A day ago my friend Phil caught a nice false albacore here in Southern New England. Way to go Phil! When they left the dock that morning, the air temperature was below freezing, but the water was around 58 degrees. So how long do “albies” hang around ? Perhaps longer than you might think.
I’ve had the good fortune to fish for “albies” for over 3o years and as you would think seen changes in the fishery over time. The finest years we had were in the 90’s. The schools were considerably larger, 3 or 4 times the size of today. And the average size of the “albies” was bigger. Yet at that same time the season was often shorter. Why? Years ago, water temperatures here in New England were lower, no question. In the early 90’s “albie” fishing started in the middle of September and tapering off by the middle of October.
Yes, there were exceptions and still are. One warm year I caught an “albie” in December. It fact its was the largest one I ever hooked, measuring a crack over 31″. And I hooked from my drift boat. That’s right I was using a drift boat to reach the action. That fish towed me for 100 yards. Now there is a catch to this story. Pun intended. This “albie” and his buddies were staying in the hot water release from the Millstone Nuclear Plant. Perhaps that were even trapped there, although it’s interesting to note that like few other fish false albacore can regulate their internal body temperature. Keep fishing for “albies”.
Mark’s Big Landlocked Salmon
Recently my friend Mark Lewchick hauled his Lund Alaskan up to northern New England in the search of landlocked salmon. Will not mention the name of the lake, but I can report Mark’s trip was a huge success. How does 40 fish in 2 days sound!
Here’s Mark with a big landlocked salmon. Probably around 4 pounds or so. Not sure if this is the largest one of the trip, but no doubt its a beauty. Tip of the hat Mark! Nice going. Mark is one of the best anglers I know, as well as a fantastic fly tyer, and great artist!
Here’s a look at one of Mark’s trolling flies for landlocked salmon. Lotsa translucence, subtle color, and a streamlined shape. The top one is obviously tied tandem. The bottom one is single hook.
Henry’s Fork Rainbow
Dave Beall is still busy out West. Couple of days ago he caught a Henry’s Fork rainbow on the Ranch Section, in Harriman State Park. It measured out at 21 inches, a decent “bow”.
Dave tells me the fly was a size 16# Mahogany dry. Yeah he tied it himself. Proud of that. Looks like Dave is on a roll.
False Albacore Showing up!
False albacore are showing up in my area. That’s great news. My buddy Phil was into them big time yesterday. And he said they were fair size as well. Glad he had his 10-weight to wrestle with those dudes. The bait was bay anchovies as is typical for this time of year.
What fly was he using? His Farnsworth silver slider, a fly he developed many, many years ago. Small, light-weight and easy to cast, they’re effective for striped bass, bluefish, bonito and false albacore, producing exciting surface strikes. You got to love that.
Dave & Pete are Back in Montana
Got a text message from my friend Dave Beall. He and his buddy Pete are back out in Montana trout fishing the Upper Big Hole River. Below you’ll see a 22″ beauty that Dave caught on a White Zonker. Nice going Dave. They also caught a some small browns and grayling on dries.
22″ Brown Trout
The Big Hole River has been in the news of late, and not for good reasons. Trout numbers are way down over previous years. Way, way down. The juror is still out on the root cause of the problem, but climate change might be one of many factors, along with fungal disease and PFAS contamination, often called forever chemicals. The Upper Big Hole River is fairing a bit better, with the Middle Section of the river hit the hardest. Lets hope the biologist find some answers soon to protect this legendary river.