Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Last August I visited a local spot on the Sound and happened upon several decent stripers - it was a warm afternoon and I recall throwing a black Clouser on an intermediate line up current and "nymphing" it back to me. It's the Dog Days again and although I know chances aren't good, I'm compelled to go and see. Better anglers time their visits to coincide with more productive times, but predicting patterns in movement of bait and predators, tides and climate, is fine on paper. The reality is I get curious and need to take a peek. I'm lucky being 5 minutes drive from some water. I'm also cultivating an impressive collection of cigar tubes and sand in my car - more motivation to go fishing.
The culvert had begun to dispense the outgoing tide. An obvious rip formed in the shallows of the bay, moving water in contradicting eddies. There was bait everywhere - the tell-tale signs of blue crabs paddling in the surface film (do they know what they're doing or are they helpless to the current?); tiny silversides in singles and very occasionally bursting in numbers; and something else, either tight schools of bait or bigger animals cruising the flat water in noticeable V formation. Perhaps they are shad, or the bunker that we tried so hard to catch last year. They say shad are easy to catch - perhaps when they prove difficult they are bunker!
I spent an hour fishing a floating line and a Big Eelie fly; nothing scientific, just the first to hand. For better or worse, having lost my beloved 10' 7 weight last year to a car door, I may be getting more proficient with the 9' 9 weight, seemingly the industry standard. At any rate, last night I was pleased to be able to double haul the whole line *quite effortlessly with only 2 or 3 back-casts (*fake, windless conditions).
Casting was the highlight tonight. I knew I'd catch nothing, so I was on the money, the pattern verified. Osprey, night heron, blue heron, and all manner of LBJs were around at dusk. Thankfully they were the only creatures to see me run for the sanctity of my air conditioned vehicle after only an hour, drenched through.