More on the Monic Covert Clear Fly Line

More on the Monic Covert Clear Fly Line: Earlier this summer I purchased a Monic 8wt, floating fly line. More specially, it was their All Weather Covert Clear model. I wanted to try it out on the flats of Charlotte Harbor, with the hope it might provide more stealth when fishing for “tailing” redfish.

More on the Monic Covert Clear Fly Line

Why was more stealth needed? When casting to a “tailer”, you may inadvertently cast over unseen redfish between you and your target. When those reds see the fly line traveling overhead they will spook. And when they tear off, they will also spook the red you are casting to.  Hate it when that happens. So the thought is this: When cast, a clear fly line should be less visible traveling over the water and thereby scare less fish.

Well, the jury is not fully in yet. But I do feel this line is harder to see during the cast, and may well prove beneficial. Time will tell me more. The only drawback I note so far is that the Monic line doesn’t shoot as well through the guides as other modern fly lines. Apparently the coating isn’t as slick. Not sure. But this should not be much of a problem. Sight-fishing the flats rarely requires booming out a long line. Typically you’re making twenty to forty foot chucks, with the occasional fifty or sixty footer.

Two Flies for the Flats

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Has Irma Damaged the Flats?

Has Irma Damaged the Flats?  Not so long ago, here in Florida hurricane Irma charged through Charlotte Harbor. It sucked a lot of water out, exposing acres of the  bottom to high winds. Now months later, the question was this – were things back to normal? Or has Irma damaged the flats?

Back on November 7th, we  had a -2 low tide making it a good time to examine the local flats. So I got on my Adios and headed out. Poling northward in a light wind, I looked around for signs of life. Thankfully the water was fairly clear and I had no problem seeing the bottom as I slid slowly and silently along.

So how was it out there? Well, well, things were cooking. I saw blue crabs, horseshoe crabs, bonnet sharks, small bait fish, mullet, spotted sea trout, scup, snook, and redfish. Wow. Amazing.

Has Irma Damaged the Flats?

If anything the flats appeared thicker with marine life. And that got me thinking. Has Irma actually improved things? Was that possible? Perhaps like a farmer turning over his field, a hurricane can turn over the bottom and thereby enrich its ability to support life. I can’t prove it, but the fishing was very good. That much I know. The flats were busy.

Has Irma Damaged on the Flats?

 

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Fall Fishing in Long Island Sound is in High Gear

Fall Fishing in Long Island Sound is in High Gear : In Southern New England the autumn migration is well underway. Consequently fall fishing in Long Island Sound is in high gear. This is your absolute best chance to hit a triple crown -a false albacore, a striper and a bluefish in the same day. Get out there and wet a line, amigo.

Fall Fishing in Long Island Sound is in High Gear

Right now, the fishing is feast or famine. You’re either in the middle of a blitz bailing fish right and left, or you’re coming up empty handed. Because of that you have to be ready and willing to move. Get in your car; get in your boat; get in your kayak, march down the beach, find the birds; find the swirls; find the busting fish. The rest will be easy.

Fall Fishing in Long Island Sound is in High Gear

A day ago I got a call from my son telling me he scored a triple crown. Wish I had been there to see it happen.  Of the three species the false albacore can be the hardest to locate.  And they are also the first critter to high tail it south. My son got his from a kayak (photo above). In a cold fall, false albacore may disappear by the first moon of November. The next fish to depart is the blue, but those toothy toads can last well into November, especially the big ones. Stripers? Very, very tolerant of cold water. And given the unusually warm weather in Southern New England, striped bass action in the Long Island Sound is going to be rocking far into December.

Fall Fishing in Long Island Sound is in High Gear

Fall gamefish can feed with wild abandon. And when they do any size artificial will work. But  these same fish can prove picky at times. Why? They may be feeding on anything from small bay anchovies and baby menhaden, to medium size silversides and finger mullet, to huge adult menhaden and sea herring. And its best if you match it. So remember to bring flies and plugs in a wide range of sizes.

A Bay Anchovy and a Baby Menhaden spit up by the same False Albacore

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Fall Fishing for Landlocked Salmon

Fall Fishing for Landlocked Salmon: Fall fishing for landlocked salmon is a hoot. Now I’m not talking about trolling lakes mind you; I’m talking about river fishing. During the fall, salmon drop out of their deep lake lairs to spawn, traveling either to the lake’s inlet or outlet. Their mission? To locate suitable spawning beds in an adjoining river.

Fall Fishing for Landlocked Salmon

The average landlocked salmon caught in Maine is 17″and weights 1.7 pounds, but as this photo shows bigger salmon are not rare. Since the landlocked salmon’s primary forage base is rainbow smelt, many fly anglers assume streamers are the only game in town. And while streamers do work, if you rely solely on them you’re missing out.

Why? The landlock’s second largest food group is aquatic insects. That’s right, from their days in diapers to adulthood, salmon are sucking down bugs. Caddis, mayflies, stoneflies, you name it. So nymphs, wets, soft hackles, and even dries can be employed to catch landlocks. In fact, in a river, sometimes these flies out fish streamers by a wide margin. Doubt me?  Look carefully in the upper jaw of the male salmon show above. See the small black wet fly?

Fall Fishing for Landlocked Salmon

Landlocks put a serious bend in your fly rod, trust me. And while they may not tear off like a Lamborghini, their aerial antics are spectacular, often leaping skyward several times. Its great action. Action that puts a serious smile on your face.

Fall Fishing for Landlocked Salmon

Maine has 303 lakes with landlocked salmon; New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts have landlocked salmon too. As a result, you have a plenty of places to pick from. Fall spawning runs start anywhere from late September to late November, depending on water levels, weather and water temperature – with early to mid October being about average.

Do some homework to find the right timing for the river you plan to fish. And above all don’t get frustrated if the salmon don’t show up on time. Local conditions play an enormous role in these spawning run. A low lake can even cause salmon to skip the rivers and instead spawn on shoals inside the lake. Yeah, fishing for migratory species is always a bit of a crap shoot. You have to pay your dues. Still its worth the price.

Fall Fishing for Landlocked Salmon

Can’t get away during the fall? Well most landlocked salmon fisheries have a spring river run too. These salmon aren’t spawning; they’re chasing smelt. Hence, spring landlocked salmon tend to be more aggressive, although leaner after a long winter in the lake. Lord knows, there is no shortage of streamers designed to imitate smelt. Be sure to have a few in your fly box. But once again, nymphs, wets and dries may steal the day. Don’t arrive on the river with out them. You’ve been warned.

Posted in Fly Fishing in Freshwater, On the Road | 2 Comments

My Son Caught his First False Albacore

My Son Caught his First False Albacore: Yesterday my son caught his first false albacore. Always an exciting day in an angler’s life, especially from a kayak. Or let me see was it a Little tunny? Or a Little tuna? Or an albie? Or a Fat Albert? Or a hardtail? Well, take your pick. Anyway you slice it, this is the hard charging Euthynnus alletteratus, pound for pound one of the most powerful fish on planet earth.

My Son Caught his First False Albacore

 

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