Casting Clinic and Club Barbecue May 16th
Local guide Eliot Jenkins will provide casting instruction for club members at this event--bring your gear with a floating line!
We will once again be kicking off the season with a club barbecue and clinic on May 16th, 2015 at Mosley Pines Park in Newburyport (directly off the Merrimac Street Circle). The activities begin at 9:30 am and will conclude around 1:30 pm. The club will be providing burgers, hot dogs, sausage sandwiches, drinks and other goodies. Guide and casting instructor Eliot Jenkins will be on hand from 11-1 to help you with your casting, and other members will be offering tips on rigging and fly tying. Last year's event was quite a success and we are hoping for a good turn out again this year -- the more the merrier!! We have reserved a beautiful spot on the water, and with the improving weather, what better way to spend a morning getting ready for another great fishing season?!
This is one great event paid for with your club dues, and a great way for members to get to know one another, and make plans for the new season while working on your game and enjoying some good food! In order to be efficient with the food, we are asking members to please sign up at the May club meeting. Please make every effort to attend the monthly meeting this week and sign up for this great event! Anglers looking for casting help should bring their own gear with a floating line.
Jack Webb (middle) with Pat Theberge (right) and Steve Murphy (left) at last summer's Merrimack Boat Trip.
Rest in Peace old friend.
Chris Ehrenfels Wins Pinto Award
This year's winner of the Rick Pinto award is Chris Ehrenfels, editor of Moon Tides, the club's newsletter and a member of the club's Executive Committee.
Chris became the Moon Tides' editor shortly after joining the club four years ago, and he has published over 40 issues of the publication during that period. He is also this year's organizer of the Merrimack River Boat Trip, one of the club's most-celebrated trip activities. Chris has lead fly tying classes at the winter clave series at First Light, and he has assisted in organizing past trips and other angling events. He also created the Guides I Have Known column in Moon Tides, which showcases member trips and angling adventures near and far. Lastly Chis is one of a small number of members who has mastered administering the club website to keep it updated with timely information.
In presenting the award to Chris, member Dick Brown, praised Chris' level of contribution to the club, especially given Chris' busy schedule as a research scientist for one of the largest biotech firms in Boston, his role as a father with a son just getting ready for college, and his other activities, including boating and angling on his boat in Boston Harbor and skeet shooting. "Chris is just one of those guys who always gets it done no matter how busy he is," he said. And club president Chris Pinzone added, "I can't remember any time the Chris ever missed a deadline or didn't deliver on an assignment. He is a stellar example of the kind of contribution this award is meant to recognize."
The Pinto Award is given from time to time in recognition of former club president Rick Pinto who was an extraordinary contributor to New England Saltwater Fly Rodders before his untimely passing several years ago. It is, as Larry Castagneto says, "Given in recognition of an individual who goes above and beyond for the club." The award is accompanied by a gift certificate of $100.
Congratulations Chris—well deserved!!
2014 Merrimack River Boat Trip
The club had another great boat trip outing this year with member captains showing non-boat-owner members and many new club members the angling "ropes" on the Merrimack's flats and inlet fisheries. Showers threatened at times but never materialized, and while the fish were scarce and the fishing challenging, it was a beautiful afternoon and evening on the water. A couple photos are posted here. More will follow on the gallery pages and on our Facebook page.
We are on Facebook!
The club has a Facebook page and if you are on FB you can visit our page and post on it, make comments, share items and interact in other ways. Even if you are not a Facebook person you can view the club's FB page by just clicking on this link. Check us out.
Try out the Club's FlyLine Forum
It's Your Discussion Forum—Take Advantage of It.
The club's FlyLine forum lets members exchange information about fishing experiences and opportunities, and ask and answer tackle, rigging, technique, and other technical questions. It provides a general discussion forum for chatting about club events and all kinds of other angling activities. This is a great way for members, new and old, to connect to do a little fishing together or to help each other out with technical questions. You can go directly to the forum with this link: FLYLINE FORUM Here's a recent sample exchange on the FlyLine:
Q. "I am new to this forum and new to fly fishing for stripers in NE in general. Did a little of it back in CA at some local reservoirs. I have an 8 weight Reddington rod. I am just curious, how far am I away from a setup to start fishing Stripers here in New England? This is a whole 'nother world for me. Thanks in advance for any help."
A. "Most of us who chase stripers use 9 and 10 wts but many of us started with 8 wts and that's a good size to start with especially for smaller school fish and smaller flies. For the waters around the Plum Island/Merrimack River area, I fish mostly sink-tip lines, which allow me to get the flies down to the fish in deeper water faster. A 200 or 250 grain sink tip is a pretty good match for an 8wt rod if you want to try it out. Or check with a local fly shop like First Light Anglers in Rowley and see what they recommend for your setup. Also come to meetings and ask around to see what others are using. Hope this helps. And welcome to the group."
For those who have not used the FlyLine recently, you will notice that they have been migrated to a new platform called Yuku. The old software was being phased out and we had to switch to Yuku or lose all of the old messages. The look and feel of the forum is a little different, but it should basically run the same. Your old usernames/passwords should still be valid on the new site.
"Rigging Tips" Section on Website
The club has a section on its Website that members can refer to when looking for information on rigging, tackle, knots and similar angling advice. To view this section, click on the words Rigging Tips in the column of menu choices under Main Menu on the left side of the Website's Home Page. You will find articles here about tying terminal knots to attach your flies, making saltwater leaders, making and using bite tippets, using loop-to-loop connections. tying surgeon's and blood knots to make leaders or tie on tippets. Check them out and let us know what you think.
From time to time, we will post additional how-to items and articles in this new section that may be of interest to club members. If you have comments on this section or want to suggest other topics for the section you can join the club education focus group at the next meeting or post them on the club Fly Line forum.
Annual Fishing Outings
Each year the club holds a number of outings and events for members. Sign-up lists for club trips will be at the welcome table at the May meeting. Fishing outings are open to members only. Participation by members may be limited for reasons of weather, safety or space. Members must sign up in advance to participate in a fishing trip. Dates and details of each trip will be published in the club newsletter, The Moon Tides.
May 2014 - Plum Island/ Merrimack River Shore Trip- an evening wade-fishing trip on the north end of Plum Island. Open to all club members. New members are encouraged to attend and meet and fish with fellow fly rodders familiar with the area.
June 2014Merrimack River Boat Trip - an evening boat trip on the Merrimack River on the perfect flooding tide to fish Joppa Flats. A great opportunity for club members who don't own a boat to fish the Merrimack with one of our many experienced captains.
June or July, 2014, -- Hampton Harbor Boat Trip--Dates to be determined. An evening boat trip exploring this local watershed. Date to be determined based on interest and boat availability.
July and August, 2014 -- Kayak Outings -- Dates to be determined. We are considering weekend morning fishing trips, exploring the estuaries of Plum Island Sound or Cape Ann.
Fishing Outings are RESERVATION ONLY. In the event we have more guests than allowable given the available boat space, names will be drawn at random. You will receive additional information via the club newsletter as to when and how to make your reservation.
Other Special Events
From time to time, the club holds additional skill-building events such as casting clinics, fly tying demonstrations, and others for members.
Rich Kolesar of LL Bean gave members an overview of casting basics at a recent spring casting clinic.
Lou Tabory describes the fine points of the forward cast at a spring casting clinic.
Recap of 2013 Merrimack Boat Trip
Marcel Chua with a big smile and a great looking schoolie fish on Steve Spanger's boat.
The club held its annual boat and fishing trip on June 12th in which club members who have boats take out other members who do not have them, giving them a chance to get out on the water for an evening of fun and fishing even if it sometimes includes a little rain! And a good time was had by all in spite of the challenging weather and unpredictable nature of fishing on the river. Our adventuresome group searched everywhere for fish from the upper islands to the lower flats and a few brave souls even ventured the mouth of the river for a few drifts once the wind and rain let up. Anyway, we were all rewarded at the end of the evening with an enormous--and beautifully intense--rainbow over the mouth of the Merrimack. A few photos are posted here ... more are in the 2013 Boat Trip Gallery on the Photo Gallery page ... enjoy! --Dick Brown
Karl Jacobson and his guests had a great night in Hampton Harbor
Captains comments below
"I really enjoyed meeting Marcelino - a very enthusiastic new member. We caught a few schoolies and I considered the outing a resounding success for the fact that we both stayed dry!" Steve Spanger
"We had a good outing and got back in one piece. We ended up with two schoolies and a green crab. As expected, the water was pretty stained from all the rain and I'm sure that it didn't help the fishing. We got one on the Salisbury Drift and one by the party boats. A captain in the Obsession came in with a large group and they got their share of fish. He was cleaning them for about 20 minutes. He must have been outside. We ran into a boat who was pulling out as we were coming in and he had four fish over 40"--on live macks. The fish are there but had their mouths shut--wait 'til next year." Larry Castegneto
Lori Rizzo caught her first striper on Chris Pinzone's boat.
"We got out later than most and I tried to avoid the shallower water with my rig but we managed to get Steve and Lori their first stripers on the fly. All of our fish were dinks but everyone was pretty happy so I would say it was another successful outing!" Chris Pinzone
Charles Atkinson and Karl Jacobson on Karl's boat in Hampton Harbor.
"My guests and I decided not to venture down to the Merrimack last night. We stay around Hampton Harbor where my boat is and were rewarded with some great fishing! We caught close to 50 fish, up to 24". Most of the rain missed us and we had a great time." Karl Jacobson
Thanks to all host Captains:
A great big THANK YOU to Ken Black, Larry Castegneto, Jim Chase, David Grigglestone, Karl Jacobson, Rich Marks, Steve Murphy, Charlie Newbold, Bill Schmidt, Steve Spanger, and Norm Tabor for making themselves and their boats available to the club and its members. It is very much appreciated by the club and all the guest anglers who participated.