Tuesday, March 29, 2022

03.29.22 Ouch.....

     Enjoy, hopefully, the last days of winter 2022. We had a nice warm-up and "pop" of striped bass fishing in early March. It definitely was early, but then in normalized as the month progressed and winter returned. Early on there was a plug and plastics bite, and even on the fly, from the shore but the fish have retreated a bit and become more lethargic, and that's why the blood and tape worm bites have been increasing. 

     As far as the fly rod fish, its coming. If you fish migratory fish they have to move, and at sometime have to eat. Bunker and herring in any kind of numbers will get them chewing. I've seen videos from the Manasquan River, there's a ton of bunker there. As far as the herring, divebombing birds in the bays and out front tell me there's baitfish, bunker or herring around. 

It should be soon, air temps up to 70 this week, its about to get going, along with the new moon, get ready to go. 


Monday, March 28, 2022

03.28.22 I love memes....

For me last night was all about watching the Cinderella run by St Peter's in the NCAA tournament. After that is was catching up on the latest season of Call The Midwife, my favorite series since the Soprano's, with a little Peaky Blinders mixed in. When I went on Facebook this morning I saw this meme, fishing related, but I guess last night Will Smith slapped the shit out of Chris Rock during the Oscars.....who cares. All of those award shows have jumped the shark, bring back Ricky Gervais as a host, then I'll watch for the first 15 minutes. But yes, I get, stop spot burning, are there really any "new" spots left?

     And as far as fishing, woah, who opened the freezer? 26 degrees out here this morning, with the river dropping down to the low 40's. This will put the fish into pause mode. Hopefully the warm up will come later in the week. 


Saturday, March 26, 2022

03.26.22 Now this is a relevant, hyper-local "The Fly Fishing Show".....

      Wow, I really wish I lived closer. Today was the Fly Fishing Expo of Long Island. If you run The Fly Fishing Show, take a peek, this is what anglers want. Has TFFS "jumped the shark" as they say in the telesison and movie industry? Look back at my thoughts on this years TFFS, look what was offered, look at the topics of the presentations. This show is for local anglers, who fish, and who want to come to show and not be overwhelmed with mind clutter about Belize, Ireland, Patagonia, and all of those other out-of-my-league booshie entitled trips that you will never take. And don't tell me about Covid, or snowstorms, or the Super Bowl.....

     If I claim New Jersey has the best striped bass fishery on the East Coast, and there is the Upper Delaware trout fishery, wouldn't that be your focus? Or focus on how to fish in the most populated portion of our country? Nope, they have missed the boat, jumped the shark. Just look at what I could have seen and listened to if I took the 2-1/2 hour drive from Titsusville, NJ to Hauppauge, Long Island. 

     So you are caught up in the Beast Fleye hysteria that has overtaken fly tying, well Mark Sedotti will demonstrate how to throw it 100 feet. Want to learn about and see saltwater fly fishing in Montauk, Martha's Vineyard, New York Bight, and about and how to tie flies for those fisheries- head to Long Island, and not Edison. Want to learn and see about fly fishing the Upper Delaware, Catskills, Long Island, Rangley Region of Maine, and how to fish for carp, pocket water, and the flies you'll need, head then next year to Hauppauge. 

    Also Squimpish will be there as will other local shops, stuff anglers and tyers want. 

     The Fly Fishing Show finished up with Lancaster a few weeks back and is doing their Covid re-schedule in Marlborough in April, 3 days. On the website there is no listing of who is attending and presenting. If they were smart they would take a look at what's going on in Long Island. And the Marlborough show should concentrate on what the people who are attending are interested in, striped bass, false albacore, bluefish, tuna in places like Maine, New Hampshire, Boston Harbor, Cape Cod, the Canal, Marthas Vineyard and Nantucket, plus the people from Rhode Island.......want to throw in a little about freshwater opportunities away from the salt....perfect. Don't bring the chaps from Ireland, they won't care about Saskatchewan, and only a few with lots of cash can afford the Restigouche or Patagonia, know your audience, and give them what they want. 

    Now remember, I've been attending TFFS for years, worked The Fly Hatch booth, had my own booth, did presentations, so I am not just a-behind-the-keyboard-touch-guy, I just wish TFFS got it, like they used to get it. Next year I'll be in Long Island for The Fly Fishing Expo. 

03.26.22 Here's some things....

     Went live with the new Simms waders. Mmmmm. I ordered the same size I had last time, L Size 11. The size 11 is good the legs are good, have you ever heard the phrase, "Skin on a grape?", well I'm about two pounds away from demonstrating it. The waders are form fitting on the top. If I was chisled I would be fine, but they don't offer a John Goodman build option. I hope to melt away the pounds I put on over the winter. For the price they should have a little Italian tailor come out and "custom fit" you, it says that on the box. Or they should have a retailer you can drive to and try on a pair, even if you have to order them yourself online. If you're about my size, 6'0 and 200 pounds of twisted steel, hit me up and you can try these on for size. 

     And in the "That's just funny category", I saw these meme on Facebook, kinda sums it up. The ASMFC and all the do-gooder groups that are encouraging anglers to get involved, put the pressure on the ASMFC and make it understandable for the "average angler", keep the confusing stuff for the people who will wind up taking no action anyway. They should call for common-sense input, which would be based on anglers perception of their reality, because they are out there trying to catch a fish. 

     And yes, the water temps have dropped again with this cold spell we are in, with really cold weather coming Sunday and Monday, "March goes out like a lion", yes it does. So I took a ride north, water spilling over the wing dam, no one home, flies big and small, trying to get one of those walleye. I don't expect anything to happen for me for about a week. 


Wednesday, March 23, 2022

03.23.22 I think we're gonna be shut down for a few days...

      This morning I was surprised how chilly it was when I opened the back door. Down to 41, just a cold 41. And that changed the direction of the water temps. Yes, they fluctuate with tides and are temps, but we're going to have potential of a lot of rain, overcast skies, and blistery temps this weekend. 

     Now the fish are on the move, but will they chew? I don't think so. Next week will be better. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

03.22.22 On the board for spring 2022....

     Alright, and we're off. So this year came five days early for me that it did in 2021. River conditions looking good and getting better. Been fishing several times a day after the full moon. Today I scored one fish in the late afternoon that took a large herring fly, one of the many I tied up before the season opened. But here's the cool thing, over the winter I found the group called "Keep Fish Wet", and I thought to myself, " How can I do a better job in protecting the bass that I catch?"  I searched 

online looking for something that I could make to keep the fish wet wafter it was caught, especially when a pier net is used. I found a guy in Queens, who graduated FIT with my daughter, and he was selling an acrylic "stage" he used for his fashion show. A quick ride on a Sunday and $60 later and I had 

what I needed to make 2 fish aquariums, one comes in just over 28 inches and the other 40 inches. I had to cut them down to size and then figure out how to join the together and make them water tight. There's

a product called Weld 4 that literally fuses the acrylic together. I purchased a torch and used that to soften the edges. All in all in wasn't that bad of a project and the finished result is pretty cool. 

     So how does it work? Well, before I fish I set up the aquarium, take a bucket and fill it with water, fish, catch a fish, use the pier net, and place the fish in the tank, keeping it wet. After a quick photo it gets lowered down into the water and swims away. Sound like too much work? That's fine I'm doing it to help keep the bass healthy and hoping to reduce the 9% recreational mortality, according to the ASMFC. My fish wasn't big, but it didn't matter. It was the first of the spring, of many I hope, and this 

set up can be used on both the shore and on a boat. I hope to put into use the larger tank which can hold fish to 40 inches, and in preparation of that I switched over to the 12 weight and the 450 gr line depending on the tide. I think it's on and I am ready, its been a long 22 days. 


03.22.22 River and bay amphibious boat ready for action....

     I know, "Now what is he doing?". Here it is, my version of the versatile and very practical cartopper/drift boat, river and bay, and beach!, all access watercraft. This will be heading up to the Upper Delaware River, "Fly fishing for one please". There's a story behind this wonderful boat of course and that will come later. But this thing is 8 foot, light, fits in the back of my Saturn Vue, can be dragged around, and best, is wide enough to stand up in.......more to come. 

     My pain persists. 22 days so far without a fish, let alone a hit. I'm switching between two herring flies, light and dark, days and nights. Today it was a before first-light outing on the start of the outgoing tide. My heart sank for a minute when I found, what I thought was a kayak, a canoe stuck in the rocks. Luckily, it looks like it wasn't being used for fishing at the time and may have been in the river for a bit, but, this is the time people go out and do some pretty not-so-smart things for fish. Be smart!

     It's time to bust out the new Simms G3 waders, so new and pretty I hate to wear and stink them all up. The last pair I had I broke out in October 2018 and they lasted just shy of two years. They were beat to shit, and that's on me. These are a big investment and they have to last. Today I broke out the drill and the Hardbite Studs (make sure you get the ones made for felt vs the Vibram sole) and made them slide proof, well slide resistant, well, I always find a way to fall down. 

    New prediction, a striped bass by March 27th, Sunday. I got my first last year on that date, that would be quit a coincidence. Seeing the cormorants has me juiced up, come on bluebacks!


Sunday, March 20, 2022

03.20.22 Grinding it out, again......

     So after staring at the Trenton Makes bridge way early this morning I finally got the color scheme, yellow and blue, in support of Ukraine's war with Russia. It's kinda cool. Green and white the other night for St Patrick's Day, and so on. Over 50, fishing in the dark till sun up, big flies....nada. I found

my favorite fly of the ties that I have. SF Blend herring imitation. Long, think, sheds water, easy to cast, looks great in the water. I'm going to make some tweaks to the next one when I get back to the vice.

     And in the "You got me department". Saw this issue of On The Water yesterday morning when I went for coffee. "Fly Fishing Raritan Bay", I thought oh cool, so I dropped the $4.95 and went looking. I read through, through the 20 pages of kayaks, it is the kayak edition, but couldn't find the fly fishing article. I looked through again, and could only find a slight mention of some fly caught fish in the Raritan River. It was a story telling of a cool outing with Eric Kerber, but it wasn't what I had hoped. I like OTW, but 'They got me" with that cover headline grab, which should have been, "A story about catching a striped bass on a fly rod in the Raritan Bay". 

Saturday, March 19, 2022

03.19.22 C'mon man......

      Alright, here we go, we're over 50, yes, in both age and water temperatures. It should be, or real close, to go time. Started the day before work. Full Worm Moon in full effect on the start of the ebb tide.  Sadly, passed a fatal accident on Route 29 ajust on the outskirts of the city. Then while on the Turnpike 

I found another accident, this one involved three vehicles with one overturned. Debris in the road, one trooper holding in down, I stopped just to see if I could help. Luckily, minor injuries. I said to myself I get off these roads and soon. So I pulled into Hudson County and had a good outgoing tide there. Fished it for an hour without a tap. Not has there no fish, but not a ht as well. Today was open house day at the 

college and I had to man the nursing program table. At 2 o'clock I was gonna and headed south. By then the cloudy skies gave way to blue skies, with a steady SW wind blowing upriver. No matter how 

aware I am of the trees and vehicles on my backcast I always seem to find something. I thought for sure this fly was a goner but I got lucky and after walking into traffic I was able to get it to come free. The third shift Tsunami guys are out again, can't you just pick up after yourselves....c'mon man. 

Friday, March 18, 2022

03.18.22 Alright, so no Friday fish, but that's okay.....

     Dam, I thought today was the day, forget it. That's alright. I fished in the wee hours of the morning, in the fog, and then in the 70 degree sun. The stonefly hatch is still going on, and now the boat hatch has started. Saw a bunch of shad caught (don't see the appeal but I don't judge) but nothing else. Quiet word on the street is bass were caught last night, thinking it was chunked shad, but they are here...now. 

   When I got home....well happy times. "Custom waders built for Mr. Colin Archer". I took a peak inside the box but left them home when I realized it was a Worm Moon dead low tide and I would 

trudging through the mud more than navigating the rocks. I am glad I didn't bring the new digs. So it was dead low and the water was below the 9 foot tide, so you had to walk far to get to the waters edge, and that meant through almost quicksand mud which I thought would suck me in and assist in my drowning on the next flood tide. The suction is real and maintaining your balance while trying to pull

the more stuck leg out isn't easy, luckily I am so nimble. I figured a long walk would be rewarded with bass pushing around herring, cormorants are now here, in what was left of the moon ebb tide. 

Thursday, March 17, 2022

03.17.22 No luck of the Irish...

     Happy St. Patrick's Day. After a looong day I hit the river. Great tide. Broke out the new fly. Not a tap. Two guys next to me had three fish to keeper size on paddle tails way out. Soon!