Josenhans Fly Fishing Newsletter

7 06 2010

We fished four days this past week, all out of Madison, on the Little Choptank River and fishing was generally very good with lots of rockfish. I regret to say that I don’t have any fish photos for you, as most of the stripers were on the small-side, and the one day I caught some decent-sized fish, I was by myself. My arm’s not long enough to hold the fish and snap a picture at the same time – besides, I was having fun catching fish and I really didn’t want to stop and fool with the camera.

I was doing a little scouting for the CCA Kent Narrows Fly/Light Tackle/Kayak tournament that is held each year during the first Saturday in June. This was the first time I had entered it and I had a blast. I recommend it to anyone, as it is a low-key, relaxed and fun tournament to fish. In fact, because my partner and I didn’t weigh-in a fish, I almost didn’t feel like I had fished a tournament – but there’s a story behind that..
Anyway, Friday was my last scouting day and I had heard rumors of a nice school of stripers on the western shore of the bay near Calvert Cliffs. I was by myself and didn’t arrive until 9:00 AM – late riser that I am. There were quite a few charter boats trolling and almost immediately I located a ton of fish on the fish-finder. The water depth was forty feet and most of the fish were holding in the 5 – 15 foot range. I tried 5 and 7 inch Bass Assassins, Storm Shads and various fly patterns in the four to six inch range, with limited success. A personal theory of mine is that when the fish prove finicky, go small. I tied on a two inch lavender/white clouser deep minnow – sort of imitating the local bay anchovies. The fish jumped all-over over this pattern! I was using a RIO Striper DC 400 grain sink-tip line and was probably fishing my fly in the ten to fifteen foot range. After catching a couple in the 23 inch range I noticed they were all fat as butterballs and spitting up the so-called “May worms” as I pulled them to the boat. This is the second worm swarm of the season. I figured the small clouser probably looked like a worm, and I later discovered that pink was just as effective (They wouldn’t touch chartreuse). In the next two hours I caught maybe 25 rock in the 14 to 21 inch range, with five or six that were 23 inches, but weighed around five pounds each. Not great big fish but plenty of action, and what fighters!
The next day I met Joe Bruce at the ramp with high hopes of claiming first place in the fly division of the CCA tourney. We arrived off Calvert Cliffs just after 6:00 AM and I could see that Joe was a little curious as to where I stopped the boat, seemingly in the middle of nowhere – no structure nor working fish. I saw the fish on the finder right where I left them on Friday and actually caught a small striper on the first cast. Joe said that wasn’t a good sign. During the first twenty minutes I felt a little heavier tug and landed a plump 21 inch rockfish that I took a good hard look at and, with thoughts of yesterday still fresh in my brain, said no way, we can do better and promptly released him. To make this long story short, for the morning we caught maybe 60 – 70 stripers and released I guess three in the 21 inch range – all on fly. Smaller than the day before but we had a blast non-the-less. Joe had a real nice fish on at the end but it released itself before we could get a look, so we called it a day without a fish for the scales. 
Back at check-in we discovered that only two stripers had been weighed-in for the fly division, with third place open. So much for having a plan. I felt a little better when I discovered that at least two other guys had also released rock that would have placed, including a 23 inch fish that was tossed back due to sores all over the body. (Hope this mico goes away soon). Now that’s what I call sportsmanship! I have fished some tournaments in the past where the guys would have tried to check in fish that had been dead a week if they thought they would win a prize! But that just shows the class of this man and this tournament. It was started to promote fly and light tackle fishing and to just have fun, and that’s exactly how it turned out. Hats off to all the Kent Island CCA guys who worked hard to provide the anglers with a great event!
Here is a pic leaving the Madison harbor on Friday, a quiet corner of Dorchester County.



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