Saturday, April 15, 2006

Fishing Chesapeake Bay at Sandy Point, Kent Island

The stripers are here. And big ones, at that. They are hungry and vicious.

The great tyer and fysher-with-an-angle, Paul Matthews, and I hit some of Pauls favorite spots for doing presentation fishing for stripers.

Paul and I were using two-fly casts, attempting to drift the flies naturally where we could and doing strip-retrieves where needed. We started fishing around 5:30pm and fished until 9:45pm.

Paul was using a nice, soft Temple Fork Outfitters 9' 9wt.

I was using a Bob Meiser 10'6" 8/9 switch rod with my friend Markus Rohrbach's absolutely beautiful swiss reel...but it has no all...just a very light click to prevent overrun when stripping. My hand is the drag. I love fishing for big fish with this reel, because once you are hooked, it borders on the kind of complete loss of control that I seek in fishing generally. I used a Rio Longcast 9wt line with a 40-something foot head that was really too light for that rod. Once the whole head was out, it was quite easy to throw the whole flyline, or spey-cast the whole head, though.

At Sandy Point, the current was moving a hundred yards out and the bait fishermen who could get out there were having good luck with nice, heavy. We had no luck, but the scenery was sublime. I angered an osprey at the end of a jetty, so I was able to intertwine with nature a bit. No baitfish on the surface that we could see. None. At all. Zero. Paul is a great raconteur and knows so much about the mechanics of the ocean that even when not catching fish, the fishing is very enjoyable. The moon was large, low and pink-orange. It was like an eye watching us casting against its own reflection on the water.

We next went to a lighted boat launch. The boats were already prepping for the first day of "Trophy Season" aka "You can keep big striper season." No luck, but we saw a beautiful and large great blue heron and a very drunk good ol' boy who asked me if I, "Every catch anything with that thing." I assume he was referring to my "brain" or "rakish good looks," but he could have meant my "fyshing rodd."

We then went to one of Paul's favorite and very secret spots. He chloroformed me and when I awoke, it was striper paradise There was a fine current from the tide going out. Paul spotted fish and with about 30 mins before I had to be whisked to the Metro station, we started casting to real fish. I hooked two strong fish and lost them both.

I had hooked them on a Grey Ghost-ish streamer tied Carrie Stevens style...tied on an 8XL looooooong shank size 2 hook. I used the UNI Glow yarn for the body and head and it did, in fact, glow nicely. Both hookups were on the swing, feeding line in and mending like mad. Both takes wereat the end of the swing.

I believe I lost those two nice fish because (A) 8XL hooks give large fish a lot of leverage for which to throw the hook and (B) I used Mustad hooks and forgot to sharpen and debarb. Lesson learned for about the 10th time. (C) is the dragless reel!

Paul was kind enough to drive me to New Carrolton where I caught the Orange Line Metro to Metro Center. Needless to say, I was the only person on any train carrying a bright silver spey rod case, dirty waders, and filing hooks.

A great time that I hope to do again as soon as finals are over...


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