Saturday, October 22, 2016

Stripers for Mike

One of the most exciting things in fly fishing in New England is catching your first striped bass. Only slightly less exciting is getting to see a friend get their first. I was privileged enough to help fellow fish head Mike Andrews get his first striped bass on the fly this morning, and then his second, and third, and fourth, and fifth... and then some. We nailed it in conditions that would keep most guys off the water! Howling wind, pouring rain, and a rapidly dropping temperature failed to effect or success and we racked up some serious numbers!

I had some concerns, especially after fishing this spot yesterday and seeing very few signs of life. Those concerns when we came around the corner and there were lots of birds and a substantial blitz going. After a few hiccups (Mike is a trout guy. "STRIP SET") he nailed his first ever striper on the fly, and my God was it a stud! 

The blitz was going hard. In one of my photos I actually caught a good sized fish jumping clean out of the water!

(Mike Andrews Photo)
When the fish were working near us in that tidal creek, we almost always got double hookups. We needn't use anything but poppers and the takes were savage as usual

(Mike Andrews Photo)

(Mike Andrews Photo)

We got a whole lot of fish on the west side of the road, and when we went over to the east side of the road we found a lot of younger fish and we were pretty much constantly hooked up. Eventually I knew the tide was low enough to work the beach, and even though there were still fish working in the creek we had caught plenty there and I wanted Mike to get some experience in reading the subtle structure of the sand flat. There was a storm coming in, and the clouds were very ominous. I knew it was about to start pouring.

The surface was choppy and when it is like that it makes it hard to see fish working from a distance. However, it negates the need to sneak up on fish. We would spook fish and they were still brave enough to come back and chase the popper. After missing a few fish in tight rips we found a whole bunch of nice stripers cruising along a bar edge. Mike got the first good hookup, a true giant that ended up bending out the hook and popping off. I caught two of the smaller fish there, one of which took while I was walking and dragging the fly next to me.

These fish were in shallow water. We could see them and the takes and ensuing battles were impressive. My best fish of the day, easily reaching 30 inches, took in less then a foot of water and made a wicked commotion after I set the hook. It truly does not get any better than that!  

I should point out that at this point the it was raining like it had never rained before and the wind had picked up to well over 20mph. I mean it was howling! Fortunately we had no need to make long casts!

Like a switch the fishing slowed when the sun came out. A rainbow and one last striper made a good bookend to one of the most enjoyable days on the water I have ever had. I'm glad it came together as well as it did, I don't think it could have been any more incredible. Every day on the salt is like my first, so Mike and I were both pretty much over the moon. We must have hookec in excess of 60 stripers all together. Some days, my friends, some days....


  1. Yes,"some days are just GREAT". That was a wonderful trip! There is nothing like catching fish nonstop even in the rain. Your photos are outstanding!
    Tie, fish, write and photo on...

  2. Some days are like that and it seems you can not do anything wrong, resulting in constant action. Awesome fish and photos. Nice Job!

    1. Yes! These are the days that drive me!