Our fishing has been slow compared to what we normally see at this point in the season. Summer striper fishing in Maine is often a good way to beat the doldrums that plague warmer waters to the south. We just don't have the usual number of fish here yet. No bigger fish on my boat to report recently - one 26" fish that ate an EP Floating Fly in one of my favorite color combinations – purple and black. Bill’s an excellent fly caster with lots of experience chasing steelhead and trout. He caught his first striper on a fly in three feet of water, casting to a “rising fish” just like he’s used to seeing in Idaho. As the tide drained off the flats and we started working moving water around the ledges, we both agreed that sight casting beats blind casting for fun every day.
A number of 25" stripers have succumbed to our tempting but most of the fish have been smaller than we’d like to see, averaging about 21”. The fish have been up on the flats early AM and again in the evening, pushing water, swirling and sipping. It's a hoot to cast to the v-wakes and "rises". The water around the mouth of the river has really cleared up from drier days, reduced river flow and weaker tides. Some mornings the window between having enough light to spot fish and no wind to ripple the surface has been a few hours long. One client this week landed 16 fish and had lots of other hits and short-term hook ups on the Lonely Angler spook plug. That thing is a fish magnet. A good fly caster would have done well that morning. Some days the mornings have been more productive than the evenings, but just when I think I’ve figured out a pattern the morning will be tough and the evening much better. Don’t ask me for any predictions on the Sox, the market or the sixth race at Belmont. I am sure that fog and clouds are good and a north wind and bright sun are bad. That’s a lot of help, I know.
The waters were busier with boat traffic yesterday than any other day I’ve seen this summer, but I was astounded at how many people were not out fishing early in the morning. If I get my choice, I have the boat in the water by 4:00 AM. There are times when I’ll plan trips around the outgoing tide, even if that puts us on the water midday, but I haven’t done so this year. Load the coffee maker and have the trailer hitched to the boat the night before. Set your three alarms and get up and go. The birds are sing by 4:00 and you can tie a knot without a headlamp by 4:30. It seems awfully bright by 7:00 when you've already been on the water for three hours. Just leave time in your schedule for an afternoon nap.
Good news comes from the south, with a recent push of fish into Long Island Sound. The water's been cool down off NY and NJ. It seems like the fish are just slow to push north, so I'm still optimistic about our summer.
Capt. Peter Fallon