Saturday, December 28, 2019

12.27.19 Thanks Ryan....

     It was a fine fish. A good fish. A beautiful fish. was a small fish with an out of proportion belly. But it was a one-and-done fish that I caught on Ryan's rock which made my day and was the perfect ending to 2019's striper fishing.

     Got there about 1030 which was mid-ebb tide. Great looking water, almost 60 degree air temps, 44  degree water temps. Was thinking someone, or a bunch of someones, like a dozen or so micro to schoolie sized fish, would be around. Fished up and down the beach and on two groins without a tap. Started on Ryan's rock and then before leaving hit it again. Don't know why I've been drawn their lately, maybe its just missing Ryan more around the holidays. Would have loved to see him with his siblings and interacting as an adult at out yearly party.

     So as I casted and talked to him he gave that top pic fish up after a long cast and a hard sweep along the groin. While it is a small fish, it wasn't easy to land on the rocks. That outgoing moving water about 3/4 tide rips and you have to bring the fish in along the rocks and through the current.

      On my way out Pauly called me and Sid he was heading down. We hooked up on the beach and made a few casts on a dying tide without a bump. Birds not working, no herring around, just fishy looking water and no one home.

That is it for me for sure.....until 2020.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

12.23.19 That's a wrap for 2019.....

     Put it in the books. I'll drop a year recap in a few weeks. Went down around 3 o'clock with air temps in the mid 50's and the edge of the last of the flood tide. While I was there to fish, I really wanted to spend some time on Phillips Ave and Ryan's rock were I spread his ashes two years ago. Funny thing about that rock. Every time I stand on it I hope to catch a good fish....but never do. I always say Hi to my son who's hopefully up in heaven playing guitar with the greats or sitting around philosophizing or challengers the greatest thinkers that have passed on. So, one again, I stood on that rock several times and didn't get a tap. Must be a thing between Mme and Ryan.

     As dusk approached Charlie and Jack came down the beach. We fished the same stretch and just as the sun set the herring showed up on the start of the ebb tide. If you've ever fished good herring up close when the bass are on this it is fun. Its not a peanut king of blitz, but a steady plop and swirl kind of eat. Problem is these baits where just coming in, going down, and then out.....all untouched. 

     Cant wait to see what 2020 brings. No boat. Early start in late March and April in the Delaware. 

Monday, December 16, 2019

12.15.19 Nice weekend in Newport....

     We had a great time in Newport this weekend, as usual. Attended a Christmas Gala at Ocean Cliff on Friday and then did a shopping tour in town and Bristol and Warren. On Sunday we hit the Cliff Walk early after grabbing coffee and heading to Ledge Avenue to watch the sunrise. Couldn't help but

notice the For Sale planted outside 41 Ledge Avenue which at 11,000,000 would make a nice summer place for the family. 

     I first discovered Newport in 1993 and have been going back pretty much every year since. I was never a saltwater guy back in the day, even when I filled in at The Fly Hatch. I was all about the trout, and the Upper Delaware. That changed in 2003 when I took a charter with Capt. Cory from The Saltwater Edge. I then shared my passion for fly-fishing freshwaters with the salt. 

      While I have loved my last 7 years heading up to Marthas Vineyard and Block Island, Newport still holds a special place for me, with a healthier mix of fly-fishing and other things to do. Plus, you don't have to take a ferry to get to Newport as you do with the other two islands.

     So, if I had to pick a place to buy a second home, a summer cottage say, it would be in Newport, or Bristol, or Warren, RI. As fishing in 2019 winds down for me I look forward to next year already. Will there be a Marthas Vineyard trip? Well I know with the guys, they are done with it. Last year bringing Theresa was great, however, it is really hard to balance a fishing trip, tides, time of day, sun, and a nice getaway for a couple. Maybe I should just put MV memories in a good place and look for another location to make good memories.


Monday, December 9, 2019

12.08.19 Might be a wrap for 2018.......

     23 degrees this morning. Dead air. Dead water. Freezing cold hands. Lucky I brought the hand warmers and gave them to Joe and Leif to keep their hands functional. These things work, at times too well. Started around 6am and fished in the area of others and everyone caught fish but me. Not a tap. It was near double digits and a double header for Joe. Don't know why I couldn't get a bite but

Leif, Joe and Andy enjoyed catching. Thats just the way it is sometimes. Would have liked to end the year with a fish but thats okay. It was a good time, a cold time, had by all. Not sure what the rest of the year will look like. Water temps around 47-48 depress. Cold spell and and snow on the way. We're still wondering of the herring, which are now around, will spark a flurry of good fishing. This is the time of ear when you get that surprise blitz or a big fish that wanders in to take a look and finds the bigger bait. I'm done, well I usually quit about 6 times every year, but living far away and busy with the holidays this just might be it for me. We'll see.

Friday, December 6, 2019

12.06.19 Near dead-low surprise.....

     Around 815 am I was thinking the title of todays blog would read, 'You should have been here yesterday" or "Nice morning, another skunk". But shortly before dead-low tide and after three fly tries I came tight on this keeper or near keeper sweet bass. On my other rods I have the measurements laid out with electrical tape or I could and should have used that iPhone measure app but I figured who really cares and I could just estimate it. But a keeper is a keeper is a keeper....or not. Its 28" to the ferrule so you be the judge.

     Yesterday Leif told me to tie up some black and orange Half and Halfs and I did but they didn't get me a bite, neither at 0530 or in the light. Tried a nice Jiggy sand eel fly that didn't get a tap either.  The last fly I tied was a tinnier yellow Deciever that I tied on about 815 - almost three hours after I started, and my hands started getting cold. 

     The wind was SW. The ocean flat. It had that still feeling when its really cold but without wind is wasn't too bad. Loons fishing in the washing but coming up empty. A splash here and there that looked like Hickory Shad. No swirls or top action that I saw. Some small bait here and there, shimmy bait, but not sand eels. It was pretty enough out there but just a little boring. Leif managed a couple of small guys that took his orange and black Half and Half as he expected. 

    As we reached the point to go left to the rocks or right to the trucks he went to work and I stayed to make a few more casts. I tied on the yellow fly I tied last night and on the second long cast I went tight and soon into the backing. The fish was at the beach side and edge of the sandbar and once hooked went with the current and made it to the end of the jetty before I turned her. I made my way back to the beach adding line against the drag as I tried not to fall. Soon I was at the beach and the fish up on the sand. A few quick pics and she (or he) was back swimming. 

    If you're going to one and done a morning thats the way you do it....or just get lucky. 

Thursday, December 5, 2019

12.05.19 They're still biting.....

Leif Petersen photo
     So we are starting December. Air and water temps are down. The bays and rivers have gone through the chill and exodus of bait that made its way down the beach. We had some good peanut action but not like back in 2016. The boats have done well this fall, including me for a few days before selling the boat. 

     The sand eels are around and the mostly schoolie bite is on sand eel imitations. The fish are short, fat, and feisty. Good time to go down a rod size or two. I stick with the 10 weight all the time, cant remember what rod is which and where. 

     Fishing this time of year, well I guess all year, is they are either there or not. Its one or two and done "or 40 fish" mornings or the big skunk. Haven't seen or heard of herring or mackerel around as the gannets haven't invaded the skies and started dive bombing the water. 

    Hope to get out soon....I'm itching to catch and release some fish. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2019