Aimee got me an incredible birthday gift this year. She contacted Eliot Jenkins with Greasy Beaks Fly-Fishing and set up a False Albacore fishing trip for me and my two best buddies from high school.
Nick, Dale and I crashed at Dale’s house in Marlborough, MA, and then made the drive down to Stonington, CT, to start the trip at the surprisingly reasonable time of 8 AM. Eliot had been out the day before and the ocean had been brutally rough, we were hoping that the waves had settled a bit and headed out.
The seas were rough, but not unmanageable and we started the day with what seemed like every other boat in the ocean tossing flies and lures at schools of rising Albies. Dale hooked up first on one of the spinning rods and we were all treated to the sound of line ripping off the reel at an unprecedented rate. That reel was screaming!
We continued to fight the other boats for a bit and picked up a couple more Albies before heading out for greener pastures. Eliot made the call to run from Watch Hill where we started up to Port Judith. This was not an easy ride but since it gave us a chance to target Albies without racing 30 other boats to each school we went for it. Eliot’s hunch paid off and we found ourselves in a group of 5 or 6 boats and lots of Albies.
There isn’t much better than watching your best buddy, the guy who you learned to fly fish with, hooking an Ablie, stripping in some line, thinking he has the upper hand, and then watching him freak out as the fish bolts at more than 30 mph, ripping all the fly line and 50 yards of backing from the reel in seconds. Unreal.
Given the rough seas the fly casting was tough; you had to spend as much time making sure that you didn’t fall off the boat as you did targeting the fish, but boy was it worth it. I’m not sure how many we landed, but it was a fair number, especially considering the conditions.
Even though we were targeting Albies, we still hooked up with a bunch of different species – scup, black bass, striped bass and bluefish all found their way into the boat at one point. We picked up fish fly-fishing, and spin fishing; we picked up fish within inches of the surface and jigging deep. Basically it was an incredible day.
If you are ever in New England in mid-September to early October you should definitely give Eliot a call and go get crushed by some little tunny!