Some day, I’ll have to tell you about the two nights in October many years ago when I caught seventy-five striped bass on the five-weight. But for Friday night, one was the number I happily settled for. It’s been a tough fall for me, with many hours put in for very few stripers. Such is the price of exploring uncharted potential big bass waters.
So Friday night I returned to some old haunts in Rhode Island. Even on the inside, a steady 15mph southwest blow made casting a chore. The first place I fished was a blank. I wasn’t feeling it from the start. So I went back to the truck for for Plan B, swapping out my three-fly rig for a single fly, a Crazy Menhaden flatwing/bucktail hybrid.
I spooked a bass on the wade out, so that was encouraging. Inside of five minutes, I had a follow and a missed hook set. Also encouraging. Then nothing during a half hour of casting, mending, swinging, and dangling. Weeds were a minor nuisance. Suddenly, bang. I was on. A twenty-four inch bass in a ripping current on a five-weight is about as much fun as you can have wearing nylon pants and rubber boots. If this were a Hardy Boys book, I’d say I chortled.
The last stop was anticlimactic. How far the mighty have fallen: this used to be a place I’d visit when I absolutely positively needed a striper. I don’t think I’ve taken a bass here for three years now. But the heavens were lovely and deep, and a shooting star was my reward for looking up at the right moment.
The wind was still blowing when I climbed into bed at 3am.
Crazy Menhaden flatwing/bucktail. Friday night, one of these in the 7″-8″ range made a crazy good-enough mullet.