Josenhans Fly Fishing ~ News & Notes

3 11 2012

Hello All – I hope and pray that you and your families made it through Hurricane Sandy unscathed. I appreciate all of the calls and emails expressing well wishes for me and my family. As for me and mine, we came through relatively untouched. I’m afraid that I can’t say the same for Crisfield.  Floodwaters rose during the peak of the storm to levels not experienced since Hurricane Floyd in 1999, and some say since Hazel in ’54. The good news is, I traveled down there yesterday and found the clean-up is progressing nicely, with many of the stores, shops and restaurants already back to at least partial operational status. The Captain Tyler Motel, Waterman’s Inn and Circle Inn are all open for business. Allowing the town a full week to get back on its feet, I should be up and fishing again beginning Monday, November 5th.  I expect the rockfish action to be terrific around the banks and creeks of Smith, Fox and Tangier Islands. I’ve included some of this fall’s speckled trout photo’s for your viewing pleasure, but first, some additional news & notes.

Tangier Sound Rockfish – While speckled trout are  making a beeline for parts south, Tangier Sound striper fishing is just heating up! Right before the storm, rockfish catches had increased in both size and numbers while fishing the shallows and creeks of Smith, Fox and Tangier Islands. This is a great time of the year to fish the island marshes, catching stripers on light tackle, while enjoying the company of migrating waterfowl and shorebirds. I have a handful of dates available during the next three weeks that I would like to fill, so come give it a try. You won’t be disappointed!!

CBBT – Due to the many requests that I have been receiving, I have decided to begin fishing the CBBT (Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel) near Cape Charles, VA beginning the week after Thanksgiving. I have a limited number of dates available, so if you are interested in a chance to catch a big striper on light tackle, please give me a call at 443-783-3271, or drop me an email at This is cold-weather fishing, so proper fowl-weather gear is a must! Check-out my Web site for pricing and trip info at

Walk-Ons– I have one or two anglers interested in sharing the cost of a trip with another angler. This will be for Tangier Sound fishing between now and Thanksgiving. Please contact me asap if you have an interest.  

Chesapeake Women Anglers (CWA) Crisfield trip with Capt. Dan Harrison and your’s truly –

LaJan Barnes (CWA) with a healthy redfish

Pati Nicholson (CWA) shows-off a beautiful speck

Lucia DiRado (CWA) joinined in on the great speckled trout action!

Gene Jones with a nice speck on the Big Annemessex River

George Jones hefts a fat speck

Scotty Bolles with his Annemessex River speck

The “Jones Brothers” George & Gene – Sorry, no relation to the boat builder

What a Day!! Dave Wilmoth with one of a pair at 6 pounds!

Rob McColligan boated this nice spotted trout

Ron Long proudly displays a big speck

Dave put’s the finishing touch on a 42 speck day with his second 6 pounder!

Dick Franyo with one of 23 specks he and Joe Evans caught on fly tackle

Terry Tubman landed this 5 pound beauty in lower Tangier Sound

Phil Todd and Terry having a great day catching big specks

Bobby Shenton, Phil Todd & Terry Tubman show off some of the days catch

Tom Stapf & John Plowman pulled 17 nice trout from a small stretch of clean water on a blustery October day

The pool winner? Beautiful speck John!!

Kevin Gladhill braved the wind and cold to pull a few nice specks from the shallows

Michael Rembold took top honors for specks on yet another wind-blown day

Maurice Klein enjoyed good success with specks, rock and redfish.

Keith Campbell arived during the transition from specks to stripers

Kevin Campbell proved the specks were still around

These pelicans should be heading south very soon

Matt King shows off a healthy shallow water striper

Bill Enos with a fine rockfish, and..

..a beautiful late-season speckled trout

Skip Powers with a colorful speck on his birthday. Happy Birthday Skip!


Josenhans FF ~ Tangier Slam!!

4 09 2012

Tangier Slam – In the world of flats fishing, a ‘slam’ is oftentimes considered three, maybe four different species of fish, caught by a single angler, with a specific type of gear during a given day. Well, how about six species! That’s just what has occured several times during the past couple of week’s on board my Jones Brothers while fishing here on Tangier Sound. In fact, five species seems to be the norm rather than the exception.  Stripers, bluefish, speckled trout, flounder, redfish and croaker are common catches while casting artificial lures on light spinning tackle or fly gear. On a recent outing with Don Harrison, his friend Doug Portner and Doug’s son Connor, while we didn’t quite reach six-species, sheer numbers made up for the species count. We began the day casting to breaking bluefish in the 12 to 17-inch range, enjoying action in which triple hook-ups were common for perhaps ninety minutes. We switched gears to look for specks, managing close to a dozen for the day up to 21-inches. Mixed-in with the trout were perhaps fifteen nice rockfish to 24-inches. The day ended on a hot note as the guys simply tore-up the puppy drum, landing maybe 50 in the 12  to 17-inch range, with a couple just shy of the legal 18-inch limit. All told, over one-hundred fish were boated giving the three anglers a day to remember. And to make his “slam” something really special, young Connor also accomplished several “firsts.” As is first striper, first bluefish, first speckled trout and first redfish! Way to break-out on the saltwater scene Connor!! Tangier Sound has always held a nice variety of game fish during the summer months and six or more species in a days fishing is not unusual. I look for this fantastic shallow water angling to continue right through the fall months.

Speckled trout continue to grab most of the attention here on the sound. Daily catches averaging ten-specks-per-angler have been the norm rather than the exception. Now that September is here, I look for the speckled trout top-water bite to really take-off! Last season, our top fish was an eight-pound beauty that exploded on a Stillwater Smack-it! popper.

Share a Trip  – Once again, I am in need of several anglers to share the cost of a guided trip. The details are as follows:

Trip 1 – I need a fly fishing angler to share a full day (8 hour) trip with another fly angler. Cost per angler will be $225, all-inclusive.

Trip 2 – I need two spining anglers to share a full day (8 hour) or 3/4 day (6 hour) trip with a third spin fisherman. Cost will be $150 each for the full day, or $135 each for the 3/4 day trip. There is a catch (no pun intended) – My first available date is October 20. Speckled trout should still be around, along with stripers, bluefish, flounder and redfish. In addition to the 20th, I have open October 22, 23, 25, 27, 30 and 31. If interested, please email, or call me at your earliest convenience. My contact info is or 443-783-3271. Thanks and good fishing!!

Nick Weber drove a long way to catch a speckled trout, and succeeded

Nick’s son Matt with a nice flounder

Not to be outdone by Matt, John Crowley bags a big flounder of his own

Matt LaFleur with an over-stuffed speck

Jerry Price adds a puppy drum (redfish)

Toby Godwin with a pretty speck

Darren Short found this big speck at the end of his line

Chris Mitchell surprised us with a 26-inch striper

Tom Phillips got in on the speck action

Chris adds a nice speck to his rockfish catch

Andrew Lepczyk caught this fine striper under working birds near Sharps Island

Pete Rolph has been trying to make this speck trip for two years – it paid-off!

Mike Johnson has his arms full with this hefty spotted trout

Elliott Pochettino can barely hold up his big speck

Owen Pochettino shows off his big fly-caught speckled trout

Don Harrison with a speck on his way to a Tangier Slam

..Likewise for Doug Portner..

..and Doug’s son Connor!

Doug boats a nice rockfish

Connor adds his own big striper

Connor with one of his many redfish

Terry Tubman with a fine Tangier Sound speck

Keith McGuire ran his boat over from the western shore to catch specks

Scott McGuire shows-off a specks canines

Scott with a nice spot tail

Josenhans Fly Fishing ~ Pictorial Essay 2

29 10 2011

Thursday, September 29  – Scott Lange and Gary Peters brought a strong SW wind with them so we were forced to fish the protected waters of the Big Annemessex River just north of Crisfield. Things didn’t turn out too bad. The water was clear and we were able to cast poppers for a good bit of the morning. Well, judge the results for yourself..

Gary Peters with his 8 pound speckled trout - The fish hit a Stillwater Smack-it! popper

Scott Lange showing off his 4 1/2 pound speck

Quite a few stripers to five pounds hit our poppers as well, and we ended up with 7 specks from 2 to 8 pounds. Not bad for a windy day.

Saturday, October 1 – Another windy day, this time from the NW. Chris Karwacki Sr. and Chris Jr. decided to brave the conditions for a try at the Annemessex specks. We found clear water on the north shore of the river, but the water temperature had taken an overnight plunge. Specks don’t like sudden changes. We caught a few rock to 19″ and had a great time on a beautiful river, regardless.

Chris Sr. and Jr. enjoying a brisk day on the water

Wednesday, October 5 – My third trip on the Big Annemessex River in a week brought Al Torney, Charlie Frick and Nick Nicosia together for another cool, blustery outing. To their credit, the guys elected to give it a try as a stiff NW wind kept me looking for clean water once again. We found a few rock to 19″ and Al landed the only speck during the half-day trip. Great conversation and a few fish made for an enjoyable morning. The water temperature has dropped ten degrees in a week and is now down to 62 degrees.

Al Torney managed the only speck on a windy morning out of Crisfield

Thursday, October 6 – Norm Bayer and his brother Joe teamed up with Bob Hedrick and Jim Haire for a six-hour trip to Smith Island. A fairly brisk NE wind pushed us to the west side where we found good numbers of rockfish to 26 inches. Joe Bayer landed a nice 17″ speck.  Morning clouds kept the rock in the shallows for a nice long spell and the wind was not a factor while fishing the lee of the island.

Jim Haire coaxed a 7 pound striper out from behind a submerged stump

Josenhans FF ~ Fighting the Wind!

6 10 2011

Me posing with Chris' fly-caught speck

Wednesday, September 14 – Chris Goldmark and Dennis McVey joined me for a day in search of speckled trout. Chris is a guide out of New Jersey, who also fishes for bonefish and tarpon in Puerto Rico during the winter months – I don’t believe he has seen snow for a while. Up to this point, my previous clients have been preoccupied with the fantastic bluefish action we have been enjoying, but when I could pull them away we have caught our share of specks. I was looking forward to a full day of speck fishing. As is sometimes the case, the Tangier shallows were slightly turbid due to an overnight breeze. While the water was plenty fishable, my experience with speckled trout is that they don’t take well to sudden changes in water condition, either clarity or temperature. During late morning I was able to locate some clean water with a moving current down around Tangier Island. We quickly picked up three specks (Chris caught two on his 8 wt.) but that was it. Along the way, we also picked up small stripers and blues, but for the most part, the day was a slow pick. It was still a beautiful day on the water and we caught enough fish to keep things interesting. Thanks guys.

Thursday, September 15 – Bernie and Susan Kemp enjoyed some fantastic light tackle action with bluefish in the two to five pound range. After a morning hiding-out in the Big Annemessex river from a stong southerly wind, we were able to venture south to the lower end of Tangier Sound where we had all the blues we could handle. Nearly every fish exploded out of the water on the strike and many jumped several times before being brought to the boat.  The morning hadn’t been a total bust, as small specks and stripers allowed both Bernie and Susan to complete the Tangier ‘slam’ on spin-tackle.

Saturday, September 17 – Nick and Caren Eckwerth were greeted with the first nor’easter of the early fall season. A steady NE wind and cool rain had caused a sudden drop in water temperature which did not sit well with the fish. The fickle shallows can be like that. Clean water was also at a premium. It was still an enjoyable day on the water, with Caren picking up a handsome speck and Nick adding a rock or two. With good company and a boat, who needs fish anyway!

Josenhans FF ~ Speckled Trout

24 06 2011

Eric's speck

June 14, 15 and 16 brought a nice change of pace, in that we boated a few nice speckled trout, a rare catch of late. Granted, we have not been searching too hard for specks – what with the rock, flounder and bluefish action to keep us busy – but the windy conditions of these three days forced our hand. On Tuesday, Luther Carter, Albert Dulin and Eric Krouse met me at Somers Cove, along with a very stiff NW breeze. After some debate, we decided to give fishing a try along a protected shoreline of the Big Annemessex river. This was to be a pay-as-you-go day, and I can tell you that the meter didn’t run very long. After just two hours we  had had enough of the constant bombardment of the 25 knot winds and called it a day. But not before Eric was able to pull a colorful speck out of a semi-protected grassbed. Thanks for keeping the skunk out of the boat Eric.

Paul E. with a fat rock

I had an evening trip on Wednesday with Ray Leety, Paul Sirochman, Dave Stover and Paul Eichelberger. Ray brought his boat along so we weren’t crowded and together we made the long, bumpy (wind again) trip to lower Tangier Sound. The water was fairly clear in the lee of an island and the wind died a bit as the evening progressed. The guys were able to catch a few rockfish on poppers as the waters calmed and the sun set much too fast to the west. Ray had a pair of rock at 20 and 23 inches that exploded on his popper and gave him a good fight. Paul E. and Dave were fishing with me, and together they landed maybe a dozen fat stripers while casting four-inch pearl shads. It was a nice, pleasant four-hour trip and I enjoyed the company of four very good fishermen.

Ray and Paul S. with Ray's five pound speck

The same group met me bright and early on Thursday for a half day morning outing. This time Ray and Paul S. rode with me. As we rounded the “five-legger” (buoy at mouth of Little Annemessex) I had every intention of beginning our day where we ended it the previous evening. A couple of shots of salty spray to the face from a strong southerly breeze quickly erased those thoughts from my head. I opted for the west side of Smith Island where I believed that I could find some clear water. Casting a Storm Wildeye Shad to some rocky structure quickly netted Ray a beautiful, fat, five-pound speckled trout. I don’t know about Ray but that one fish made my day.

Paul's speck hit a popper

 Between both boats we were only able to scratch up a few smallish rock, as the wind was really making things miserable. We bit the bullet and pounded our way back across the sound to the Big Annemessex river. We found some pretty grass flats in the lee of some islands and Ray managed a small rock but little else. As we were heading towards Paul E. and Dave in the other boat I saw a large splash and Paul with his rod bent double. My first thought was that he had snagged a large cow nose ray, but as we got closer we witnessed Paul posing for the camera holding a speck that was almost a carbon copy of Ray’s. The explosion of water I observed was the speck crashing a popper on Paul’s first cast. It was a fitting way to end the morning, and a shake of the fist to the ever-present wind.