Once in a Lifetime Catch!

Merrimack Sturgeon

Club member Dick Brown's wife Carol made a catch of a lifetime on the Merrimack this morning- a four foot long Atlantic Sturgeon!  Carol has caught quite a few fish on the fly rod over the years, including:  stripers, bluefish, steelhead, Atlantic Salmon and bonefish, but this was her first sturgeon. 

Over the last several years there have been several reported sturgeon sightings and catches in the Merrimack, but this is the first one that I know of on the fly rod.  Dick reports that the fish wasn't removed from the water in order to avoid stressing it in any way, they just brought it up next to the boat and popped the hook out with a pair of long nosed pliers.

June 18 - Update:

Thanks to Joe McKeon from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.  Joe correctly identified the fish as a "Shortnose Sturgeon" as opposed to a "Sea Sturgeon" and provided us with a link to the 2007 Status Review of the Atlantic Sturgeon.

Joe also wanted to let us know that there is a lot more information available on the Fish & Wildlife Service Website where you can do a search via species common name for all types of fish.



Congrats to Karl J!

Karl J. With the 2009 NEC-FFF Fly Plate

Congrats to club member Karl J! 

Not only did Karl win the New England Saltwater Fly Rodders' raffle for the Albright Fly Rod, Reel & Tackle Bag, he also won the NEC-FFF raffle for the 2009 Fly Plate Shadowbox.

Pictured above is Karl with the fly plate mounted next to his fly tying desk.  Not pictured is the golden horseshoe that Karl keeps clenched in his "back pocket".


Rigging Clinic Handout Available

For those of you who missed out on Dick Brown's Rigging Clinic at the May meeting, you can download a copy of his handout here:

Dick's Guide to Fly Line Rigging & Knots

Dick was good enough to compile this list of suggested knots and rigging tips to help new fly fishers put together their first fly outfits, covering the knots from the backing to the leader & tippet.


2009 Club Trip Schedule

Thanks to Joe S. for writing up the details of the upcoming club trips.  Please visit the FlyLine Forums for more details.

  • Plum Island Beach Trip – June 2: If you signed up, great.  If you are waiting to see if the weather is good… don’t worry, the fish don’t mind. We’re going out rain or shine. Only a torrential flood, twister, high winds, or lightning is going to stop us.. Ok maybe an influx of angry seals…   If you signed up at the meeting, Joe S. has your contact info and will contact you by email. If you did not provide an email acct, you can pick up the latest info on the FlyLine Forum.  BUT please let Joe know you are coming- we need a head count for the food. Subs and soda will be provided.
  • Club Shore Trip To Upper Cape - June 6: if you’re interested now is the time to contact Dick Henry for info and get your checks in to him.  More info below on the club’s website.
  • Merrimack River Boat Trip- June 16: Lots of folk signed up. Many more than we have boats for- if you have a boat and are willing to play trip captain and host one or two members on your boat, you are very welcome. If you do not have a boat, please get your name on the list if you are interested- you never know who is going to drop out/off as the date gets closer. Also-Kayakers are welcome. This is a boat only trip. If you missed the sign up last night, please contact Steve Murphy, he is trip leader.
  • Lynn Harbor Trip- In the past this has been a lightly attended trip. So, we are only looking for names at this time for contact- we are not sure we are going to go or not. We need boats and interested members. I’m not sure why it’s been so light…the fishing has been pretty good, especially last year. Also a great way to learn and see the coast from Lynn up toward Swampscott- I’m bringing a camera this time, just for the view. If you did not add your name to the list last night, contact Larry Castagneto- he is trip leader.

The following is not a club sponsored trip- so members and friends can join in!

  • Kayak trips - also a light attendance activity. This year the club will not sponsor any kayak only trips. So what you read next is a courtesy to all interested-- we will develop a list of members that would like to get out in kayaks and fish together. The list will be circulated to all on the list- so, if you want on the list, let me know. We had a good number sign up last night. Trips/location/time can be announced by anyone on the list. This is a great way to meet members and develop some steady fishing partners.

New Photo Galleries!

A new photo gallery has been created for the 2009 Club Boat trip on the Merrimack River.  Please send in your pictures and they will be added to the gallery.  Looks like people actually caught fish on a club trip AND there was no threat of hurricane... that has to be a first in the last several years!

Lou Tabory Trip Photo Gallery Posted!

Lou Tabory

Thanks to Dick B. and Chris P. for sending in some great photos of the club trip with Lou Tabory.  From all reports the trip was a great success, thanks to everyone who helped organize and run the event.


Important Info for Club Fishing Trips

As a reminder, club fishing trips are limited to active club members.  Unless stated otherwise, we can not accommodate non-members on club sponsored trips due to the club's insurance policy. 

Generally speaking, each of the trips is assigned to a trip coordinator to take sign-ups, arrange logistics and communicate info about the trip to the folks that signed up.  The easiest way to sign up for a trip is at the club meetings, but you don't have to be excluded if you can't make it.  If a trip coordinator is listed for an event in the newsletter or club website, you can get in touch with them directly; the EC member's phone numbers are all listed in the club newsletter.  Next best bet is to email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and I will forward your requests over to the appropriate trip coordinator.

The purpose of the sign-ups is to help the coordinator gauge the number of people attending, the amount of food required (if it will be provided on a given trip) and to help communicate last minute updates/changes in logistics, say if there is bad weather, or a meeting place is changed, etc..  For the boat trips, where the number of available spots can be limited, the trip coordinator will make every attempt to match up open spots on club member's boats with other members, but in some cases not everyone who signs up will be able to get a spot on a boat.

Once the sign ups have been completed, the coordinator will generally get in touch with everyone via email/cellphone to provide them the logistics on the trip, such as where/when to meet up, recommended tackle and flies, etc.  Members should also let the coordinator know if they require any gear (PFDs for the boat trips, for example) or have any other needs.

Just as important as signing up for a trip, members should make every effort to let the trip coordinator know if their plans change and they cannot make a trip or will be arriving late.  This way the trip coordinator will not be holding up the trip waiting for you to arrive or before moving to another location if plans change during the course of the trip.


Rigging Clinic at May Meeting

Thinking of getting rigged up for the season? Come early to the May meeting and sit in on the arbor-to-tippet rigging clinic. As part of NESFR's ongoing skill clinic series, we will have a table set up at "door opening" time where club member Dick Brown will demonstrate how to tie your backing to your reel, your fly line to your backing, and your leader to your fly line. Handouts and diagrams will also be available. Members are invited to try their hand at each knot and rigging skill and Dick will repeat any skill item  as many times as needed (before the main meeting begins) to meet member interest.


Special Fly Tying Clave - April 18

At the next Fly Tying Clave at First Light Anglers (April 18, 9am-noon) we will have Bill Murphy, owner of E-Z Body Products, stopping by to share tips, techniques and fly patterns using his E-Z Body and Bill's Bodi-Braid products.

Bill is fly tying’s leading expert in the use of tubings and will share his knowledge in a fun and informative manner. He will be covering the history, tips and uses, as well as contemporary fly patterns using tubings with the help of a brief slide show which will lead the class into an instructional tying session.

If you have been struggling with tubings or have always wanted to learn the tricks that contemporary fly tiers like Rich Murphy, John Ryzanych, Henry Cowen or Steve Farrar use to create their patterns. Bill will be happy to answer all of your questions and have you well on your way to being a creative contemporary fly tier with tubings.


  • Students should have all basic tools and materials.
  • Bill will supply most of the materials needed for the class.
  • Please bring the following items if you have them, Softex, Prismatic eyes and Hooks.