The night was dark and cloudy, and hiding a big moon. It was a high outgoing tide. I wasn't looking for a worm swarm, but they were there and the bass were on them. And I had the right stuff. A five weight, a 15lb leader, a greased line, and deer hair worm flies... finally, it came together. The fish weren't big, but there was only one way to catch them and that was imitating those odd little red worms swimming in the current. Nearly every cast produced a take and most produced fish. If I'd been using a pair of flies, I'd have been doubling a lot.
These weren't big bass, in fact they were mostly very tiny, but it didn't matter to me. This was another piece of the puzzle, more learned about one of my favorite species to fish for, and another check on the list. Like the herring run, like squid over the reefs, like live eels, like flats fishing with crab flies... it's gaps in my knowledge beginning to fill. Because I can never know enough about striped bass, or any fish. There's a lot to do and a lot to experience. Life is too short.
Cinder worm swarms often leave anglers shaking their heads, wondering how they couldn't get so much as a tap with so much surface activity. Fly size, color, and buoyancy matters. Retrieve, or lack thereof, also matters. And sometimes there are just so many worms, getting a fly noticed is nearly impossible. I'd been stumped before and I'll be stumped again, but on this one night in early summer, I went to bed just before the sun came up, with the sounds of stripers popping on the surface still ringing in my ears and a smile on my face.
Until next time,
Fish for the love of fish.
Fish for the love of places fish live.
Fish for you.
And stay safe and healthy.
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