Becoming an instant expert

I stole that phrase from Grady Allen, who used it to describe fishing on the Farmington after the stocking trucks had done their work. For a shining hour or two, it’s a fish on every cast. You can do no wrong. You savant, you.

It’s kind of the same with early season stripers. The water temp shoots up 10-15 degrees in the course of a month. The fish are on the move. And they’re hungry. All you need to do to catch bass is find them and put a fly in their area code. Find a big enough school, and your arm can get tired right quick. And the thumb on your landing hand looks like someone took a belt sander to it.

Like casting to freshly stocked trout, the fishing isn’t very technical. But for the first few trips, Lord is it fun.

Friend Todd with one of his 400,000 stripers. Dusk can be a magic time.


Six of us ventured out to an old stomping ground to catch the bottom of the tide, which conveniently fell at dusk. We quickly found stripers, and the fishing was stupid good for several hours. I was using my 10 and 1/2-foot switch rod with a floating line and a 4-foot T-11 tip. Fly selection was irrelevant. I fished a Ray’s Fly-like bucktail till it was ground to kibble and a September Night. Everyone else used their own favorites. I caught them on the strip, the swing, and the dangle. Wonderfully easy to please, this lot. The only negative was a 10-15mph wind out of the northwest. But that’s the price of admission along the shore, isn’t it?

My original plan was to fish until full ebb, then seek my striper pleasures elsewhere. But the wind had picked up. And I had had my fill.

Besides, It’s good to go out on top.

3 comments on “Becoming an instant expert

  1. stevegalea6953 says:

    Very cool.

  2. Long says:

    Sweet, still in trout mode, but will have to dust off the 9 weight and hit the salt soon. how do you like your switch rod? I bought a beulah switch last season, only used it a couple times but will break it in this year for sure.

    • Steve Culton says:

      Hi Long,

      I bought the rod (Ken Abrames Salmo Sax #3) to use primarily as a SH rod, and it is one of my favorites. Just started using it TH last year. It is not the perfect TH setup, but it got me exposed to TH and it had saved my arms and shoulders several times in a heavy wind.

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