new pair of Orvis RiverGuard Silver Label waders that have been kept as a back up pair in the box for several years. I headed out from Red Bank and started in the Shrewsbury River and then went over to the ocean and worked my way down to Asbury. I finished up in the Raritan Bay on the flats, thinking the higher water temps and an outgoing tide might get me a bite, but it didn't. It was great to get out, sad to see all the changes, but they have created a new game out there as much scouting is now needed to locate structure and find where where fish will hold, if they do at all.

     There's really no spot burns any more along the beach, at least in the classic areas. I fished Roosevelt and, like everywhere else I stopped, was sickened by what I found. A metal bulkhead and rock wall was built on the south side of the pump house leading to Popular Brook. This falls right in line with the two houses who's property extends to the ocean. Surely this will accommodate lush green lawns and posted property, just like on the north side. This will prevent walking access from Roosevelt to Phillips, and, in my opinion, eventually close that beach to public access, making Phillips Avenue basically for access and parking for the beach club members.

     Here's just about as bad as I saw.....the view from Darlington looking to Roseld...... there's no groin anymore. I spent countless days and nights on those rocks. Below is a pick with anglers on Roseld when the fish were around. What a great place when you either had to fish north or south with the fly rod due to the wind.

     I gave 8th Avenue a shot just in case any bait was being flushed out of the flume. Sad to see what became of the north side with all the sand filled in.

     And for more happy viewing here's Marine......another storied place for the Jersey surf and flycasters....gone forever, because not only did they cover it, they notched it. Below is what it looked like when many would stop and scout during those early morning trips.


     With the wind going southeast the bay was a better shot, but hard on the backcast......