Striper Trip in Long Island Sound

Striper Trip in Long Island Sound:

Made it back north for the summer! Ahh, that lovely cool air and low humidity. Perfect for some  schoolie striper action in Long Island Sound.

Excellent Schoolie Striper Bite

Schoolie Striper

Yesterday my friend Phil Farnsworth and his buddy Mike invited me to take a boat ride with them. We left Niantic around mid-morning with some fog and wind to contend with. Fortunately the fog lifted roughly an hour into our trip and the wind never proved to be much of a problem, except for leftie like me. LOL

YOY Sea Herring

Soon we were seeing clouds of terns circling overhead. And the bass were underneath them chewing on YOY sea herring. No these bass weren’t huge by any stretch of the imagination. Most likely they were members of the recent stronger year classes in -2015 and 2016.  But despite their size they proved capable of bending an 8wt fly rod in the butt section.

These Bass Fought Hard

Plenty of Stripers on the Screen

As the screen above reports, there were loads of bass, hanging deep. But as the current slowed, these bad boys came to the surface and gobbled flies right off the top. Exciting fishing. We caught plenty on an orange Farnsworth slider. Great day on the water…

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Another Charlotte Harbor Permit

Another Charlotte Harbor Permit

A few days back my friend Dave and I took a boat ride to a flat a touch farther north. After we waded around for awhile, Dave announced he had seen a school of pompano swimming by. A few casts later Dave hooked one, but it wasn’t a pompano. It was a permit!

Charlotte Harbor Permit

Permit are a bit rare in Charlotte Harbor, so this is an uncommon catch. After Dave got his, we both fired casts at the school, but couldn’t get another permit to take, even though we tried several different flies. Too bad, but it still was exciting.

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Jacks can Save the Day

Jacks Can Save the Day

Got out early Thursday morning before the sun and before the eventual wind. Carefully I poled a mile of flat looking for “tailing” reds. Conditions weren’t great yet I did see three “tails”. Unfortunately all of them were at long range. And by the time I got into position each of them had disappeared. Damn!

Jack on a 6-weight fly rod

After my search for tails, I poled the sandbar as the wind slowly increased. Quite a few catfish and mullet were busy swimming around. But still no sign of reds. So I climbed off the Adios and walked the bar northward. Then up ahead I saw a dark shape coming at me.  Quickly I dropped a crab fly directly in its path.  The fish shot ahead and nailed it hard, taking off on several strong runs. Not a red or a snook, mind you but a decent jack. Sometines jacks save the day.

 

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Windy Days can be your Friend

Windy days are often a nuisance. Every effort to cast becomes an ordeal. Waves slam into you as you wade. Or the boat is rocking and rolling. Nothing seems to be going your way. But hang on amigo. Windy days can be your friend.

Down here in Charlotte Harbor we lack strong tides much of the year. So the tidal range is typically no great shakes. And there are even days when the tides only changes once and barely moves. As a result, rips are rare. Now that puts us folks fishing Charlotte Harbor at a disadvantage. Why? Current revs up predatory fish to feed. And we don’t have those currents. 

Windy Day Redfish

This is where the wind comes in. A windy day in Charlotte Harbor can crank up the action. Let me give you a good example. In my location we just had a week of piss poor tides. Terribly weak, no water moving. But we also had gusty sea breezes pushes a continuous line of waves over the sandbar, each of them crashing onto the inside edge of the bar producing both current and turbulence. The net result was active feeding fish both on the bar and flat. The redfish above is a good example as is the spotted seatrout below. So learn to fish in the wind!

Windy Day Spotted Seatrout

  

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The Farnsworth Fly Returns!

The Farnsworth  Fly Returns!

Great news! The famous Farnsworth Fly is back in production – and better than ever.

My friend Phil designed this deadly fly many years ago back when we fished the New England coast. It quickly became a go-to pattern especially for striped bass feeding near the surface. As soon as we heard stripers “popping” sand eels or silvesides we slid a Farnsworth Fly over their heads. Wham – instant hookup.  It also worked as a searching pattern. The wake it creates on the surface inevitably draws fish up to investigate. In both types of fishing, the fly produces a surface strike. And we all know surface strikes are double the fun.

I use the fly mainly with a “hand-over-hand” retrieve to produce a steady “v” waked across the top. Fish love it. But you could also “strip” the fly back causing it to lightly “pop”. In a rip you even have a third choice. Simply allow the Farnsworth Fly to swing downcurrent on a tight line with a slow retrieve. Expect violent strikes.

The original fly was  built with a bucktail tail. It worked okay, but face it, bucktail doesn’t have much action. The new Farnsworth Fly employs has a soft plastic tail that wiggles, vibrates and churns up the water. All of which cranks up the action. And that new tail can be swapped out and replaced if need be. Cool idea. Moreover, unlike the original fly which came in silver or white, the new fly is available in a wide range of attractive colors.

How many different species can you catch on a Farnsworth Fly? Endless. I know from personal experience it will catch Atlantic bonito, false albacore, striped bass, bluefish, redfish, snook, spotted seatrout, tarpon, largemouth bass and pike. Besides the Farnsworth Fly’s website, you can see the new fly on Instagram and Facebook

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