Friday, May 16, 2014

A Good Way to Kill Some Time

It's finally my turn to catch with the Samurai Dog

Spring took an awfully long time to get here. So did the fish. Some still aren't here. For instance, the small, early run of sea run brown trout is nowhere to be found. I caught my first two years, one month and a day ago. The key part of the last sentence is "one month ago." Granted, spring of 2012 was as early as spring of 2014 is late, but I'm getting impatient!

While I wait for the browns to move up from Long Island Sound, I've decided to forgo fishing for resident trout in favor of swinging flies for striped bass. This is the first season I've fished for stripers with a two handed rod. I went out twice this week and finally had the opportunity to fish the Samurai Dog tube fly. My customer hasn't taken his Samurai Dog off in three weeks of fishing, landing trout in the Farmington and Westfield Rivers and striped bass and smallmouth bass in the Connecticut River. I just delivered another order to him last night, one which wiped me out of small turbo cones (more on order from the Canadian Tube Fly Company). 

Both trips this week were more brief than I would have liked, but this is a crazy month for both work and family obligations. Still, I caught fish on both occasions. 

Who doesn't like the Sunray Shadow? 

Tuesday evening, I landed my first striper of the year on a small Sunray Shadow tied on an aluminum tube. It was also my first striper on a two handed rod. The fly was a small one, around 2.5" in total length. It's diminutive size didn't stop the "barely legal" striper from hammering it nonetheless. It was a healthy, thick fish, which measured exactly 28" (legal size for retention). I planned on keeping it but, after verifying the fish's length and removing the badly mangled treble hook from its lips, I reconsidered. The possible after-effects of a late night and an early morning were too much for me. You win this time, buddy...and the fish swam free. A little later that evening, I caught a small schoolie striper on the Samurai Dog. It was fun and productive couple of hours on the water. 

One benefit of tube flies...even though the hook
was badly mangled, the fly was totally unharmed. 

Last night, I had more time, but there was less action overall. For a short period of time, the stripers were active just under the surface. I could see their backs break the surface of the water. I nailed another schoolie on the Samurai Dog, but the bite shut off pretty quickly after that. Oh well, it beats getting skunked. 

Fortunately, I was able to get the obligatory "fly-in-mouth" pic. I've been told that no one believes a new fly actually works without plenty of in-action closeups (*eye roll*). Fortunately, my customer had the courage to be the "guinea pig" and it really seems to have paid off for him. 

I'm nervously waiting. The aforementioned trout should appear any day now. However, if the weather forecast is accurate, heavy rainfall might mess things up. "Rain...bad for the fishermen, good for the fish," as they say. Hopefully I'll be able to fish for them. It's the most finicky game in town, but I'll trade the abundance of springtime hatches and resident trout for it any day. I'm perfectly content killing time with stripers, though. 

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