Monday, June 13, 2016

Striper Fishing!

     I used to love getting out and fishing for Stripers.  Over the years I have slowly lost the free time that it takes for me to get to the salt and in recent years I have not been able to get out at all.  Well, I made a deal with myself this year.  I would at least get out and cast a fly for Stripers once, no matter what it took.  My first effort was a trip down to my old stomping grounds of Plum Island in May.  I rigged up my 7wt fly rod and reel with a sinking intermediate fly line and grabbed my 7 year old hand tied saltwater flies and headed for the Merrimack River.  I planned it out so that I would be fishing the last 3 hours of a dropping tide on the river side of Plum Island.  From my days of really getting into Stripers I had remembered that this was usually when the fishing was best.   I hopped in and immediately started to hook lots of "little", yet very strong and fun Striped Bass.  I enjoyed a hand full of fish up to 16 inches over a few hours and I was happy. 
     Next up I got lucky and mixed a "date night" with some Striper fishing in NH.  My fiancĂ© was in the mood for some seafood and I just love Brown's restaurant in Seabrook, so we ate and then I fished.  I hit the river directly behind Brown's and planned for it to be incoming tide and the fishing was great!  I think I landed close to double digits with a couple of fish pushing the 20" mark.  This was right before dusk with a wonderful sunset to boot. 
     So not only did I get out twice, but I actually was able to land fish each time!  I figured this would be about it for my Striper fishing for the year, but then I made a quick call to Zak Robinson.  I met Zak at the NH Fly fishing booth this winter and we agreed it might be fun to "swap" trips if we ever had the chance.  So he happened to have a few free hours and so did I am we made it happen!  I met Zak over at Pierce Island and was able to enjoy some great fishing on his boat.  Zak showed me how it was done as I have never cast to Stripers from a boat before.  We zipped around the river looking for breaking fish and when we did, we cruised up to the edge of the pod and I double hauled a fly into the mix.  BAM!  The fish were on it!  This was just a visually exciting way to cover ground and catch some nice fish.  I was so pumped to be able to get out and give this type of fishing a shot and I can certainly recommend Zak's service to anyone out there! 
     I am not sure that I will get back out for Stripers again this year as it is time to head to Pittsburg for my summer of guiding, but the next time I get the itch I will look back on these trips and just GO!