Friday, September 12, 2014

Repeat

Although September 11 is a day we will always remember for a horrible reason, I must say over the last three years Sept 12 has been very good to me.

September 12, 2012

The mother of all albie blitzes happened in Narragansett. I got a Rhode Island hat trick (striper, blue, albie). The albie was my first ever. At least five other guys caught their first that day. I ended up with five albies. Some guys got as many as many as twenty.

September 12, 2013

On my second attempt I caught my first bowfin ever.It was about five or six pounds. Probably one of my five highlights for the whole year, not just fishing.

Today; I could not hope to repeat the terrific fishing of the last two years. I had Thursday and Friday off from work this week, however my Santa Fe needed brakes so I sat home all day Thursday.

I went to South County looking for albies today. I arrived at my destination about 8:45. Before I finished walking I could see albies breaking.

I did not end up nailing them. I caught two and had another one swipe my fly. Still it is worth fishing all day for the thrill of fighting two albies. I also saw a bunch caught. The most anyone of us got was six. About 35 guys fished the area throughout the day. I saw at tons of fish caught. More encouaging, I saw fish breaking most of the day. About 5:30 my back had enough. I scouted three more spots and I saw breaking fish way out at one of them.

Knowing I would get stuck in traffic if I left, I decided to fish for snapper blues with my trout rod. Last Friday I caught
them on every cast until I got bored. I went back to the same spot.

I was pleasantly surprised to find hickory shad at this spot along with the skipjacks. I love hickory shad and would much rather catch them than ten inch bluefish. They did not disappoint. I got eight to ten shad along with many other bites. I fished for them until dark then came home. September 12 has been very, very good to me the last few years.

I caught my albies on float and fly. Fly rodders won the day today. Some were caught on spoons like the Kastmaster XL and Deadly Dick.

Shad on small spoons (since I was fishing for small blues) and rubber shads on small jigheads.
Sorry about the crappy phone pics. I was alone and my
son has the good camera in New Hampshire


Friday, August 29, 2014

Green Sunfish

When I caught the green sunfish, I promised a picture, then sort of forgot about it. Yes it is just a sunfish, but man was it beautiful




Thursday, August 28, 2014

Albie Addiction

Please Lord, let the albies show up in good numbers!
We are coming to the time of year where a lot of fishermen will be hoping to tangle with false albacore.
Albies are a small tuna that occasionally come close to shore. They are the perfect fish. They are super fast ripping yards of drag in seconds. They are beautiful, there skin shines like metal. Fishermen will spend every free minute they get for the chance to catch a couple of these fish each fall.

I have caught a total of five albies in my life. I caught them all on the same day. September 12, 2012. Twenty twelve was probably the best year ever for albies. I was lucky enough to be down in Narragansett, during the best day of the year.

Needless to say, everyone was hoping 2013 would be just as good. Albies barely showed up. Almost none were caught from shore in Rhode Island. A few were caught by boaters. Here is what I know, fishing for albies is an addiction. After I caught them, I spent weeks thinking about them every waking moment. Last year was a crushing blow for an albie addict. Lets hope this year is better. Whether I catch one or not, I'm going to think about them constantly the next six to eight weeks, so I'm really hoping they show up.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fishing with my friends Steph and Alyssa

A couple of my work buddies Steph and
Alyssa, who are inseparable best friends told me they have never gone fishing. We made plans to go years ago, but somehow it never worked out. We decided to try again this week.

We chose to go today, Wednesday. Sadly, the weather was not in our favor. It was hot and sunny, and we were to meet at 3 pm. Since neither Alyssa nor Steph had never even held a fishing pole, I figured the best percentages would be to use worms and bobbers.

After a quick tutorial on how to hold the rod, open the bail and cast, they started. Even though they didn't think so, they quickly picked up casting technique. I know some fishermen, that couldn't cast that well in a year of fishing.

After a few slow minutes, Steph struck first with a sunfish. Then not to be outdone by her bestie, Alyssa caught the next two. I am greatful they caught a couple fish, for worm/bobber fishing it was really slow.

For some reason, they thought I was annoyed with them. First, I enjoy teaching people to fish. Second, the girls were awesome. They put their own worm on, they held their own fish and they excepted advice. Despite slow action from non cooperative sunfish, I think all three of us had fun. I'm looking forward to going with them again.

,,,

Mount Pierce and Mount Jackson

The bald summit of Eisenhower from Mt. Pierce
A lot of people ask me about which mountains to hike. There are some easy hike in New Hampshire and

just as many knee killers. Obviously everyone wants to hike Mount Washington. Washington is hard, it is a hike that will turn off a lot of beginners. The view goes for hundreds of miles. I however think there are much prettier views on other mountains. Although you can see so far from Washington, I think the views are better looking at it than from it. Also with all the people, the Cog Railroad and the Auto Road, the top of Mt. Washington is not a wilderness experience.

When non hikers ask me where they should go, I usually suggest Mt Pierce and Mt Jackson. Both of those trailheads are right near the AMC hostel just north of Crawford Notch. Both mountains have relatively short trails with minimal elevation gain for mountains over 4000 feet.

Mt. Jackson-

Poking just over 4000 feet at 4052 feet, Jackson is one of the smaller of the Presidentials. However the view is awsome. I believe the trail is a little over two miles. There is a rock scramble near the summit. Its not really a hard scramble, more fun than dangerous, but it might make parents a little nervous. DJ hiked Jackson as his first mountain when he was seven. It is just above timberline and views across the Presidentials are incredible.

Mt Pierce-

Mt. Pierce summit view
Pierce is one of my favorite mountains. The trail goes up the Crawford Path which is the oldest still used hiking trail in the United States. The trail is 3.1 miles to the top. I hiked Pierce the other day. It took me two hours from car to summit. I am probably an average hiker and I only say how long it took me as a point of reference. We each hike at different speeds and to enjoy a hike, stay at your speed.

Almost the whole hike is protected by the safety of trees. Right near the top, you come out above the timber and a short 200 feet will get you to the summit. The main view is towards Eisenhower with Washington over the ridge. This mountain gives a lot of bang for the buck. If it's still early and you have the energy, Eisenhower or Jackson can both be climbed the same day.

There other "easy mountains"  such as Canon and Hale (no views at all on Hale) but for great views and the taste of mountain hiking these two mountains are a couple of my favorites.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Man, I hate paying to camp

Site 9 in Deer Mountain Campground
When I was in Pittsburgh, NH I stayed at Deer Mountain Campground. Deer Mountain is state run. It is primitive. The only amenities are a picnic table and fire ring. There is no running water and the bathroom is just an outhouse. I could care less about creature comforts. I got up at 5:40 in the morning and was getting back to my site at dark.  The first two nights I had my own "road". No one else camped on my branch of the campground, so it was quiet. My site was nice and flat and all in all very comfortable.

However I remember laying in my tent the first night thinking "I can't believe I just paid sixty nine dollars to sleep". I understand thousands of people sleep at campgrounds across America every weekend. Many people enjoy the campground experience. I do not, and I forgot how much up until this trip.

Normally when I go to New Hampshire I sleep on a road with dispersed camping. My closest neighbor is usually a quarter mile away. Sometimes I will sleep in the woods at tent sites or a lean to.

So lying there I couldn't believe I spent $70 to sleep. However it was my choice so I sucked it up. however the last night (Friday) reinforced my dislike of campgrounds. The first two nights everyone was quiet very early, even in other parts of the campground, I couldn't here anything from that direction. Then Friday about 10:30 a car pulls up two sites from me. I've arrived after dark before and setting up a tent in the dark sucks. I excepted that it was going to be noisy for a few minutes.

However these people showed no etiquette what so ever. The whole family talked very loudly. The father whistled to get his kids attention like you would a dog. The kids were swearing at each other. To top it off, they made a four foot fire within five minutes of pulling in.After they set up the tent they decided to cook supper (at 11:15 pm!) banging around pots and pans slamming there car doors over and over. I wish I could say I was exaggerating and just being a whiner, but trust me it was worse than I can type here. I actually packed up my tent (by light of their fire, I did not even turn on my headlamp). I drove down the logging roads and spent the rest of my night sleeping in the car.

It's funny how it only takes one rude camper to ruin the experience for every other person within listening distance. This was a not so friendly reminder of why I shy away from campgrounds

Monday, August 25, 2014

Pittsburgh, NH

This past week I went up to the northern tip of New Hampshire to for a magazine article assignment. I spent two and a half days fishing continuously. I'm not going to write extensively about it, but the little getaway inspired me with many ideas.

Pittsburgh is the most northern town in New Hampshire. It took me 5 hours to get there from the MA/RI border. Access is simple. Follow I-93 to Exit 35 (Route 3). Follow Route 3 for two long yet scenic hours. Pittsburgh is home to some very famous water. The Upper Connecticut River is widely considered one of the best ten trout streams in the country. On top of that are the world famous Connecticut Lakes.

I did not go up to fish any of these famous waters. The area is loaded with many small ponds filled with trout that don't get much attention. I fished eight bodies of water catching trout in six. None were that big but they were plentiful. I mainly used nymphs fishing with my fly rod and the trout did not seem at all fussy. Finding fish was harder than catching them. It seemed like they were all holed up in one little cove. I could catch a bunch in one little spot and none in the rest of the pond. This happened on more than one water body. This probably was the case because some of the ponds are spring fed, and chances are when I found fish they were over coldwater springs.

For someone that truly want to discover water with very little fishing pressure  Most of the ponds close on October 15, and most are fly fishing only.I suggest taking a trip up north before they close. There is plenty of lodging and campgrounds in the area. You will feel like an explorer since you may be the only person to fish that pond all day.