8/6 Monomoy Island, flats, fly, wade, South Beach, Chatham
I will soon be leaving for the Salmon River, N.Y. My last saltwater reports will be the end of August. After Sept. 1, I will only be posting on freshwater sites, pertaining to Steelhead - Salmon, Salmon River.
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Slow A.M.-- Afternoon delight is the way I would describe today. The sun started to peak out from behind the clouds so it was mutually agreed upon to try our hand at sight fishing. Walked, walked some more and were rewarded with non-stop fish, fish and more fish! Big ones too!
We ended up not even sight casting to them. It was easier to just chuck it out there, let it sink and see what surprises would be waiting for us with in a couple of strips. Kinda like unwrapping an X-mas present. Birds galore working heavily on micro to 4 inch Sand Lances. Water was moving well with the exaggerated tides. I gave Pete a quick lesson on throwing it out on his backcast, and on his first try he hooked a nice one. It was hard not to hook-up due to the feeding frenzy that was taking place in front of us. As the sight fishing conditions got continually worse with the increasing cloud cover, we could still see the Bass easily due to their size and how shallow they were running.
We have been doing extremely well fishing lately. Lots of small ones to make it fun, but also a few big ones each day. Using an Orvis 300-grain depth charge line w/ 4-6 inch Sand Lance patterns. With these tides I have found it VERY useful to incorporate a 400-grain depth charge line when we are at the fastest part of the tide. Only thing is no sun. All these fish and with this crazy weather pattern we have not been able to sight fish all week. O-well, could be worse. Beats a sharp stick in the eye.
Bob Funk, N. America Sales Director for Mustad hooks and friends enjoyed a wet day of fly-fishing. . Numerous fish were landed with the biggest weighing in at 23 lb.'s. - 40 inch's on a sand lance pattern . The group decided to only keep one fish to split up amongst the group. The stomach contents were loaded with squid. The only size hook I will use in July and August are size 4 Mustad 34009.
Jason's first time fly fishing the salt was a big success. He alone landed approx. 30. His #'s would have been a lot bigger, but we left one spot that was loaded with small ones to try to find some bigger ones. Its nice when you have THAT problem.
I found one thing interesting today. In a one-hour period the vast majority of about 200 Terns that flew by us all had Sandlances in their beaks. Some of them could hardly fly with the size of the fish and wind. I guess Mom and Dad were bringing lunch to their chicks on S. Monomoy Island. Birds galore working the swift incoming tide. Fish eager to please!
One of my recent wise clients explained to me what he thought was one of the most important qualities a guide should have. Predator instinct!
He was right! The way you should approach flats fishing is the same way any predator on this earth approaches its next meal. Blend in, be quite, and study the contour of the land. Look for the best place to ambush, find their weaknesses and exploit it! Only threw the study of all aspects of your prey's environment, habits will you become a proficient hunter and be able to take full advantage of natures banquet table. HhhhooOOOOWWWLLLLLL!
I am often asked, "Why are they so spooky when they are on the flats"
Well, like any fish they all feel most comfortable when they have a safe-quick exit to deeper water, blend in with their surroundings (eel grass) or are in deeper water. None of which most fish feel they have on a sand flat. In addition these fish are continually being educated each day they come in contact with-- to heavy pound test mono, wrong flies, scent of your bug dope or sunscreen on your fly, lining fish, making noise, running your boat over there heads, standing where you should be fishing, etcÃ‚â€¦
My normal response to this question is to pretend you are walking down main street with nothing on. Wouldn't you feel a little uncomfortable? I know most of you would. That's exactly how they feel when running into the shallows in gin clear water, light colored sand searching out their next meal.
Keeping in mind these fish have a brain the size of a pea, you would think they would be pretty easy to catch. But remember we are in their environment. Sight fishing is similar to hunting deer or turkey. The amount of noise generated by you, other anglers or boats means one thing - NO FISH on the flat or at least spooky fish who are less apt to eat. Even the water lapping on the underside of your basket will spook fish. Stand completely still or when walking move slowly. Stay as far away from other anglers and boats that may not be trying to blend in with the sites and sounds of the natural saltwater environments as you are.
Monomoy Island fishing forecast:
With this cool summer the water temps have been pretty good. This should make for a better than normal August. As the tides start to slow, so shall the fishing, in most cases.
Salmon River - Pulaski, N.Y. Update:
Presently there is plenty of water in the reservoir, so Niagara Mohawk (dam) should be able to fulfill their agreement to release 335 cfs through out the Salmon Season. Hopefully too, they will continue their practice of pulsing the water levels at night. Its too early to tell or worry about but we hope that they don't dump a LOT of water at once or it could create an incredible run too soon. Instead of the preferred, stretching the run out over a period of time for all to enjoy.
If you keep track of the Salmon River on a daily basis and live nearby I would watch for a possible release of a lot of water. When the Salmon start to stage closer to the mouth of the Salmon River this could result in an explosive run. Remember a couple of ears ago? 3000 Kings running the river with only a few very happy soles around. You never know.
I'm told the lake's water temperatures = King Salmon are about 2 weeks behind due to the cool summer they have experienced. This could delay the staging, runs of the King Salmon. Its still too early to tell.
For additional water level information dial - 1(800)-452-1742, River Code 365123.
There are summer run Skamania in the river along with Atlantic Salmon, they are not in large numbers.
The Pineville Bridge re-opened a couple of weeks ago. They did not rebuild a new bridge but simply made some structural repairs. I'd hold my breath when crossing. ha
They say the Lord does not subtract from a person's allotted span for the days spent fishing.
Fish long & prosper!