Cast a Fly Charters fly skipper, Capt. Ray Stachelek reports:
Dense fog lowered visibility to only a few hundred feet around Block Island Wednesday morning. It never burned off. We fished to eleven o’clock before the thunder boomers moved in from the south. We made a break for the mainland staying ahead of the storm front.
The wind wasn’t a factor today for fly fishing, but the ground swells were large. There were some rollers exceeding eight feet as they reached the shallows of the southwest end of the island. There was plenty of current with higher than normal tide heights. We managed to find some bass on the finder in twenty feet of water drifting into shore. We found some good pockets of stripers willing to take a white/yellow half –n- half on a heavy sinking line.
Ted Stebbins stripe bass totals improved somewhat this morning while at Block Island. Ted returned from the Cape on Wednesday morning to fish the sound. He says, “The Cape is extremely slow now for stripers.” It was nice to see him tight.
Thursday’s trip was man against the elements out there as Ted Rzepski found out. Life sometimes gives us lemons and in Ted’s case, harsh weather conditions to fly fish. What a shame too! Ted was so hyped for months waiting for this vacation day to arrive. He was psyched to finally have the chance to land some striped bass, especially with all the good fish reports around the islands this week.
Ted had plenty of fly tosses at boiling stripers on the west side of the island. He was quick, on target most of the day. But the wind refused to yield and in most cases, his casts fell short of the mark. It’s a frustrating experience working so hard not reaching the mother lode. Give it to Ted; he didn’t quit not once. It’s frustrating for a fly caster to deal with blown lines, head winds, fast drifts and stepping on flaked lines while trying to keep your balance. He hung in there like a trooper.
The south side of the island was completely unfishable. Standing ground swells in the eight to ten foot range battered the shallows preventing us to fish in close. We moved to the protected side and were able to find some sand eels near the surface. We manage maybe ten stripers all morning. Considering the conditions, our totals were good.
On the way home Ted found out about the nasty nature the North Rip. He knows now, why they call it the beast from the east to travel through when tide and wind converge at peak times.
It’s a white knuckle ride and a wet one at that. It doesn’t seem like you ever make any headway.
Ted Rzepski worked hard for every striper today. He was able to bring one home for table fare for all to enjoy. Ted and his family are vacationing in Point Jude area. He’ll remember this trip for some time. He’s plenty glad to get his feet on Terra Firma.
The Sherman family visited RI on an extended weekend attending a medical symposium at the Convention Center in Providence. The three doctors were able to free some time for some Block Island fly fishing on Friday morning. Mark, Gary, and Seth Sherman arrived bright and early at 4:30 am willing / able to cast a feather and tease some BI stripers. They had heard some good fishing reports out at the island recently. Unfortunately their primary source was a friend who read one on my fish reports. Well! Fishing was way off today, compared to other trips. Strike one!
The ride out to the island was smooth. Seas returned to normal, visibility three miles. Nothing like the huge ground swells the past two days. Winds were down too, but the heat and humidity returned. Do you think a New Yorker is ever going to complain about the sticky hot heat? Now that’s an oxymoron question if I ever heard one. First remark, “Does this 23 foot center console have air conditions?” Strike two! Now I’m thinking, complaints for the next eight hours.
Heading across the BI 1 buoy we notice some tern activity working outside the rip line. There are dozens of ten pound stripers on small bait swirling the surface. After numerous cast attempts, there is no love. We move away from these finicky fish to try to find more productive waters. Strike Three! Never leave fish to find fish.
If you think the story line goes downhill from here, you’re certainly right. We see some busting fish south of New Harbor. Once again they are busting stripers on small sand eels in quiet water. We manage to hook a few and take a few photos returning them back to their watery environment. Now I’m thinking this day isn’t so bad after all. The stripers soon disappear like magic. Well, so much for my thoughts.
Let’s go prospecting the south side. That’s always a good location for stripers on the lie.
Well! We didn’t locate a single striper from Southwest Point to Black Rock. It’s was like the day after opening day of trout season.
Where are all the stripers, was the cry from the antsy crew?
They were here yesterday was the reply! Maybe the bait was blown out from the storm. Suddenly one line gets tight.
“I’ve got a small one on,” says Mark. Nothing large but I’ll take anything considering how the morning is going now.
Suddenly the line starts to make smaller circles near the boat.
Yeah! I’ve got a porgy. (Hear the groans)
Not just any porgy Mark, but one over three pounds that could cover a dinner plate.
I say, “Now that’s a formative feat.”
I got very little positive response from the gang.
We caught record scup after record scup but the background banter only got louder.
Fish slim him! Fish slim him! The blaspheme continue.
Finally the current starts to flow. A few birds are working in forty feet of water. We finally lift a few bass over the rail. All seems well. Suddenly the bite switch is “off.” We move again to bird activity but there is no striper joy. We start catching sea bass after sea bass in a progressive fashion where the next fish gets bigger. They find no humor in this style fishing.
We break for lunch than do a tour of the island. Final tally of 5-6 stripers, countless scup, three sea bass, but plenty of laugher and song along the way.
Seth Sherman was top hook for the day. Using a type eight sinking tip, was able to get it near the bottom in thirty feet of water.
Mark Sherman won the money pool for first striper today. Watching those Washington’s change hands was priceless.