Striper on the Fly Coming Soon
Maybe it’s because I’m coming off a weekend of birthday celebrations that included a tour of the Breukelen Distillery (thanks Brad), a 14-hour smoked pork shoulder (thanks bro), a new waterproof digital camera and lemon tarts (thanks babe!), and many happy wishes from friends and family, that I’m feeling a bit thankful. Can I beg just one more indulgence?
I’d like a striper on my 8wt fly rod on the surf.
I’ve just joined the Salty Flyrodders and my first meeting is tomorrow night. This venerable club of anglers fly fish the salt and is fast approaching their 50-year anniversary (2016). I’ve thoroughly enjoyed fly fishing all summer various streams and rivers for bass, brookies, ‘bows and browns, but October means the beginning of the fall run here in the NE and I want in on the action. I’m hoping the SF can be patient with a newbie like me, that I will get opportunities to tag-along and learn this particular angle of the fly fishing craft. I’ve caught stripers before in the surf, mostly on a fluke (pun intended–actually, bucktails), but fly fishing in the fall on the surf is a different matter all together. Its a combination of reading the tides, having the right cast, fortitude to weather the cold, and patience, lots of patience. This summer I read a couple of classics, Striper Surf, and the Legend of Billy the Greek–and came away with the single-most important lesson drilled in me, have patience. By the way, if you’re looking for a good online surfcasting magazine, the Surfcasters Journal is the last word in my opinion.
Tomorrow at the Queens Botanical Garden, I’ll join the Salty Flyrodders, and start to learn the new language, the flies, the patterns and take up their offer on the casting clinic before the meeting. I like that the SF practice catch & release, but I do intend to take a blue or striper now and then for the grill–but I honor the fish already as a member of Stripers Forever–who seek to make the striper a game fish permanently and remove it from the commercial fisheries. I believe that if you prepare well, hunt and stalk your fish with humility and conservation in mind, then you gain a right to consume its flesh every now and then. There is, undoubtedly, a primal reason why I want to catch a striper on the fly though and it stirs when I see things like this…
If you’re a traditional spinning rod angler and interesting in taking in the striper action but just can’t seem to get out of the city, you may want to consider joining the Brooklyn Fishing Derby put on by the Brooklyn Urban Anglers Association. The Derby opened on Friday and runs a month. If you’ve got the gear and willpower–they’ll even help you get started. Prime fishing stretches from Red Hook to LIC. If you feel weird about fishing the East River, get over it, cause the Hudson is one of the biggest spawning grounds for striped bass (aka rockfish) in the world (and about 200 other species) and they migrate. That striped bass on your plate at the restaurant has probably been in the Hudson, Chesapeake and maybe even Cape Hatteras.