-- Block Island, Upper Narragansett Bay
|Narragansett Bay continues to show no signs of improvement with the bait supply situation. I haven’t seen any visual signs of any pogies this year from south of Nayatt Point to the ocean. Thus the stripers seem to have notice this also. Our daily take of stripers are on the decline each day. The ones we catch lack any body weight. Plenty of small silversides around in the early morning, but they do disperse quickly.
Several bay trips this week had minimal success. Even in the early morning hours, we haven’t seen a tern or any birds for that matter scouting for food. That’s not an encouraging sign.
The ocean front is entirely a different scene. We found plenty of healthy and full stripers with sea lice, snatching up sand eels willing to co-operate on a fly. There were hundreds of seagulls and a few terns diving on striper boils eating small sand eels in the rips everywhere.
Monday morning’s striper trip with Ronald Marafioti and Dave Pollack only produced a few quality stripers. The 25 knot winds from the northwest makes the bay unbearable to fly fish the way the bay is lay out from north/south. We tried to find some protection from the wind, but it takes a lot of the quality fishing spots out of the equation. Ron and Dave are both avid kayakers know how frustrating the wind can make fly fishing conditions.
Ron did get the largest striper of the day.
Tuesday’s trip was a little better wind wise with Joe Herbert though with the same results. We were hoping for a better day of catching since Joe has been biting at the bit to feel a few tugs. He’s been convalescing a few weeks from a medical procedure and hadn’t been out on the water. There was no shortage of enthusiasm on Joe’s part. Joe re-united with his striper friends after being a few weeks away off the water.
Talk about a total change of events.
On Wednesday we planned our fishing trip to Block Island with the way the bay has been fishing lately. We figured we look for sand eels, squid, and maybe some butterfish for a change. It turned out to be a great decision after all.
Dave Pollack and Mike Testa witnessed some phenomenal fishing and some great sights on Wednesday morning. Making our way to the North Rip we saw hundreds of birds in the distance, something that was been lacking in the bay this season. As we entered the rip, dozens of spinal dogfish were fining their way on the surface, a sight to be seen. Dave even found the dogfish co-operative and hooked one on the fly.
These stripers were feeding on immature sand eels. The fly rod was defiantly the tool of choice today. Our drifts were perfect thru the rips that hardly developed the wash due to the lack of opposing winds. Stripers were boiling all over the surface in the calm currents. Action continued steadily during the whole tide. We moved around quietly during the whole morning and kept ‘um on the fringe. Casting to rising stripers is what most saltwater fly angler dreams about. There’s just so much adrenaline pumping and anticipation waiting for that next strike. Both Mike and Dave were not disappointed all day.
What worked for both were eelie flatwings tipped with olive green/yellow saddle hackles, eight foot leaders on sink tip fly lines. Later on, Ray’s flies produced with much better success along with some angel hair patterns.
Dave holding a fresh Block Island Striper in the Rip.
Mike seen here, enjoying the bite on a nice spring outing at the Block.
Now here’s a first!
We were about a mile out of Old Harbor when a RI Department of Environment Police Boat stopped us for a routine safety check. Now mind you, we are 16 miles from the mainland. They were very co-operative and professional about their duties. An EPO Officer came on board checked all our manifest, documentation, and safety gear.
Please remember they do check for a valid NOAA registration or RI fishing licenses. Make sure of your expiration dates on day/night signals are up to date. They do check them. They were very polite and professional about their duties. They even asked to inspect our onboard catch but we told them, we release every fish.