|There are still some stripers around Block Island but not in any mass concentration. The bass we have been targeting are in very small numbers and moving all the time searching for their next bite. Donít look for physical signs like bird activity or bait near the surface. Itís been completed void except for gulls trailing draggers and party boats as they fillet or discard by-catch.
It is easy spotting surface activity (when an occasional striper boils) with the calm seas. Most of them may be spooked by boat noise. The lack of winds makes it perfect situation to fly fish. Lacking is the quantity of sand eels around the shallows. You see spots on the screen but no noticeable densities of bait. The stripers we have landed seem to be along the same contour lines mostly in the twenty foot depths or greater. The lack of bait reduces the loss of bluefish donations. In fact we havenít landed a single bluefish along the southern side this week except along the mainland. Normally this time of year scup reign supreme taking a fly but with the lack of sand eels we havenít caught a one either.
There are times during the day the saturation in the air moves the fog in rather quickly. The southern side and North Rip are noted for this. Visibility has been good for morning crossings.
Charlie Fortier and Wayne Perry from the Southeastern Chapter of TU were out with us Friday. It was their first trip out to the Block. It was overcast and calm for most of the day. The bite was slow but evenly space throughout the morning. Normal we try to move around as less as possible not to disturb the situation. We found a few stripers cruising the surface that made the trip manageable. Casting to individual boils is probably the most exciting experience for a fly fisherman. Nothing gets your adrenaline up as fast. Unfortunately it affects your efficiency and nothing seems to go right at the wrong time. Err! Frustration, but thatís life as a fly guy!
Charlie with his first BI striper
Ditto for Wayne Perry too
Tuesday was what we call ďLegends Day.Ē If youíre in the fishing industry you meet many fascinating and knowlegble anglers during the winter show months. Very rarely do you ever have the chance to get engaged in any deep conversations so for Cast a Fly, itís a chance to get to know them on a more personal level. What better playing field than the fishing arena.
This year we were very pleased to have Dean Clark on board again after a four year hiatus. Dean brings back so many wonderful family memories that started maybe 15 years ago at the World Fly Fishing Show in Wilmington, MA. My son (eight years old) and I would look forward to his presentations that seemed more informative than frosting. They were keyed to fish content in the pioneer days of early Cape Cod striper flats fishing. There was plenty to learn with this new Southern New England venue. Today Dean is a spokesman, advocate for better management of the striped bass fishery. Much of Deanís winter hours are spend educating and unifying the ranks thru Stripers Forever, a group that promotes awareness of the species.
The West Wall gap was behind us at 4:40 am and visibility was better than a mile heading to the island. It was a quiet run over but we did get the chance to see an ocean tug pushing across the sound. The blanket of fog only made the picture more intriguing. The rip was tame this morning with no indication of life so we just continued on. We found plenty of current movement with hardly a wave. No bird life whatsoever except a few storm petrels flying close to our wake.
We managed ten stripers on a fly till noontime with a two man rotation while the third observed. Fishing seemed secondary to storytelling, but Iím sure if the dynamics were differentÖ. than. We caught a lucky break heading back to the mainland around 1:00 pm. We found an acre of feeding, hungry stripers on one inch micro bait. Now itís time to pad the numbers. We stayed drifting with them for over an hour. The Dennis and Doctor Fran Team soon got our message joined us in on the fun. They had also made the trip to the island and were finishing the day fluke fishing near by.
Mr. Pollack with the first bass of the day and the pool winner
Dean Clark lock n loaded
The captain finally has a chance to wet a line