Wednesday night I had sent Mike (someone I had been chatting with on another forum) a message to let him know some new bass were starting to show up down here. To my surprise, he messaged me back informing me that he had to drop his friend off at the airport and was thinking about heading down here to see if he could get any action. He is about 3 hours from here and dropping his friend off would put him about half way here already
I had work on Thursday, but it wasn't a tough decision to blow it off to try to get Mike and myself in to some fish. I had one thing to do in the morning but it worked out perfect, we both got to the first spot within minutes of each other.
The first spot we tried was one of the South County beaches, one of the first stops in Rhody for these striped critters. We fished the surprisingly clean water working our way down the beach just hoping to see a fish in one of the breaks. We weren't that lucky and decided to head to Dunkin to get Mike a coffee and head off to another stretch of early spring spots. The next spot we fished was one I didn't even think to try because in weeks prior, the access was not there do to construction on the nearby building thanks to Sandy. They were working today but we managed to slip by and down on to the rocks. The wind was working against us here and I quickly noticed that there was a net or rope in the water essentially making it impossible to fish, again thanks to Sandy. We moved down to the next point and after I was on my rock for a few minutes, I heard someone shout my name. I was pleased to turn around and see a good friend of mine from The Saltwater Edge waving. I decided to head in and talk to him for a bit. The highlight of the conversation was that he reassured me that I had taken Mike to all of the right spots based on recent reports. Good, at least I was putting us in the right places.
After talking to my friend, he pointed out that Mike seemed to have a tangle. At that point, we said our "see ya laters" and I headed down to see what Mike wanted to do. This is when I noticed his reel sitting in his stripping basket. Apparently his line wasn't tangled, but his reel seat had fallen off! We had a decision to make and calling it a day was not an option. I had thought of 5 minute epoxy but we were afraid it wouldn't cure in time so I made some phone calls and was able to find him an inexpensive rod to get him by. The issue was the time it would take to go pick it up. We decided to go pick up the epoxy instead and we were able to keep it in place with some Fluorocarbon looped around the reel seat and tied off to the hook keeper on the rod. Sweet, we are back in business.
Now that this was taken care of, it was time to think about a new spot. We took a walk to check out one of the beaches but we noticed bucket loaders and dump trucks rebuilding the beach. This left one last spot that I was confident in and the outgoing tide would be moving warm water across the area. We tried a few different spots in this area with no luck. After I decided I was going to jump across a wide, muddy creek in the marsh (Mike of course, was wishing for failure and decided to record the task) we stumbled across some bones laying on the grass. This was clearly the fresh remains of a fish and crustacean eating dinosaur. After we came to this conclusion we walked back to our cars to try to come up with a new game plan.
On the walk back, Mike mentioned he is down for whatever, as long as it didn't involve working as we were both getting worn out due to lack of sleep, food and generally losing out motivation. I decided we should take a walk down to try one more spot, when we got there I realized Sandy did something great and washed out a chunk of earth making a nice steep drop in to the rip.
Mike quickly called dibs on the rock out on the point, I was fine with this as he is from out of town and I wanted him to have the better chance. Well, a few minutes later I saw a flash to my right, along where the drop is and I just thought it was my head playing games like it usually is. I started drifting my fly in to that area and soon after had life on the end of my line. I couldn't believe it until I felt that first, distinct head shake. Fish on and it was my first striper of the season! It was actually a very nice fish, not quite keeper but for the first fish of the year, it was a trophy!
As I got my line in order and put the camera away, Mike jokingly said he wouldn't take my spot but I told him to go ahead, if there were more fish there, it was his turn. Well, I decided to move down on to a sand bar and use the rip to swing my fly like I was fishing a wet for steelhead. After a few casts I swung my fly to the edge of the drop and started striping the fly in. I was on again, a smaller fish but still, an amazing fish.
It was getting cold and unfortunately I had to get going so we headed back to our vehicles and bid each other farewell. Even without the fish, it would have been a great day fishing with a new friend, I enjoyed every minute of it. Tight loops and tight lines.