23 September 2011

Playing the Blues

It is often over looked, but New England, that provincial corner of the US known for it's yankee way, thick tradition, Ivy Leagues and maple syrup sports some of the best Salt Water fishing off the shores of  the USA.  New England's industry was built on fish, cod mostly but haddock, scup, swordfish and lobster as well.  With the demise of the commercial fishery, whether correlated or not, sport fish have gained recognition and attract pursuers to the North East waters.

Striped Bass are the king but there are others in the court.  False Albacore, most notably, along with Blue Fish, Tuna, Black Sea Bass, Swordfish and others.  The word has been that the Ablies are in thick and they are a rush on the fly, to be sure.  That being said the weather has not been favorable and should continue to piss on us for the foreseeable future.  I took out the MaryLou and with her low profile and short length I was content to stay within the break water off Watch Hill, RI.  Birds were active, the wind was steady and the tide was outgoing.  Not the most favorable conditions for a day on the water.  I put in some time and shrugged the frustration of not being able to go where the fish were, beyond the protection of the point and the breakwater, but managed to land and few nonetheless.

This gaudy bait pattern is reminiscent of a coho fly out of my AK box

Blue Fish don't have the sport fish aura but they are fun, blitz hard, and
are eager to please

Some don't like to eat Blue Fish but as for me, it's tasty.  It can be a little oily but that keeps it moist on the grill.  Some simple seasoning and a side of couscous, and a Narragansett Beer.

Stormy weather over the sound
Tying bait patterns doesn't require the finesse and dexterity demanded by midge patterns and dries.  They are bold, even gaudy at times (see above), but do take a certain type of attention.  Shape, size and color all matter but just like all fly angling the presentation, and in the salt, the retrieve is what separates the catches from the catch-nots.  I picked up some Enrico Puglisi Fibers at River & Riptide Angler in Coventry, RI (great place by the way) and have fallen in love again.  Paired with Yak Hair, Krystal Flash, Flashabou, Eyes, Deer Hair, whatever, it ties and fishes great.  At $5.99 it better.

Home-made rainbow anchovy pattern, as long as it looks
good and has eyes it'll work

EP Mullet patten

I swear by Black after dark.  Stripers love it; I love it

Tying station, if you haven't used EP Fibers for bait patterns, pick some up
Sharpies can add barring and gills of these patterns easily.  I carry a few for on-the-water alterations.

Check out Elliot's blog for some Albie action: eliotjenkinsfishing. (He's got a bigger boat.)  A new comer to NE, he's making it happen.  GreasyBeaksFlyFishing.