So in response to yesterday post title 'That's what I'm talking about....", yeah, it was my fly caught on a rock. Gotcha. But this morning early it was a one and done nice fish. Worked hard after it came to net but couldn't find any other takers. They like the SF Blend flys out here, have to crank out a few more. My blend flys or no doubt better than my bucktail flys.
Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Yesterday the FedEx guy delivered my rod fresh back from Leif's desk where he replaced the tip and did some cork work on my H2 10 wt, my favorite rod. I have to get him the next project, my beloved H2 11wt, which is a beautiful rod for the river and boat, I love the extended forward cork grip. Which road will I break next?
Monday, April 12, 2021
So this striped bass and the Delaware River thing is interesting, and hard to learn. Striped bass are born here, leave here, and return to spawn here, most likely in the same vicinity where they first kicked their pectoral fins. These are Delaware River fish, not Chesapeake, not Hudson, not any of the other rivers we think may be some kind of auxiliary spawning grounds, the Susqhehana, Maurice, Navesink, Shrewsbury and Raritan Rivers.
In the Delaware the bass can be found, or have been found from the mouth of the Delaware Bay, to mile marker 130 in Trenton, to mile marker 330 where the East and West Branches meet at the Junction Pool in Hancock NY. We hear of fish, it some spots more than others, Easton, PA to be one of them.
I looked into some things and found an older article in Stripers247.com, that states the primary spawning area for the striped bass is from Wilmington Delaware upriver to Marcus Hook, PA, which is a few miles south of the Philadelphia Airport.
These fish are moving, especially if you believe the fish in Hancock NY have started out in the Delaware Bay, and trying to find out where they are and going isn't easy. So I gave it a shot in Lambertville, trying to see if any of those that had the longest commute might be below the Wing Dam. To note, there is talk that those upper river fish might come out of Lake Wallenpaupack. In that lake they stock pure bred and hybrid striped bass, along with alewife herring. To get to the Delaware they would have to make their way there via the Lackawaxen River.
We have seen videos of striped bass on the spawn, you can see one HERE. If you think of the Delaware with its mix of just plain nasty ass water to rapids with a big drop in gradient to long, really long pools, you wonder where they spawn. And then the other question is, are the fish, that are in that tidal, rapid water, depending on the tide, staging there to eat before hitting a more comfortable and romantic body of water to spawn.
There is no doubt these fish will eat with love on their minds. They don't lose that behavior, look at the pre-spawn bass in the Raritan Bay right now. The big difference, I see, well don't see, here in the river are any signs of bass blowing up on bait, either chasing smaller shad or herring. You would think you would. I haven't experienced the top water bite here in the river, but they say it is good, later in the spring. We will see if they'll take a Double Barrel popper like they do those big plugs.
And then there was this cute couple, who had me a tad concerned. Misty rain, at spots a little slippery, taking a walk hand in hand to the end of the dam..... As I watched them approach and then pass and then go the end I really had a bad feeling in my gut. But they reached the end, turned, and walked make saying hi as they passed. Its probably a ritual walk they do everyday. As they made their way to the end I started to think how I would even try to help in some kind of rescue, but on this one I would just have to watch and pray.
Sunday, April 11, 2021
And on a real cool note today I met Billy Martin, no, not the ex-Yankees skipper, but a fan and friend of this blog for sometime. He had shared with me that he had a fly rod that he would like to find a good home for. Its a Sage 8'6" 4 weight which is perfect for other waters around here when the Delaware isn't holding river monsters. The Sage GFL product line was one of the originals and was offered from 1980-1987, that means this rod could be 40 years old! In addition he had some things from his friends fly fishing vest that he also gave me. It was cool to see some throwback stuff, including an old Orvis hook sharpener,
Friday, April 9, 2021
So I have to replace a bunch of flies that I have lost to the rivers. Tied up the above for the river herring that are here in small numbers, but should be coming, with the bass, after the new moon in a few days. I really have to get back to tying, and really figure out how to tie some really good flies. The best flies, they say, are the ones that catch fish, and eventually all of mine do that, just not always when I want them to.
I need to remember what herring look like. The fly above I used the last few days and hammered the fish, good fish on them. I decided to give it a comb out ant trim, and for some reason took out the marker which makes it look more like a mackerel back then a herring. Below are some images of both the alewife and blueback herring.
Mmm. Striped bass are in a bad way right now. The fisheries management, the ASMFC, is a joke of a collection of human beings. Its a waste of time trying to get them to do the right thing. So in New Jersey we have a slot limit now, or are alleged to, along with the bonus tag program. Here's a recap on those regulations,
"The possession limit for striped bass/hybrid striped bass is one fish with a size limit of 28 inches to less than 38 inches total length. Anglers participating in the Striped Bass Bonus Program (SSBP) may possess a striped bass at 24 inches to less than 28 inches in length. FISH MAY BE HARVESTED IN ANY ORDER". The SSBP is open May 15-Dec 31.
So here's the joke of that SBBP, guy buys a bonus tag, $2, and has it in his possession. Goes out and fishes and catches some shorts, keeps the catch, doesn't get stop by Fish and Game, and keeps the fish and goes home and fries it up.
This post is about the two photos, the top posted by Frank R., on social media. That pic is recent and from the Raritan Bay, Jersey side. No doubt from one of the marinas were guys relocate their boat in the spring to get on the bass bite before returning to their home ports. Look at that pile of dead fish. And that is one day, in one marina, in one state.....C'mon guys!!
And the below photo shows how wasteful we are with a resource. Look at the fillet job done on these bass. We have to do a better job, from the ASMFC down to the anglers on the water.
Thursday, April 8, 2021
And the other spot, east wind, blowing debris right towards angler on the incoming. You had to time your cast in order to get the fly down uninterrupted. The bite was slow, real slow. I somehow was the high hand landing 4, and dropping a lousy and losing an Andrew Fly in the process. All in all a good day, catching fish, having a sore arm and elbow, getting McDonald's on the way home, and just waiting for things to get going and start the graveyard shift in the hunt for bigger fish.
I tried a popper in the dark, went to a herring fly, that produced, before settling in and putting the hammer down with an Andrew fly, which in my opinion, is one of the best flys I have ever used, or seen swim. Now I know there are others, Taylor, Strkyer, Walley, to name a few, and this guy named Popovics ties a decent one, but Andrew's, well, are fantastic. So good, I donated one to a whopper of a fish that I almost brought to hand. And hand, the fly guy was the hot hand as the fish wouldn't take the poppers, chuggers, swimmers, shads, but wanted that fly.
Wednesday, April 7, 2021
Out of work and 445 and it was off to fishing. Went to a place, took a long walk, through heavy brush, tried to build a casting platform out of an old picnic bench, took the long walk back after
Shad are here, some guys are saying they've seen some small pods of herring, but I can't confirm that. Here's what I think we need, some good rain, the kind that throws it off color a bit and bumps it up, some sustained warm weather to bring the water temps up above 55, and time, well good timing.