We've just completed our move out of the Poconos and back to the Northshore of MA. We're located on the Merrimack River, which is up in the northeastern corner of the state. The mouth is about 4 miles East of us, so we're on a tidal saltwater fishery.
In the past couple of weeks, I've located two Fly Shops in the area
; mostly catering to saltwater fishers, but with some pretty good orientation towards fresh water, too.
I've talked to some of the locals about what to fish for in the river and when. I expected to hear about the Stripers and Bues; which I did, but most of the talk centered around a species that I've never heard of as a fly fishing target: Shad.
According to people who seem to know the part of the river that we're on, the Shad run in the Spring is something that they say is not to be missed. I don't know about that, but I've heard some pretty good stories now about hard strikes and a good fight. So, needless to say, I'm ready to give it a try.
I've also heard some good things about a species that I wouldn't have thought stood a chance in the Merrimack; Atlantic Salmon. Apparently, they're staging somewhat of a comeback along parts of the East Coast and the Merrimack seems to be getting its share; more fish with each passing season. So, if that's true, then that will be the icing on the cake for me!
I don't know anything about fishing for Shad, but everyone says that they'll strike on small, bright streamers. Does anyone out there have any experience fishing this species? If so, how do you do it and what type of flies do you use?
With the Stripers and Blues gone for the season, about the only thing that's in the river now is Pollack, Haddock and Flounder. I've been doing a little reading on each and find that they, too, can be fished on the fly(?) Personally, I can't imagine a Flounder taking a fly but they say that they will.
Probably not very exciting to hook and land, but hey, it's only a matter of walking across the street to find out. So, I'm going to give it a shot.
Any pointers on fishing Shad?
Here's a pic of the river; taken at sunrise about a week ago. It's probably 500-700 ft. across where we are. But, the channel runs within 30 ft. of our low water mark.
I'm actually thinking spey rod; for the first time ever!