Monday, May 7, 2012

The First Striped Bass of 2012 on the Fly Rod, from Shore !!!

Spring is here in full force in New York.

The birds are singing, the grass is growing and the striped bass are back to New York.

After a long period of fly fishing in fresh water in the Catskills and New Jersey, I decided to try my luck on our beloved striped bass. Because I have tied quite a bunch of flies over the Winter I was excited to try them out at Jamaica Bay where I have heard and read some good reports these past two weeks.

Had the chance to arrive right on time for the high tide and fished just the beginning of the outgoing tide. I was fishing from shore and was patiently waiting to make my first cast when the rip will start flowing.

The great thing of being able to fish for trout and in salt water is that especially in fly fishing your skills are consistently improving.

What you gain in trout fishing is:
- Presentation
- Stealth
- Positioning
- Reading the water
- Locate fish under different arrays of conditions and light
- Reflex - trout fishing really improve them especially if like me, like to fish dry fly, sight fishing and wet flies...

All of these are transferable in the salt water world (no matter what other people say). A good example of this is Lefty Kreh, an amazing humble fly fisherman as sharp as one can be when targeting a tarpon in the Keys or a small mouth bass on the Potomac river.

Coming back to my story... So as the tides started to move out I notice  a great current close from shore forming a great spot for a striped to hunt its preys. I was almost sure that if a fish was in the area it will be just in front of a big rock under water so I casted my clouser minnow about 8 yards in front of it, in a similar fashion as when I fish for trouts with slow sinking nymph. After two mendings, making sure my fly was not dragging and at the right depth, I did one twitch on my line and I saw the Striped Bass following very closely the fly. At this point and instead of striping faster, I just did a micro-twitch on the line follow by a pause and the striped bass literally engulfed the fly. WOW!

The fight was quite epic because the fish was large enough to use its mass in the now ripping current and after a great battle I managed to land it, took a quick picture and released it.

It is not a monster fish by any standard but it is certainly a fine catch from shore.

See you all on the water.