The Fisherman

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Everything posted by The Fisherman

  1. If you go to my website you'll find all kinds of information on flatwings and how to tie and fish them. ("Trout fishing for stripers" is a good place to start for the latter). It is a common misconception that flatwings are by default large. I fish flatwings that are over a foot long. I fish flatwings that are two inches long. There are many patterns to match a plethora of bait, from clam worms to sand eels to silversides to big herring and bunker and eels. No one's going throw you in jail for adding weight to a flatwing, but doing so defeats the purpose of the style -- which as Ken said, is to "swim and look alive just like the baitfish." Use sink tips if you must. BTW, I fish flatwings over a foot long with my five weight. Properly tied, big flatwings fish large and cast small. :-) Hope that helps, Steve Culton
  2. Mike, I love you, but no. We deserve competent fisheries management and managers who are forward-thinking, conservation-minded, and unbeholden to special interests. Angler apathy or sloth should not be a factor in the equation. :-) Steve Culton
  3. You betcha! November steelhead on a Snipe and Purple, anyone? Steve Culton
  4. Jomi, Start by figuring out what will be hatching in that area when you'll be fishing. For example, right now in CT we have lots of tiny BWOs, caddis, Isonychia, and midges. Matching the general size, color, and profile of the naturals is sound strategy. If you're looking for pattern ideas, you'll find dozens of wet flies and soft hackles on my website. Hope that helps! Steve Culton P.S. I took this 20" Housatonic brown this week on a size 12 Squirrel and Ginger (caddis).
  5. My pleasure. I'd fish that with confidence. :-) Steve Culton
  6. My Soft-Hackled Flatwing was recently featured in Tony Lolli's Guide Flies column in On The Water magazine. Steve Culton
  7. I had a similar experience in early summer: a little over fifty fish in seven days, but only one legal bass. I did get into stripers every day. Well done, you! Please consider keeping those stripers off the sand and in the water for photos. :-) Steve Culton
  8. Thanks everyone. I'll try to get some more striper fly tying videos up this fall/winter. Steve Culton
  9. Have you ever wondered why so many species managed by the ASMFC (Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission) are in trouble? How can any commission tasked with managing fishing stocks have such an abysmal track record and still exist? The answers are both complex and simple. On the simple side, the answers are a) because the commission does not have conservation in mind, and b) because they can (there is no accountability). If it all sounds pretty dire, it is. But there is hope: the American Saltwater Guides Association (ASGA). Don't let the name fool you: the ASGA has your (the recreational, conservation-minded striper angler) interests in mind (as well as in deed). They'll be going to bat for us at the ASMFC meeting next month. To quote the ASGA: "We are hereby putting the ASMFC on notice. If they choose not to follow their own rules yet again we will do everything in our power to legislate a new framework that won't allow them to mismanage the resource." What can you do to help? Here's a short action list: 1) Educate yourself. The ASGA Blog is a great place to start. 2) Write your state ASMFC reps. You can find the list online. 3) Find a ASGA post or infographic that resonates with you and share it. 4) Make a donation to the ASGA. You can do that on their website. ASGA is going to bat for all of us, and it costs money to travel around the region and do the kind of work they're doing. If you truly care about the future of this iconic fish, take action. I challenge SOL members to do at least three of the above, and if you can include #4, all the better. FYI my involvement with ASGA is unofficial, but I am close to a board member and this is a passionate, motivated group. Thanks, Steve Culton
  10. "Better" is relative. I would favor the window from November 1 thru, say, December 15. But every year is different, every day is different, and the best time to go steelhead fishing remains when you can. :-) Steve Culton
  11. Do a search for "Great Lakes Steelhead The Steel Deal" and you'll find a good article on gear, flies, and tactics. I would also recommend you either fish with someone who knows what they're doing, or hire a guide. Either will shorten what can be a cruel learning curve. Steve Culton
  12. Here's the newest infographic from ASGA. Lots of good information. If you have not responded/commented to the ASMFC via email yet, please do. And please consider 1 @35" and 1 fish for the Chesapeake. Steve Culton
  13. Here's the newest infographic from ASGA. Lots of good information. If you have not responded/commented to the ASMFC via email yet, please do. And please consider 1 @35" and 1 fish for the Chesapeake. Steve Culton
  14. I think it's an absolute good that so many people are making their voices heard about the shenanigans that continue on the Chesapeake and the sham that is Maryland's "requirement" to honor to their harvest numbers. The more people from more states that continue to make noise on this issue, the better. Clearly, the ASMFC's process for analyzing and managing conservation equivalencies is broken (if it ever functioned at all) and needs to be overhauled. Change -- one way or another, good or bad -- is coming. Achieving a critical mass in thought and policy that swings the pendulum back in the striped bass' favor is not pie in the sky. Will we do it this time? I don't know. I do know that I am not afraid to fail, and I applaud everyone who is doing their best to help the cause. Steve Culton
  15. The notion that a certain sock layering system will keep anyone warm in stocking foot waders is fiction. Every body, literally, is different. For those of us who run cold, neoprene insulated boot foot waders are the single greatest invention in the history of steelhead fishing. :-) I have used both Cabelas 5mm and Hodgeman 3mm and have been satisfied with both. Of course, what you wear underneath does have some impact on your comfort. I've been using some heavy SmartWool socks and toe warmers for my feet; Under Armor Cold Gear leggings and fleece pants of varying thickness (depending on temperature) for waist to ankle warmth. YMMV. Hope that helps. Stay warm! Steve Culton
  16. Thanks. And thanks for your excellent remarks at the LI hearing. Steve Culton
  17. I attended and publicly commented at last night's ASMFC Striped Bass Addendum VI hearing in Old Lyme, CT. My general impressions: People are passionate about striped bass. The meeting was well attended, with roughly 50-60 people. About half of them chose to comment. Most are in favor of conservation, and in many cases for more conservation than is being proposed. Many aren't thrilled with the ASMFC's track record. Many cited enforcement as a problem, and asked for more EnCon police and harsher penalties for poaching. (That's not on Addendum VI, but point well taken.) Unlike the Long Island session from a few weeks ago (the video that was on Facebook), there were no angry outbursts or contentious remarks, so good job on that to everyone. So, what did I say? I drew my comments from the following script: Commissioners and fellow anglers, My name is Steve Culton. I am a resident of Middletown. I am a fly fishing guide, instructor, outdoor writer, and I run a website called currentseams which has over 700 followers, many of whom are avid striper anglers. Most of all, I’m a guy who loves fly fishing for striped bass. I am also active within the American Saltwater Guides Association, which is an organization of guides and small business owners from Maine to North Carolina. Along with the ASGA, I endorse the following options: Option 2: 18% reductions applied equally between the sectors. As Aunt Eller said in Oklahoma!, "I don't say I'm no better than anybody else, but I'll be danged if I ain't just as good!" Option 2-A1: 1@35”. There are major cons to every option listed. It’s hard for me to support an option that allows the wholesale slaughter of the large breeding female bass off of Block Island or in the Cape Cod Canal to continue. Ultimately, it’s difficult to ignore past history, and we’ve seen the positive effect of 1@36”, which helped with the successful rebuilding of the striped bass fishery last time around. For the Chesapeake Bay, Option 2-B1: 1@18” For the record, I’m not favor of any of the options listed for the Chesapeake Bay. Killing stripers before they've have a chance to spawn makes no sense. But Option 2-B1 is expected to achieve the greatest harvest reduction. Option 3.2.B: Mandatory use of circle hooks. It would be nice if this were accompanied by an effective education and awareness program. I won't hold my breath. Some additional comments – and some difficult questions: While we’ve got to start somewhere, all this is not good enough. ASMFC has got to do better. Real power comes not from the taking of life, but rather from the sparing of it. Why are we continuing to allow the killing of the large breeder females that produce millions of eggs annually, and are critical to producing the next big year class? Why 1@35" and not 1@40" (or bigger)? Why is there no moratorium or catch & release only provision in this addendum? Why are we relying on a 50% chance of success? Why is Maryland allowed to do what they damn well please? Maryland’s harvest reduction in this Draft Addendum is based on their 2017 numbers when they were severely over their total. Why would you reward a state for overharvesting by 200%? There must be consequences when states do not live up to their harvest reduction goals. ASMFC needs to change how you analyze and manage conservation equivalency proposals. Please make sure this process gets fixed. Finally, perception is reality, and the perception is that the ASMFC has a storied history of underachievement and little to no accountability. Not good enough. I challenge the ASMFC to rise to your mission statement this time around. I recognize the ASMFC has a number of diverse constituencies that need to be considered. However, you have an obligation to manage striped bass for the greater good. You must manage for the benefit of our children, and for their children. Ultimately, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few – or the one. Thank you for your consideration. ~ That's it. Steve Culton
  18. Tonight's meeting in Old Lyme was well attended, 50+. You get a PPT presentation from the ASMFC rep, then you can ask questions. This takes about an hour. Then anyone who wants to comment publicly may do so. This fills the second hour. My overall impressions: People are passionate about striped bass. About 30 people chose to comment. Most people are in favor of conservation, and in many cases for more conservation than is being proposed. Many people aren't thrilled with the ASMFC's track record. Many people cited enforcement as a problem, and asked for more EnCon police and harsher penalties for poaching. (That's not on Adendum VI, but point well taken.) Unlike the Long Island session (the video that was on Facebook), there were no angry outbursts or contentious remarks, so good job on that to everyone who attended. TIA to all those going Wednesday night in Bridgeport. Steve Culton
  19. I'll be there tonight. Steve Culton
  20. You're fortunate to live in an area where they grow 'm big, Ted. The OP won't be catching 17"-22" SMB in CT on a regular basis regardless of fly size (and if he does, please, good sir, take me to your honey hole and teach me your secrets). I haven't ever cracked 20" in CT, and the largest SMB this year by far came when we fished a Lake Ontario trib. Steve Culton
  21. I've been using a 10' 5-weight Hardy Marksman2 on the Housatonic for years. Current line setup is a SciAnglers Anadro taper 8-weight floating line. I'm throwing everything from size 14 wet flies to size 2 Gurglers and other 4+" long bugs. Hope that helps. Steve Culton
  22. They held back the release until after the holiday weekend. Look for it next week. :-) Steve Culton
  23. Here you go: Steve Culton
  24. ASGA position should be out this week. Steve Culton
  25. To bottom line it: The ASGA is a group of forward-thinking, conservation-minded anglers, guides, captains, etc. with some amount of political savvy, clout, and wherewithal. They aren't necessarily looking for public input. What they are looking for is a unified public response to the ASMFC addendum. The more of us who support one sound, actionable position on the matter, the better. So I'm going to wait for the ASGA opinion to come out, then support that. I urge everyone who has an interest in this matter to do the same, and visit the AGSA website to learn more. Steve Culton