5:30-8:pm on the docks at Rocky Hill. Four fishing the docks on arrival, 0 reports of shad. The water remains high, and the current fast. The wind had switched around to blow up cold from Middletown/Cromwell.
About 6:30 I hooked a small buck close to the dock. Actually, it was probably under the dock, so it was a brief, if fun fight to the net. After our Kodakô moment, he resumed his swim. I only saw 2 other shad caught tonight. It. Was. Slow.
Terminal tackle: 1.5 oz drail, under a 3' 8# flouro leader, and last night's hammered silver leaf in pink w/black stripe.
I really wish these "March winds" would die. I hold no hope that they will, but in spite of it, I'll be out again tomorrow. Tight lines!
5:30-8:pm on the docks at Rocky Hill. The water is down a little, and the current wasn't as strong as it's been. The wind was still whipping up from Middletown/Cromwell, but it wasn't as cold. Nobody, surprisingly, was on the dock public dock, but a regular was on the Fire/Police dock, 0 shad. Another regular arrived shortly after I started casting practice.
By 5:45, Fire/Police dock guy had C&R a small buck. Just before 6:00 I got my vitamin shad. A little while later I had a short hit, which didn't take after the first couple of tugs, and that was it for me. At least I kept the off. Fire/Police dock guy wound up C&R 2 more small bucks before I felt cold, and left. A couple of other regulars made their appearance, and got skunked.
Terminal tackle: 1.5 oz drail, over 3', 8# flouro leader, and a hammered silver in Bill's custom "stop light" (described in a post, above), followed by a hammered copper in chartreuse w/red dot.
The current was, initially, slow enough to easily find, and hold the bottom on the retrieve, but it picked up after 7. Which did not make it substantially more difficult to hold the bottom. And while the action was sporadic with the bucks, the ladies were entirely absent. Where the h*ll are the roes? When did RH become a "Gentlemen Shad Club"?
2:45-6:30 pm, on the dock at Rocky Hill. It was nice and warm, the water was down about 1' from yesterday, the wind and current were slack, and there was only one guy on the dock when I arrived. Within 15 minutes, the breeze started to pick up from the south, and the current started to wind up, too. By 5:pm, it was choppy, and the docks were rocking.
Since there was little to no current, I started with my U/L set up (rod: an U/L Ugly Stik Pro 4'6" one-piece, mated to a Penn 4200 SS, spooled with 10# Power Pro). About 4:30 I had a solid hook up, and the contest was on! We wrestled in the current for 3-4 minutes, and I realized I had kept to the U/L too long. The current gave the shad the advantage, and I was losing ground. For every foot or so that I gained, the shad would take two, or make a run and grab 3'-4'. I was hoping it would tire, as we connected close to the dock it wasn't close to spooling me. We danced for a good bit before the line went slack. I figure with it's thrashing around, and runs, it tore its lips. Shoulda, woulda, coulda used the heavier set up, but shad on light tackle is too much fun not to try. C'est la guerre. OTOH, I did manage to snag a couple of dinky minnows (<5") to keep the stinky kitty off.
I had switched to my usual set up for the big river, when a brief run came through. A kid who is becoming a regular hooked up with a middlin' buck, and asked for an assist with my net. As I netted his, I was drifting, and got a solid hit. I got his shad in the net, and handed it to him. As soon as he released his, another regular assisted me with netting my shad. Then, as I was unhooking a fine middlin' buck, he hooked up. I had just finished my Kodakô moment, and I released my shad while I netted his. Then another regular on the Fire/Police dock hooked up and lost one, but he landed another a little while after our shenanigans on the public dock. We had great action for all of about 15-20 minutes, and that was all she wrote!
Terminal tackle: U/L--1 oz drail under 3' 8# flouro leader. Big boy set up--1.5 oz drail, over 3' 8# flouro leader. Under the drails, the willows were hammered silver in chartruese w/red dot, chartreuse, and orange/chartreuse, and a hammered copper in green/chartreuse w/red dot.
All in all, it was a good day to be out. The boat ramp was busy today, and I expect it will be a friggin' zoo thru Monday. If I go down there this holiday weekend I won't be fishing. I'll bring a chair, and a cooler to sit and watch the Googans.
Have a great, and safe holiday weekend. And don't forget the meaning behind this holiday. It ain't about the extra day off, or the beers'n'brats. Remember those who gave their last full measure. Tight lines!
In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie, In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields. --JOHN MCCRAE
6:30-8:15 pm, on the dock at Rocky Hill. Only two regulars were fishing on the dock, and one was playing a shad on arrival. A beautiful day, warm and sunny, with just a slight breeze to keep it comfortable. The water was down noticeably from Friday, slack current, and remarkably no "cotton" on the water, which is unusual for this late in May. Traditionally, I quit it around Memorial Day weekend, or shortly after, when the cottonwood fluff starts clinging to the line, and clogging up the guides and spool. As Spock would opine, "Interesting".
The short of the long of it, is I got the stinky kitty. Another regular C&R two, a middlin' roe and a buck. He also lost three, so they are still around, despite my lack of success.
Terminal tackle: 1.5 oz drail, over 3'-4' 8# flouro leader, and willows in hammered copper in chartreuse w/red dot, hammered silver in chartreuse, green, green/chartreuse, yellow w/red dot, yellow/green w/dot, hammered gold in red/white w/black dot.
All for naught, and not so much as a short hit if they even looked at them. I threw, and lost a lot of leaves today. The snags are more aggressive with the lower water level, and lack of current. And still, it was by far, better than sitting at home surfing the interwebs, as I am now.
Tomorrow is another day; hope springs eternal. Tight lines!
Wednesday, 27.May in Rocky Hill, 6:15-7:15 pm (I got cold and bailed early). The breeze was blustering up from Cromwell/Middletown keeping it cool, and the water was choppy. No current to speak of, but plenty of pollen on the water, and curiously there is still no cotton.
Of the 4 regulars who showed up during the hour I was there, only 2 caught shad, about 45 minutes apart. I managed an alewife to keep the off, and one brief tug. It wasn't a total loss, I was gifted a nice fat roe, that provided 2 huge roe sacks, and 2 beautiful, thick fillets, thanks to Bill C. The fillets were thick enough for me to split each one length-wise for 4 servings.
Terminal tackle: 1.5 oz drail, over 3.5'-4' 8# flouro leader, and willows in hammered copper in chartreuse w/red dot, hammered silver in yellow w/red dot, and hammered gold in red/white w/black dot.
Thursday, 28.May, about 5:45 pm, I stopped by E. Barber St./the Bissell launch in Windsor, but only took 3 casts. With salad fixin's firmly secured on each toss, I wasn't going to catch anything else, so I went down to Rocky Hill, 5:30-6:30 pm. It wasn't just breezy today, it was F'n windy as H*LL! Blowing hard up from Cromwell/Middletown, making the water was very choppy. The docks were rocking and rolling in the wake-like chop, we virtually needed sea-legs, and had to watch our stance and step, or stumble. There was very little current, and at the surface with the heavy chop, it was almost being blown back upstream.
Of the 3 fishing the docks when I got there, all reported no fish today, and not so much as an alewife. By 7:pm, the others had called it a night, the wind and intermittent drizzle sapped us all. I took a few more furtive casts, and ended my casting practice for the day. And, for the third consecutive day, I got the stinky kitty , with the exception of yesterday's alewife. I'll make a few more outings to be sure, but the end is drawing nigh. Our season is winding down. To be sure, there will be shad caught over the next week or two, but: They. Will. Be. Far. And. Few. Between.
Terminal tackle: 1.5 oz drail, over 3.5'-4' 8# flouro leader, and willows in hammered gold in red/white w/black dot, and hammered silver in chartreuse.
Today I made one of the shad fillet portions (from yesterday's gift) for my supper. I sauteed it with ramps in a little EVOO, and a pat of butter. O.M.G. So friggin' good. Shad, why do I love thee? A rhetorical question, for sure--but if you're not sure, I'll give you three guesses, and two of the answers are probably right.
Anywho, whatever you're pursuing, tight lines to you!