Wednesday, November 15, 2023

11.15.23 Great night with Joe C. down in O.C.

     With Joe Calcavecchia of Saltwater Custom Flies fame down in New Jersey this week he made an appearance at the Atlantic Saltwater Flyrodders meeting held at Klees. Joe came down to attend the International Fly Tying Symposium this past weekend. One of the best parts, for him, was to be able to witness some of those New Jersey fall run blitzes, you know that "Epic" fall run we are having. That depends on who you talk to and who has or doesn't have that cell-phone-blitz-network going on. 

     There was a good crowd at Klees along with great pizza, good drinks, and as always good service. Brad held court as the president of the club and a funny part of the pre-presentation was when Rich, the 

club haberdasher, made good on a shirt and hat order that Bob had placed. The funny part is he's had these in his truck for like two years, well tonight he was finally was able to deliver. 

     Bob gave a nice little speech reminding us all what the club was about. Inclusion and teaching. "Keep the doors open" was his message to continue allowing new people to have access to get into the sport. The new people then get to be taught and learn from those who learned from people before them. Times have changed. Clubs have changed. And people have changed. 

     Joe, who's from Massachusetts but now calls New Hampshire home, has been commercially tying for 40 years. He's been around the game from a long while and he and Bob reminisced about the time 

 they were together at a fly tying event at American Angling Supplies in 1993. In the pic is Bob, Joe C., second from the left, and Bill Catherwood, yellow shirt and blue sweater, who both said was one of the original greats, while a little barbaric, in fly tying. Catherwood and fly fishing go back to the 1950's. He 

A Catherwood "Giant Killer as tied by Cast. Galvin Platz

is well known for his series of flies called the "Giant Killers". He is also known as one of the first to have spun deer hair. That idea influenced many of the great tyers who use deer belly hair for their flies as well as a combination of deer hair, marabou, and feathers from all types of poultry. Calcavecchia credited many who came before him for their influence in the patterns Joe has developed. 

     I was able to stay and watch one of the three flies Joe was tying up. Lucky for me the first was Joe's Striper Dragon, a tried and true productive striper fly. In shows past I have purchased some from him and used them and caught bass with it. I just couldn't find any pics of a bass with one in it's mouth. 

     And early in the day while at work I was thinking. "Okay, I said I was going to give it a rest, but...". I would be down in Seaside for the club meeting and wahy not just gop early since I'll be in the neighborhood. I learned they had a good, like real good, bite down there, and as well in mid Monmouth County this morning into into the early afternoon. The big bass are still here crashing bunker. It's not if 

but where and when. By 230 I was making my way over the 37 bridge into Seaside and ready to find them in less familiar territory than up in Monmouth County. I settled in at 12th Ave in Seaside Park. 

wind on an incoming tide. Of course the structure there was great but I needed a tad more water so this fish could push in. There were only a few anglers out and the some of them made their way out onto the 

sand bars hoping to reach a patrolling fish. As the sun started set more guys came and the water filled in quickly. I made some casts into the bowl I stationed myself out hoping a dumb bass had broke

away from the bigger school looking for a meal. At one point I damn near soiled myself when this fox showed up out of nowhere and ran almost up to me but then quickly turned tail. He must have been 

looking for some of those adult bunker that beached themselves during the mid-day blitzes. At one point the birds started to gather and were over big bass busting through bunker but way out, but they moved in, but never within even spinning rod range. You can see the dark line of bunker in the below image.

     At one point as the participation grew I looked to my left and saw a guy fishing nearly standing in bunker that had made its way into the bowl. The bunker were at his feet but there were no bass in with them. Quickly the light started to leave as more anglers showed up, probably after work. The night crew 

may have a good bite but leading up to the darkness, at least where I was, was dead. I hope those night anglers dressed warm and had some hand warmers with them because that NW wind brought the cold 

air down along the beach. It looks like the winds are going to go south again, then some rain, and then some wicked early winter weather next week for Thanksgiving. Oh Thanksgiving, THE day that everyone says the bass show up, like they, the bass, have it on their calendar. We'll see next week. 

      I did take a peek before last light a litle north near the boardwalk but only saw the beach buggys and some really chilled spin rodders leaving the beach. I have to say it looks like Seaside Heights has cleaned up a bit from the storms, the fires, and seedy folks. Hopefully the town is on a good path of rebirth. It was then off to see Joe C. and grab a beer and a slice. Not a bad day.