Seasons of the Striper, with Bill Sisson
But first, we're gonna do a fly box. The flyboxes where you ask questions, and I try to help and answer your questions. And if you have a question for the flybox, you can send it to me at pod cast at orvis dot com. Just type your message in your email, or you can attach a voice file and maybe I will read your question on the air. Or if you don't have a question, if you have comments about a past podcast, or you have complaints about the podcast, or you have a suggestion, or you disagree with something, I said, well then, right anyways, and maybe I'll read it on the air. This is really your podcast. This is, this podcast is really the the guess I have on here. And the questions I read are based on, based on your input, I want to be able to help you in your fly fishing journey. So the more feedback I get from you, the better the podcast could be. So let's start the fly box. First question is an email from Steven. I have a question from minute of the flybox section of a podcast from May on how rods are designed. With Sean Combs, a listener offered a shortcut for adding a dropper with premade rigs. The rig is described as a dropper tied to a length of tippet with a perfection loop on the other end. Simple enough, the rigs are described as being stored by putting the hook through an index card, wrapping tippet around the card, and taping the terminal and with a piece of Scotch tape. So far, so good. It breaks down for me when he mentions attaching the rig with a loop to loop connection around the bend of the hook. Can you explain that part? I see that there's a perfection loop on the end of the drop a rig. But how can a loop to loop be tied on the bend of the hook? Don't you need two loops to do that? Seems like a helpful idea. But what am I missing here? So I had to play with this myself, Steven. And what I realized when I when I played around with it, is that you do have a loop, you have a half a loop in the bend of the hook. So what you do, what I did was kind of turn the hook sideways, and used the bend of the hook as my fly fly line loop. So, you know, you do a loop tool connection with your fly line. You place the liter loop, liter loop over the fly line loop, and then you pass the end of the tip it through the fly line loop. Well, it's the same thing, except you're using half a loop, and you just have to be careful that it doesn't slip, slip off that. But if, again, if you turn the hook sideways, and you do a loop to loop connection using the the loop of the hook bend, then you'll be able to attach your droppers this way. Another way to do this, a little bit tricky, or another way to do this would be to tie A-A Duncan loop, or a Uni knot, which is a loop that slides. You'd have to, you'd have to tie it around a paper clip or something, and you could use A-A sliding loop, and then you could slip that over the point of the hook and just tighten down on that, on that sliding knot. So the two ways of doing it, either way, either way, will work fine. So I hope that, hope that clears things up. Hi, tom. This is Charlie from Maple Plain, minnesota. And it's always I love the pod cast. I've been listening to the recent pod cast with the mid expert, and he noted that gases form underneath the midges exoskeleton that help lift it up towards the surface. How do those gases form? Is does some water seep in under the exoskeleton, and some component of water molecule bonds, for lack of a better word, with some component of some chemical that's already under the exoskeleton. I'm just curious how that happens, and what makes the midge and other flies more buoyant that then carries them to the surface. Thank you. Bye Bye. So, charlie, that's a really good question. And I didn't know exactly where that gas comes from, so I reached out to Rick Haifley, and I'll, I'll read your rick's explanation here. Rick was the guest that we had on the Midge pod cast. So Rick says it's part of a somewhat complex process called apo A policy A policies A-P-O-L-Y-S-I-S. When the pupa is completely developed and nearly ready to swim to the surface, the exoskeleton of the completely formed adult hidden inside the pupa separates from the outer exoskeleton of the pupil. The space between the two is then filled with, quote, gas, essentially air, which helps the pupil rise to the surface, as well as producing some internal pressure that helps to split open the pupil exoskeleton so the adult can escape. Thank you, charlie, for asking that question. Good one. And thank you, rick for for answering it. All right, another email. This one is from Buck, from the Buckeye State. And it's a good, it's a good follow up to some of the discussions we've had about stream access in the United States, which is a which is a complicated, very complicated issue. And I think Buck gives us a good, a good explanation for it, so I'm gonna read it here. Several weeks ago, there was a discussion of stream access in the United States. You discussed a handful of legal doctrines, and I wanted to provide some additional insights. First, this is not legal advice. Always consult with a lawyer personally before making decision with legal ramifications. OK, so we got that out of the way. The Equal Footing Doctrine holds that new territories achieving statehood do so with equal rights and privileges with the States. In 1784, among these rights were the state's title to the river beds and banks of navigable waterways. In according with this, the US Federal government would conduct topographical surveys of the territory to determine, among other things, what waterways are navigable, thus held in trust by the state, and what waterways are non navigable, which allowed the beds and banks to be patented to private parties. However, this initial determination of navigability does not preclude subsequently finding other rivers to be navigable. For a river to obtain navigable status, it must be navigable. In fact, this is determined by answering the questions of whether the river was capable of being used for transportation or commerce in its ordinary state at the time of statehood. Some situations where the Supreme Court is affirmed answered this affirmatively include steamboat steamboats operating on the Grand River in Michigan, logs floating over falls on the Mississippi River in Minnesota, and the Fox rivers use as a conduit between the st Lawrence and Lake Michigan. This is important because in the notorious Slaughterhouse cases, the Supreme Court held that under the Fourteenth Amendment, american citizens have a privilege or immunity for navigating on navigable waterways. Stated differently, we can wade and fish in them. Additionally, in Illinois Central, the Supreme Court held that states must maintain a right to revoke any title conveyance of navigable stream beds. In doing so, justice Field acknowledged the Public Trust doctrine, which requires a state to hold public waters in an unalienable trust for public use. This doctrine allows states to determine the parameters for what for what constitutes public waters, with an absolute baseline of federal determinations of navigability. In doing so, states have taken several approaches. Colorado refuses to judicially or statutorally recognize a definition of navigability. In fact, beyond the ones recognized by the Supreme Court, the Montana Supreme Court has recognized all waters of the state capable of being used in recreation as public waters. Ohio and many other states recognize public waters as those capable of floating a recreational vessel. All this is to say, know your local laws. The back country Hunters and Anglers guide is a wonderful tool. Also, if you live in a state with poor public access laws, start writing letters to your state legislators, because they can make a change. I hope this was at least somewhat interesting and insightful. Well, thank you, buck. That was and and again, to restate what you said, you gotta check your local regulations. Every state is different as far as access on on streams is concerned. Let's do another email from Steven. And this is another, another clarification, interesting clarification, of of pod casts that I've done in the past. First, thank you for all you and orders company do for conservation and education, and for always keeping rational in the depths of our sometimes overly emotional sport. Secondly, I have a few comments on the recent beaver discussion I've noticed surfacing on a few of the previous pod cast episodes. Misconceptions about these majestic and helpful animals seem to be running rampant these days, even though I think the science is clear to the contrary. I understand the idea that some people. I understand the idea some people have that beavers can be somewhat harmful to their immediate environment. However, some of the blatant propaganda I have seen makes me suspect more nefarious roots to some of this. Caster, cock and bull caster is the is the genus of of beaver. In fact, recently, while reading my young child a book on, quote, animal facts, I encountered a line that made me fearful for our future as an intelligent species. I quote, beavers block the river with wood so they can catch fish. They sometimes live in this wood, which is called a dam. These out and out lies placed in such strategic spots as to influence the next generation of flyfishers and outdoor enthusiasts, makes me suspect none other than the beavers themselves. While anyone beaver could never orchestrate such a feat, a cartel like collection of multinational corporations or big beaver may have motivation for producing such material. A perceived lack of trout opportunities near and around beaver dams would provide even more privacy to the already contentious canned densis. That's the species name for beaver, so the scientific name is castor caned densis. The idea of a predatory beaver stalking its prey and quickly dispatching fusiform fiends with its stereotypical beaver fangs would increase beaver branding opportunities immeasurably. Immeasurably, with the headwinds of disinformation blowing so strong, it is our responsibility as sports people to stop these damn lies with a double haul of truth. While this is meant in jest and could absolutely be safe for an April Fools episode, the quote from the children's book is absolutely and unfortunately true to print, as well as the part about my fears about the future of our species. Ha Ha. Well, thank you, steven, for that, for that interesting discussion. Here's an email from Peter. After fly fishing for 60 years, just this year, I've noticed that I'm losing many trout that seem to be well hooked. These are trout that I have have on in fighting for more than a few seconds, not just the momentarily bump or two characteristic of a mist hit on an outing last week. I decided to keep track of the landed, well hooked ratio. Before lunch, my ratio was only 20 %. I did considerably better after lunch, ending the day with an overall ratio of slightly over 40 %. Still not a great ratio. I'm not too unhappy with the long distance releases untouched by human hands, but I'd still like to land a higher percentage. So any suggestions would be appreciated. You answered a similar question in your november 11 2022 pod cast fly box, suggesting keeping one's hook sharp. Yes, I'll continue to keep doing that. This year, I've been trout fishing with mostly number 16 to 20 nymphs and number 14 jig leeches, all with either barblas or smashed down barbed hooks. Does fighting fish with barblas hooks need any special techniques? I've been trying to keep a moderate amount of pressure on all my trout dick to lure in fly fishing. For trout, A guide for adult beginners, published in 1974, page 212 says, quote In my experience, and I pulled a number of my associates who agree with me, to a man, most fish are lost because the hook pulls loose much of the time. This is the result of undue pressure. Actually, you're doing the trout a service by providing a resistance against which he can pit his strength. And larger trout who have been through it before may work this to their advantage. Unquote, I would think that the barblus or d barbflies would more easily come loose if given any slack line. So what is an appropriate amount of pressure to apply during the fight? Would increasing the hook gap on the flies that I tie result in more secure hook up? E.g., instead of tying my zebra images on a size 18 one x long hook, I could try a size 16, two x short, merger Scud hook, or even a number twelve, five x short egg hook, in order to increase the gap while keeping the overall body size about the same. Thanks Tom, for all the information, guidance and suggestions that you provide in your books, videos and flyboxes. I've recently become a regular listener to your podcast. They cover a truly wide range of interesting fly fishing topics. All right, peter, well, first of all, and I'll say this, I'll see this again. I've said it many times. If you fish barbarous flies with a bead on em, you're gonna lose fish, period. End a story. That weight, the weight of on the eye of that fly, allows the fish to shake a hook loose a lot easier because you've got some weight there that they can shake against. So it's gonna happen. It's gonna happen. And don't worry about the percentage you land. Just know that if you fish barbel spies with beads, you're gonna lose fish. Now, there are ways to mitigate this, and what I found is by using the orvis tactical hooks, or a similar hook with A-A-A longer, kind of curved in point. They have a very unique point on these hooks. They're specially designed for fishing bar lists, for fishing with beads. They hold a lot better your standard one x long nim hook with a bead on it. If you smash the bar, you're gonna lose a lot more fish. And I find I-I have found that I've lost far fewer fish by using these newer hooks, which were especially designed for that purpose. So if you're gonna tie, if you're gonna tie flies on, you know, standard one x long NIB hook, then leave the beads off and and use a beaded fly for your anchor, and just leave a bead off that other fly. If you're gonna fish, especially with big beads, if you're gonna fish with with big beads and a barbles hook, you probably need to go to those, those tactical hooks. And I don't think you can really ever put too much pressure on a fish. In all, in all deference to Dick Tolure, who the late Dick Toler, who was a friend and fishing buddy of mine, a great guy. That was written in 1974. And I think we know a lot more about about hooks and and the amount of pressure to put on a fish that tippets were weaker in those days. They were mostly using barb hooks. And so you know what they said at that at that time is, is not not really appropriate. And yeah, you're gonna hook, you're gonna hook some fish very lightly, and if you put pressure on them, they're gonna come off. But I think it's better to lose that fish early on in the fight, then to play that fish almost to exhaustion and then have it come off. You know, as you as you beginning to net it. So I would, I would put pressure on a fish right away. I would keep pressure on a fish with a barbless hook, and keep it on until that fish is in the net. And then luckily, the hook usually just drops right out in the net. So I hope that's helpful. But, but don't don't worry so much about percentages. Some fish are just gonna get unbuttoned. It depends on where the hook, where the hook lands in their mouth. Here's an email from Nick Hope. I was well with you. Just a quick question for you. Regarding the use of fiberglass rods and the salt, I'm planning on doing my first saltwater flat strip within the next year. As such, I'm beginning to inquire the prerequisite tackle. I've seen numerous big game glass rods seemingly geared at species like migratory tarpin. I recently picked up a new Orvis superfined glass, eight weight for bonefish, permit and pike in my home state of Colorado. I figured some of the benefits include slightly more delicate presentations, a highly durable blank, particularly important when far from home, and tons of fun. Obviously, there will be some drawbacks, such as generating line speed into high winds and distance. I was curious if you could talk to your experience with fiber glass rods in the salt, comparing benefits and drawbacks. Any tips for fiberglass on the salt flats? Haven't seen a whole lot in this niche of salt water angling, and I hope you could provide some insight. And of course, thank you for being such an excellent steward and ambassador for the sport. So Nick, fiberglass rods have been used in salt water since, really, since the modern, modern era, when people started fly fishing in salt water. In fact, in the early days of tarpin fishing, the guides, guides wouldn't use graphite rods, because the early graphite rods were pretty brittle and they would break. They would explode a lot, particularly with a big tarp. And and A-A lot of the guys stuck to rod, such as the the old scientific anglers Great Equalizer, which was, I don't know what, eleven or twelve weight fiber glass rod. It was a beast. It was a heavy, cumbersome rod, but it wouldn't break. And it, you know, wasn't until graphite rods got stronger later on in their development that that guides, finally guides in the keys particularly finally accepted graphite rods. So fiberglass rods are great, you know, the disadvantages they're heavier. So an eightweight fiberglass is gonna be heavier. And if you're casting all day long, you're gonna be a little bit more fatigued, probably. But they have a great feel. They're, as you stated, they're very strong. They're very delicate, which is important for bone fish. You're probably gonna struggle a little bit more in the wind, as you stated. And, you know, that's that's gonna be the, really, the main problem with using a fiberglass rod in the salt for a long cast in the wind, you're gonna be better off with graphite rod. So if I were you, I know, you wanna fish that fiberglass rod in the salt. And I think it's a great idea, and I think it'll a lot of fun. I take graphite rod too. Another I take an eight weight graphite rod in case, you, you know, in case you get out on a day when there's the wind is just honking, and you're struggling with your fireglass rod, and you're getting tired of casting it, it'll be good to have a, be good to have a graphite rod along. So have fun with that fiber glass rod. It'll it'll do a great job for you. But back it up with a graphite. Here's an email from George from New Mexico. My favorite bass river here in the high desert of the Southwest is a spring creek for a few dozen miles before it goes into a reservoir. I know that spring creeks typically maintain a stable temperature, so might the bass be a little more active in the late fall winter? Thank you. And I love the pod cast. Well, George, I don't have, I don't have any experience with with bass in spring creeks like you do, but I would, I would say, yes, probably the bass are gonna be more active. And bass, like all fish, are cold blooded, and their metabolism is gonna be regulated by temperatures. So if the the creeks are gonna stay warmer in the late fall winter, I think that probably you will. You will have more active bass, and probably better action than you would in A-A river that's not spring fed. But that's something you're gonna have to discover. So go out and try it, see what happens, and report back. Thanks, George. Hi, tom Andy from Denver. I'm new at fly fishing. Thankful for your work. I think, like you. When I do small streams, I've found dry dropper, hopper dropper to be a good setup. And my question, really two questions, are about winter, and what your approach is, assuming you have an approach to small streams in winter. First is, do you knowing that probably terrestrials are not gonna be around when there's ice present? Do you still fish A-A, you know, terrestrial, and then a dropper underneath? Do you switch to some kind of A-A dry fly? Are you using that just as an indicator? And do you think there's an advantage to using a hopper, e.g., even when hoppers aren't present, as an indicator, does it land? It seems like it lands more softly than most indicators. Does any? Does any fish ever strike a hopper in the middle of winter? And I guess the second question is, do you change your strategy on a small stream that has ice around the edges, or even lots of ice? Do you just avoid those streams? Do you just use the river that you have left and pick apart its pockets and seams? Or do you have some kind of strategy with respect to, like, where the ice is? Do the fish congregate? E.g. under a shelf of ice? I guess the ice is there because the water is slower, I imagine. And fish like slower water in the winter. Yeah, any tips you can give on small streams with some ice in the winter. And even if your tip is just dude, wait till summer. Find some tail waters in the winter or tie some flies. I'm fine with that too. Since I'm a little obsessed, I'm trying to figure out ways to continue to fish during the winter and have it consist of more than just frostbite, maybe a couple of strikes here and there. Thanks for everything. Tom. Catch you soon. So, andy, you know, I'm, I'm not so sure you really need to worry about fishing a terrestrial if there aren't any terrestrials around. In a lot of the small mountain streams I fish, there are no grasshoppers whatsoever. You know, there they're not in grasshopper territory. And yet, a hopper works really well. So, you know, we, we, we tend to get a little bit arrogant in when we fish at terrestrial like a grasshopper. We think that fish are taking it for a grasshopper, but they might not. The fish might think it's a stone fly. Fish might think it's a moth or something. It's just a big, meaty, insect looking thing. So, you know, there there are a few stone flies at hatch during the winter, and, you know, I-I wouldn't worry about just because you're using what you call a terrestrial fly doesn't mean the fish won't come up for it. And fish do have a memory, and they, you know, if the water is low and clear enough, they might, they might recognize that as food. So I wouldn't, I wouldn't give up on it. As far as, when you have a lot of ice industry, if you have a lot of ice in the stream, if it's that, if it's gonna be that cold, then probably, you know your trust or imitation isn't going to isn't gonna do much good, in in which case I-I might fish an indicator or some other nymph method. But dry flies make such good indicators that I might even go with it, because God, there so many times early in the season or during the winter, when I've put on a strike indicator and the fish have come up and eaten the strike indicator, I think, damn, why didn't I put on a Why didn't I put on a dry fly? As far as ice is concerned, you know, fish are gonna stay away from places where they're gonna be floating pieces of ice. They might be under an ice shelf, but they're, they're gonna be a little bit deeper in that case. Because you, you gotta imagine, you know, a river is going to a creek is going to start to thaw in the middle of the day, and slush and pieces of ice are gonna start to float down, and the fish are gonna be, fish are gonna get into places where where they they can get away from that. They don't want to be banged in the face by pieces of ice or slush. So yeah, they might be, they might be near some some icy areas. But you gotta, you gotta kind of imagine what the river looks like when there's when there's ice floating down and and fish are places where fish can get away from that, that floating debris. Well, that is the flybox for this week. Let's go talk to Bill Sisson and hear some great stories about stripe bass fishing. So my guest today is Bill Sisson. And Bill is the is the you're the editor and the publisher of Anglers Journal, aren't you? Bill? Not the publisher, not the publisher, the founding editor, founding editor. It's, it's a great magazine. It's, it's not all fly fishing, but there's a great deal of fly fishing in it and great stories. And I read the, I read the conventional angling stories, just because, you know, stuff about big game fishing and salt water and things fascinate me. And some of the historical things that you doing, you also have, it's a very horizontal, we like to call them, you know, yeah, yeah, we try to take A-A big, you know, the the big picture approach. Yeah, fishing and and Bill, I-I have to ask you, what possessed you to start a magazine in the middle of the electronic revolution? I guess I've always been a bit of a dreamer, but, you know, I-I had gotten away from reading a lot of fishing magazines, because they, they've gone so they didn't appeal to me or my friends that much anymore. So when the opportunity came up to create a magazine, you know, I really want to to make something that I would wanna read myself and that I thought my friends would wanna read. And and that was really the the, the founding premise of English Journal, you know, to create a magazine that that did tell stories, insure offshore flies, the conventional marlin to to pan fish, you know, a little blue gill, yeah, because, you know, so many angles, fish for so many species in in so many different ways that I want to read. I want to make the kind of stories that I enjoy reading. And and that's what we set out to do. Well, it's certainly been successful, from from my viewpoint. And I think that I-I think they think that honestly, you're very you're very smart, because you obviously won after boat manufacturers in in in the magazine. You have a lot of boat advertising in there. And that's, of course, that there's more money in there than, certainly than there isn't fly fishing. So it was, it was a smart movie. They pay, they pay the freight. Yeah, I bet they do. I bet they do, but we don't, you know, I I'm a, I've been a long time boat owner, and I-I fished a lot from boats, but I don't, I've gotten tired of magazines that had fishing magazines that really had become kind of boat test magazines, so we're, you know, we've strive to keep the boat tests and that kind of stuff all online, and and keep the magazine for, you know, stories that are more about people and fishing and places and And that seems to have worked well, good. Well, I'm glad. I'm glad to hear that A-A new magazine that's high quality is successful, because I'm, I'm a big magazine reader, and I still enjoy him. It's still, you know, as you know, it's still difficult business. I can imagine. It's, it's a challenging business, you know. We we continue to hang in there and and, you know, be profitable and continue to we're working on a Venture 23 issue right now. Aha, right. Well, that'll be interesting. Yeah. And, and you have, you have a, you have a new new project, or you've just finished a project, a beautiful book called Seasons of the Striper, published by Rizzoli, who who I've worked with, we both worked with the people at Rizzoli on on some books. And this is a just an incredible celebration of the the stripe bass, which is one of the most magnificent fish in the ocean, both in in pictures and words. And your your essays are are brilliant. The pictures are, you know, there's historical pictures and there's current pictures. And it's just for anyone who who loves stripe bass, it's a, it's a must have on your bookshelf. And just came out right just this month, yeah, last month, it just started shipping, like two, two weeks ago, yeah, but, but thanks for the kind word. Start. It was, you know, it's a cliche to say it was a labor of love, but it was, I mean, writing, it wasn't so much love. Writing is, you know, writing is always hard work. It's real work. It's real work. And I-I had in my mind to do a book, a stripper book, for 20 years and, you know, but I was always either too busy, you know, writing and editing during the day and fishing afterwards to really sit down and start. I made a few attempts to start, but didn't really get too far. But, you know, there's always another tide luring me out, you know. And, and, you know, after you spend all day to typewriter hurry and a processor, or you're editing and reading lots of coffee, the last thing you kind of want to do when you go home is to write. So, but last spring, I realized the time was drawing close, and and I talked with Brazilian Tom, you shut And so it was time to get to work. So I get up. Luckily, I'm a morning writer, so I get up early at five, I could be writing by 05:30, quarter six. And and after, you know, a few hours of that, I would switch over to my done my day job with angles journal. And then when I cleared some of that, you know, I'd go back for another hour or two, if I had it in me, and just cracked away, you know, every day. Good for you at being a morning writer, I can't, I-I find, I find I can only write in the middle of the day, which is weird, because, you know, like late afternoon, which most people feel like they're at their low point. But I-I don't know why it just worked for me, and I wish I could get up early, right, but I can't. Yeah, I've had that ability, and I could write almost anywhere. It seems like, you know, airplanes, airplanes and airports, and in a car, sitting, you know, sitting wherever we're out, a bunch of people in a conference, if it's, if it's pipe driving me, I can scribble things and and I did a lot of, I did a lot of note taking, you know, over the over 20 some years, so it's, there's, you know, there's no way I could have remembered as much as I tried to get into the book just with my memory alone. So it paid off to take a lot of notes and, you know, interview people or get snippets of conversations and and things like that. Well, you have a, you have a long history, personally, with stripers. And then your family goes way back. There's a picture in the book of your, your great grandfather, who lost a leg. Lost a leg in the Civil War and became a commercial stripe bass fisherman. So you got it. You really got it in your blood. He was a character. According to his obituary, he was one of the youngest to fight for the Union in the Civil War. And he had lied about his age. She's from Rhode Island, where I was born and grew up. And so he went to, it was New Hampshire, vermont, lied about his age to get into the Union Side, and then lost a leg on a battlefield in Virginia. Came back, came from a fishing family, and he continued to fish. And he lived into his believe. He lived into his seventies. Have one picture of him standing on the beach with his pant leg pinned up, and he's got two canes, one in each hand, and he's sort of, you can see a net spread on the beach, and he's standing there with this kind of, not a particularly, he's not smiling, let me put it that way. None of them, none of the male figures in my family, I can remember, smiled a lot. You know, they were, they, they were pretty stoic. Well, there are New Englanders, and commercial fishing is hard work, so I can imagine it wasn't much to smile about. My great uncle, was a hall singer as well. Aha. And he, I found his a bitch. Where he died, I think was it was 76, died literally hauling his in his, his saying, I think was was off a beach in Rhode Island, died of a heart attack with his boots on in the water, you know, hauling him, hauling back the saying that a lot of that material I didn't find until, you know, I was older and starting to go through interested more in my past. And my father didn't know a whole lot about it, because his father died. He was, I think, five years old. AHA. He was a fisherman as well. He was a member of the US Life Saving Service. He curse of the of the Coast Guard. So he was stationed at several life saving stations along around coast. And you guess it was a bit of a card play too, because it's one of those family stories that my father's sister passed on to my mother when she was on her deathbed, was that he was a, he was a professional gambler too, which this cause a little bit of a stir in the family. Hahaha. So there are not many stories. But then one story that that was told was the way my father was being born, they was a difficult birth, and they had to send out for him, and they found him in a card game somewhere in town. And, you know, call them all them back home, interesting characters. So and and you you have been, you have been fishing for stripes since the sixties, so, you you've seen a lot of changes. And, you know, people think that that fishing for a striped bachelor fly ride is is such a new thing. Let's talk a little bit about, kind of the history of stripe bass fishing and, and, you know, fly riding for stripe bass. How far back does it go? Yeah, I, you know, they've been fishing for striped bass with rod and real since, you know, since in the 1800s. And, you know, they some time was about maybe the 1850s, the bass clubs, bass clubs started popping up there. There's one on cutting On Island and Elizabeth Island Chain. There's one on the island called Pasque, I think, to release a couple on Marthus Vineyard. There were a couple in Rhode Islands, and these are mostly for wealthy, wealthy gentleman, industrialists for the most part. And they'd come out in the summer and maybe into the fall. And around those islands, they constructed bass stands, you know, they they use some star drills to drill into some of the boulders, and they put, you know, metal, metal supports, and then they run planks along those. And misallowed, please, gentlemen, fisherman, to, you know, get out and and and cast A-A dated line, you know, often with with a lobster tail, or maybe Manhattan. And they would have one of the, they had a local who was like, you'd be designated a dater, because he would shum the fish and catch the bake, and they'd have somebody to get off the fish. And that was, you know, I think, kind of come in some of the earliest talk about that. I fish cutting on a lot. So I've seen some of the old spots where the Basthans were, and I got to visit the old cutting on club when I'm still privately owned, and got to look through the fishing logs, which was kind of amazing to see that nice curse of handwriting, where you broke down what was what the daily catch was recorded, then you could see the the largest fish of the year and that sort of thing. And you could really see the, you could really see the catches tail off by looking at those logs too. So I know from what I read at the time, was it was talk back then that it was, you know, just kind of a down cycle that the fish were in, which was causing them to disappear. But really, I think, and hindsight, people recognize it was like the indiscriminate netting all along the coast, and a lot of heavy pollution in those rivers as, you know, manufacturing along the rivers had grown, and everything was flushed in there, you know. And then, you know, that was kind of the end of the clubs. As as those fish petered away, they weren't catching any longer as they were, you know, they just kind of, they kind of died out. And he's a good reminder, you know, yeah, it's not, it's, it's not cycles. And because when I was growing up in the fish got scarce, it was always, it's just a down cycle. But we've learned a lot more since then. You know, it's, it's always more than, I mean, there's, there's cycles in a healthy fishery too, with bait fish with the and with the primary fish are chasing, but not to the extent that that over overfishing and pollution. So so, you, you know, it's common, this kind of common wisdom, that that stripes have always gone through cycles, and and you think that it's, yes, they're a little bit cyclic, but it's more the effect that that man has had on the striped bass that's caused these deep, these deep troughs in the cycle. Yeah, I mean, there's, there's cycles, there's always cycles, I guess, with the fisheries. But, you know, it's been least the the reason behind the the collapse in the because the moratorium in the in the in the eighties, was overfishing, no? and, you know, the only way to bring that fishery back was to, you know, unfortunately was a moratorium, or fortunately as the case might be, I don't think we're gonna get it back without that. That was, I think that was in 1985, that more moratorium went into effect, and lasted five years till 1990, and then the stock was declared, fully recovered in 1995. But it's interesting, and it's, you know, it's kind of old history, but I think it's still relevant today, is that at the time, the managers the state, the A-S-M-C was able to serve, was able to preserve one year class, which was a normal year class. Wasn't an exceptional year class, was in 1982, your class with moderate size. But they were able to turn it into a dominant year class through the moratorium and get it back on the spawning grounds enough times until it it finally, you know, it produced some dominant your classes. I yeah, I remember. I remember those days. After the moratorium was instituted. After a couple of years, the fishing was just absolutely spectacular. Everywhere, everywhere you went, you you could, you you couldn't go to a beach and not catch stripe bass. And even before the more time was before the more time was listed, you know, you could fish, you could catch in the lease fish, and fish was getting better each season. Yeah, and, yeah, and big food with with a lot of big fish as well. Yeah, yeah. Do you it doesn't seem like there's any chance we'll see that kind of moratorium again. Those of us who don't wanna harvest right best, would certainly like to see it happen again. I don't know. I think, you know, I think we have to give this, you know, the the current slot limit and some of the other rules that have been enacted recently, have to give them a chance to see if they will, if they will have the same impact on whether they can get a dominant your class in the Chesapeake Bay once more, that really is the that is the the spawning ground and the mother load for the whole East Coast. And there are other there are fish that are that are spawn and and the Rowan Oak, and the Delaware and the Hudson. But the chess Feek Bay traditionally provided like 70 to 90 % of the fish on the East Coast, even if the other three stocks are clicking. You know, the fish isn't, if fishing is going gone, is not going to become extinct, but the fish, the fishing won't be good, you know, until we just speak, produces a domineer class again. You can it's funny, I-I remember talking to a scientist right after, I don't know if it was after the more term was lifted, or after this stock was declared fully recovered in 1995, but it was somewhere between 1990 and 1995. And he had been involved in the in the the comeback of the striped past the Chest, because I asked them what his biggest concern was for the future, and he said, and I'd never forgotten, I think I'd written it down, but I wouldn't have forgotten Anyway, said, it's gonna be our inability, you know, as as as many kinds and manage the abundance. He said, we just don't do a good job managing abundance. Said, it turned out to be precedent, because, you know, here we are now, you know, with a with a somewhat depleted stock, and we all pat ourselves in the back when the fishery came back. And a lot of the politicians and fishing managers were excited, but, you know, we put him on up fishing and right down again. Now, I guess that's not unusual story for mankind. Yeah, where do you, where do you see the stock right now? You know, over the past couple seasons, what, I mean, do you I've had, I've had some great fishing. I know that that, you know, most people have been out there have had some great fishing, but you don't see great fishing in as many places. It's spot here, so it's obvious that there aren't as many fish. It can you know, there's, there's some really good fishing still. And there's some some awfully slow nights, you know, yeah. And some traditional spots, or not what they used to be. So I think some other spots are maybe better. In some cases. I fished two nights ago on the beach, and beautiful night, north wind, big scripts. Well, there are two other gentlemen fishing there. One, one guy I know by first name only. We fished together, you know, have haphazardly for years. He's a good fisherman, and I knew his partner a little bit. They're good. We fished, I think, collectively, the three of the fish, but must have fish 2 H and none of us got a bump. But that can change the next night, and it could be a bunch of fish there. But it's been it, you know, it's been challenging. If you fish are and you fish nights, then you're gonna catch fish. But it's certainly not. Maybe it's not quite what it once was. They're so, they're so big fish, but I had the chance of fish in the Chesapeake Bay last winter with with gentlemen. News To is looking for a £60 fish. And he's caught, he's caught a lot of fifties. He releases all this fish, but he cannot break that 50. Can't get beyond the 50 market, where one side, you know, sixties words, they were never commonplace, but there were certainly more £60 fish, you know, 1520 years ago, than there are today. Yeah, yeah, I've seen a few over the years. Couldn't get him and take a fly, but I've seen him 60 lb. A tough one. I'm a fly. That's a big fish. That's a big fish. I got, you know, a big, a big striper on the floor. On the fly is probably best hooked from a boat. Yeah, yeah, because, you know, then you don't have all that. You know, the this fell out fish with last year in the Chesapeake, put little cameras on his line, on his leaders so you could watch. And he was looking just for big fish. Trolling control spread of 15 meals on planet boards. And those fish invariably, almost all of them, but right down to the bottom. And they would rub their, they rub their their heads, stick your plates, you know, when they're hooked their lips, their mouth against against the bottom, aha, to try to free themselves. And, you know, you you'd feel that way, you you knew they were doing that anyway. But to have seen it on a camera, was on film, was interesting. Wow. It must have been fascinating. Yeah. And that's, you know, that's the problem of catching big a big striper was saying, the rocks with kind of light tackle, or on fly tackle, they just that first dash where you can't stop them, and then they're right down into the kelp in the rocks, and they tangle themselves. And they're pretty good. And you, you know, you really have to gotta winch them out sometimes, you know, man, crank, crank. And that's, that's tough to do on late spin cycles. It's tough to do on a fly rod. Yeah, yeah, for a beach, you know, well, I'm happy with 30 " they're just fine. Yeah, that's a nice fish. Yeah. So do you do, you, did you encounter some of the, you know, you you fish Rhode Island, and did when you fish were fishing in the sixties? Did you encounter some of those early flyrod pioneers like Harold Gibbs, When you were when you were fishing down there, trying to remember when I for saw my first fly guy? It had to been, it was probably more in the seventies. I have a feeling, you know, I think it was in the seventies, set. And then there were, there was a Rhode Island flyrod Club that was pretty active. Yeah, yeah, rody fly riders, I remember those guys. Yeah. I was talked to some of them and keeping my eye on them. And so eventually, you know, I bought my first fly on reel. It was, this is just coincidental, was an August Green Mountain, shut up. And, you know, I started, I started fly fishing. It's as much as anything, because it was the way, it was the best way to catch the fish in the springtime. I thought, yeah, the best ways. Yeah, it is, and especially in the salt ponds back bays. But they didn't want, you know, they didn't want plugs. And it's not that it wouldn't be a place to fish bait anyway. So it was as much to catch, you know, to catch fish and have and have a ton of fun too. Yeah? When they're on little tiny sand eels and shrimp and stuff like that in those salt ponds I get, I would imagine a fly rod is gonna be the best thing to use. Yeah, yeah. And that was, that was a lot of fun. And it just, and it taught me a lot more about the fish, catch them on, you know, catch them at night, catch them in the ponds, to find the drop offs, to figure out the currents, swinging streamers and that kind of thing. And it's like, wow, this is, this is a new world. Yeah, in a fun world. And people were doing it before that, but they just weren't, they just, they just weren't that common. No, you see, you certainly see more of it today. And I think the the the, the the falls out, the corn mania has brought a lot more flare out as out to into the salt. Yeah, I think so. I remember going to Martha's Vineyard in the seventies and fishing with some of the locals that fly fish, like Cooper Jokes and Alan Rosley and Nelson Sigleman, and and people would laugh at us for fisher flyrods. And And now you go to go to Martha's vineyard, and you know, most of the people are fish and flyrods, at least from sure, it's pretty, pretty amazing change. That was a great They had great fish out there. And and a big fish too, with flies. Yeah, A lot of, a lot of sand deals. They did have fish on sand, off the beaches and in the rocks, but I know they caught a lot of big fish, hooked a lot of big fish on fly rights off the beach. We've been talking to Coop about that, you know, the tackle was kind of primitive and and just, you know, kind of blowing up reels, so to speak, and just having a heck of a time learning how to hold on to these big, big, big things, you know? Yeah. And then talk to Nelson Bryant. They used to fish out where the dogfish bar, I think. Yep, yeah. Hearing about some of the hearing about some of the nights out there when the sand eels, big blue fish, big stripers. But it's still, it's still a great way to catch him. When you when you when you're in there, especially, I think, at night, it's fun quiet, you know, you're stripping slowly, and suddenly, you know, there it is, yeah, you know, the water, the water explodes, and the lines are flying off the reel. And it's usually just you, or you and a friend, if somebody came with you. And those nights remain really special. They are. I've, I spent so many nights on that, on that beach. But, you know, more and more, maybe it's because I'm getting older, or maybe it's because I know more about it. The flats fishing has daytime, middle of the day flats fishing has become just so special to me and so exciting. I don't fish at night as much as I used to, cause I'm, you know, you're able, you're able to find really good fish in the middle of the day, on the flats at at the right time year. And it's sight fishing, yeah, but night fishing does have a special allure, that's for sure. The site fishings were adams. I fished them mono Moi for a bunch of years. You know, when I heard about it and made my way out there, I was like, wow, you know, I remember the first time I walked the flats and looking for fish and looking for a fish, and then finally, ah, there's a fish, you know. And I mean, I got the first one I saw to eat. Believe or not, it was, you know, I thought, well, this is way it's always gonna be. But it certainly been turn out to be that way. But it's a great challenge. And I would, I went way that for hours and hours and hours and looking, casting, catching and just totally immersed in a moment. And it could be a hundred degrees elsewhere in New England, and you'd be in, I don't know, water, maybe 68 degrees, middle of July up there, and stripes kind of everywhere, sand heels and the birds and bake. It was really, it was really marvelous. Yeah. And boy, they're finding, they're finding flats in more and more places. I don't know if the, if the fish always frequent those flats, and just people didn't know how to catch them. But, you know, long Island, even even in your state, rhode Island, there's some. There's some pretty good flats in the salt ponds where you can sight fish. Yeah, there's some slats down a little pin around Watch Hill. Yeah, that's like fish. Yeah, I do a lot of my fishing there some, you know, I never had a whole lot of, like, this side fishing, not, like, like, not like modern art or some other places. So, I-I typically fish those flats in spring, at night, fish the the drop offs with a, you know, there were sandy drop offs. It was fun to work along those edges, cast, you know, swing with the current. And they were always bass feeding long edges. And they have kind of eel grass meadows. It was really nice habits at. Yeah, yeah, the baby's getting a little bit more beat up these days, but, you know, there's still fish there. There still, you still don't get much company, you know, after dark. Yeah, you don't nice, you gotta be pretty serious. It was amazing. And, you know, if you get that fall on with it, with this peanut bunker everywhere, and the fish going crazy, and the surfs not too big. That's a fun time to to go. After the fly rot, too. I've never had, I've never had, I've just never hit it right with with fall fishing in the peanut bunker. How long is that gonna last in in New England? You know? I mean, a season, season, season wise. How how late does it go? I think it's, you know, I haven't seen peanut butter in a week now, week and a half. I know New jersey's got a, had a big push of them last week. A friend called me Peanut Bucker everywhere, bass everywhere. I-I don't there was still, there's still bay up the rivers and bays in Rhode Island, I know. And I think Massachusetts there were too. But a lot of Peanut Bucker, I think, pushed through. Because I haven't, you know, I just haven't seen him. And I, I've been renting a little place in Rhode Island last two weeks. So I've been in between working. I've been, you know, I scout in the daytime with binoculism and fish coal, and been fishing, mostly in the evening, at night or first light. There's fish around, but not not like there were a couple weeks before that. You know, some seasons they stick around late. Some sometimes they go by faster. Sometimes a couple of big storms will move through. I mean, that's always part of the mystery. I think, sort of a fun is to, you know, try to figure out, well, where are they? Are they more to come? I was talking to people on the beach this week, they're, they're in the canal still. There's more fish to come. I guess there's a lot more fish to come. Took me back 30 years. Yeah, yeah, yeah, you know, I hear there in Jersey now. We got more fish to come. Yellow. The fall fishing is erratic, isn't it? It's really, it's really boom and bust. Yeah, that makes it tough. Yeah, you wonder why you chase a fish for 50 years, but sometimes I still wonder why you do Because it's the thrill of discovery. Yeah, probably it's because it's their, you know, their home water. So you get all these memories from growing up in around, in in in these places. If you wind up fishing and and, you know it, I do think it's a lot. There's as much about the friends that you made, and the friends you fished with, the partners you had, and sometimes the fish memories. Yeah, yeah. Definitely apopulates mention. That thing is, when I think of stripers, he says, I think of the friends I had. And I do too. It's, it's hard, you know, I have memories of select fish, but I certainly have more and more memories of fishing with, you know, some of the close partners that I fished with at one time. Yeah. And it's hard to, you know, it's hard to remember that some fish that you took off a beach in the vineyard, or you caught it, Cutting up, you know, that maybe was 35 lb. But I cannot. He fought him. He fought him, you know, you resuscitate, and we released them. And, you know, then there was another one, but I'm more likely to remember who I was with and what he might have said, or a fish that he caught. You know, anything else? Yeah. And I think it's, I think that's more so in, in, say, striper fishing, than in in trout fishing, where you, you know, you often fish with somebody, but you go off on your own, you separate. But striper fishing, it's, it's a little more it's a little more social, a little more engaging with friends, I've always found And yeah, and you're right, you're right, the memories I have are of, you know, people like Coup on the Vineyard, or Tony Stetzco on the cave, and Tony Bisky, and, you know, all those great characters that seem to seem to be attracted to stripe past fishing. I, you know, as one of the guys I fished with. His name is Chris. His name is he still. He works in the industry these days. And he was reading the book when it came out. And there was one instant I tell talk about were on this little island, he and I were the only ones that I ever saw fishing, because it was a tough place to put a boat, and was right in the middle of a big rip. And we fished it. We're fishing this, we always get there right at dark, because we weren't supposed to be on it anyway. And we fish. We caught some little fish, and then old Blunder lightning storm swept in, and we wound up laying in the cobbles, you know, the rods, down flat until that passed us. And then we resumed fishing, and and a part of big fish moved in, so we we got some nice fish, lost some nice fish, and suddenly we're, we're throwing live eels that night, and suddenly there's one fish left in the cooler. It's a little rot, maybe, I don't know, 6 " And I said to Chris, well, let's flip a coin for this last one. So we did, and I got lucky. I got the eel, and I stepped on out onto this rock, which is a really nice flat rock, good big fish. From the third cast, I got a fish that weighed, I think was like 3730 8 lb. Up on the cobbles. And and I was talking to the other day, he said, he said, that was me, that story about the flipping coin, right? I said, yeah. He says, you know, I can't remember that story. I don't remember that happening because it was funny. I said, god, you know, I can't forget it. I said, but it it's funny what you remember, and what other people don't remember. Yeah, yeah, maybe I remember because I caught the fish. Yeah, probably you could remember. I couldn't believe that he couldn't remember the story. He wanted to forget it because you got the fish. He did. Yeah, it's, it's a wonderful fish. And it continues to I my grandson is just turned eleven, but he was, he was, we took him fishing for strikes when he was like nine and ten, was catching off off the beach. And it's really, yeah, it's, it's great to see young people excited about it, fishing the right way, you know, and getting, you know, getting indoctrinated into the into the the landscape around him. Yeah, because as much as it is the fish, it's, it's also the the waves, the back bays, you know, the eel grass meadows, the the storms, the just the beautiful sunsets and sunrises. And like you say, it's the characters and the people you need out there that make it so special. And and sneaking onto an island that you're not supposed to be on at night, that's, that's part of it, too, right? You you said, you said we weren't supposed to be there. And, you know, I've, I've done some of those commando patrols at night too. And that that adds some. That had some fun too. You're not supposed to be there. Yeah? This was this, there was a, there was a little lighthouse on this island, and it was government had set up no trespassing signs everywhere. Ah, it was kind of like a broken a, broken down. It's like a spoken down rocks, if they used to put a boat in there, so you'd have to come in and and turn the boat quick and you have to spider web it in on some rocks, rocks on either side of the boat. It was a tough place to put a boat safely or semi safely. It was a tough place to fish. And if you always said, when the time was really ripping, there, if you'd fallen in, you know, you, you know, as long as you floated, you'd be fine, but somebody'd have to confine you about, you know, 2 h a mile away, would pick you on the boat. Because whether the time was ebbing or flooding, you're gonna go for a ride. Yeah? Wow. That always, you know, that always gave a little bit of zip to the night. Not that to know, that best done when you're young, right? Yeah. And your balance is better. Yeah, my, you know, I still fish the rocks, but I like to get on the rocks when the little bit of light is left. Yeah, yeah, and and and try to stay there. I don't I go fishing a slight house a watch. So, so I was used to rocks, and I can run on the rocks. And I remember, you know, when you pay, when you're paying your dues and you're young, the adults took the best spots, and there was no way you're really gonna muscle them out of the way. So if we're fishing there and fish started breaking, you know, 50 yd, 40 yd. Away of the rocks, I could not run on the rocks. I would, I would take off, and I would get there, at least get a couple of gas in before some some elder would get on my shoulder, you know, cast cast over me, cast farther than I could cast. So I got my fish by getting there first. So, but I'm not, I'm not that sure for it anymore, that's for sure. So, you're now, you're now, you're pushing the kids out of the way, right? Yeah, you know, I'd rather fish without. I don't like fishing the crowds. Yeah, I never have, so, you know, try to avoid that as much as I can. But I did grow up in a in a crowded spot when they were all kind of guys fishing. They're mostly a lot of the guys fish that the electric boat plant and Grotton, and a lot of fish didn't. They worked in the middles, around Westwardly, and it was a, you know, it was an after work or first light crowd, but they were good, solid, you know, blue collar working men, a lot of them, right? My starter was still World War Two veterans. And, you know, they had their pecking order, and they had, there was an interesting place in time to grow up, because I was young, and, you know, I'd go down there by myself, and I'd hang around on the edges of their crowds. When they, you know, they at slow times, at three or four, gather in a circle and smoke cigarettes and tell stories. So I kind of stood as close as I could to hear him talk. And then gradually, you know, they let me kind of into listen, and I'd ask questions. And, you know, it's where I picked up my salty vernacular. I know it is, but I learned a lot, too. And he learned, really how to cast straight and how to fight a fish, and how to, you know, how to eat the gap of fish, if that's where you're doing at the time. And you kind of learn the, you know, learn how to pay your dues, and then, you know, take the fish that you kind of coming to you. But there were, you know, picket lines of guys, four, five, six guys in a row, and, you know, you had to sort of grab your rock when the fish showed up, and and hold it. And if you caught a fish and you went up to put it up on the wall, so you would take your spot. So you're gonna learn how to kind of get back in there. And, you know, doing the side a little bit. We should all, you know, we should all remember that to let give kids, give kids their space, and and, you know, let it, let board. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I see too many times. I see too many times people on trout streams or wherever, you know, kind of pushing kids out of the way because they feel like they're, you know, they can do it. And, yeah, it was easy to block a yeah, block, not a cool thing. And, you know, they and I was certainly intimidated for a while. So, you so, you finally, until you could cast long and straight and and you knew what you were doing, and then, you know, then you wanted your fish too, and they, they got to know you and respect you. So, you know, you got your spot. But you're right. I think it's too easy to We should encourage kids more and make it not necessarily easy, but make it as easy as possible for them as they learn, you know, to do it themselves and tie their own nots, and to cast properly and to handle the fish correctly. Yeah, we all have to remember how valuable it was when we were kids to get some tips from the older, more experienced angler. So it's great to share that. Alright, bill. Well, I wanna thank you for sharing some some great striper stories with us today. And it's been a, it's been a fun, a fun experience. And congratulations on the new book, that The Seasons of the Striper. It is a beautiful, beautiful book. And in fact, keep up the good work on the magazine, english Journal, too. Cause you're making say this, see this for go. Need the magazine really influence the book. Because I always envision I'd write a striper book that would have a hard cover, maybe a photo on it, then a lot of pages with just words on them. And English journal you know, showed me the power of aesthetics and photographs and artwork and how important I was. And there hadn't been A-A stripe of book that I knew of that emphasize that before. So, yeah, when we set out to do this book, it was to try to make the words, as, you know, as as compelling as possible, but also to show the fish and the places and the people, you know with this as the the best photos, most compelling foes we could find. So that was kind of the genesis, and it came from the experience of of working in the magazines. Yeah, well, you should be very proud of it. All right, bill, well, thank you for thank you for taking the time to come on the pod cast and share those great stories with us. I love hearing I love hearing stories. Their striper stories are almost as much fun as turkey hunting stories. I always find turkey hunting stories to be fascinating to I-I know you're a striper guy. I love him. I love him. I wish, I wish I lived closer to the coast. Someday, maybe I'll live close to the coast, but right now, I gotta deal with these damn trout in my backyard. And if I want to fish close, close to hunt, does it certainly fun too? Yeah, there. Yeah. Thanks for listening to the Orbis Fly Fishing pod caster Tom Rosenbauer. You can be a part of the show. Have a question or comment, send it to us at email@example.com and the body of an email or as a voice attachment. You can find more free fishing tips at howtoflyfish.orvis.com.