Friday, November 4, 2011

Gravelly Point Striped Bass At Night

Fished with David who was in town from the west coast. He is a surfer and had me convinced that he had been fly fishing his entire life. He is new to the lifestyle and fishes out west. He is local to D.C. but had never fished at Gravelly Point.

We got there at dusk and the tide was still high.  We fished the water coming out of the tunnel (underneath the George Washington Parkway) with no luck. We tried 1" Clousers, damsel nymphs, and popsicles.

We moved downstream as the tide dropped and daylight turned to dusk. The water was just about to flow into our waders when we got onto the clam bar. Some would call this elevation in river bottom as a sand bar but it is made of gravel and clam shells. I call it a clam bar.

I made a few casts down stream to see if any fish were gathering by the flood lights. I was not paying attention and David noted that a fish just smashed my fly. I cast again and again was not paying attention as the stripers chased my fly. We began to fish together to figure out just what as slamming my flies.

It was a few minutes later that I hooked into the first fish. This was the first time I have fought a fish on the reel since that monster smallmouth last summer. David had a point and shoot and got the quality images. At this point I was tossing a chartreuse and fuchsia popsicle (video tutorial coming soon). David had on a small Clouser. I clipped off his fly and tied on the same as mine. The flood lights from the airport allow enough ambient light to tie on a fly at dusk. Not to mention we could see Obama's helicopters pick him up and take him to Andrews AFB for his trip to Paris. 

Here is my phone's version. Note the airplane landing to the right. I'm always nervous about taking out the phone when on the water. I then had to text the image to Holt who was catching up on the Manchester United match. He was out there as soon as the 90+ were done. 

It was just a minute later that David hooked up. Its his first striped bass on the fly rod. I still remember my 1st striper. That day changed my life. Hope it did the same for David.

A little bit later I was into a big fish.

This striper was a big one. It ran and the reel busted my knuckles.

Then it was David's turn. He  hooked into this brute. The fish may look small but compared to a dude who is over 6 feet tall, its all relative. He had a bit of trouble getting the hook out. The fish slammed it and it was in the floor of the back of its mouth.

So I reached in and was confused by the fly moving around. I took a second look with the lights and noticed a baby bluegill in its mouth. Time to start throwing baby bluegill flies out there.

Just as fast as it started, the fishing tapered off. We bumped into TPFR Miles out there. He caught an estimated 5lb striper last night.

 Daylight savings starts this week (spring forward fall backward) so it will be dark earlier. That is good for those of us that fish the evening bite. It will be dark at 5pm now. See you all out there.


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