Taylor and I fished the Ditch Pickle Classic with Zak from Rising Tide Anglers earlier this summer and a side competition was set up to win a drone! Our video is one of two submissions. Only those who fished the pickle can vote so if you read our blog and fished the pickle please vote for us!
With the trout stocking trucks rolling through town and the striped bass starting their run up the East Coast, I wanted to take a minute to discuss a few of my personal fishing goals for this season as well what's on the schedule for Presenting the Fly. This past winter was packed with fishing expos and meetups. We had the chance to meet some new friends and reconnect with a lot of familiar faces. Both Ben and I can really feel the momentum building for a great upcoming season. It's hard to tell if it's the unseasonably warm winter or just the growing fishing community, but this year is sure to be another epic one!
I was chatting with Ben the other day about my fly fishing bucket list and as we were dreaming of far off places and exotic fish we hope to catch someday I put together a short list of attainable goals for this season.
2. Catch my First Striper of the Year in April
For the past couple of years my first striped bass of the season has come in the first or second week of May. This year I want to get our early and often and hope to catch my first schoolie in April. With the unusually mild winter and recent warm weather I feel like this one should be no problem. I will focus my efforts on the river mouths, estuaries, and shallow flats that usually produce early season stripers.
3. Catch a Lot of Big Pike
I had the opportunity to land my first pike on the fly last year during the 2015 Ditch Pickle Classic in Vermont. The fish I caught was by no means big but it was enough for me to catch the pike bug. Ever since then I have been researching pike fishing opportunities in the New England area, talking to anglers and guides about which bodies of water hold pike, and tying pike flies. This season I am going to spend the majority of my freshwater fishing time seeking out these toothy critters.
4. Catch a Shark on the Fly
My last two goals for the year are more stretches, but isn't that why we have goals in the first place, to push us and help us to be better. I have wanted to target shark on the fly for a few years now and hopefully this year with the help of my good friend Zak Robinson, owner and operater of Rising Tide Anglers, I can check shark off my fly fishing bucket list. We had talked about going out last year for sharks but it never happened. Hopefully this year we will have the chance to throw heavy rods and huge flies for some blue sharks!
5. Catch the elusive 40" Striper on Fly
If you talk to most fly anglers who fish for Striped Bass they will tell you that a 30+ inch fish is a big fish but that a 40+ inch fish is a monster. I have been hunting for my 4o" monster for a few years now and have fallen inches short for the past couple of seasons. A few summers back I caught and land a 33" fish up in Maine and boy was that a fight! Last year I was fortunate to catch a 32" fish but have always fallen short of the 40" mark. This year I am going to focus on fishing at night as much as possible in search of my trophy striper. As with any sort of fishing the number one advantage is spending as much time as possible on the water.
What's To Come
Ben and I have some exciting fishing events coming up this season. This May we will be down on Cape Cod for our third Cheeky Schoolie Tournament. For those who don't know, this tournament is all fly fishing, all wade fishing and all on Cape Cod. This tournament is always a blast and the pre and post gathering are almost as good as the fishing! This years tournament is already full but if you are local I would suggest planning on fishing it next year!
In June Ben and I will be participating in the 2016 Ditch Pickle Classic on Lake Champlain in beautiful Vermont. I fished this tournament last year with Cory, founder of The Fly Pack, but Ben was not able to make it. This year we will have two teams, I will be fishing with Cory again and Ben will be fishing with Zak from Rising Tide Anglers. The Ditch Pickle is a grassroots catch and release bass tournament with a fun laid back vibe. It is based out of Swanton, VT but anglers have free reign of all of Lake Champlain which holds over 80 species of fish. The weather last year was less than ideal but the tournament was still a great time and I would highly recommend getting a team of 2 or 3 anglers together and registering while you still can!
The last major fishing event we have planned for this summer is the Why Knot Fishing, Second Annual Southern Maine Fly Derby on Sunday July 10th. We missed last years derby but heard great things from everyone involved. Ben is moving to Southern Maine shortly, so hopefully that will give us an edge on the competition.
I'm sure we will have many more weekend and day trips throughout the season, but these are the big highlights of the season that we are looking forward to. I hope everyone is getting as excited for the upcoming season as we are!! Get out and fish as much as you can!
The spring weather is here and there is no better time to buy new (or used) fishing gear for the upcoming season. Every angler loves buying new rods, reels, tackle, etc but paying MSRP can be pretty tough on the wallet. Good thing there are events like the CCA NH Tackle Flea Market! Come out this Saturday March 12th to Red Hook Brewery in Portsmouth, NH to buy and sell fishing and boating gear. Ben and I will have a table setup where we will be tying and selling flies. Swing by, say hi, and maybe even purchase a few flies. Full details are below and feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. Hope to see you there Saturday!!