August 17, 2000 - The month of August, particularly this year, seems to require a certain fortitude betwixt our fly fishing lot. With the exception of a number of back side beaches that continue to produce during these mid-summer doldrums, (usually under low light situations), wading anglers are afforded only fair opportunities at best. The successes that were experienced during late spring and early summer have taken a brief hiatus and tactics must be altered to compensate.

There is definitely positive news on the horizon however. While perusing 1999 archives, my memory retreated to the early weeks of last September, when we were experiencing unquestionably some of best flats fishing the season had to offer. The weather had moderated and juvie mendaden were now commonplace along the shallow water areas surrounding Monomoy and South Beach, an episode that should be witnessed by every fisherman that enjoys this type of visual angling. The recreational boat traffic and fishing pressure was minimal, often presenting an atmosphere of solitude and tranquillity while lazily wading a flat during the sweet of the day. And the fish were there. In numbers that rivaled anything we had witnessed to date. So many fish that one could hardly categorize this activity as "sight fishing" in the truest since on the word. Simply loft an industrious 50 foot cast in no particular direction, with no particular intent, and with any particular pattern, and you were "fast on." It is now when fly selection is of less importance than it had been in the recent past. Sensing the approach of Autumn, the stripers feeding habits seem to transform into an aggressive nature that often supersedes their innate ability to perceive a man, waving a 9 foot pole, as being much of a threat.

We see no reason to predict that this September will be anything less than the last. These are "the salad days" as my old friend would say. Take advantage with every waking breath.

Bonito have filled in along the south side from Woods Hole to the Vineyard and are fishable enough to become targets of opportunity. MV continues to receive accolades from boat anglers as well as the shore bound contingent. We just received our first confirmed report of false albacore in the area and it may be just a few days before more reliable numbers make their presence and add to the growing number of game fish available for fly fisherman to hassle.

All this tuna talk has the Chatham boys licking their chops with the prospects of another exceptional year looming in the not to distant future. Look for fish to appear off South Monomoy and along the west side within a week’s time.

In the meantime, stick out the next few weeks, all hells gonna break loose once we enter the month of September.

Good fishing and safe wading,


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