I've always felt that kids should be introduced to fishing and not fly fishing. And by "kids" I mean that single digit age group that is fascinated with the mystery of bait and how far they can sling a lure. If they get hooked on the basics it's just a slippery slope to the Nirvana of fly fishing. Besides, kids like to catch fish, lots of fish, just like newbie trout chasing fly tossers and bait gets it done!
Now, some may say "what about the hooking mortality of bait fishing?". Good point but it's easily solved. If you use a traditional J hook you will kill some fish but grandson Ralle learned that if you use a circle hook the problem goes away. We caught a number of schoolies (and flounder) and ALL were hooked in the MOUTH and not in the gut or the gills. The hook was easily removed and the fish released. The bait was clams which this 6 year old found fascinating (boys love guts!!!!).
All said, it was a good day at the beach!!!
Now for the big boys! I got to spend 6 hours patrolling the Merrimack River with long time reader and commenter Bob, AKA Tincup, on Wednesday morning. The last few years this river and the entire stretch from Plum Island to Rockport has been the home of a zillion stripers with most of them being on the small size and by that I mean 16 to 22 inches with some larger and some smaller. My standard gear has always been my trusty 8wt but this year I reduced the rod to a 6wt. which is like leaving the 16 gauge at home and taking the 20 gauge. Still plenty of knock down power for an 18 inch fish. And instead of tossing big, heavy flies I tied up some deceiver types on size 4 3XL FRESHWATER streamer hooks. I started this last March while in Florida and never bothered to rinse the flies off and the nickel plating held up (mostly) and no hooks failed. Dozens of stripers loved them and they put a good bend into that 6wt. I honestly feel that I could of tamed the 32 incher that Bob landed at 5:30 that morning.
That 32 inch Striper - There can be two endings to that tale.
Ending #1 - the fish is boated, a quick photo taken and then it is quickly released to hopefully out swim the seals to double in size!
Ending #2 - the deft hand runs the blade of the filleting knife to create two large, thick, boneless fillets that end up highly seasoned and placed on a hot grill and served with a chilled Chardonnay.
Pick your ending!
The Millers - We have had 6 straight days where the cfs has been between 200 and 300 which is, IMNSHO, perfect!!!!!Places like Orcutt, the Kempfield, Bridge Street and even Erving Center and the Upper Trestle have rounded into shape. In my 30+ years on this river I can say that these are the conditions that you want.
The EB - Fish this river in the evening or very early in the morning.