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Albie "bleeping" damned

Started by shanktrout, November 07, 2005, 14:03:05 PM

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shanktrout

Lately I've been walking around somewhat crazed. My mind is blurred with images of busting Albies, my home is littered with half packed bags full of gear, and contact with friends and family has slowed. Last night I was up until 2:00 am constructing a homemade shooting head system after a 3 and a half hour drive home. I tested it outside and my neighbors must have thought I was insane. I just can't get these things out of my head, and the worst part is that I haven't seen one all year.
I spent the night at the motel Friday night and after a few brews, fell asleep early. Most guys my age are out chasing women and looking for the next party. I'm out chasing Albies, sleeping alone on beaches, and dreaming of the next blitz.
Saturday morning wasn't as cool weather-wise as I had hoped, but the reports were good.


Albies had finally moved in, and reports of "hook ups" were circulating. When an Albie chaser hears this, the body can react in an odd fashion as did mine. The anticipation drove me to crack open my first cold one around 7:00 to kill the shakes.
When we hit the spit we got some info from some of the other anglers who had put in a couple days. Unfortunately, the news was about as good as it has been all year for me, they hadn't seen a thing. Al's friend Steve had taken the ferry over with us, a Virginia fly flinger, as did an Albie chaser from Rhode Island and a few others that day.


I know a few groups of guys that follow these things down the coast. We played the waiting game, which usually consists of some visual observers looking for distant pods, blind casters looking for deeper fish, and mobile spotters that walk the coast up and down. It's an unwritten rule, but you pretty much need to take part in one of these duties.


The more time that passed without spotting anything, the more I consumed.


Steve Holding Some Bait... (Fly Choices!)


It's great to be out there with guys that share your enthusiasm and addiction, and I am talking about the False Albacore. Being an Albie virgin, everyone pretty much guaranteed me the best shot if they did in fact show. People would give up there ideal locations if need be to get the virgin on the fish. They'll even offer you up there own rods if need be. Albie virgins are treated differently, it's like we think we know what life is, but those that have landed an Albie know we can't possibly. We're almost treated fragile and I say this very seriously. I've put so much time into this fishery that it's getting downright discouraging, and most of the guys can tell. I've fished it hard for the past 4 years....really hard, had numerous shots at them, and I've had them at my feet with bait busting into my face.... I just haven't hooked up, and it hurts. I know it and they know it. I feel like the most knowledgeable Albie angler that has never hooked up.
After catching a dozen blues and lizard fish, staring at dead water, and melting in the sun, everyone knew the day wasn't shaping up to well, but we still tried our best to keep each other's spirits up.


I wasn't having any problem in that department after starting the day's festivities at 7.
The day dragged on and we all just sat there waiting for something to happen, it never did. The ferry showed up and Steve and the others left me and Peter on the island.
Darkness falls pretty fast out there on the "spit" and camping can at times be a pretty risky proposition when you factor in heavy winds and storms. We were fortunate enough to have a beautiful night, but unfortunately Albies don't tend to be fair weather fish.




You hope for a good Northern component wind, cool temps, and overcast skies but sometimes you just don't get it. At any rate, we stayed up until about 10:00, finished off the brews, had some brandy, and ate. We talked about his Everest climbs, distance bike rides, and younger wild days while I talked of my Military experience, future plans, and of course we talked a hell of a lot about fishing and gear. It's almost surreal out there at night, you feel very isolated and removed, but it just feels right.
We called it a night and hit our tents. I thought for the first time that day about my own life, women, and plans. It didn't take long before I passed out..... that stuff has no business being in the mind of a fisherman anyway...
That night I was awoken by some abrupt noise that I couldn't figure out. It almost sounded like someone was walking around my tent. When I woke up again later that night I realized something warm was nestled between my arm and chest, but it didn't frighten me initially. When I realized a little island mouse was lying with me I was startled and it scurried off somewhere else in my tent. It must have just been utilizing my body warmth, but in a weird way it was kind of cool to have the little guy in there with me.


Peter woke me in the morning out of a dead sleep and greeted me with a cup of hot joe and a pop tart.





Peter...


I was more appreciative of the gesture than he realized because I was out of food, water, and brew. I knew it would shape up to be a tough day out there without nourishment, especially after the previous day's drinking. If worse came to worse I had water from the melting ice which may have been gritty from the sand, fish, and if I had to I could have ate the little mouse.
We took a very long walk after we both laid land mines in little doggy holes. A couple boats were around us and I thought it was funny they may have been watching me shit.
When we got back from the spotting walk, the ferry had already dropped off the fishermen which included some of his friends from New England. Being a displaced New Englander myself, I enjoyed the familiar dialects, and stories from home. The guys were wonderful, and took me under their wing I guess you could say. One of them was over 80 years old and still kicking strong. He scoped out some of the young "chickens" that later would be browsing around the island. We talked fishing and all that good stuff, demo-d each other's fly rods, and most importantly we watched for False Albacore which would never show.


In the end I got an invite to join them at their secret hot spot back home which I hope to one day do. I meet so many fishermen as I live life that I'd love to see again, but as the years pass, you sometimes never get the chance. I guess the key is remembering those moments you were fortunate enough to share with them... as I always do.

The day ended up to be non eventful. At this moment, I'm already planning a return trip for this Friday. Tonight I have to link up with my fishing partners in crime, make finishing touches on a shooting head/running line, test it, tie flies, and go through my gear. Stuff like that makes those other normalcy's in life seem so insignificant.

walt

shank..... we're gonna fix this virgin thang. i dunno how just yet.... but we're gonna fix this.

wonderful tr.... great pics and story.... camping on the hook spit.... ya got grit....

"Albie virgins are treated differently, it's like we think we know what life is, but those that have landed an Albie know we can't possibly. We're almost treated fragile and I say this very seriously."

wonderful stuff.....

pedd, stash, any ideas?

damit.... i guess you saw jeff and i cruise by.... i wish i had known.

--wally



"All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain."
— Cormac McCarthy

Peddler

He outta get his arse on a boat with a good captain and get his cherry popped!
After that, it's all gravy!

We're going out there sometimes overTurkey week. We have room at the Inn.
The early bird may get the worm,
but the second mouse gets the cheese.

Mstash

If we get enough virgins fishing together.
One of us should come home happy. ;D

Vstash

shanktrout

I hope the Albies are gentle with me......seeing how it's my first time and all..... Does the first time hurt?

walt

Quote from: shanktrout on November 08, 2005, 08:07:18 AM
I hope the Albies are gentle with me......seeing how it's my first time and all..... Does the first time hurt?


whatsamatter.... you don't like pain?  ;)

shank.... if'n you get a big one on.... you'll feel the burn.

walt

ps.... i posted some pics in my gallery.... not sure how to do a nice pictorial tr like you did.

"All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain."
— Cormac McCarthy

shanktrout

I guess the burn is a small price to pay...

I'll check those pics out.... to post them here with any type of camera:

1. Get the photos put on a disk at Wal Mart or something.

2. Go to www.photobucket.com

3. Register for free

4. Download your photos on to the site

5. Cut and paste the tags into your post

flyman

Nice report and photos. I noticed your reel is set up to wind right handed. Are you left handed?
Yea, I'm redneck, so what!

shanktrout

I'm a switch hitter.... ;)

I'm right handed and have set up in that fashion since I was 9. It's never caused me a problem.

Peddler

Quote from: shanktrout on November 09, 2005, 08:16:24 AM
I'm a switch hitter.... ;)


I was gonna invite you to hang with a few of us on the Bight but since you 'came out' I ain't fer sure how that would go over!  8)

Check yer P.M.'s dude!  ;D
The early bird may get the worm,
but the second mouse gets the cheese.

walt

With bigger weight gear (9wt and up), I cast and crank right-handed. I like having my power arm on the reel for heavy winding.

For lighter setups, it's not an issue... so I cast right-handed and wind with the left.

I guess this makes me middle-of-the-road politically  ;D

walt
"All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain."
— Cormac McCarthy

Woolly Bugger

ex - I'm not going to live with you through one more fishing season!

me -There's a season?

Pastor explains icons to my son: you know like the fish symbol on the back of cars.

My son: My dad has two fish on his car and they're both trout!

walt

thanks Keith......  'dem puppies are amazing.

walt
"All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain."
— Cormac McCarthy

befuddled

Hmmm.....a switch hitting virgin that sleeps with small vermin........ >:D


be careful around this crew!!!


befuddled

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