I had a free morning and thought that I would take advantage of the good striper fishing in the Saint George lately. No need to rush down to the river as the tide was best late morning so a leisurely breakfast and a slow trip to Thomaston. Light fog and a falling tide. Pretty much perfect conditions.
I launched and headed downriver eager to try out some of my latest fly purchases. First up was a popper from Selene’s fly shop in Gardiner. With a large soft foam head and a long crystal flash tail I liked this one immediately when I stopped in to see if Selene would tie some of my standby flies last winter.
I tied it on and made a short cast. It is more difficult to cast than I hoped for but after a little adjustment to my timing and effort I was able to get it a decent distance from the boat. As I hoped the popper head makes a lot of noise when stripped back toward the boat. On my third cast I could see in the clear water a group of maybe a half dozen 26 inch or so stripers gathered around the fly like a school of perch watching a worm on a hook. One more twitch and I had the first volunteer on the end of my line.
Remember that I land a lot of fish in the course of a season for someone else, but I do not experience the joy of feeling that tug on the end of the line very often. A fish takes my fly and I laugh out loud, every time; with the joy of having successfully fooled one. Landing a strong fish like that is a bit of a trick alone but after a few minutes that one was unhooked and swimming with his friends again.
A few more wanted to play before the falling tide chased the fish to deeper water and I moved on downriver. The magic fly produced similar results everywhere I fished it. Not on every cast mind you but enough to make this outing busy. Eventually the tide stalled, and the fish quit biting so I called it a morning and headed home.
I called Selene and ordered more of those poppers when I was back in the office and learned that the go to fly pattern that I called for many years “Uncle Don’s half a chicken on a hook” was selling to others like hotcakes. Go figure.
All in all a nice morning out, the sort of experience that I strive to provide to every client on fresh or saltwater. Back to guiding tomorrow and with any luck the fish will still be eager to grab that fly!