Whales, Tales, and Ales
The idea of fishing The Cape for striper became a reality in the car ride home from the Cystic Fibrosis charity event at Yellow Creek, where Chris, Derek, and I volunteer each year. Every year I listen to their stories of past trips, look at their pictures, and wonder why the hell I haven’t booked a trip yet.
When Chris told me he was going to Cape Cod with Bob in June and there was one spot left, I knew I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. How could I? It was a short trip, inexpensive, and a great “beginner” trip, or so they said. At the time, I had just gotten back from a very unsuccessful tarpon fishing trip to Boca Grande, FL, and I figured I’d give striper fishing a shot, considering my luck couldn’t possibly get much worse.
Flash forward to our first day on the water. I spent the entirety of the day with my head off of the side of the boat chumming the Atlantic. I think Bob and Chris had a good day, but I couldn’t pick my head up for long enough to see how they were doing. I was not off to a great start, but it was nothing a few beers (ok, maybe more than a few), some clam chowdah, and lots of Dramamine couldn’t fix.
I woke up the next morning at 4:15am, loaded up on Dramamine (and Ibuprofen for the hangover) and crossed my fingers in hopes that I wasn’t going to barf off the bow, again. We headed down to the Outermost Harbor to meet Captain Dave. What seemed like the next thing I knew, I was holding my first striper! After out-fishing Bob and Chris all day, it was time to head to The Squire for some more chowdah.
Day 3 was hands down the best day of the trip. The weather was gorgeous, the fish were eating, and we ended up seeing some humpback whales! I’ve always wanted to see a whale so this was a real treat for me. Once I was able to somewhat regain my composure from all of the whale excitement, we headed back to try for more fish. For the remainder of the afternoon, it seemed like every time I turned around someone was hooked up. The feeling of fighting these strong fish, on a fly rod, in the rips (huge shout out to Chris for keeping me on the boat) is almost indescribable. In fact, I think my arms are still sore.
I’ve been home for about a week now but I have yet to settle back into reality. I’ve found myself watching fly fishing videos at work and daydreaming about my next adventure. I can’t wait for next year.