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Old 07-12-2004, 02:27 PM
RandyJones's Avatar
RandyJones RandyJones is offline
Join Date: Before Nov. 1999
Location: Salmon River, Pulaski N.Y.
Posts: 569
Cape Cod Fly/Spin Wade Sight-Blind Fishing Report

7/13-16- Cape Cod Fly Wade Report:
Scouting, guiding, fishing and maybe a little vacationing. I'll update this page as needed. With this weeks slower tides, look for (fewer fish) the fishing to slow up for most, but not all. Thanks, Randy

7/12- Cape Cod Fly Wade Report:
Wow, is about the best way to describe Sunday's fishing. Decided to do some more scouting and fish some new, interesting water to help add to my long list of inshore-wade, saltwater, fly-spin fishing locations to use in my business. With clouds in the morning I went to do some blind casting.
First spot I made 11 cast's. (With my 14 foot, Orvis, 2 handed fly rod. Clear Int. line and Sand Lance clouser style fly)
11 cast's and 11 fish was all I needed to know, then I left for more knowledgeable, new and more challenging area's. I hit this today on the dropping tide, last time on the incoming. So this spot should produce consistently on either tide for my guided guest's. The only reason this spot won't produce are for 3 reason's.
( The below holds true for all fish)
1. These fish feel threatened.
2. Water warms up to much.
3. There food supply runs out.

Second new spot I made 7 cast's and landed 7 fish. Another good area to remember. Left for someplace new.
Third spot I made 5 cast's and came up empty on all 5. Decided to forget about this location and try someplace else.
Finally the sun came out strong and so did the fish on the flat's. Big, hungry and they ate my "Happy Meal fly" with joy. My biggest fish was approx. 20 lb's. taken in a couple feet of water. A couple of the biggest kick's I got out of this flat was:
1. I was the only angler around.
2. Every fish I landed did not have a speck of sea lice on it. This means these were not migratory fish or "hot" fresh fish from the ocean deep that came in with the faster tides. These were the biggest resident Bass for this flat. The only reason I can think of why they ate so well for me is that I have yet to see anyone else fish this area. So with little to no fishing pressure from other angler's is probably the only reason I did so good and they ate incredibly well.

You too can find fish like these. Just need to get off the beaten path, try someplace different, drive to a different part of the Cape, go for a long walk, buy a Cape Cod Atlas.

Left for home with a feeling of content and happiness. I got to challenge my ability as a fly fishing wade angler. Casting on the flats to big, moving targets. And also found some new and exciting places to take clients. Thanks for stopping in, Randy

Mail Bag:
Randy, In case you haven't already seen Fred LeBrun's article from today's
Albany Times Union, it is attached.
Some good stuff about you - deservedly so.
I couldn't find your available dates in your fishing reports yesterday
(I'll keep looking). You may want to consider moving them to a more
prominent location like the beginning of the fishing reports.
Something like:
Here are my remaining available dates for Salt Water fishing.
[available dates]
See below for reports on this seasons trips in this incredible fishery!
Enjoyed fishing with you June 8th.

HI Bill,
Here are my dates. Thanks so much for sending the article. It will make Mom proud.
Best Fish's,

(See open dates on Web Site)

7/10-11- Cape Cod Fly Wade Report:
Scheduled days off.

Mail Bag:
Hi Randy,
Just curious to know if it's my computer or you have not posted any recent updates.
Hi Amy,
I hit a wall of "burnt out" from all the long hours of working from 4 am until 8-9 pm.
Decided to subtract a number of hour's worth of work by not updating reports since Wed.
I spent over 3 hours since 4 am this morning (Sat.)on my day off bringing it all back
up to date. Then I went back to bed and slept until Sunday
Got up at 4 am Sunday and went (scouting a new and exciting area) fishing all day.
(Fishing Report above 7/12)
Best fish's,

7/9- Cape Cod Fly Wade Report:
Sunny skies welcomed us to the flats with open arm's. Wow, what a day. Saw some big-ol fat pig's. We did not see 100's but what we did see were quality fish and just enough to keep your interest from waning. It wasn't long before Fran's rod was doubled over and her reel was screaming the fisherman's national anthem. This was her first Striper ever!!

(See pictures)
Fran pick's one up while blind casting. She releases a keeper earlier in the day. Notice how shallow we were standing and fishing these flats. (knee deep)

(See pictures)
Ron and Fran, Congrats!! (measured 33 inch'a) Newly married and out having some fun together fishing. Now THAT's a keep'a of a wife!

(See pictures)
Couple more for Fran. She was on fire!

(See pictures)
Another shallow water Honk'a!

7/8- Cape Cod Fly Wade Report:
Mike and Larry's weather was cloudy, so sight fishing the many crystal clear shallow water flats would not be possible today. I'm still amazed at the number of angler's who try to sight fish on these dark days. By the time you see them (if your that lucky) they see you and they are gone. Big waste of time in my opinion.
Instead we fished several bait, fish rich water's that had one thing in common. The water was moving. Search out moving water, combined with a deep water channel and you will be rewarded. Below is a sampling of today's success's while wading. Congrats Guy's!!

(See pictures - - "Fishing Reports" - Almost daily pic's, report's, articles, tips.)

Best Fish's,
Randy Jones, a proud Reel-Time Guide Sponsor
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Old 07-12-2004, 04:37 PM
Jim Miller's Avatar
Jim Miller Jim Miller is offline
Big Kahuna
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Adirondacks
Posts: 1,388
Ah Come on Randy!
post some pics of the new spot will ya! I know you get lonely out there all by your self!
Kinda smacks of "puckerbrush Creek".......EAST
BTW (I was on my way out w/ the boat this evening....but the NOAA forecast scared me away! ). Good thing.... mighta got left on a island or something. he he
Jim Miller
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Old 07-13-2004, 12:03 AM
boba's Avatar
boba boba is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Before Nov. 1999
Location: Arlington, MA
Posts: 422
Hey Randy,
How about some comments about the two-handed (presumably, spey) rod. On the one chance this year that I had to be able to get to South Beach several weeks ago, there was a group using spey rods, and they were doing much better on the outside beach (outranging me 5-30 yds which made the difference on that particular day). How are they in average situations? I and my friends usually have no problem reaching the fish, and every ounce of rod/reel makes a difference to me when slogging down the beach with bad knees. Are they usually better and worth the weight/effort basis for average days?
So much water, so little time!
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Old 07-13-2004, 05:45 AM
RandyJones's Avatar
RandyJones RandyJones is offline
Join Date: Before Nov. 1999
Location: Salmon River, Pulaski N.Y.
Posts: 569
A ?step up? in sight fishing Cape Cod Saltwater Sand Flats

Boba, Here is an old article I quickly pulled from the archives that may answer some of your question's.

Jim, we could only hope that if you did get stranded on an island, you would not have the use of your lap top to make post's on this web site

A ?step up? in sight fishing Cape Cod Saltwater Sand Flats
Two handed fly rods and Ladders

Does spending an extra 40 bucks on one piece of equipment that will allow you to see 3 times as many fish and also 100 to 200 feet sooner on the flats sound to good to be true?

My fly fishing experiences over the last 20 years has been one of constant experimentation, development and refinement of my own ideas and borrowed
ones. It?s an ongoing process, one that never ends.

Not owning a flats boat or something similar I needed to duplicate and achieve their obvious height advantages on the flats. To increase the odds of sighting and catching more fish, I needed additional tools to combat the saltwater environment and its many challenges.

The two most important factors involved when sight fishing are speed and accuracy. Neither are achieved overnight, but both are critical when casting to a moving target. To help achieve speed I have found a two handed fly rod to be the ticket. But before you can make the cast you need to see?em first.

To help with site fishing on the flats I use a 5-foot aluminum stepladder. I call it my striper tower! It?s a great way to open up your visual cone. I achieve a greater height advantage normally only known to flats boats. It opens up a usually small circle of vision into a vast 50-400 foot arena. This allows my clients and myself to prepare in advance, so speed is no longer as critical. By sighting fish so far in advance it allows you more time to decide there projected path. This is normally determined by direction of current flow, depth and contour of bottom. Any experienced flat angler will tell you that with knowledge of these Routes and highways it?s simple to lead them30-50 feet with your fly. By leading your target so far in advance you are allowing your fly to sink to eye level. Thus tripling your odds of hooking up. Hoping the fish will rise up to your fly is normally met with a refusal. Anytime you can make it easier for any species of fish to feed, anywhere in the world you will increase your catch rate two-fold. Also by leading the fish, the noise made of fly and line landing on the water is less likely to spook them.

Through lengthy study of fish movement, I find most Stripers feel most comfortable and prefer to cruise in 2-5 feet of water on the flats (especially the 20-25lb?ers). While many do swim in 1-2 feet of water, most of the big ones don?t. Having stood in 3 feet of water over the years and then stood on a ladder in 3 feet of water. The difference is vast in the number and size of fish you will see. When standing in waist deep water your vision into deeper water is almost nel. It decreases your visual cone so much that many times by the time you see them, they see you. Now throw in rippled water or a little chop and your visual cone has shrunk even further. Add a ladder and your still in the ball game!

To say the least, a ladder is an incredible aid in the study of behavior patterns. It helps me study their Routes, movement with tidal flows and relationship with structure. Feeding habits, baitfish, and experimentation of retrieves, productivity of certain flies, length of leaders and setting by sight, instead of feel.

One of the more interesting aspects of using a bright, shinny and reflective aluminum ladder in crystal clear water at high noon is its unbelievable attractor like magnet qualities to fish. Having stood on the sand over the years and learned exact routes that these fish run everyday. It was baffling at first as to why these same fish would all of a sudden change their normal route, and come straight towards my ladder. Sometimes they stop 20 feet away and just stare before spooking. Other times they swim slowly around this oddity examining it from a distance, then spook. Needless to say there are times when this gives me an additional advantage over fish that otherwise we may not have a shot at due to distance or the different route they were taking.

I?ve come up with 2 ideas why they are doing this.

1) They are curious and wondering what this is.
2) The reflective qualities of the ladder in combination with sun and water resemble a possible school of baitfish. Now, I?m not suggesting that you all put tin foil or x-mas tinsel on your waders to attract fish, but could it really hurt?

I think the answer lies with a combination of the above 2 thoughts.

Having spent some time on a flats boat, I?ve noticed by and large these fish spook if within 30 feet or so of the boat (sometimes 100 feet out!) What makes this equation tuff is if you see the fish 50-70 feet out and its moving towards you. You have an extremely short window to false cast and place the fly 30-50 feet out. If leading the fish is needed, you can see what a small window of opportunity is available. Throw in fussy fish (which is often the case with educated, resident fish) and your available window of opportunity closes down completely.
With the use of a ladder you are much smaller than a boat and less likely to spook them. I can also step down of the ladder completely and lower my upper body to decrease the odds of being in their visual cone. We become completely invisible. Try that on a flats boat?

2 Handed Rods:
An Orvis Trident TL Tip Flex 14ft. 9 weight 2 handed fly rod is what I?ve found to work the best to increase speed, distance on the Flats and elsewhere. I?m not casting in a traditional Spey fashion or Double Hauling. Instead I?m simply moving the rod in generally the same manner as a one hander.

Boy that rod must be a beast to cast! Actually it?s easier than a one handed fly rod. It weighs a mere 10 ounces. Using 2 hands means 5 ounces each and most saltwater one handers weight 4-5 ounces. So there?s no more weight in hand. Several of my friends who have had shoulder problems find it less painful to cast than a one hander. Less energy expanded, less arm movement, cast?s faster, further, fewer false casts, no double haul, less stress on arm when fighting fish, larger flexible lever to apply additional side pressure. I foresee an increase of sales in this market, due to the fact that most of us are not getting any younger.

The use of a two handed fly rod on the flats and in the salt in general has many more advantages over a one hander. Try casting a one-hander 100 feet fast. Add wind, wide body fly, squid or weighted fly. Some of us can, (I can?t) but most of us have not achieved the precision timing or coordination of rod and hand that it takes. Try a 2-handed rod and you?ll be amazed at the ease and little effort it takes. Yup, you?re right. How often do you need to make a 100 foot cast? Well, when blind casting into deep water, Surf and sometimes the flats we all know that the more time your fly spends sub-surface the greater the opportunity to hook-up. I hook very few fish when my fly is in the air.

Casting a Happy Meal:
At times I?m using what I call a ?happy meal?. It?s a large --------------- that simply does not like to be cast. With the use of this longer lever, the cast is made with ease.

We all know that when you?re a right handed caster and the wind is blowing into your right ear the fly gets stuck in it unless you turn around and throw it on your back cast.
Again a two hander has a major advantage over a one hander. Instead of throwing it out on your back cast, simply cross the rod over your chest and you will throw as far as a one hander. When on the flats sight fishing, it?s nice to keep your eye on the target.

I find on the flats without a ladder and 2 handed fly rod, I can get 1 shot maybe 2 if I?m lucky at a fish or school. Using both pieces of equipment I can get a SOLID 2 shots maybe 3 if needed as they swim away.

There are many more advantages like throwing you line into the wind easier, on your forward or back. Higher back casts when dealing with rocks or sand dunes. You can pick-up large amounts of line and roll-cast further. Getting additional shots at fish on the flats. Hold more line outside tip before cast is made when sight fishing allowing you to make a 50-70 foot cast with only one back cast. Bigger shock absorber when fighting fish, less likely to break them off. Able to tire fish quicker with added length of rod using side pressure.

Try a 2 hander and you?ll soon be realizing all these advantages and more. The best being ?Fish On!?

Though I will land more fish while sight fishing w/ the best of ?em. I am by no means a better caster or angler. I simply have added additional tools to my bag of tricks. That make it easier to see more fish with a height advantage and deliver the fly quicker.

If sighting 3 times as many fish on the flats sounds exciting, seeing them further away giving you more time to lead them, giving you 3 times more shots at?em. Casting further with less effort, fewer false casts, no double hauls and increasing your catch rate sounds good. Then step up to the plate with a 2-handed fly rod and ladder. Be forewarned that strangers, friends, other anglers and guides will look at you like you?re from another planet. They will all laugh, but in the end they all agree I?m doing something that can only enhance a clients day out on the water, by spotting more fish for them to cast at.

With out a $25,000 flats boat, you?ll be taking a ?step up? in the right direction for sight fishing these World Class Destination Cape Cod Flats.

Best Fish's, Randy Jones

In addition to the above, Jay Horton wrote a nice artcile on the use of 2 handed fly rods in Fly Fisherman magazine. (Sept. issue) It also has some pictures of me from last August when we were out doing a photo shoot to be included with this article.

Also awhile ago Jay did the below article with pic's of me and interviewed Lefty Kreh and myself for:

Fly Fishing in Salt Waters magazine excerpts:

Size Counts!
When working the Northeast Surf - Flats, Two Hands Are Better Than One
By Jay Horton
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