Took the Kayak to Pine Island

Took the Kayak to Pine Island

Wonderful weather yesterday. Amazing for late October. Threw the kayak in the truck and aimed the windshield at Pine Island over by Bluff Point. By the way if you’re hauling a kayak that extends beyond the flatbed in your truck be sure to drape a warning flag at the far end. Believe me without it, on a quick stop the car behind you may pay an unwanted visit.  Don’t let it happen.

Kayak Flag

I knew that Pine Island was fogged in heavy. So I delayed a bit hoping the fog would lift. No such luck. The water was socked in solid. And get this: my kayak’s radar unit was in the repair shop. Wait a freaking minute! I don’t have a radar unit! LOL With near zero visibility, I didn’t dare paddle out front. Boats often don’t see kayakers even in clear conditions. No sense tempting fate.

Fog Lifting a Little

With that in mind, I decided to tuck around the corner into the Pawcatuck. Nice water back there. Loaded with bait. Once I arrived I got out, slapped on a stripping basket and waded the shore. Very peaceful. Fog lifting a little.

Walking the Beach

After a time I decided to travel farther back in the river. A fine day to explore. Found a few small bass on a flat. I could see them wandering around. But once again the bite was nothing to write home about. Still a glorious day on the water. Enjoyed it big time.

Around me the spartina grass was rusting, a sure sign of the year’s ebb. Ahh….the salt marsh in Autumn. Hey, the earth is tilting away from the sun. And old man winter is lurking in the wings, my friend.

The Spartina Grass is Rusting

Well all-in-all it proved to be another slow day. Hey fishing is wishing. What fly was I using? I was seeing large silversides so I stuck with a simple streamer pattern. And I fished all day with my Meridian 7wt. This rod is a jewel. Am I thinking the fat lady has sung? Na. I have high hopes the season isn’t over yet. Hell the water temperatures are off the chart! There may be bass action into yule time. 

The Fly Du Jour

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Southwest Rhode Island Report

Southwest Rhode Island Report

Got to Southwest Rhode Island for a tour two days back. Checked out Quonochontaug first. Nothing doing in the inlet. Saw a few small schoolies working back in the pond. Couldn’t get to them, however. So I went over and scoped out Weekapaug Fire District Beach. Another nice place. Saw a few birds and boats offshore. Nothing busy on the beach. Oh well.

Caster at Quonochontaug

Next I hit Weekapaug Breachway. (Mouth of Winnapaug Pond) Good tide, no signs of fish, however. Damn. Got back in the truck and shot over to Misquamicut.  Investigated a couple of spots. No dice. Nada. Zip. Coming up empty. Time to travel. Back in the truck.

Back in the Truck

Trekked over to Napatree next. I love this beach, but man that is a long walk in waders, especially on  warm day. Haha.  But I knew I would get to sit awhile out there and wait on the tide. Marched to the tip and parked my butt on a log. Felt good. Out front there were a pair of loons working the surf. Great sign, there was bait around. An hour later the bass arrived. Finally got hooked up! The action only lasted five minutes. Oh well. At least I found fish.

Taking a Hike out Napatree Point

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Shark Sighting in Long Island Sound

Shark Sighting in Long Island Sound.

As a kid I did caught dogfish in Long Island Sound. Easy to do soaking sand worms on the bottom. Now they are definitely sharks, but they are small and have no sharp teeth. But yesterday for the first time ever, I saw a truly big shark right on the surface in the Sound.

Mark Kuz and I were fishing at Millstone in Niantic. Swarms of bait hung in the plant’s warm water discharge, as is often the case. Mixed in with the bait, however, were small bluefish. Mark hooked one on a spinning rod. While bringing it in a dorsal fin popped up tailing Mark’s blue. Wow, we were totally surprised to see it slicing the surface.

Shark chasing Bluefish

As Mark’s bluefish neared the boat the shark made a pass at the fish, but did not grab it. But that allowed us to get a pretty decent view of the shark. We both thought it was 6 to 7 feet long.

Shark at Boat

So what kind of shark was it? Well, several types of shark including the blue shark, the mako shark, and the hammerhead, that pay a rare visit to Long Island Sound, only two big sharks are common residents. The sand tiger and the sandbar shark, often referred to as the brown shark. The sand tiger has a pointed head. And given what we saw we can eliminate that one. So most likely it was a brown shark, which is one of biggest coastal sharks in the world. Quite a thrill!


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Horseshoe Crab Blood is $60,000 a Gallon

Back in July I did a post stating that one day a horseshoe crab may save your life. Well let’s get a little deeper into it.

The blue colored blood from the lowly horseshoe crab is worth $60,000 a gallon or roughly $500 an ounce. Sound nuts? Think I’m pulling your leg? Well I’m not. And yes their blood can literally save your life. Horseshoe crabs are 450 million year old survivors of the Late Ordovician volcanic events that killed around 85 percent of live of this planet. And during their incredible journey, the horseshoe crab’s blood has evolved a special property that is essential to the development of vaccines for you and I.  To learn more, check out these links. I think you’ll be amazed. Save the horseshoe crab!


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American Angler Magazine no longer in Print

Back in May the presses at American Angler ground to a halt. Yes, the magazine remains online but it is no longer in ink. Yet, another sign of changing times.

American Angler had been in print for a god’s age, dating back to 1978. In was born under the name Fly Tyer, the brainchild of Dick Surette working out of his fly shop in North Conway New, Hampshire (Now called North Country Angler). Slowly it morphed into American Angler & Fly Tyer, and then simply American Angler.

Back some 28 years ago, Abenaki Publishers of Bennington, Vermont, owners of  Fly Tyer, Warmwater Fly Fishing, and Saltwater Fly Fishing, stepped in and purchased American Angler.  There it lived, under their guidance for roughly a decade before being bought by Morris Communications of Atlanta, Georgia, publishers of Gray’s Sporting Journal. During these years various editors held the helm including Art Scheck, Dave Klausmeyer, Phil Monahan, Steve Walburn, Ben Roman and Greg Thomas. Throughout it all, however, the magazine stayed on the path first envisioned by Dick Surette, focusing on the bread and butter issue of “How-to” and Where-to”.

Why did American Angler cease to print? One could cite a slew of problems that contributed, including the internet, but the root reason behind the death of print magazines is this – money. Declining participation in the sport, declining subscribers, declining advertising revenue, coupled with rising costs for printing and mailing have proven fatal. Believe me if the print edition of American Angler was producing greenbacks it would still be around. 

Yes the almighty buck  rules. Even the corporation behind print magazines are rocky. Abenaki sold to Rodale back in 1997. And last year, Rodale went on the chopping block and was acquired by Penguin Random House. How’s Morris Communications? There are troubles there too, in my opinion. None of this shouldn’t be a surprise, my friend. Without proper cash flow things die. Yeah, moola is king. And that simple fact has also been behind the demise of a great many brick & mortar fly shops.   

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