6/8-6/18 Monomoy Island, sight fishing, wade, flats, fly, Chatham and Stuff
Found some creeks loaded on the drop. Birds working, bait spraying, lots of bass bustin. You could pick out the fish you wanted to catch. Sight fished all day. If water was to deep, you only had to look for the flashes. They were on fire! It was too easy, so I left. Ha
Went out to the same area. No birds working, no bait spraying, no surface activity but still saw 75 or so bass in this one area. Most of the fish that were their yesterday had gone! Ha. I guess that's why they call it fish'in. Covered about 4 miles and saw fish everywhere we went. Not the day I was expecting but from most folk's perspective a decent day out on the flats with blue skies, crystal clear water and spectacular camaraderie.
Client arrived late so instead of touring the flats we toured the local water holes. Tide was up and running hard!
Awoke with a headache and congested. Must be from all the pollen in the air! Ha We managed to run out to South beach and hit a few Blues and Stripers. Birds working, Fish bust'in. Water temperature dropped to 52 deg. after the N.E. wind and rain. Took a friends boat into a small cove out of the wind and had a blast with the schoolies. Water temp. 62 deg. Some shad and weakfish around which have helped continue to bring the Blues in.
Spent a lil time on South Beach. Nothing to exciting. Fish, birds working over eel grass for the last week. Seeing lots of micro eels and 4-inch sand lances. Super clousers in white and light olive, (Peter Alves) Monomoy flat wings have been producing will. Water temps. rose to 55 deg.
Noticed the seals have moved to the tip of S. Beach. Looks like more than last year? Saw several Stripers on the flats in a 10-minute period but light was terrible so went to another area to blind cast and look for flashes. (Normally when feeding they turn sideways and a silvery flash will give away their location). This area had good moving water on the incoming over a large shallow sand flat that spills into a deep channel. Lots of bait being pushed into the channel so it's a prime spot to work. Some residents have set-up home for the summer with migratories stopping in for a bite from time to time. About a dozen fish were released. I use a fast sink line when water rips through this area but as water slows I switch to a clear Int. line, long Fluorocarbon leader and an unwieghted fly. Spooky is the word and this set-up and standing back 15 feet from the edge is the stealth mode required at this spot.
With higher air temps. and a return to a S.W. wind this weekend, look for the fishing to improve a bit in the Chatham S.E. area. It's a shame to have missed all the great sight fishing spots on this last week's incoming tide in the A.M. due to clouds and high winds.
Strong 15-20 knot wind. Found an area on the Island to cast with the wind, while blind casting and sight fishing. Fair # were sighted and landed. Remember back when you first started to fly fish? I know it's hard for some of you to remember back THAT far. Ha. First time out for Jeanie and even though we practiced fish fighting techniques she just did not want her 3 fish to swim away. Holding the line and reel handle left me with an excited disappointed client, few less flies but 3 very happy fish. Ha
Flats 101- Safety first while wading:
Here on Cape Cod, fog can become your worst nightmare when 1/8-2 miles out on a flat. Some of us have had close calls on the flats, so I would like to share some of the things I do to remain safe.
Number one rule is do not wonder into an area you are not familiar with. When I say familiar, I mean having an intimate understanding of all of the following.
2- Before I even walk out onto a flat I have already checked several weather related wind internet sites. I know direction and if its goint to swing and at what time. As I walk out I pay attention to what direction I feel the wind on my face. This helps should I have to guess ta mate my return.
3- I know exactly in what stage in the tide I'm walking out and when it will change. I'm very familiar with tidal current direction at every phase of the tide for the flat I am on. Knowing current direction also helps with navigation when seeing land is not an option.
4- Over the years the sand becomes like a road map, every trough, sluice, creek, river, depression is memorized over and over each year. Even if you can not see 10 feet you will come across these things that will help you navigate your way back.
5-Knowing exactly at what stage in the tide I can cross and re-cross certain depressions allowing me access to certain flats and a safe return.
6-Taking in all audible clues as I walk out. (Cars, Fog horns, Bells, Motor boat engine noise coming from the main channel.)
7- I take a compass reading when I reach my destination. I carry a compass on my watchband for easy access.
8-Know the height of your tides. Worse case scenario is to seek higher ground and sit it out. Knowing were this area is at, is crucial.
9-A cell phone is invaluable should you happen to hurt yourself and walking back is not an option.
10-Go with a friend or someone who knows the area as good as the inside of their pocket.
11- Know your moon fazes. There are certain tides in certain areas that will not allow you to out run them. No high ground to sit it out and the current is so swift you can not walk against it. Put yourself on the edge of a flat with a drop off and this current can at times run like a ragging river, as water drains off it. Someone lost their life last year under this same scenario.
12- An inflatable vest of some sort makes a lot of sense.
13- Look for the way water drains off the flat. If it drains to your right, then the high ground is to your left. If you can find the area where it drains off left and over to your right, you have just found you exit off the flat when faced with high water. Knowing this direct route will save you valuable time when faced with a fast incoming tide that you can not out run.
14- A good pair of polarized glasses are not only an invaluable tool for seeing fish but also for safety.
Having to feel your way back in by following the edge of the flat with your feet is not an enjoyable feeling, especially when the tide has turned and the fog is overwhelming. This happened to me once and it well never happen again! So be safe, be smart; don't fool around with Mother Nature. She always has the winning hand.
We should all try to remember that we are stewards of our environment. If it were not for conservative minded people 20 years ago, we would not be enjoying the fruits of there labor today. Please remember that a fish is to valuable a resource to only be caught once (Lee Wolf).