TBYRD

2019 Shad Fishing

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4 hours ago, HanoverStriper said:

If you have ever fished the Swift for trout, I would say fly fishing for shad in the spring is very similar. They can be swimming all around your feet. You can drop flies on their head, drift through dozens of them, and they just don't hit. Can be very frustrating, but awesome when you do hookup.

Sure those weren't snapping turtles ? :p

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In the 'Mac at least it has been inconsistent for me with flies. Sometimes they hit on the swing or right on the first strip, other times I have to just let the fly hang there in the current for what feels like hours. And the guy on spin gear are getting them with a completely different retrieve. It can indeed be frustrating...

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On 4/17/2019 at 0:55 PM, Southcoastphil said:

Can the Indian and N rivers be effectively fished from shore?  Or would fishing from canoe be better?

 

(I've never been to either one, as you can all tell.)

Phil, Lots of people canoe and kayak on the Indian Head & N rivers. The current rips pretty fast on the North at certain times in the tide so you'd need an anchor with a long line to stay stationary and on top. Plenty of launch points on both stretches if you know where to go. You can always find a nice spot to beach it and fish from shore. That said, I've never fished for Shad there because I know there aren't any fish of any kind in either river. 

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1 min ago, beerdoh said:

Phil, Lots of people canoe and kayak on the Indian Head & N rivers. The current rips pretty fast on the North at certain times in the tide so you'd need an anchor with a long line to stay stationary and on top. Plenty of launch points on both stretches if you know where to go. You can always find a nice spot to beach it and fish from shore. That said, I've never fished for Shad there because I know there aren't any fish of any kind in either river. 

Thanks, Ted.

 

Being what some might call sort of a stubborn SOB, I'm wont to fish some spots that others might avoid (because there are no fish there).

 

As for anchor lines, I'm thinking that the rigs I've used in the W Branch Penobscot R should suffice, since they kept us securely anchored while FF'ng for LL Salmon in some big current.

 

If they don't, I doubt that I'll be risking a solo paddle through some class III/IV whitewater.

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Segway to the topic of anchoring small water craft.....

upon delivery of my new SOT fishing yak, are the “all in one” anchor trolley kits a good buy?  Mandatory for CT River shad from a yak.

Outfitting a yak is a daunting task!

Pick-er-up next week  :)

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I always wanted to try the merrimack on the fly. I've done well on smaller Tributaries where max depth might be 6' but average about 2 or 3'. 

 

So, the question is at what depths do shad hang out in larger rivers like the merrimack? I usually load my flies with synthetic lead and a bead to get down a bit on the swing. Thinking I might need sinking flyline tips in a larger river. That is if top of water column didn't work.

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51 mins ago, stripedbassjeff said:

I always wanted to try the merrimack on the fly. I've done well on smaller Tributaries where max depth might be 6' but average about 2 or 3'. 

 

So, the question is at what depths do shad hang out in larger rivers like the merrimack? I usually load my flies with synthetic lead and a bead to get down a bit on the swing. Thinking I might need sinking flyline tips in a larger river. That is if top of water column didn't work.

There is a very good presentation on Youtube called "Successfully Shad Fishing the Merrimack River" that will give you some good info on this. I'm not posting the link because most of what is in it would definitely qualify as a spot burn (not that 'Mac shad are a big secret). The presentation features several spots. In the easternmost of these (I think it's the first one he describes) once the tide gets to where I can backcast I've found a full sink hangs up too much. I use an SA Sonar sink tip III I think it is, but cut the floating running line off and replaced it with braided mono. That, coupled with flies with small lead eyes has worked well for me. With a fast sink I was hanging up on too much smeg, Lord knows the 'Mac has no shortage of it lol!

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On ‎4‎/‎17‎/‎2019 at 4:39 PM, flylikabird said:

I've tried finding them on the South Shore several times at the locally known spots and came up with zilch.  It was in the early stages of the run but didn't connect unfortunately.   I think each time I ended up giving up and started banging out SB instead.  :o  

I would love to add them to my new species list on the fly rod.   

They come up the river at sunset with the rising tide and  with a good sunny day  to warm the water to spawning temps.

 

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Good to know and it makes sense.   Thanks for the tip BD.   Not sure if I'm gonna make an attempt at them this year seeing I just had surgery on my knee and will have to store that info away for next season.   Thanks again.   

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RE: Fly fishing on the 'Mac

 

The areas that I've fished (from my canoe) aren't that deep (8-12' or so) and lend themselves quite well to flyfishing.

 

This will sound strange to many of you, but I've had best results using a WF full floating line with a long (10-12') leader.  

 

I first tried full-sink line, but the flies and darts seemed to get whipped around (even with moderate current) so I couldn't fish them dead drift a foot above the bottom.  No love with that approach.

 

I then tried sink tip lines, which were a bit better in terms of shad love, but still tough to feel what's at the end of my line.

 

Full floating line with a long leader provided both excellent line control and allowed the clousers/darts to get to the bottom.

 

YMMV

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