Josenhans FF ~ Tangier Slam is Alive and Well!

24 09 2011

The Tangier Slam – or one version of it – is usually considered catching a rockfish, bluefish and speckled trout on fly during the same day. Well, this is the time of the year to come on down and give it a shot. That is, if I can get you away from the blues once you get here. Yesterday, we had six of the prettiest speckled trout that you ever want to see from 16″ to 20″  that we caught during a quick stop on the way in from a very successful day of watching rock and blues knock our poppers all over the sound. When the weather has cooperated, the fishing of the past two weeks has been phenomenal! Here is a brief summary of some of the highlights.

Sunday, September 11 – I Fished with Gus McKee and his son Mac, along with Gus’ father-in-law Lou Pochettino and nephew Alex Pochettino. We found the mother lode of blues down near Watts Island and all hands had their fill. The 2 – 5 pound bluefish were all young Mac could handle on the light G. Loomis spinning rod, and the fellows sure kept the captain busy with the net! Great to see the younger generation get such a kick out of fishing. I believe Alex and Mac are ‘hooked.’

Alex and Mac with their trophy

Gus, Mac and Alex after a fun day on Tangier Sound

Monday, September 12 Today I had the pleasure to fish with The Frederick News-Post Outdoors Editor Jim Heim. Jim writes the Casts and Shots column for the paper and I was hoping upon hope that the fishing this day would be worthy of a small article. Boy, did the fish ever hold up their end of the bargain. We started the day near Tangier Island casting Storm Chug Bug and Stillwater Smack-it! poppers to ravenous rockfish in four feet of water. Most of the rock were in the 18″ to 24″ range, and they really put on a topwater show in that skinny-water. After two to three hours of nonstop action, we traveled across Tangier Sound to find hungry two to five pound bluefish ready for an encore. Only difference here was that there’s no quit in bluefish. Same lures, same surface explosions, but each fight lasted several minutes longer. I think Jim’s arms were sore at the end of the day. That’s a good thing if you’re a guide… See Jim’s article at the link for Casts and Shots.


Lew completes the 'slam'

Tuesday, September 13– Lew Armistead and Donny McDougall brought their fly rods and were greeted with ‘slick cam’ conditions on Tangier Sound. We started off the day catching a few rockfish on sinking lines, but it didn’t come close to the top-water action that we had enjoyed the day before. With bluefish waiting to please, I pointed the bow east and told the guys to hang on. Upon arrival at a spot near Watts Island the guys were hooked up almost immediately. While Clousers and sinking lines worked well, both Lew and Donny quickly switched to floating lines and Gurglers for some of the most exciting top-water fly action that I have witnessed in a long time. Two to five-pound blues slashed, crashed and dove on top of the popping Gurgler, until both flies needed the occasional field repair. A simple piece of 15# monofilament was all that was required to restore the Gurgler to “nearly new” condition. Lew asked me what type of knot I had used to make the repair and I replied “lots of knots!” There’s no time for perfection during the heat of battle, therefore, I believe it was Lew who coined the name “Triage Knot.” I wonder if I should get a patent?? We even saved an hour at the end of the day to catch four gorgeous specks to 20″ up near Fox Island, thus, both Lew and Donny were able to accomplish the ‘Tangier Slam!’ Nice going guys.

Donny with a nice blue on fly


Not to be outdone - Lew with an average-sized bluefish


Donny 'hooked-up!'




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: