Posts Tagged New York City Fishing

Golden Hours

James Wu with an impressive New York City Cyprinus carpio.
(NYC 05 2021)

There is a Japanese word — Yugata — that describes the golden hour when the slanted sun reflects off the earth in a particulary vivid, golden way.

Much of the same intensity and clarity can be experienced when a carp — the golden bone of freshwater fishes — rises to a fly and comes to the net.

May and June are the peak month’s for carp fishing in the American Northeast. Time, then, to tie some specific fly patterns to match nymphs and another carp food favorite: tree flower petals.

The Author’s Tree Flower Carp Fly.
(NYC 05 2021)

— rPs 05 31 2021

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Earth Day 2021

Chapter One Turns 20 Today

Two decades ago today on Earth Day, a sunny Sunday, I lived the experience that became Chapter One of Philadelphia on the Fly.

Time . . . FLYS.

Happy Earth Day 2021

Thanks, Frank: The Publisher’s Kind Words.

— rPs 04 22 2021

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Top of the Rock

“Top of the Rock” : the shadow of an urbane angler in Central Park.
(NYC 03 30 2021)

No fish in the net, but the level line got wet. The 2021 tenkara season has begun.

— rPs 03 31 3021

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Seaside Snow

Too Cold for Tenkara!
(02 2021)

February: often full of hints of spring, but not this year.

Snow on the beach, like ice on the pond, keeps the tenkara trip just out of reach.

Spring begins in just a few more weeks. Then, perhaps, the real thing when fixed line fishing in close quarters can begin.

— rPs 02 28 2021

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Snow Fishing

Skating a fly is easy here!
(NYC 01 13 2021)

There is a “no” in snow, and that no means no fishing, tenkara or otherwise, for the time being.

There is a “now” in snow as well, and that time now is ripe for reading, fly tying, and the other comfortable indoor aspects of the fishing life.

Anticipation can inspire preparation!

— rPs 01 31 2021

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On Ice

On Ice . . .

Hielo Fino: Oh, yes, it’s winter now.
(NYC 12 23 2020)

Early rise and an eager hike to the park for a final fishing trip found its goal foiled by that signature of the season: ice.

True, the new lid on the lake was “Hielo fino” with a few teasing openings, yet not enough free water presented itself for practical angling. The season is now . . . on ice.

So, 2020, a year to remember – not so much – comes to a close. Those days of bluegill and bass, the elusive trout and carp, and exciting new experiments in the salt – fluke and more – the silver linings to an unexpected, challenging, trying time, remain to warm the imagination over the winter.

Winter Dawn: fishing gone, but beauty remains
(NYC 12 23 2020)

Farewell, 2020.

— rPs 12 30 2020

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October Surprise

Surprise! I’m a hickory shad!
10 2020

October Surprise . . .

Autumn in the salt paints images of bluefish and striped bass in the fly fisher’s mind. So, imagine my October surpise when in the chilly rain my olive and white Clouser conjured up another new, and unexpected, tenkara species:

Hickory Shad

Another One in the Net!
10 2020

– rPs 10 31 2020

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September’s Small Reward

September’s Small Reward . . .

 

Pickerel weed in bloom surrounds a NYC lake in September.
(NYC 09 08 2020)

A September afternoon spent around a pond in a NYC park marked my return to a more conventional tenkara setting. After a salty summer spent exploring the coastal back bays, the sweetwater spot was familiar, the fishing exercise gentle, even easy, yet it held a surprise in the catching.

Despite my practiced casting and improved fly tying, there was the problem of the elusive fish. The water looked reasonably healthy, the solunar tables were in alignment to my time and place, yet not one fish met the net after several hours of focused fishing. No bass, no crappie, no perch, not even a juvenile bluegill.

Perhaps it was the bright sun, a high UV index, which kept the fish off the bite. I had adjusted from the start, beginning along a bank of tall pickerel weed, working the cover of the pond’s shaded bank drop offs. Not a bite, not one.

Tough fishing in the form of no catching can shake the confidence of someone who has just been on a roll, catching bigger game fish consistenly all season. But here, at summer’s end, in the backyard water, a sudden lull.

It wasn’t until I had fished an entire lakeside and back before I felt a strike around the base of the same pickerel weed where I had started.

At the end, both of line and day, a bass. One little fish in the hand, a small reward to end another summer on a positive tip.

The little largemouth that saved the day.
(NYC 09 08 2020)

Tenkara never fails to challenge, teach, and surprise. Now let’s see what autumn holds.

— rPs 09 30 2020

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Late Summer Salt

Late Summer Salt . . .

A sweet spot for the salt tenkara experience.
(08 01 2020)

One rod. One line. One fly. Many, many ways and places to fish. One of these, the salt, continues to fascinate and engage a nascent facet of tenkara’s potential.

The more mellow environment of the sod bank back bay flats gives one a perfect place to wade and cast for game fish in close quarters in the salt.

The primary species remains the summer flounder, the fluke, although as August progresses, juvenile bluefish, called “snappers” by the locals, have returned to provide additional action.

The rigging could not be more simple; a Clouser minnow, Lefty’s Deceiver, or a Gotcha tied directly to the 10-20 lb. tip of a flourocarbon level line.

Fluke rig in the field.
(08 21 2020)

Practice in action reveals the best time to fish, and catch, is during a low tide when fish are more concentrated and feeding. In the case of the fluke and bluefish, feeding on spearing, mummichog, and other small baitfish.

Spearing.
(08 20 2020)

These fish fight exceptionally well on tenkara tackle. Fluke, even shorts, and bluefish, even snappers, fight like stream trout of the 20-inch class. Both species are built for strength and bursts of speed and provide a wonderful, sporting fishing experience during the freshwater doldrums of late summer.

A “keeper” fluke landed on a mudflat during low tide.
(08 19 2020)

 

Bluefish of “snapper” size.
(08 23 2020)

— rPs 08 31 2020

 

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Fluking the Flats

Back Bay Flat at Low Tide at Dawn
(07 2020)

Low tide around the back bays of the American Northeast allows hours of comfortable wading and in midsummer a chance to fish the fly for fluke, the summer flounder, on these sod bank flats.

Tenkara makes a fine fit for this kind of fishing. Stealth in waste deep water gets you up close, the fixed line allows methodical casts to cover the surrounding area, and the aggressive manner of the summer flounder assures a lot of chances for hookups in close quarters.

The rig for fluke is simple. A level line of 10 to 20 pound test, fluorocarbon preferred, a few feet longer than the fully extended rod, attached to the Lillian on the top end and a small Clouser Minnow, Lefty’s Deceiver, or Half & Half on the business tip. These standard classic patterns will mimic the bay anchovy, mummichog, and silversides upon which the fluke feeds.

Fluke Bait
(07 2020)

Fluke Flies
(NYC 07 2020)

The exagerrated twitch used in tenkara is a match with conventional fluke presentation. The takes are sudden and intense, and if you miss a hookup, a pause and continuation often brings a second or third strike.

Fluke Battle
(07 2020)

No other fish fights quite like a flounder. The nearly two dimensional body can slice through a current rip with ease, or plane in the water against the rod, creating a formidable bend.

“Gotcha!”
(07 25 2020)

And be sure to carry a net, fluke flutter and stay aggressive even out of the water. The sight of the fish, like a muse of Pablo Picasso during his Cubist period, never grows old. Nothing says “saltwater” quite like a flatfish.

— rPs 07 31 2020

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