April 14th Meeting Features Dave Rimmer on Albies and Bonito


This month's speaker is Captain Dave Rimmer of Joppa Charters. Dave has been guiding on the waters of Merrimack River, Plum Island beaches and the estuaries and flats of Crane's Beach for over 11 years, and will be a familiar face to many of our members. While Dave's charter service focuses primarily on the striped bass and bluefish fishery around the North Shore, this month he will focus on another passion of his—fly fishing for false albacore and Atlantic bonito in the waters of Cape Cod and the Islands. His presentation will include the species' biology, equipment, flies and techniques for these fast swimming "hard tails". For more info about Capt. Dave Rimmer and Joppa Charters, please check out: http://www.joppacharters.com

Heads-Up for the Club's Shore and Boat Trip Sign ups

Plans for the club's big Plum Island shore, and Merrimack river boat, fishing outings are beginning to come together. Please make sure your dues are paid up, and make every effort to attend the May club meeting to sign up. NOTE as we did last year, this meeting will be the only opportunity to sign up for these events.

~ Chris Pinzone



Casting and Rigging Clinics

We are all set with our casting clinic and barbecue on May 17th at the Salisbury Reservation. Certified instructors from LL Bean will be there to work with you on getting that extra distance in your cast. We will hold a 101 level rigging clinic for any interested members at the club casting clinic and barbecue in Salisbury on May 17th. We will show you how to tie basic knots to put together your saltwater outfit including those that connect your fly line to your backing and your leader and those used to tie on a tippet as well as a couple of good terminal knots for attaching flies. Monofilament will be available to practice tying the knots.


April Tying Clave—Joe Squicciarini The Whistler

Joe Squiccirini will lead our final tying clave of the year with a classic saltwater pattern he's had lots of success with, the Whistler.

Our final fly tying clave is upon us. With any luck, we've all added some new flies and fly patterns to our fishing arsenal. The most effective fly is the one you fish with regularly and with confidence, your go-to fly. One go-to fly in a number of our boxes is Dan Blanton's Whistler fly. This fly pattern has been simplified, embellished, and revised by a number of fly tiers since its introduction in the early 60's. Dan B. himself modified this pattern by adding a Flashabou extension- a flshtail, found in the literature as the Flashtail Whistler. It should be noted that adding a flashtail to a fly is not limited to the Whistler, but may be added to most of your favorite patterns. This is a ubiquitous design, easily found on the internet. Videos tying instructions and pattern variations are available on-line.

Now, I have to admit that this is a fly I forget I have in my fly box on many trips to the beach. I'm not sure why. On more than one occasion this fly was a good producer for me on early summer mornings with an incoming tide off the Plum Island beach. Maybe I got out of the habit? I'm sure we all have a few of these. What's new, shiny, or tied with a new material? Too many flies to play with, I guess. So, there must be something good here, right? What's so special? I've tied this fly on regular saltwater short shank hooks and on jig hooks. You can choose bead chain or dumbbell eyes in its construction. Depending on choice of hook and eyes, this pattern can be "rigged" for fishing on the bottom, jigged like a Clouser minnow, or fished as you would another streamer pattern.

Like the Deceiver or Clouser, the Whistler is a style of fly. The dressing below covers many combinations of color and material. I hope to demo several versions on Saturday. The original dressing and variations are available on the internet. I suggest you add a couple to your fly box as you prepare for a successful spring fishing trip.



Hook: Eagle Claw 254 SS or other short shank hook 2/0 to 4/0. A longer shank jig hook like the Eagle claw EC413 with a 60 degree turned eye is also a good choice
Thread: Your choice of red or white. Several turns of red will be used in front and in back of the eyes. Head will be finished red.
Eyes: Large to extra-large silver or gold chain- beads, or proportional sized brass/gold dumbbell eyes (I prefer gold colored eyes and do not add stick-on optics)
Tail/wing topping: Hot pink Bucktail, medium bunch over white; small bunch of purple Bucktail. Colors can vary based on the combos that work in your area.
Shoulder flash: Eight to ten strands of pink or hot pink Crystal Flash. Color to accent wing/tail topping.
Side flash: Ten strands of multi-colored (rainbow) Crystal Flash or whatever flash material you prefer.
Side hackle: One large grizzly neck hackle centered on each side just short length of tail.
Body/collar: Two or three turns of medium red chenille. I've tied this with red Estaz as well, but have not fished this fly as yet.
Hackle/collar: Wide collar, two wide, webby white saddle or neck hackle, faced with a large, webby grizzly neck hackle.
Tail/wing: Two to three medium bunches of white bucktail, soft and crinkly.
Flashtail: 40 to 50 strands of a 50:50 mix of silver and pearl Flashabou, regular, not saltwater.


Club Rod Raffle


We have received a generous donation of a Redington DFR 790 fly rod and case from one of the club's founders and long time member, Dave Beshara. This is a high quality 9 foot, 3 piece, 7 weight rod with an estimated retail value of $500. We will be raffling this rod off at our May meeting so you can start the new season with a rod that will be perfect for catching the early stripers. Tickets are only $5.00 with all funds directly benefiting the club. Tickets will be available at the March, April, and May meetings or you can contact Chris directly -- This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to make arrangements. You need not need to be present in May to win, and you do not need to be a member to buy tickets. Take a chance and help the club!!
~ Chris Pinzone


We are on Facebook!

The club has a Facebook page and if you are on FB you can visit our page and post on it, make comments, share items and interact in other ways. Even if you are not a Facebook person you can view the club's FB page by just clicking on this link. Check us out.



Try out the Club's FlyLine Forum

It's Your Discussion Forum—Take Advantage of It.

The club's FlyLine forum lets members exchange information about fishing experiences and opportunities, and ask and answer tackle, rigging, technique, and other technical questions. It provides a general discussion forum for chatting about club events and all kinds of other angling activities. This is a great way for members, new and old, to connect to do a little fishing together or to help each other out with technical questions. You can go directly to the forum with this link:  FLYLINE FORUM   Here's a recent sample exchange on the FlyLine:

Q. "I am new to this forum and new to fly fishing for stripers in NE in general. Did a little of it back in CA at some local reservoirs. I have an 8 weight Reddington rod. I am just curious, how far am I away from a setup to start fishing Stripers here in New England? This is a whole 'nother world for me. Thanks in advance for any help."

 A. "Most of us who chase stripers use 9 and 10 wts but many of us started with 8 wts and that's a good size to start with especially for smaller school fish and smaller flies. For the waters around the Plum Island/Merrimack River area, I fish mostly sink-tip lines, which allow me to get the flies down to the fish in deeper water faster. A 200 or 250 grain sink tip is a pretty good match for an 8wt rod if you want to try it out. Or check with a local fly shop like First Light Anglers in Rowley and see what they recommend for your setup. Also come to meetings and ask around to see what others are using. Hope this helps. And welcome to the group."

 For those who have not used the FlyLine recently, you will notice that they have been migrated to a new platform called Yuku. The old software was being phased out and we had to switch to Yuku or lose all of the old messages. The look and feel of the forum is a little different, but it should basically run the same.  Your old usernames/passwords should still be valid on the new site.



"Rigging Tips" Section on Website

The club has a section on its Website that members can refer to when looking for information on rigging, tackle, knots and similar angling advice. To view this section, click on the words Rigging Tips in the column of menu choices under Main Menu on the left side of the Website's Home Page. You will find articles here about tying terminal knots to attach your flies, making saltwater leaders, making and using bite tippets, using loop-to-loop connections. tying surgeon's and blood knots to make leaders or tie on tippets. Check them out and let us know what you think.


From time to time, we will post additional how-to items and articles in this new section that may be of interest to club members. If you have comments on this section or want to suggest other topics for  the section you can join the club education focus group at the next meeting or post them on the club Fly Line forum.


Annual Fishing Outings

Each year the club holds a number of outings and events for members. Sign-up lists for club trips will be at the welcome table at the May meeting. Fishing outings are open to members only.  Participation by members may be limited for reasons of weather, safety or space. Members must sign up in advance to participate in a fishing trip. Dates and details of each trip will be published in the club newsletter, The Moon Tides.

May 2014 - Plum Island/ Merrimack River Shore Trip- an evening wade-fishing trip on the north end of Plum Island. Open to all club members. New members are encouraged to attend and meet and fish with fellow fly rodders familiar with the area.

June 2014Merrimack River Boat Trip - an evening boat trip on the Merrimack River on the perfect flooding tide to fish Joppa Flats. A great opportunity for club members who don't own a boat to fish the Merrimack with one of our many experienced captains.

June or July, 2014, -- Hampton Harbor Boat Trip--Dates to be determined. An evening boat trip exploring this local watershed. Date to be determined based on interest and boat availability.

July and August, 2014 -- Kayak Outings -- Dates to be determined. We are considering weekend morning fishing trips, exploring the estuaries of Plum Island Sound or Cape Ann.

Fishing Outings are RESERVATION ONLY. In the event we have more guests than allowable given the available boat space, names will be drawn at random. You will receive additional information via the club newsletter as to when and how to make your reservation.

Other Special Events

From time to time, the club holds additional skill-building events such as casting clinics, fly tying demonstrations, and others for members.

Rich Kolesar of LL Bean gave members an overview of casting basics at a recent spring casting clinic.


Lou Tabory describes the fine points of the forward cast at a spring casting clinic.


Recap of last year's 2013 Merrimack Boat Trip

Marcel Chua with a big smile and a great looking schoolie fish on Steve Spanger's boat.

The club held its annual boat and fishing trip on June 12th in which club members who have boats take out other members who do not have them, giving them a chance to get out on the water for an evening of fun and fishing even if it sometimes includes a little rain! And a good time was had by all in spite of the challenging weather and unpredictable nature of fishing on the river. Our adventuresome group searched everywhere for fish from the upper islands to the lower flats and a few brave souls even ventured the mouth of the river for a few drifts once the wind and rain let up. Anyway, we were all rewarded at the end of the evening with an enormous--and beautifully intense--rainbow over the mouth of the Merrimack. A few photos are posted here ... more are in the 2013 Boat Trip Gallery on the Photo Gallery page ... enjoy! --Dick Brown

Karl Jacobson and his guests had a great night in Hampton Harbor

Captains comments below

"I really enjoyed meeting Marcelino - a very enthusiastic new member.  We caught a few schoolies and I considered the outing a resounding success for the fact that we both stayed dry!" Steve Spanger

"We had a good outing and got back in one piece. We ended up with two schoolies and a green crab. As expected, the water was pretty stained from all the rain and I'm sure that it didn't help the fishing. We got one on the Salisbury Drift and one by the party boats. A captain in the Obsession came in with a large group and they got their share of fish. He was cleaning them for about 20 minutes.  He must have been outside. We ran into a boat who was pulling out as we were coming in and he had four fish over 40"--on live macks. The fish are there but had their mouths shut--wait 'til next year." Larry Castegneto

Lori Rizzo caught her first striper on Chris Pinzone's boat.

 "We got out later than most and I tried to avoid the shallower water with my rig but we managed to get Steve and Lori their first stripers on the fly. All of our fish were dinks but everyone was pretty happy so I would say it was another successful outing!" Chris Pinzone

Charles Atkinson and Karl Jacobson on Karl's boat in Hampton Harbor.


"My guests and I decided not to venture down to the Merrimack last night. We stay around Hampton Harbor where my boat is and were rewarded with some great fishing! We caught close to 50 fish, up to 24". Most of the rain missed us and we had a great time." Karl Jacobson




Thanks to all host Captains:

A great big THANK YOU to Ken Black, Larry Castegneto, Jim Chase, David Grigglestone, Karl Jacobson, Rich Marks, Steve Murphy, Charlie Newbold, Bill Schmidt, Steve Spanger, and Norm Tabor for making themselves and their boats available to the club and its members. It is very much appreciated by the club and all the guest anglers who participated.