july heat, vacation, flats trip, and baseball is back!
It’s been sunny and hot. When I wrote a few weeks back, conditions were much very much the same as they are now. Water levels in the streams are low, clear, and hot and the trout are stressed to their max on the freestones. Days in the salt are good early, but by late morning inshore fishing becomes very difficult. Tough summer conditions aside, fly fishing remains pretty decent on spring fed streams or tailwater rivers and on the inshore saltwater flats.
They day before my last post, I was coming home from a day on the river and was hit by another car turning off a side street. Everyone was fine, but my truck was in the shop for a little over 2 weeks. Order in my universe has been restored as I got my truck back yesterday. With my truck in the shop, my Wife and I used her car for some trips as we took a week for ourselves since our two week road trip through Glacier National Park and Teton National Park was cancelled this year. ‘Rona strikes again! We’ll plan that one for next year. Our week off included 4 days to my Wife’s family camp in the Adirondacks and a four-day trip to Cape Cod to visit friends and family, and fly fish obviously.
The Adirondacks is always great. It was hot and buggy each day with relentless, aggravating deer flies, horseflies, and even a few lingering black flies (devil creatures), but we always have fun. We hiked, scouted some streams, relaxed with family, and I continued my reign as the Catan Crusher. If you’re reading and are unaware of this Catan, it’s a fun, competitive, and addicting board game requiring, skill, strategy, luck, and ruthlessness. I crush people. I was even gifted a shirt last year that says, “Lord of Catan”. Most of the streams are far too warm to fish up there, but I continue to find areas and compile a list to head back to in the fall as temperatures cool again.
Our first day to Cape Cod, my Wife and I boarded a 130’ jet boat to take us whale watching. It was a great time. Offshore water temperatures kept us comfortable at Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary as we spent a couple hours watching a dozen different humpback whales. Another day, I walked the flats with my Cousin fly casting to stripers chowing on sand eels and crabs. The action was good with a lot of stripers around. I didn’t land anything huge as my largest fish was 26”. However, I like to fish my 7wt on the flats and it is always a blast! After the morning on the flats, we went and did a little wine tasting, got some ice cream, which proceeded to melt nearly instantly all over my hands, and grabbed dinner. After an eight-mile hike along the beach the next day with some fishing, suddenly it was Sunday and time to head back to Syracuse. It was a good week off with my Wife.
I’ve been fortunate to put some trips together for anglers looking to get on the water, get outdoors, and learn to fly cast. A week after being on Cape Cod for leisure, I was back to teaching fly casting on the flats. While being a physically demanding endeavor in itself, fly fishing the flats is made even more difficult when the wind blows and you’ve just picked up a fly rod for the first time. My family of guests were up to the challenge though, were eager to learn, and did a great job. Arriving as the sun rose over the horizon, we walked and followed the tide out as I explained what was happening. We stopped in an area to practice some basic fly casting for a bit before sliding down to the prime positions. As the tide turned and rolled in, my guests did a great job laying down fly casts and coming tight with seven stripers and a couple other hits to land a few schoolies. Success! Hats of to them for a job well done and fishing hard in a challenging environment. With the incoming tide picking up steam, it was time to hightail it back to shore. It’s always a tough thing to walk away from a good bite, but safety always comes first. It’s no fun to leave good fishing, but you have to turn your back and start the long trek in.
In coming weeks, I expect much of the same as weather patterns don’t appear to be changing. After all, we are into the dog days of summer. This certainly doesn’t mean there isn’t good fly fishing to be had. I plan to fish my upcoming scheduled guests early when water temps and air temps are at their coolest. Bug and fish activity are better early, before the high, hot sun pushes them for cover later in the morning and midday. There are still plenty of opportunities around Central and Upstate NY for cold water trout fishing and there is still striper and bluefish action in Cape Cod. If you venture out for trout, please check water temperatures regularly and give them a break when water temperatures get into the 68-70 range. Consider targeting warm-water species such as carp, bass, or panfish. Throwing poppers to bass and panfish is not only a really fun time, but it helps keep the rust off the casting motion.
Baseball is finally back tomorrow. I have a date with the television, a cold beer or two, and nachos at 7pm as my Yankees are in Washington. It should be a great pitchers duel, at least that’s what I’m hoping for, with Gerrit Cole starting against Max Scherzer. I’m hoping for a 2-1 ball game, with the Bronx Bombers on top, obviously. As a former pitcher, I appreciate good, low scoring pitching duels. Ideally, Cole and Scherzer will match each other through the first 4, blowing hitters away and racking up the K’s. Gardner will lead off the 5th with a single. Eventually, Judge will double off the wall to score Gardner. Washington will tie it up in the 6th. But then in the 7th, LeMahieu connects for a solo shot and the Yanks ‘pen slams the door the rest of the way. Baseball is back!
Good luck on the water.
Tight lines and go Yankees!