Tuesday, July 30, 2019

07.29.19 New drift boat owners and a cool story.....

     So here it goes. While up in the Adirondacks this week for a family vacation I talked it over with the wife and decided to sell my drift boat. Sad. Hurts. But, time to go. I'm not guiding on the Upper Delaware anymore, probably was delusional that I'd do smallmouth trips down this was on the Delaware, and after seeing anglers zipping around in aluminum boats with a jet engine on it that might be the way to go.

     I posted it two days ago on facebook around 3pm. At 9pm I posted it on Craigslist Syracuse figuring the Salmon River area might get me a bite. By 10pm-ish it was sold. I got a call from Matthew who was eager to buy it, in fact he tells me he wanted to drive down at 10 pm and pick it up. I get it. I've been there. It is nice to see such passion. 

     So here's where it gets funny. In 2010 while up in Saranac Lake visiting my sister I saw a drift boat in the lot of a business near the Adirondack Medical Center. I inquired about it and soon after was the owner of a `1995 RB Boat River Baron, or River Bandit, can't remember the actual model. The boat came from Colorado, bartered by the owner for some tree work from the guy I bought it from. It was in tough shape to say the least, but it was aluminum, and had good bones. 

     Over the winter I broke it down and did a lot of work and put some good money in it. Rebuilt the flooring. Did the bottom over with MarineTech Gluvit. Had it professionally painted and lettered. And put new skins on it. I added a FiveC's cover and in the spring of 2011 I started taking clients on it on the Upper Delaware Rivers. 

     It was funny when I talked to Matthew late Sunday night that he was coming from, of all places, Saranac Lake. So on Monday at 3pm I met Matt and his business partner Ryan at the Bridgewater Commons Mall. They gave it a good once over and after a few pics they were on their way. The boys run Adirondack TrOutfitters offering guided trips in the Lake Placid- Saranac Lake region and will be expanding down on the Salmon River system starting in the fall. This boat will serve them well for the salmon and steelhead fishery. 

     Not only is it ironic that the boat was reincarnated starting in Saranac Lake but will return there to begin its new journey. And even ore ironic is that we just returned from a week up on the Lower Saranac Lake. We rented a family owned house called the Mark Twain Camp, www.marktwaincamp.weebly.com, located right on the lake outside of town. We had about 20 family members up there staying at my sisters, that house, and a rental on Moody Pond. There was boat rides, cliff jumping, a great tour of Pauls Smiths College, where Lauren looked right at home, lots of

good food and drink, nights at Tail-Of-The-Pup, the Waterhole, swimming at the covered bridge in Jay, great pizza at the ADK Pizza and Pasta, too many nights at Donnely's, and hiking Ampersand and Baker mountains. While not a fishing trip, Erin fished almost everyday with the fly rod when ever she could. 

     So now its back to reality as the summers end is in sight. It'll be back to school for the girls. starting a new career path for me, and looking forward to the fall run, or at least being able to chase birds and tiny baits and anything that might be eating them. Before it does end we'll be parking the camper down in Cape May for a few weeks.....that should be another great adventure, only difference is, I won'y come back and putting the Jones Brother's boat on Craigslist. 

Sunday, July 28, 2019

07.28.19 Time to sell the drift boat......

     So all good things must come to an end. Ten years ago I purchased this RB Boat, www.rbboats.com, and put it good use on the Upper Delaware rivers where I had so many good guided trips and memories I can't recall them all. This boat served me well. In a river full off fiberglass boats mine was only of three made of aluminum that regularly floated with sports on board. 
Since I am getting ready to start a new chapter in my life and realizing this boat isn't getting the love it needs or the water it wants to float it is time to pass it on.

So, here's the deal, get it quick. First $3,000 takes it. Very good for the Upper Delaware, better for the Salmon River, and the Lehigh. Here's what you get.....

1995 RB Boat River Baron 16 x 53, high side. (No title for boat. Trailer transferable registration valid NY State) PA launch permit for 2019 & 2020.
Baker Trailer with three newer tires, almost no miles on them
Five C's custom cover
Cataract Oars
Streamside dining table and chairs (clients love them)

Call 732 261 7291 to come and get it!

Saturday, July 20, 2019

07.19.19 Don't know who's more tired......

     So Leif, freshly back from Montana, has been feeding me good reports coming off the full moon. I couldn't wait to get there this morning and was up at 1 am and then 230 am and then out the door. Spent the dark and into light trying to pop up a bass with no avail. Did find the little bluefish that kept taking the smaller trailing fly. 

     I fished hard up and down the beach but couldn't find anything but little blues and little fluke. I outlasted Leif and Rich who them selves had an uneventful morning. It's summertime. South winds have shoaled up the south sides of the groins. Troughs are more in between the groins than along it.

     The north sides are were the water is. So right before leaving I was perched on one of the last best beach end groin rocks looking to find a fluke. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a brown flash and then watched as the cow nose ray went up and down the trough between the rock and an outflow pipe. I made some casts and didn't spook him and continued to watch. I knew I was going to catch him. 

     With one good leading cast he took the smaller trailing baitfish fly, which surprised me, as the rays are big into mollusks. My AMC "Archer Mole Crab" set deep into its wing so I had it in the mouth and wing. It was about a 20 minute fight with me doing anything I could to keep him in the trough as best as I could. Luckily it was still incoming and I was able to get a few good waves to help me beach it. These things are strong and will test your skills as well as the rod, reel, line and knot, and the hook as well. It swam off strong leaving me a little tired and my arms sore.  

Leif Petersen photo
     So its summer. Could be did, could be good. Could have life, could be dead. Might find a fluke, a bass, a cow nose ray, or some bluefish. Don't let me forget the Spanish mackerel also, saw them today as well. Also saw pods of bunker getting harassed from below and from the air.

Off to the ADK's for a week. Fly rod packed......but its not a fishing trip!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

07.15.19 Thought it would be better....

     Fished from 5 am till about 8. Popped my way down the beach before going to a crab/minnow two-fly set up. Didn't get any action till the tide started to ebb around 7. Got two fluke just under the legal size limit. Had cow nosed rays in close more interested with spawning than chasing flies. 

     Full moon is tonight so maybe after the moon things will get going. Lot of good things happen after a full or new moon. 

Thursday, July 11, 2019

07.11.19 One on each fly.....

    After a few days of Daddy duty including bathing suit shopping for four hours with two teenage girls I was ready for some time alone. I couldn't wait to get down there and fish, and catch! One of my favorite parts of an outing is that feeling you get as you approach the access to the beach, and then getting your first look and wife of the salt air. 

    Richie was a few seconds behind me and he was itching to go fishing also. I had my sot picked out knowing that this was a good tide and the fluke, and maybe a bass, had been in. Well don't ever assume. Twenty casts in and I was without a hit. I knew the morning was going to suck.

     After a few additional casts I jumped in my car and headed to my next go-to spot. I fished hard in total for three hours and got two small fluke, one on the AMC and a small baitfish fly. The water left quick and I felt like an elephant in the Sahara trying to sty where the water was the most and moving.

     I think the S winds have upwelled the water and it was chilly and maybe a little too cold to get a bite going on the beach. Also, usually mussels are a good sign, but with the S winds and the littoral current every south side of the groins were almost unfishable because on each cast a string of mussels would find the fly or line. At least I got two.......

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

07.10.19 Family Delaware float.......time for a jet boat!

     I'm seeing that I'm losing the camera on my iPhone 6 or 7 as the picture quality lately has been horrible. The girls have been asking "to take the boat on the Delaware" so when I hear that I'm like "Let's go".

     Well the Delaware between Lambertville and Trenton isn't like the Upper Delaware. If you know the Upper D this stretch is more like Long Flats or Lake Lenore. Long, I mean long lake-like conditions with not much moving water.

So you know what that means.......lots of rowing. 

     The 90 plus degree air temps without wind didn't help reduce the sweat production and myocardial cell damage either. We probably did a 9-10 mile float, stopped for some cool sight seeing, had a nice lunch, took a few casts, and took a dip in the water. Most of the day we didn't see another person on the water but when we did they had horsepower on their side. Pontoon boats, bass boats with jet drive engines, jet skis, all having fun using horsepower and not manpower. 

I see one of these, or something like it in my future. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

07.09.19 That was a relief......

     Well I had to get it done....and I did. Passed the national board exam to be an official Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Able to assess, diagnosis, provide therapy and prescribe medications to mental health patients from young to old. Cant wait until Theresa and I one our private practice......hopefully mid-September or October 1. 

     With that out of the way I headed down to the beach around 330 and had the place to myself. In two hours I caught 8 fluke, all shorts, and probably had a keeper flip off. All coughing up mole or other crabs, but surprisingly most took my trailing white bait fly. 

     The reason I was near the beach because I am a member of the American Saltwater Guides Association and we had an action meeting at Stella Maris on the boardwalk in Asbury Park. The AMSGA mission is to "...promote sustainable business through marine conservation". While most efforts to save the striped bass and other species are grass roots, this group is more astute to the data sets that are available and used by the ASFMC to set regulations regarding sustainable, or not, catch levels.

     It's all about the data, regardless if you believe it or not. Testimony like, "I haven't seen it this bad since the 80's before the moratorium" have little meaningful impact when attempting to sway fisheries managers from the ASMFC to set regulations. While I am more of the personal angler responsibility kind of guy.....catch and release only, barbless hooks, fly-fishing only (kidding), and shutting down or making pre-spawning bodies of water no-fish or catch and release, it takes more than good intentions to save a fishery.

    So Tony Frederick, a lobbyist who does this stuff for a living, presented to us the process of setting regulations, the timeline of when the ASMFC is going to possibly act, and how we can get involved.

    We can say, coms vs recs, fly vs the world, size limits across the board, 1@ 32" or kill them all, but what is needed is people in the seats either at hearings or writing letters to their politicians telling them of the impact of a downward spiraling fishery. Tackle shop owners, charter captains, even hotels, gas stations and food stores, become affected when a sport dies off, and fishing for striped bass of the beaches of New Jersey is dying off. The sharpies now hit the Raritan Bay early, or jump on a boat, or head to the Cape Cod Canal or Block Island to have some fun and catch fish, or at least have a shot at decent, meaning greater than 24 inch fish that we see on the beaches from Massachusetts down to New Jersey.

     Striped bass numbers are down, overfishing is occurring, beach replenishment sucks, the Chesapeake spawning grounds are unsustainable from breeding and hiding little fish, Maryland blows as far any kind of responsible approach to striped bass conservation is concerned, Hudson fish are the only thing saving the species right now- and the Jersey and New York guys better start laying off them until May 15th, ......and thats about it. Oh, wait, our representatives to the ASMFC suck and are political lackies definitely on the non-recreational and conservation side of the issue. Don't believe their bullshit- no matter what they used to think or what they did 30 years ago.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

07.06.19 That was a cool surprise.....

     Took a much needed break from studying to attend Joe and Suzanne's July 4th party. I asked what to bring and he said some beer so when I got to Red Bank I stopped at the liquor store and tried to make a good choice. Nowadays there are more beers than one could ever know and new ones pop up everyday. After a 30 year career of light beer, Miller Lite to Coors Lite to Michelob Ultra, last year I couldn't take the taste anymore and settled in on real beer. It was no looking back once Theresa and I landed in Ireland.

     So with a Dogfish in one hand and Blue Point in the other I started for the check-out. Then I saw a seasonal beer section and, wow, Striped Bass! It wouldn't have mattered if it tasted like dog piss it was going to the party since there would be a Buch of fishy people there. In the end I probably drank a six pack of them, mostly due to a anti-Trump political chat I got into, and would definitely buy them again.

    Striped Bass is made by the Devil's Backbone brewing company from Virginia. If you go to their website you can search where its available near you.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

07.05.19 Surprise!!!!

     So you know I've been a fan of tandem flies in the salt for a little while now. Spin guys always seem to do well with the teaser set-up so why not for the fly rodder. I didn't invent this idea but am putting it to good use, even when fishing crab flies.

     This morning it was a late start getting wet at 530 am but the extra hours sleep feels real good. I was happy to feel the E breeze in my face and with the incoming I was hoping to find some bass moving in to chew with the fluke. Well, that didn't happen, at least for me. Had the hi-lo set up

working and with the 300 gr line I caught more mussel clumps today then anything else. I didn't find a few short fluke and got a couple of nibbles from the beach. I jumped up and the rocks thinking my keeper fluke was in deeper water just along the groin. On one cast I casted out stripped and bam is was gone. It was a weird kind of run and I thought it might have been a bluefish. When it got to the rocks I saw it was a Spanish mackerel that had taken the trailing small albie fly. Again, luckily I had a knife to bleed it out and a extra cool cooler in the truck for the ride home.

     With Leif in my sights I started to work my way up the beach and right in front of me a used Gulp! washed up to my feet. That was a sign from the fluke Gods I thought. I hooked it into the smaller fly and, after nearly taking my ear off on the cast, let it swim to find a 25 inch plus fluke. Well it never happened, but it was fun thinking it might.

Board exam on Monday at 0830 means no fishing this weekend......I HAVE to get this done!!!!