It was the middle of May, it was cold, it was wet and the Red Sox were playing at one o’clock. The plan was to fish for a couple of hours and then take a seat at the bar at The Bridgewaye for the first pitch.
I put the boat in just as the incoming turned slack. We motored downriver on glass. In the usual spots we could see schoolies break the surface. It being the first day of the season in the boat we opted to head for bigger fish knowing these spots would still be holding on the way back in.
We ran into The Bowl down the backside toward Branch Creek. It looked quiet but we managed a few rats in the deep holes. I put down the eight weight, picked up the push pole and climbed up on the platform. Enduring the usual jokes about me falling off and the questionable effectiveness of the flies I tie, I poled us along a mud bar in front of the sod bank in the back corner. Looking into the water through the magic of polarized lenses and the angle I had up top I could see everything. Brian made a few casts to the bank and I watched his new “sure thing” of ostrich herl, bucktail and peacock shimmy its way back on the retrieve. I didn’t want to let on I liked it, so I didn’t. But that dog would hunt.
I saw a flash in the water outside a small alcove in the bank, the kind of flash that usually has stripes running down the side. I pushed us over there and lined Brian up for a shot. I saw the flash again but he couldn’t because of the glare on the surface. I pointed with the tip of the pole and told him where to cast. He put the fly right where it needed to be but there was no follow.
As Brian picked up the fly up and started making another cast I saw the fish come across from the side and move up into the alcove. I told him to drop it in the same place and watched the line stretch out to the bank. The fly dropped down just inches from the fish. Two strips were all that was needed for that stripe to eat ostrich and steel. It was a good fish and a good start to the season.
We ran up into the North and managed a few more stripes before we had to head back to the dock to make the game. There would many more fish during the season but none as memorable as the one we caught working together.
South River, MA