bite continued into the dark. Outside of a near homicide I had a great day. Putting in the time, finding, or just running into, my own fish, and bringing a bunch to hand made for a great day off from work. IF, this were to be my last day of 2023 I would be good with that.
Thursday, November 30, 2023
Wednesday, November 29, 2023
Tonight was a real treat for those that attended the monthly Atlantic Saltwater Fly Rodder's "Tie for Pie" night. It was held at The Shady Rest in Bayville, co-owned by a guy you may have heard of, Bob
Popovic's. He had the outdoor bar set up as an impromptu fly tying room and the dozen and a half guys that attended got a Bob presentation, some Trenton Pie, and then a chance to belly up to the table and tie along side one of the all-time greats in this sport. Okay, homage paid, and well deserved.
Bob talked about his early years and his fly design, how he studied baits in depth in order to design suitable imitations, and showed videos of baitfish, bass, blues, and fly anglers catching fish from Montauk to the Jersey Shore. He told us the story of his favorite fish of all time. It was a June or July
day in Island Beach State Park to meet up with a friend. As he waited he saw a trio of bass patrolling the trough. He made a sight cast with his crab fly, the one he ties with the extra long legs, and hooked and landed his most memeorable and favorite bass ever. His favorite fishing of all is sight casting to striped bass witrh crab flies. Luckily a guy he knew was there and able to capture it all on video. Check out the footwear. I don't think he expected to have stumbled into those bass that day, and in order to unhook and release it, the New Balances had to get soaked. Sometimes thats just the way things go down.
After his talk I followed Bob back into the kitchen where he held up his end of the bargain of the "Tie for Trenton Pie" night. I watched him make four pies, two fra diavolo and two traditional, for the
boys, there were no girls, to enjoy. Bob's been making these Trenton Tomatoe Pies since the 1950's when he parents had a restaurant in Trenton. If you haven't had one of Bob's pies put it on your list, as well as a trip down to the Shady, especially in the early summer when the roses are in full bloom and the outside bar is open.
After he finished his shift at the pizza oven Bobby just took a seat at the long table and fell right into the gang. There was no show, no lesson or instruction, just a guy tying flies with like minded and obsessed people. Those in attendance tied up what ever fly they wanted while Bob stuck to his
Jiggy flies that mimic sand eels, which depending on who you talk to and from what beach, the bass are chewing on now. I watched as the guys tied and Bob as well. With each tie he would study it, caress it,
to ensure things laid down and looked just right. It was a good night for those that made it. I remember Bobby telling me about the early days of the Atlantic Saltwater Flyrodder's club when the meetings were held, WEEKLY, at his house. It was first come first sit as there were usually more people in attendance than available seats. Guys stood and watched if they could. I can't imagine people in todays world being able to commit to something that runs weekly, outside of a mental health therapy appointment. While it was a good time for all, I was most glad for Bobby. The Shady is like his home, well it has been at times. And we were like those early club members who came for some
knowledge, some inspiration, some practice, some good food, and good times. Bob said at the last monthly meeting, "Keep the doors open", so that new blood can have an opportunity to meet new friends and learn and grow in the hobby of fly tying and the sport of fly fishing. So if haven't joined the ASWF come to a meeting, or join another club near you. You'll be glad you did. Thanks for putting the night together Brad and Bobby, job well done.
And yes after Monday's super a.m. swell and blow out tide and missing a good afternoon bite I logged the day down as Quit #1. Well, that didn't last 24 hours. You see I was going to the Shady, and I would be down that way anyway, so why not at least check things out. A 30 mph west wind on a blow out tide with air temps just above freezing.....perfect. So I got down to the bridge before 230. I drove