A friend of mine, Titsuo, came up last week to fish for stripers and brought a couple of friends with him from Japan. One of his friends is a renowned fly tyer and the other an editor of a magazine in Japan, a fishing magazine. I will never be able to spell their names but I learned some Japanese words. They came to fish the worm hatch. They did catch fish on worms but the hatch itself was evasive to say the least. They left this morning to fish the Beaverkill, holy place that it is in trout fishing lore. Rhode Island is also a holy place it would seem as far as traditional fly rod striper fishing goes. They made it to two Tuesday nights and fished al through the week and a bit more. I had a wonderful time taking them to various rivers and marshes and little rivers and trickles and culvert pipes and salt ponds they got to fish with several folks fromt the striper moon gatherings and they had a ball and caught fish using old tried and true traditional presentation methods. It was wonderful to see fish and to fish with folks who appreciated the New England traditions handed down from Harold Gibbs and others all the way back to Theodore Gordon and his Bumblepuppy.
Pi Zen, the tyer I mentioned had several interpretations of that fly with him and they were quite beautiful and effective. He had tied some streamers and after being here a few days he made up a shrimp pattern based on that fly. It was also quite lovely and worked really well. They loved flatwings and caught their biggest fish on them which pleased me to no end. The flies he ties are very elegant and flow with a grace that is soft and delicate and very lifelike. They seem larger than what they actually are and yet they are right and you can tell that just by looking at them. He gave me a pile of them. Trout flies mostly and I enjoy looking at them.
They did go out with a guide for one day and casted and stripped and caught some fish and did not want to do it again as they much preferred swinging flies and focusing in on individual fish holding in current. They told me it was very simple fishing kind of shallow with not much challenge. Too boring but fun to do - once. Cast strip and Kerpow on surface. No worms were present unlike what they were told.Â
American Style modern run and gun and cast and strip, strip, strip salt water guide fly fishing is not for them or for me either.Â
It was a good time for me to have people who understood and were aware of how to present flies to fish in current and knew how to read water and mend and were well versed in the history and traditions of salt water fly fishing in the Northeast. We hunted bait and caught shrimp and crabs and American herring (glass minnows) and looked for worms and had fun chasing little critters and tying and fishing with imitations of what we found in the water. It was great to fish with people who loved nature and had a sense of wonder about the interrelatedness of it all and were not desperate to rack up a body count as the measure of their success. They caught a lot of fish and caught them by being aware of how the fish were feeding and acting naturally. They liked fitting in and fishing within the harmony of things. It is a very satisfying and mature way to fish for sure.
The changing of the tides was a revelation to them and how the moon affects everything and orders it was also a revelation that they appreciated for its complexity and importance. They came from half a world away to see for themselves what striper fishing can be if approached from a traditional manner not cast and strip and were filled with appreciation of the fish and all the related subtleties that can affect the experience.
We had high winds and weed and no weed and no bait and lots of bait, fish feeding and not feeding, tides that did not come on time and all the joy of the hunt and we caught fish every time out sometimes many and sometimes few but the fish were there to be sought and found and natures fickleness and surprises were a big part of all of it and made it a full and real experience of fishing in R.I. not just a fish count rack em and stack em type of fishing entertainment trip for them. They got to really fish and that is what they came to do. They will be back next year.
I am looking forward to it.
I just may go visit Japa