Dave is Fishing Henry’s Fork

Dave is Fishing Henry’s Fork

Dave’s on the Henrys Fork

My friend Dave is out west, fishing the fabled Henry’s Fork. As you may know this famous stretch of water originates in Big Spring, Idaho and is part of the Snake River. It is known world-wide as a fabulous fly-fishing destination, especially for dry fly action on large rainbows, but big cutthroat and brown trouts reside here as well. Go Dave, you lucky bastard!

 

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Atlantic Bonito are in Town

Atlantic Bonito are in Town

My friend Mark Kuz send along a couple photos of Atlantic Bonito. Way cool. Bonito are a prized catch, no question. They’re fast, cagey, beautiful, and often hard to hook and hold. But once you get one on, man the fight is memorable. Bonito can reach 15 pounds and 8 years of age, but in Long Island Sound bonito of 4- 6 pounds are average, and 10 pounds is real honker.

Atlantic Bonito

False Albacore are a far more common tuna in Long Island Sound. Making them easier to find than bonito. And when false albacore move in, they tend to be larger and more aggressive than the bonito, pushing the bonito away. Hey that’s how the animal kingdom works.

Atlantic Bonito

On the bright side, bonito are here for a longer part of the season. They can arrive as early as June, although July is more likely, especially around a moon. They are in prespawn mode at that time, however, and difficult to locate. And even if you do, they are likely to suddenly disappear for several weeks, moving offshore to reproduce.  But by August they are back inshore and hungry, ready eat. And being more cold water tolerant than the false albacore, bonito may still be around in well into November. I’ve caught them on days I had ice in the guides.

YOY bonito
caught in Long Island Sound

In the picture above I’m holding a baby “bone” I caught in the Sound many Septembers ago. Yes on a fly. Baby “bones’  grow about an inch a week, so this little pup was born two months back in July. With any luck at all it has 8 years more to roam.

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Scott Meridian 9′ 7wt Fly Rod Review – Part Two

Scott Meridian 9′ 7wt Fly Rod Review – Part Two

Took the Meridian 7wt for a test drive on the town green today. Accompanying me were two fly lines from AirFlo. A Coastal 7wt Intermediate and a Coastal 7wt Floater. Both are 105 foot long, cold water fly lines, with 40 foot heads and short front tapers. Also along for the ride was my new collapsible stripping basket and my old Scott 7wt “G” series rod.

Two Scott 7wt Fly Rods

First off, I cast the Meridian with the AirFlo 7wt floater. The rod and line seem to mate up well. Very comfortable in the hand and during the casting stroke. Each cast was effortless and smooth, and the rod tracked wonderfully, ensuring accuracy. This rod is a true pleasure.

At short range, the combo delivered a nice loop down to 18 feet of fly line. (the short front taper was likely a limiting factor) The next job was to find the, what I call, the longest “working” cast. By “working” cast I mean the longest cast the rod could easily throw with a single backcast, for an entire tide. (I used a double haul and shot some line into the backcast.) That distance was just under 70 feet of line plus a 9 foot leader. Very respectable for beach adventures. And far more than necessary for sight-fishing. By the way I think this rod will made a terrific flats rods. Bonefish beware.

With the intermediate line aboard, the Meridian performed even better, probably due to the intermediate’s thinner diameter. The short range was the same, but on the “working” cast, the intermediate flew to 75 feet, plus leader. Again without any real push on my part. This is an effective “working” distance for covering a shoreline. You’ll like it.

For old time’s sake, I then cast both lines on my Scott “G “series 7wt. Granted this rod was never made to be a saltwater demon. It is a moderate action, general purpose rod. The rod’s slower action and extra weight were immediately noticeable in the hand. And on the casting stroke, unlike the Meridian, I could feel the rod’s motion down into the butt. At short range the “G” was the same, but on the “working” cast the older rod came up shorter. It is still a great rod, but points out how good the Meridian’s is.

Hooking up New Fly Lines

To connect the new lines, I employed an old trick. I made a long doubled loop in the backing using a surgeons knot.  You pass this loop through the loop at the end of the fly line and then pass it back over the top of  reel. Bingo you’re secured. And the fly line can be disconnected in a flash without cutting any line or undoing any knot. Simple and nice.

Now a quick warning  Since both of these new lines are over a 100 feet in length, they take up more space on a reel than did older, shorter fly lines. In fact I had to remove over fifty yards of backing from one spool before the floater would properly fit. Avoid overloading your spools, it will lead to trouble.

As soon as I get this rod to the water, I’ll do an update.

 

 

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Scott Meridian 9′ 7wt Fly Rod Review – Part One

Scott Meridian 9′ 7wt Fly Rod Review – Part One

Part One: Recently I purchased a Scott Meridian 7wt. (from Bear’s Den, great folks to deal with.) Yes, I know the Meridian is no longer king-of-the-hill, having just been replaced by the Scott’s new Sector. Still, the Meridian is a highly-touted saltwater fly rod having received many accolades. The Sector is yet to be proven.

Now, truth is I already own a Scott 7wt. It is a 30 year old G series rod. Damn, it’s a beaut, but I wanted a more up-to-date 7wt, one specifically designed for saltwater. Hence my decision.

The craftsmanship was immediately evident upon opening the rod. (I own a Scott Radian 10′ 4wt for euro-nymphing. and the same holds true). Top notch work goes into these Scott rods.  The grey blank is unsanded, has alignment dots for the ferrules,  but no hook keeper. There are two Fuji SiC stripping guides with Titanium frames. Both are excellent size. (The larger one looks like it could almost pass a dime.) Eight snake guides and a tiptop finish things off. (The Radian has measuring marks at 12″ and 20″. Great idea, very useful. I wish the Meridian had them too, perhaps at 24″ and 36″)

On my digital scale the Meridian tips in at 4 ounces on the button. Not bad. (My G series 7wt is 4.4o ounces) The full wells grip is close to 7″ long, and made of high grade cork. IMO, it could use a bit more flare at the reel seat end. The butt extension is 1.5″ and fixed. Yes, removable butt extensions are extinct these days, but personally I prefer them. For one thing extensions are rarely necessary when fishing from the beach.  And second, without the extension this rod would weight about 3.5 ounces. How sweet is that? Okay onward. The reel seat is double uplocking, works well, although it may prove tight on reels with thick feet. And Scott has engraved a number “7” on the reel seat. Nice Touch.

In the next post, we’ll take this 7wt out and loft some line. Perhaps I’ll bring along the 7wt G series rod for fun. We’ll be using two AirFlo lines.  A Coastal 7wt floater and a Coastal 7wt intermediate. Anxious to give this rod a try!

 

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Collapsible Dish Rack – Stripping Basket?

Collapsible Dish Rack – Stripping Basket?

A few days back I was in a store looking at supplies for my new home. In the kitchen department, I saw this collapsible dish rack made by Room Essentials. Clever idea. Opened up it’s 12.5″ wide by 14.5″ long and 5.5″ tall. Push down on it and it is only 2.5″ high.  Man oh man. A perfect fit for my small place. So I buy it.  Cost? 15 buckaroos.

After using it a for week, a friend comes by and asks if it is a stripping basket? I say no,  but then I start thinking well…… yeah it is ! It is about the right size. Has fingers in the bottom to prevent line tangles. And collapses for travel. Attach a belt or a bungee and you’re in business.

Opened up

 

Folded down

Concerned about the small cutlery shelf on the left end? Fear not. That pops right off. The only thing I’m not crazy about is all the holes. I prefer a dry stripping basket. But all in all – kinda nice! And I just learned that Amazon sells the same thing for half the price! Oh well.

 

 

 

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