The Graveyard Shift

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About The Graveyard Shift

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    Senior Member


  • Interests (Hobbies, favorite activities, etc.):
    Fly Fishing, Surfcasting, Bass Fishing, and Fishing in general
  • What I do for a living:
    Commercial Real Estate

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    Boston Area

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  1. A well presented simple fly will always out produce a poorly presented complex one. Presentation is always king. But a full year of focusing on surfcasting taught me a lot of respect for lure designers. Subtle changes make major differences in catch rates. I like the ability to tweak my flies to get different presentations. To each their own there is no wrong way to fish. Except casting where there literally is no water....
  2. Ray assuming traffic does not crush me I will try to make the Friday 11am presentation. If I miss that will check out tyers row. I am planning on Friday 10am-4pm and Saturday 9am-2pm. for attending show. Looking forward to it
  3. i read all of those they were great I just ordered some pulse discs to try this year. I realized I need to clarify the tails are not permanent you change them with a snap. There is a lite wire twist lock that is added to tails and one on the end of the fly's rattling tail assembly. This is not an original idea the european pike anglers have been using these tails and snaps for several years. it takes just a few seconds to change between tails.
  4. I do both surfcasting and fly fishing. Surfcasting is a much better tool for the Ditch hands down. I am doing the fly rod purely for the challenge and excitement. I wanted to find a rod that can actually do the job though. I am not about playing cow bass to death on tackle not adequate for the canal. So far all my big fish have come using my lamiglas 11' spinning rod with 50lb braid which is rated for 2-6 ounces. When I go to the canal I bring both the fly rod and the surfcasting gear and if I can get away with fly rod I do that. Otherwise I throw spinning gear. I like the challenge but am also pragmatic.
  5. You may be right. That is why I don't want to make any more until I fish it extensively. If that short strike problem becomes apparent that would be a key redesign to add a stinger and would also force me to redesign how I am holding the rattles. I would probaly run wire to the trail hook and the clip for wiggle tail off it like the bauer pike rig. If I do that I will use Bob P.'s heat shrink tubing trick to add the rattle off the hook below the wire instead of the current ez boddy tail assembly. I am worried I will get a cow in the gills with a trailer hook so decided to try the single hook first. The areas I fish my surfcasting friends constantly use the 9 inch tsunami sand eel lures. They rarely get short strikes. I also did not get many short strikes on the 12" black beast fleye I was using from Andrew last year in the same area. These are all large fish typically 30 inches or larger that hit. Definitely a lot of testing needed before I declare this a true success.
  6. Will shoot you a PM. I would be interested in learning spots outside of my normal comfort zone of power plant to railroad bridge for the fly rod.
  7. If you ever decide to try inside the ditch shoot me a message. I do all my fly fishing between the Railroad Bridge and the Power Plant. I have been playing with different casting styles and rods for about two seasons now. The rod I am using now primarily is the Thomas and Thomas Exocett Surf 11'2" TH OH 12 weight. It was designed to purse tarpon up to 200 pounds from the beach and its not cheap. I am using a Redington Behemoth 11/12 reel (30lb drag max) with 65lb gel spun backing and the Rio Levithan 26ft Sink Tip line in 700 grains. It has a 10 inch per second sink rate. For a leader I am just using 4 feet of 40lb flourocarbon so that is my weakest point in the system. So far I have not hooked any substantial fish over 30 pounds yet so the rod has not gotten a real test at the Ditch. The biggest I have landed was 35 inches and I was able to land it in about 2-3 minutes with this setup. It has true "lifting" power and can horse a fish up out of the rocky depth. I really cannot fish during the moon tides except middle of the night because of crowds. I am fishing rip structures that are only about 50-60 feet out from the bank, but at 4KTS you need to be substantially up current of the structure to give your sinking line enough time to get down. I make a bank side stripping basket out of large clothes bin with 550 cord to sand bags so I can have it sit in rocks next to me by stuffing sandbags into rocks to hold in place. I am pulling a lot of backing out of the reel and making casts then dead drifting into my backing to sink flies down to rip structure in the fast current. Its a math equation and I posted how I do that in another thread. When I am initiating the flies swing I am in my gelspun backing so I use gloves so I dont slice off my finger holding it for the swing set. So I need a lot of room and no one casting over me to make this work so middle of night on moon tides or less prime tides where current is less so I need less room and there are less people. I gave up on trying to spey cast the surface blitz bite due to the crowds, not because it was ineffective on catching bass. So night structure fishing is all I am doing with fly rod at Canal now. The other reason I gave up spey casting the surface blitz was I found a good skagit setup 10wt rated for king salmon. I was able to make 100-115 foot TH casts skagit style and I did hook two very large bass with this rod near surface at first light. I got smoked in the fight because the characteristics that make a skagit rod cast well is bending into the bottom third of the rod, which inherently makes them have bad lifting power. When I was salmon fishing I was on a gravel bar and I could back up then reel and walk forward to gain line quickly on a fish. At the canal I am in pretty treacherous spots so I need to be able to lift straight up with rod and crank down to gain line. I found the skagit rod could not cut the mustard when used this way on a big fish in moon tide current. One trip the guys around thought it was cool I was trying to get them on the fly and gave me room during the fight and encouragement. Saddly when I had not really gained ground after 5-7 minutes in the fight I decided to break the cow bass off because I was definitely going to kill it landing it and was keeping about 25 other fishermen from being able to cast which is not fair when a great blitz is going on. The second trip I had a bunch of out of state guys around me. They gave me about 2 minutes then started casting over my line during the fight. One guy snagged my line. I end up breaking off the fish and he lost his plug too. His large group of buddies started threatening me so I picked up my surf rod and put the fly rod down. I ended up having another guy cast over me when fighting a big fish on my surf setup, but was able to land the fish and he tried to pretend he was the one who originally hooked the fish asking me to give him "his fish". I released it told him to go to **** and when home for the day as I could not deal with the NJ bull****. No offense to guys from NJ because there are great people there, but the stereotypical "bad NJ fishermen" I have run into both at the Canal and Salmon River are the worst of the worst in my opinion, but maybe they are just more memorable because their dialect is so distinct I always know when its a NJ person. Since that trip I have not attempted a moon tide first light surface bite with fly rod. I don't go fishing to get into fist fights and a large percentage of groups at Canal these days are not very courteous.
  8. Well I did not get an videos, but finally got that new fly out to a real casting and swim test. Due to limited time I took to to a spot I like 10 mins from my house which is a sharp bend and point where the salt-marsh opens up into a larger bay. I went at high tide so the channel was about 14 feet deep (Low tide its 5 feet deep and it was a 9' high tide this day). Because this is a pretty shallow spot compared to where I will normally fish the fly I used a floating line to try and mimimize bottom hangups with a longer leader than I normally use at 9 feet of 25lb flourocarbon. The wind was a constant 5-8mph with occasional gusts of 10-15mph. So pretty typical for the conditions I run into for wind. This is a spot I will fish this fly during the spring run so I was getting good data for May too. Here is my review of how it went: Castability: When using my Thomas and Thomas 11'2" with a 10 weight Rio Outbound floating line with a TH OH casting method I was able to consistently cast this fly in the 60-70 foot range. I measured by after making a cast setting rod down then hand pulling in the entire line and fly. I then measured the total length of fly line. I ignored the length of the leader because honestly things were landing sort of ugly, but no tangles or knots in the leader. When I changed my cast to take advantage of the wind I was able to get the fly out to 81 feet which really surprised me. When throwing directly into the head wind I was in the 40-50 foot range. I had read the European style attractor tails have a lot of wind resistance and you can hear it when casting the fly. Into the wind was not a lot of fun but could throw far enough this will be fish-able in most ares I frequent at night in wind. I tried throwing this on my 9 foot 9 weight with a traditional SH double haul approach and it was a horrible experience that I will never repeat. So my take is if you want to throw this on a single hand rod you probably need a 11 or 12 weight rod. Fishability: As I was hoping by changing through the different tail sizes and shapes you can dramatically impact the fall rate and action of how this moves underwater. I am going to make a couple my own custom tail shapes out of therabands and test them in the next round of testing. I can say that using that extra large custom wiggle tail this is going to be a killer combo. The fly sinks head first with tail undulating an insane amount on a slack line and on a steady two hand retrieve it glides pauses and glides again. This slow gliding presentation with subtle starts and stops to activate the jig rattles really looked killer. I also found that if used the XXL thin wave tail and fished the fly on a faster jerkier retrieve it has an amazing jigging/darting action that would be good trigger for getting a fish to bite. So tail shape rating is below Double Wide Wiggle Tail (6" curly tail): slows fall rate best for maintaining a smooth glide over bottom and the slowest sink rate. So for slowest retrieve possible use this tail. XXL Wiggle Tail (4" curly tail): almost twice the fall rate of the double tail. This is best if you need fly to sink much faster and want to maintain a faster retrieve. I think in fast current I would use this tail size and focus on the large tail for slower current. XXL Dragon Tail (4.5" specialized curly tail). Fall rate is a little slower than the wiggle tail and when swiming the action is also very different visually. It was best of a gliding action as well. XXL Double Tail (4" fin shaped tail): this thing pulsed like a real fish tail swimming. I was amazed. It did not slow the fly much on fall rate so I would use this in fast current environments to also give illusion of a fish swimming in daylight. XXL Slim Wave Tail (5" sluggo shaped tail): This has a very unique darting action and I was very impressed. I think if fish are in a neutral mood in deep water and I was trying to agitate them to strike this is the tail and presentation I would use. All the darting and jigging is also rattling a ton since two jig ratlles in the fly so it may also prove to be a great night approach. So very happy with initial results. I am going to wait to see how live testing on stripers goes before I commit to tying a bunch of these up. I have learned not to make too many of a prototype without fishing it extensively. Can end up wasting a lot of fly tying time.
  9. Tim that is great data. Seeing it helps understand the problem in scope of big picture.
  10. Tim fair point I was in military for 12 years. Goverment is very bad at managing money. Pay to play worked very well in Alaska. It was focused on areas with extremely easy access just like Canal. But from what I have seen Masschusetts as one of the most inefficient systems so your 4 times the actual cost assesment may be dead on. In Alaska they also limited you to one king salmon a season from certain river systems. The Susitna drainage is probably as larger than entire Conneticut River system. Its one fish a year in that drainage last time I was there. Once kept you were done fishing and it was a real tag just like a big game animal tag. It was a very successful program but interestingly enough there were still a lot of closures due to commercial overfishing at the mouth cause poor escapement that necessitated recreational fishing closures. I give the american commercial fishermen the benefit of the doubt because studies were showing large portions of those salmon populations were leaving US waters so international commercial efforts potentially were having a greater impact than the better regulated american fishermen. That said based on my limited three years at the Ditch it has a serious problem when the hoard descends and if it takes an expensive governent effort to regulate it then that is probably what needs to happen. That does not mean more comprehensive efforts coast wide to help with striper conservation is not also necessary. The Canal reminds me of NYC late 80s early 90s with rampant almost lawless ness and petty crime before the major crack down. I stopped going during moon tides becuase I dont feel like getting in fist fight over fishing.
  11. Never used that fly, but looking at the pictures I think it will catch plenty of fish. For a teaser I am using typically a mackerel stick shad as the plug with a 10 inch dropper tied off the swivel eye of 30lb test leader for the fly. The fly is attached to dropper with a no slip loop knot. My main leader to the plug is 36-40 inches long and 60lb test. I have my drag set at 20lbs of start up drag so if a fish takes the dropper I don't break them off immediately. I have the dropper a lot lighter in case I hooked two fish the fly would be lost instead of the plug. For fly fishing I am primarily using the Thomas and Thomas 12 weight 11'2" Exocett Surf two hand rod with a Redington Behemoth 11/12 reel. Fly line is Rio Levithan 700 grain sinking line with 65lb gel spun backing. The core strenght of the levithan is 50lbs and i use a straight 5 foot 40lb fluorocarbon leader off the end of the sinking line.
  12. I got all new lines early September 2018. Did not really get to put them through their paces so 2019 is big focus on that. I bought the 10 weight and 12 weight Exocett Surf TH OH rods last year in June so I am geared out for while. If possible I would love to upgrade both reels to Able's but that is probably further out like 2020 or 2021. My reels are working fine, but could definitely be better. So 2019's gear purchases are fly tying primarily, but I feel putting the new lines through their paces is my main goal in 2019: 1) 9 weight Rio Striper floating line: Will be using this primarily for the flats and saltmarshes 2) 9 weight Rio Striper Intermediate line: Will be using this in esturaries at night and some beaches when its really calm and I need a more delicate presentation. The glowing running line is very interesting it lets you have a much better idea of where your fly is and how the swing is moving in current at night. I asked Rio if they could add it to all the "Striper" series line. If the sinking line had the glowing running line I might ditch the outbound and use the striper line for my 10wt TH OH rod. 3) 10 weight Rio Outbound floating line: Will be throwing this most the time I fish topwater and want to try more greased line swing presentations this year with the 10 weight Exocett Surf Rod 4) 10 weight Rio Outbound S6/I line: Will be throwing this on the 60% of all trips at inlets and beaches with the 10 weight Exocett Surf Rod 5) 700 grain Rio Levithan 26ft Sinking line: Will be throwing this at Canal on the 12 weight Exocett Surf rod. I also used it in a pretty major NE storm and was able to make 50-60 foot casts in 25mph plus wind with larger conomo special flies. I may make this my big surf fly fishing rod in addition to the Canal rod. My take is if you don't have a TH OH fly rod you really should make that your priority to purchase in 2019 if you striper fish. It does not have to be the Thomas and Thomas there are other decent options out there (I think T&T is best but definitely most expensive option), but for me the move to the two hand rod last year was a total game changer. I can throw large flies further and without fatigue. Because you can cast off both shoulders you can compensate for any wind direction and fish the spot you want to fish not the spot you can manage to fly cast.
  13. I surfcast and fly fish the Ditch. I would highly suggest getting flies that imitate bay anchovies, silversides, peanut bunker, and juvenile herring in addition to sand-eel flies. mackerel and Bonita and albies will prey on these small baitfish. A mackerel magic swimmer or other plug chasing a teaser is a great way to entice bass to eat when small bait is present in mass. I tie all my own patterns for the most part, but saltwaterflies dot com has some good teaser fly options: Erico's blueback herring, Enrico's peanut bunker, and Crease Flies are all good herring/baby bunker imitations. For anchovies I like 'Chovy Candy, Eye Candy, and Albie Candy are good options.
  14. Tim so wait OP is not pushing a fly fishing only catch and release single barbless hook rules for whole canal agenda. I thought the goverment was all about special interest groups clearly the micro group of guys fly fishing the canal should get what they want right since they are the smallest of all the groups Great feedback on the points raised earlier. I while would love to see catch fly fishing only section somehwere on Ditch its probably in reality a bad idea that only helps me. However I am a realistic person and Fly rods for average angler means a lot of tired and dead cow bass post fight so it would probably increase mortality exponetially compared to catch and release conventional aurfcasters. I dont think its fair to deny everyone a chance to keep a striper either from the ditch. So catch and release is probably too drastic a rule for the whole ditch. I think a good start would be strict pay to play permits to fish Canal that solely goes to funding a large EPO presence at the ditch is what I want to see. make cost reasonable maybe $50 per year. make displaying permit on shoulder or hat mandatory while fishing. EPO on bicycle rides path if permit not displayed talks to angler. If angler had no permit $50 fine and fishing gear forfeit. 2000 permits sold is $100,000 that could fund a lot of patrols. I am guessing way more than 2000 angler fish canal so funds raised should be higher and support large EPO presence. Enforcement is main issue at Canal even currrent rules fully enforced would be a big step up from current situation.
  15. I find at night topwater works but you either are doing one of two presentations. 1. Poppers: Loud sharp pop with 60-90 seconds between pops 2. Sliders: Crawled as slow or slower than a needlefish plug. You want ti to push a V wake on surface yet move as slow as you possibly can move it keeping the wake forming. Both of these require a floating line and I use a mono leader as well to maximize keeping flies at surface. I have tried the fast partial diving retrieve others have descriped with a popper and intermediate line. It worked very well during first light and okay during daylight for me, but I have tried it for three seasons now at night I have found extreme long pause retrieve for a popper produces 5/1 over the faster retrieve with intermediate for me personally. I am currently using an OBS 10wt floater to throw my large night topwater flies on a TH OH rod