2 years ago

Fly Punk - Issue 5

  • Text
  • Trout
  • Bass
  • Slovenia
  • Renato
  • Soca
  • Anglers
  • Casting
  • Rivers
  • Marble
  • Striped


THE BOULDER FIELD, THE EEL, THE FLY ROD AND ME: A LOVE STORY ― Article: jeremy clapp ― 32 | 33 ― Photos: Elliot Thomas, Kaitlyn Ruark ―

T he boulders sitting in the shadows of the Connecticut shoreline are the rubble left by an ice-age twelve thousand years prior. Migration routes of the Striped Bass were decided during the movement of these stones. Waves and wind; crash in, out, and above these fields of rock. Some of the Bass are small, moving in and out following forage and hunting an elusive, active prey. Others lie in wait, these as large as a small child or a man's leg. They recognize the value of delayed gratification. They wait for a square meal. They, after a dozen thousand years, have learned to not resist the slow moving and hearty sustenance of the American Eel. In New England, a small and dedicated group of men and women live to catch the Striped Bass and in my of the six states (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island) we are fortunate enough to get two runs of fish per year. Individuals skilled in surf casting for Striped Bass are called ‘Sharpies’. Often slightly grumpy, typically past the age of 40, travel alone or in a group of two or three and really aren't friendly unless they recognize their own dedication, in you. Those who fish in boats are not so lucky to have a term. Which is fair. They don't walk miles in the sand, they don't swim out to rocks a quarter mile from shore in a wet suit just to get closer to the school and they often won't go out in a heavy rain or at night. Sharpies love rain and darkness. Striped Bass love rain and darkness. Personally, I've got quite a few more years to go until I could be considered a Sharpie, in fact, more likely than not I won't achieve that status by fact that I am a fly rodder. There's no term for us, but we are equally as extreme. We walk the same beaches and climb up and down the same rocks. We sleep in the same trucks, and stay out just as late into the twilight. Fly Rodders however add a few layers of difficulty to capturing our query. We don't use bait, our flies are much smaller than plugs, we often can't reach the bottom and we can't cast nearly as far as an eleven foot surf rod. I get plenty of looks walking down a jetty or as Rhode Islanders call them; Breechways, with a fly rod. Strange looks aside, there's always some unspoken respect a Sharpie gives to a Fly Rodder. They'll never admit to it, that would involve them saying something nice, but they know how difficult it is and I'm sure many know that even they, aren't THAT crazy. Typically fishing for Striped Bass

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