Fly Fishing for Hudson River Striped Bass
The Secret Season (Nighthawking Stripers)
Imagine the moon hanging like a powdered jelly doughnut in an ink black sky, and the ambiance of a quite firefly accented pool on a small creek whose surface is filled with countless small splashes. While this plethora of activity is going on at about intervals of 3-5 minutes you will either hear or see the huge splash of a striper breaking the water at various visual and audio locations some close enough, right at your feet, to give you a start. It's a big adrenaline rush to observe this action which has probably been going on for millennia, even if you don't hook up.
There is about a six week season available to fly fishermen in New York that is all but ignored by the vast majority of adherents of the long wand. Those intrepid souls, who at this time of the year, busy themselves casting flies upon the rivers and kills of the Catskills. Let's keep it that way. If you are one of them read no further tradition has you anchored squarely in a ritualistic observance. However if chasing hatchery stock trucks and pretending that that it is on par with your brethren wading on the Big Hole, the Yellowstone or the Kootenai is getting to be a bit long in the tooth, let's get on with it.
At a temperature of about 40 degrees schools of anadromous bait fish gather at the mouth of the Hudson in preparation for their spawning run. These fish, known as alewives, green backs (Alosa pseudoharengus), blue backs (Alosa aestivalis) and in aggregate as "river herring" are the impetuses for the secret fishery. As the water warms further, the schools ascend en masse up the Hudson over the still torpid schools of striped bass who in nature's annual cue are still awaiting a temperature of closer to 50 degrees to awaken from their long winters nap. In the vanguard are the alewives and these are the proverbial fish to, in fly fisherman's parlance, "match the hatch". Streamer patterns from 5-8-inches will suffice, though the actual alewives themselves are closer to a foot long.
All fly fisherman that are familiar with the broad Hudson as they cross the George Washington or Tappan Zee on their way to rivulets of the Catskills, will dismiss it as too large to adequately fish with a fly rod, and for the most part they are right. Yet, just as the once aqua incognito of the Atlantic has now become a venue to fly fishers with the advancements of knowledge and equipment so now has the Hudson begun to unlock her secrets. Perhaps this knowledge was just lost and forgotten during the last 200 years when the Hudson became the cloaca maxima to the Industrial Revolution. The key ingredients to the secret fishery are these:
One, alewives need fast, clean, rocky bottomed tributary streams to spawn in. This fact traditionally concentrated particularly the alewives into all the Hudson tributaries. They will travel upstream to spawn with each fish, in an effort similar to shad, attempting to advantageously deposit their eggs as far upstream as possible, they are stopped only at the first barrier to migration. Large dredged tributaries diffuse your opportunities; small wadeable tributaries are your targets.Two, stripers on their own spawning run will feed on alewives, but the stripers stay deep in the dark safety of main channel of the Hudson (ask any bait fisherman using chunk herring), that is until nightfall, when darkness spreads security over all waters.
Three, most small tributaries to the Hudson have a bar at their mouth; here is where the spring freshets drop their bed loads. At low tides there may be only a foot of water over a bar, no survival instinct hard wired striper is going to risk passing a bar at low tide no matter how alluring the alewives are. So they will wait for a high tide at night.
Four, alewives begin their mating ritual at the top of the water column. A female hangs suspended just below the surface surrounded by a cadre of males who rub against her inducing the female to eventually dive for the bottom and release her eggs, followed closely by the males and their milt.
Interested fly fishermen will have to do their footwork, homework, and research. Not every tributary is pristine enough or undamaged by human activity to still have a good run of river herring. Herring like salmon return to their home streams to spawn following the scent of their natal waters, pollution, power plant intakes, over harvesting, incidental by catch and probably predation have devastated herring runs in New England and to some extent also in the Hudson. This is not a "fish and tell" where to go article.
Your preliminary activity is to see if there are herring present, at all, and this will involve first scouting out your target creek in daylight at both high and low tides, and then at night when the herring are apt to be there in abundance. Remember tidal waters are held in the public trust for the people of the state of NY so finding an access where you are not trespassing across private lands may require a trip to the public record office or access by walking upstream from the Hudson itself. The Hudson can have a high tide of 5.5 feet (i.e. over the top of most heads not to mention waders) and that can go higher with a either a blow in tide and or a high tributary flow, know your tides. While you are at this activity you might as well volunteer your gathered information with Amy Bloomfield for the NYS Herring monitoring program visit the website (on the link provided) and share the info, herring need all the help they can get.
As far as fly fishing paraphernalia for this fishery, the essentials are, a good headlamp, felt soled waders, for rods you can get by with a freshwater rod, at least a 6wt., with a very good disc drag reel, a weight forward floating line and a straight 25lb. test leader (I have caught a 33 inch striper on the six but be for-warned, your arm will be a limp noodle by the time you land the striper) I've since upgraded to a 7wt. I've used either a regular fly fishing vest or an over the shoulder pack for flies and leader material. So get out there and do some night hawking for stripers and help the herring fishery to boot.
Fishing Tackle and Other Fishing Terms
The word tackle has been used related to fishing since the 1300’s. It is used to refer to the various pieces of equipment that can be used for fishing. It usually refers to fishing rods, reels, lines, hooks, sinkers, and lures. A tackle box is obviously a box where you can store your tackle. If you want to refer to a complete collection of tackle that you have ready to go you can call it a rig.
The term tackle should not be confused with techniques. As we mentioned above tackle can refer to equipment that is used to fish. Fishing techniques however, refers to the style and manner that tackle is used to fish. Fishing tackle is used in reference to recreational fishing which would also include competitions, however, would not include commercial fishing equipment.
The most important part of fishing tackle is undoubtedly the hook. The hook has a very long history. Primitive hooks were made of bone which was tied to a line that was usually made using part of an animal intestine, or plant stalk. The line was jerked by the fisherman when a fish bit the bait — usually a piece of meat — which set the hook into the jaw of the fish. Obviously the basics of fishing haven’t changed very much over time.
Modern day fishhooks obviously have changed a bit. Instead of being made of bone they are usually made out of metal with at least one barb at its end. The barb greatly assists in keeping the fish on the line while being pulled towards the fisherman. Thankfully the line has also changed for the better. Modern lines are usually made out of nylon and are surprisingly transparent and strong.
Fishing rods have also come quite a ways. When rods began to be used they were usually made from branches or bamboo, which would break much easier than the rods of today. Modern rods are usually made from strong plastic substances.
Another modern advantage comes from the reel, an invention which allows you to keep your line in a nice neat role while allowing you to cast it out at quite a distance. The reel also helps pull in the line at a good pace so as not to scare the fish off. Once the fish bites of course you can then use the reel to pull the fish back in.
Bait has also changed, lures are commonly used. A lure is basically artificial bait that is made to attract or provoke the fish into biting it.
In this article we have examined terms that are used to refer to recreational fishing. We hope to have clarified these terms for you and we hope that you can soon enjoy using them in person.
The Bloemhof Dam Nature Reserve
The Bloemhof Dam is one of the largest dams in South Africa, covering an area of some 25 000 ha and reaching over 100 km upstream from the dam wall. The reserve is a 12 000 ha conservancy in open Kalahari scrub, thorn-veldt country, offering the visitor a combination of game viewing on the reserve or fishing at one of the most popular angling sites in South Africa. The reserve hosts large herds of springbok, black wildebeest, eland and gemsbok. Over 250 species of birds have been recorded at the reserve including some rare waterfowl on the dam.
Carp fishing Ideas: Enhance your Carp Rig to acknowledge Inserts and Aborted Will take
When you are out carp fishing, among the many challenges you find out is telling the principle variation from a huge lining and also an aborted take.
A mean state of affairs goes like this: you happen to be with tolerance awaiting a carp to acquire your bait, and away from the blue you get a flurry of beeps out of your alarm and perhaps even the tip of the fishing rod begins to jerk and also you think you have got a seafood hooked. You are sure demand has moved and hurrying toward the fishing rod you with enjoyment strike into that which you anticipate to be a big carp nevertheless it really works out to become outside. You wind in, anxiously wishing to acquire keep on the seafood but without achievement, there is nothing while in the complete in the line. Right after this you examine the carp rig, inspect the hook and issue what went down. I recently emerged using a method to improve your carp rig that may describe for those who have ended up created having a large lining or perhaps an aborted consider.
The way you can modify your carp rig
For quite a while it has been broadly acknowledged that adding a bit of plastic tube to slide in the shank in the hook and capture your hair can be employed a telltale signal to stage regardless of whether a carp has blown the bait. Now that's all fantastic and dandy, I have attempted it but I've managed to move on. I'm content using the performance of my carp fishing rigs and I might rather not change the true way it works. With my rig, the moment the carp accumulates charge, shakes its mind or moves off, demand will disappear the plastic tube, slide down the road and be a working carp rigs, thus stopping the carp by making use of demand to swing the hook and providing you with very good chunk indicator whichever way it swims.
Just what I started carrying out lately is departing the tail which is still left soon after I have tied the 5 flip double knot about 30-40mm lengthy. Then i slide the plastic tube within the end from your eye through the swivel which pushes the tail forwards for that swivel. After I am ready and ready to go, I slide back again charge from the plastic tube for the mainline. I Speedily go on and consider lengthy knot tail and poke it in for the gap within the centre from the inline guide in which the location was as soon as. Holding the tail from your plastic tube, I frivolously slide demand down once more over equally tail and plastic tube to tarp the tail. Only do that with enough contentration to make sure that charge just grips the tube when held by means of the baits. This can be the way the rig will seafood, tail trapped ready for doing factors. If your seafood accumulates the bait, shakes its thoughts or moves off, demand 35mm slides off.
Understanding you've got experienced an aborted take
Inside of this instance, point out that the hook was not sharp enough or even the seafood was just just nicked as well as the carp will get absent with. A pair of seconds later on, you strike into outdoors, catch and inspect charge. If the tail is becoming fully uncovered, not-hidden if you would like, you may know you have been done together with a rigorous inspection in the hook is needed. In the end this: after the direct 35mm slides again, the tail jumps out and kicks forwards because the plastic tube bends its back again to the swivel. All around the retrieve, cost 35mm slides down once again within the plastic as well as the swivel, and stops the tail from re-entering the opening. So regrettably, you might have experienced an aborted get, but no less than you might be nearly 100% specified which is what it were.
Acknowledging it only agreed for being a big lining
In the next illustration, permit us say a sturgeon or maybe a large catfish accumulates your traces making use of its chest and supplies a breathtaking little consider. Cost will get pulled sideways within the gravel since it is being drawn by means of the mainline. Cost isn't going to lose relationship together with the plastic tube pressed within the swivel because it is becoming drawn about it. You strike what you consider to be a genuine consider just to really feel no resistance. You wind in, examine charge and also the telltale tail continues to be nicely hidden in to the lead. You have now realized it had grow to be just a huge lining, you have held to redo the fishing rod nonetheless, you could possibly have needed to accomplish that in any case following the guide and rig (specifically the hook) come about to become pulled inside the bottom.
The key aspect is that you merely know exactly what went down by searching within the problem from your tail within the guide so try it out another time you might be out and don't forget: charge never ever lies!
One of the first Carp Rigs you should know is the Hair Rig. To learn this Rig check my reference.