Two days ago I was 24 and I bought my first fly rod but then I woke up this morning and I am 41 and the bag boy at the market called me Sir. I think I just caught that creek chub drifting a nymph through a stocked stream but two days ago I didn’t have a blog or even email so the hookset lives only in my head.
There must be scores of fish likewise undocumented. Or maybe not. Most of them are likely spun several stages down the carbon cycle by now, having met their fate via age, other fish or other anglers on the way.
Worse, there are tens of thousands that didn’t and still don’t swim past my fly and therefore didn’t, don’t and never will exist. Except for the fact that I see their faces on Instagram and in black and white photos, hanging from stringers.
The waters are confirmed. They are named and charted and photographed by satellite for inspection on Google Earth. The only way to prove they are living, though, is to wet a line.
This is a strange cult but we’re not making history here just ritual: Drive cast retrieve release. It’s as ingrained and as automatic as the liturgical responses of a Catholic mass. Maybe when we’re doing it we are grounded in place but existing outside time, which comes back around on us with a vengeance when we stop. It’s a fair trade.
I’m heading back to the place were two weeks ago I rowed over to the bay and caught my first pike on a push-button Zebco with a Heddon Midget River Runt. Try to tell me it’s not the most electric fish that’s ever been caught and if you call me Sir again I’m going to run you over in the parking lot.
A video calling to fight the attempt to eradicate striped bass from California waters. According to savedeltafish.com, this is not an invasive species issue but a water use exploitation issue.
Here’s the petition to oppose the bill.
Some shaky footage from fishing for false albacore last week.
[UPDATE: Reloaded the video after trying to take some of the shakiness out. It was making me sick.]
[NOTE: For everyone asking, the rod is a Helios prototype, which is why it has a different reel seat and coloration than what's in production. And, yes, that is floating line. I had on full sink, but when I hooked my first one the line didn't clear properly and I got a ridiculous bird's nest pulled tight by a fleeing albie. I didn't want to miss out while untangling, so I switched out to the floating--all I had--super quick just to get a fly in the mix. Normally I use full sink. The backing is gel spun.]
Capt. Dave Azar reports there are mahi to be had offshore. NOAA reports that attempting to go offshore is asking for a yard sale:
S TO SE WINDS 15 TO 20 KT. SEAS BUILDING TO 7 TO 10
FT WITH S SWELL. SCATTERED SHOWERS.
S TO SE WINDS 15 TO 20 KT EARLY INCREASING TO 20 TO 30 KT
LATE...EXCEPT SW PORTION 30 TO 40 KT. SEAS BUILDING TO 11 TO 17
FT...HIGHEST SW. SHOWERS AND TSTMS. VSBY OCCASIONALLY LESS THAN
1 NM IN SQUALLS AND BLOWING SPRAY SW PORTION.
S TO SE WINDS 35 TO 45 KT...EXCEPT E PORTION TO 55
KT. SEAS BUILDING TO 15 TO 23 FT.
WINDS BECOMING W TO NW 15 TO 25 KT...EXCEPT FAR E PORTION
TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS EXPECTED EARLY. WINDS THEN DIMINISHING
TO W TO NW 10 TO 15 KT THROUGHOUT. SEAS SUBSIDING TO 6 TO 10
Who do you think caught more?
Our boat? (Two redfish.)
Or these stone cold killers?
Watching dolphin work in concert to trap mullet against the mangroves and then literally flip them into the air and eat them made it all worth getting our asses handed to us.
Ween covers Van Halen and whacks stripers on the Jersey coast. That’s about all you could want in a rock outfit. (Plus, they put out 12 Golden Country Greats.) Check out Brownie Troop Fishing Show, put out by Dean Ween.
(Link via Moldy Chum)
Healing from the third annual Rhode Island trip organized by Jeremy Cameron of Flies and Fins. (Here’s Jeremy’s Youtube vid from the inaugural event.) No tuna this year but one or two guys (not me) hooked into the maddeningly sporadic bonito. Every day a heavy afternoon bass bite saved the day. Thank Jeebus or Satan or whoever for those striped bass. Without them, there would have been blood.
Reading Peter Matthiessen’s book from 1986 on the lost way of life of Long Island’s south shore surfmen and baymen. I’m a huge fan of Matthiessen’s trilogy of historical novels on frontier Florida, particularly Killing Mr. Watson and Bone by Bone. This book is so far a great read about a culture now buried under glitterati and horrible traffic every summer.
“It is the most popular game fish in the world. Sometimes it is simply called Bigmouth…or so the story goes…”
Check out this classic footage of Rod Serling narrating the epic bass documentary BIGMOUTH. (Coming soon, the sequel.)