August Newsletter 2010
Well, taking a quick glance at the records to date it seems like the total catch is approximately 10-15% down on the average but the size of the fish we are catching is considerably higher. Approx 1200 Bass have fallen to the fly to date and 50-60% of those fish are mature (47cms) and going up to 60cms.
Dan Merritt with Bass
Interestingly, we hit bigger fish in the early summer and since then haven’t had fish over 7lbs but September and October should yield the back end run of better females so roll on the Autumn and Indian summer evenings. August has generally been pretty windy and beaufort 4-5 has been the norm. As I write this email to you I have been forced off the water with 30 knots of gust speed which is just too much for the drift, as even with a big drogue the pace of movement over the holding areas is just too rapid to keep the tension on the fly line which results in a bowing effect on the line and therefore reduced presentation.
Patterns which have been consistently working are all Tarpon patterns from Black death, Purple death through to the normal crustacean prawn patterns, especially when large 3/0’s are tied with extended wings and grizzle hackle – these flies simply get sucked in to the back of the Bass’ throat – no indications over and above a very tight line, so just keep your tips down and keep on stripping until she kite’s to your left or right, unlike the bait fish patterns which usually get hacked a few times before the fish decides to commit to the impact (for supply see www.fullingmill.com).
Bass with Flat Wing
The other two plates are “flat-wings” which I am continually experimenting with. The flies are tied by Andy Elliot from the website www.chasingsilver.org and are light but long hackles – these flies are renowned for taking quality fish above the 70cms length but what I’ve noticed in our area unlike the reports from SE Ireland (Cork/Wexford) is we’ve witnessed very good quality fish tracking the flat wing very close, almost eyeballing the junglecock tied on the neck; the Bass then overtake the fly and have consistently tapped the head as if to test for a reaction. To date (23th Aug) these have taken fish to 6lbs so it will be very interesting to see if we pull any double figured females during the Autumn period.
Well, I hope your seasons are productive and wind hasn’t hampered you too much. I will be travelling to Connecticut for the Striper run in the next month and will report back accordingly. It will be interesting to see if the oil slick from the deep well BP rig has effected the net migration of Bass, Albacore and Blue fish, the latter being highly pelagic and are recorded as far North as Maine and as far South as the Gulf…fingers crossed. Next season will present 2 or 3 opportunities for Connecticut and the dates will be firmed up upon my return. Should any of you wish to express your interest in the USA Striper trips just email me and I’ll make sure your names are added to the list.
IGFA Saltwater Guide
Tel: 07767 820268