Friday the 13th. Oct 2023. I extended an invitation to Dan Blanton to join me for a day of fishing at the forebay and lake, even though it happened to fall on the traditionally unluckiest day of the year. Our plan was to kick off the morning by hunting some surface stripers in the Forebay, aiming to jump couple of dozen fish. Then, around noon, we would pack up and shift our focus to the lake, hoping for another couple of dozen fish there. Our mission was, for the most part, a success although there were no birds or blitzes in the forebay all morning. We managed to land just two impressive stripers in the deeper waters of the forebay before making our way to the lake, where we fed two dozen more.
On one shot in the forebay, I saw a pair of nice sized stripers swimming in the shallows at 6 feet. I had Dan lead them with a 50 foot cast which he placed perfectly. I also casted and as we stripped our flys in , I saw the two fish turn on the livescope on what I though was my fly. The moment one fish hit, I set on a blank but Dan got a a huge pull down . I was watching Dan fly instead of my own but it was one of those rare shots where you actually fish to a moving single or double using the livescope alone and actually watch the fish react to the fly.
The day turned out to be quite enjoyable, especially once Dan realized that my playful teasing was all in good fun. Dan is a true pioneer in the world of Striper fly fishing, and I’ve always held him in high regard. He’s like the classic rock of the ’70s—old-school and unforgettable. Spending the day fishing with him and reminiscing about the great fishermen we’ve both known since the early ’70s, many of whom have sadly passed away, was a special experience. It dawned on me just how many have left us and how few people I can share nostalgic conversations with about those early years in our shared fishing world. We found ourselves engrossed in conversation, prioritizing our exchange of stories over the sheer number of fish we caught. Nevertheless, by day’s end, we had landed a total of 27 fish and hooked many more .
The fishing conditions had changed a bit compared to last week. We chased after some schools in the Bay of Pigs, venturing into the shallows where we had success casting T14 OBSs into water depths of 2 to 4 feet. Along the dam, from Dave’s Rock to the Guardrail, we encountered pods of fish and had short bursts of productivity in between long stretches of nothing, netting 2 to 4 fish in quick succession when we found them while making our way along the dam. The fish still seemed to be interested in lightly weighted shad imitations, typically around 3 inches in size. I confirmed this by examining the stomach contents of a couple of dinner-sized stripers we caught.
For dessert, we headed over to the trash racks and stumbled upon a modest school of fish circling around the pillars in about 20 feet of water. Dan and I each managed to reel in half a dozen fish from the school, which was situated about 20 feet below the surface, just as the wind began to pick up, and white caps started rolling in from the north. Around 4:00, we decided to call it a day, content with our fishing adventure.