Writing on the Fly: Striper Fishing With NH Guide John McKernan

Fly fishing for striped bass, aka stripers, can be the highlight of summer time fishing, so when my mate and New Hampshire information John McKernan put the bug in my ear to head out to try our luck, I jumped at the likelihood. John has been my fly fishing mentor. John is partly responsible for my fly fishing addiction.

John taught an Outdoor Training class at Dover High Faculty, which bundled a fly fishing introduction and a trip to the Cocheco River, which I would aid with on celebration. John is a excellent trainer and a college student favorite and was constantly keen to enable me with my casting.

John and I set a time and I went up to my den to appear for my striper rod. There are distinct sized fly rods for various sized fish. Scaled-down excess weight rods for smaller fish like brook trout and bigger rods for major sport fish like marlin and sharks. Following about 30 as well as minutes of aggravation of not obtaining my 8-weight rod, I remembered I experienced offered it to my son.

I arrived across one more 8-fat rod that I had bought at the big fly fishing present in Marlborough, Mass., prior to the pandemic, but I didn’t have a reel or a line. I took a swift excursion more than to Eldredge Brothers Fly store and talked to retail outlet manager Jim Bernstein. Jim is a prolonged-time fly fisher and is quite knowledgeable about all facets of the activity. Jim and I talked about 20 minutes right before I even informed him why I was there.

George Liset is pictured in Pittsburg. Reed Liset photograph

Jim established me up with a awesome cost-effective Lamson Liquid Vapor 8-bodyweight reel. Just after we talked about for yet another 10 minutes my possibilities for a line, we resolved on a Rio Slick Solid 250 grams sinking line considering that I would be fishing out of a boat. Jim described that some fly fishers will bring two rods with them. The 2nd fly rod is loaded with a floating line in situation there is some prime h2o motion. My third choice of line would have been an intermediate line for fly fishing from shore.

I met John at his boat at the tiny marina on Dover Stage Highway. It was a attractive working day. There was a light breeze and the humidity had damaged. It was a best day. All we wanted was for the fish to cooperate. We loaded up our equipment and headed out under the Normal Sullivan Bridge down the Piscataqua River in look for of stripers. The upper aspect of the river was fairly muddy from all the rain. Search for the birds and they will tell you in which the fish are.

The stripers will vacation in educational facilities and will encompass a team of bait fish and produce a bait ball, then the stripers will attack them. The useless or wounded will float to the area and the Terns and Seagulls will dive to the water’s surface to get a totally free food. Because we didn’t see any birds we each tied on a Banjo Minnow and started off trolling our way down the river.

The fishing started off off slow. Ultimately as we worked our way down towards Elliot, Maine, John caught a Pollock. Then it was my transform to get one, but we nevertheless hadn’t viewed any stripers. As we trolled down the mouth of Portsmouth Harbor John caught the first couple of stripers. Now the tension was on.

We labored our way down to Rye and then the action got rapidly and furious. John and I started off catching stripers two at a time. It was non-quit motion for the future few hours. John experienced asked me how my casting was. I mentioned it essential perform. I admitted that I experienced mostly been nymph fishing as of late and primarily performing tiny streams and rivers.

John talked about the far better you can cast, the more fishing possibilities you have, primarily from a boat. As we got out of the Piscataqua, the drinking water cleared, and we began to see the birds. All of a sudden, about 40 yards absent the drinking water boiled with jumping fish. John experienced me try and solid to the spot. My initially energy arrived up shorter. My second energy adorned the bow of the boat with sinking line.

John looked in excess of at me with a smile and reported it was time for far more casting lessons. John outlined that attempting to move an 8-pounds sinking line with a large fly on the conclude is a different beast, but nothing at all we couldn’t take care of. That’s what I enjoy about John, he is the consummate trainer. As we headed back again in to conquer the tide, we figured our largest fish had been between 16-18″.

The very best portion of owning a close friend who is a information is that they place you on to fish. There are a quantity of professional guides on the Seacoast. They are worthy of just about every penny. They are not as a great deal as a day at Disney and you never have to struggle crowds. The views from a boat are unbelievable and stripers are a blast. There is continue to a good deal of summer season left, so enjoy!

George Liset of Dover is an outside writer and avid fly fisherman who shares insights of his time on the h2o exploring New Hampshire streams and rivers as properly of people close to New England. George is a graduate of Wheaton College or university, Illinois, and the University of New Hampshire.

This story was originally revealed by InDepth NH.

Melinda Krah

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