Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Brookies on Dry Flies and the Law of Large Numbers

Returned Monday night from a long weekend at our friend Greg Senyo's cabin in the Allegheny Mountains. We hosted a group of Orvis Cleveland customers for a weekend of relaxing and mountain trout fishing. I think it's safe to say that everyone had a ball and some beautiful fish came to hand, including a number of them on my little 7' 4-weight J.S. Sharpe "Scottie" cane rod, which is always a treat to fish. I'm still sifting pictures (I know, same old story right?) but I'll recap that trip soon, hopefully before the weekend.

In the meantime, my buddy Jeff has been picking up the slack. He sent me this great recap of a day on the boat chasing stripers with his pops. Here's what he had to say:

I’ve fished the waters in and around Cape May, NJ since I was capable of standing on a boat. In recent years I’ve experienced more fishing and less catching. I’ve targeted flounder, weakfish, bluefish and now the ever popular striped bass. The only issue has been the dwindling populations of striped bass, thus the number sweet pics of me and my trophy bass have gone exponentially down. As the Dudes have posted recently my friend JD has begun to perfect the art of fly rodding for bass. However, the hero-shots you see do not come without extreme frustration and hundreds, if not thousands of casts. We’ve fished days with picture perfect tides, winds, temperature only to end the day drinking and asking “what the hell?” Is it our fly selection, depth, retrieve, timing, location? Who the hell knows.

This is where the law of large numbers began working on our side. It’s like firing lines out to girls at the bar… you might get the occasional nibble but unless you are talking to the right girl at the right time with the right line a nibble is all you’ll get. Well perhaps a slap but that’s a story for another time. As with wheeling girls, fishing is all about timing, patience and let’s face it, luck.

I fished over the holiday weekend and the tide seemed alright, the weather was nice, a bit breezy but nothing I couldn’t handle. I was out with my dad and fished the same area I’ve caught fish before but had struck out on with JD in recent attempts. We showed up on the outgoing tide and birds were hovering over a pod of silverside baitfish. My dad and I anchored up and I started whipping a variety of flies through the pod of bait fish to no avail. After my 8th fly change, a black gurgler finally produced the preverbal nibble in the form of a flying striper. Frustration set in and a combination of light and tide running out forced us back home empty handed, except for the Bud-heavies. We went back the next day and somehow I was given a second shot. The bait fish were in the same exact spot and I could see tails slapping the water. This time I changed up my retrieve and finally I was rewarded. I could see my fly in the water and saw the swirl. Like reacting to the slow- motion take of a cutty on the South Fork, I paused…one Mississippi, and set… fish on. It’s a great feeling that always keeps me coming back for more, and more. I might not be setting records for fish per cast but finally getting to scratch that itch feels oh so sweet. "

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