-- Block Island
|The best late spring striper fishing of the season can be had right now at Block Island. There are pods of stripers from six pounds and up in the twenty pound range chasing tiny sand eels and maybe some squid too. All are healthy looking fish covered with sea lice. Itís nice to see fat bellies for a change comparing them to stripers we have seen in the bay this spring. Presentation is important. Most of the surface boils are within casting range if you drift above them. Fly fishermen seem to have the advantage over spin guys with the smaller size bait.
Tuesday afternoon was a picture perfect day to be out on a family cruise at Block Island. The seas were flat calm, blue skies to the horizon and comfortable temperatures. Unfortunately situations like this are not conducive to dynamics fish conditions.
We were surprise to find excited birds and pods of stripers working the sand bar. A closer look revealed tens of stripers completely vaulting above the water. As I gazed over to Dave Ross and Ed Mitchell nothing had to be said. You could see the anticipation build like the crescendo to a fine piece of classical music. This is going to be too easy a bite, I thought while getting their fly rods.
Well cast after cast on busting stripers all around us changed the grin on our faces to a frustrated frown. Yes! This was going to one of those evenings like the cider worm swarm. Tonight, hundreds of stripers were going to play with our psyche and leave us demoralized in a sad state of fishermenís depression. Our experience tells us to observe the moment and watch natureís interactions. There are times; we are just bystanders/observers with very little control over the outcome. This was going to be a learning seminar with a class room without walls. The stripers were keyed in on phytoplankton and zooplankton and were not going to simply touch our offerings.
Dave Ross enjoyed his return to Block Island. The views and the weather were magnificent. It was nice to get caught up on friendships, old and new.
Fridayís conditions were much different than a previous trip to the rip this week. Today we had Ted Stebbins and Dave Pollack on board wetting a fly. The rip had a pronounce disturbance of current against wind that developed it into a manageable chop. Stripers lined the edges of the bar gorging sand eels on the receding tide. Today, the stripers were going to be co-operative. After a few casts, both Dave and Ted were into some quality fish.
You could conceivably catch fifty stripers tonight, but thatís not going to happen with a fly rod in hand. Once these stripers get caught in the currents of the rip and down forty feet there is no budging them. Itís simply a waiting game till the boat drifts free from the pull of the tide. Every striper fights so hard no matter the size. Thereís something about moving water with the large amount of oxygen present. They seemly use the currents to their advantages. All stripers had extremely full stomachs. It was nice to see that for a change.
Today was no puzzle! Any sand eel patterns on a sink line would work. They were not fussy about patterns but more keyed into the movement of the fly.
Nice fish Ted Stebbins. Great to see you back on the water fishing again.
Dave Pollack up to his old tricks again. Once again top hook for largest striper.