Stripers in Maine

My friend in York, Maine, Dave Lomasney, has been getting some stripers at the mouth of the York River, just as of last weekend. Dave is one of the contributing tiers for my book in progress, Favorite Fishing Flies – 1892. Dave has sent me some photos of fish and scenes where he’s fished, and I thought I would share them here. Other locations along the Maine coast are also producing stripers as well. Check local fly shops, that is your best bet, unless you have a personal contact who lives in the area. Check the guides listed here on my blog; Greg Bostater guides in the salt. I’m not sure if Todd Towle and Kevin McKay guide for stripers or not.

Edit June 1st: I contacted Kevin McKay; he does not guide in the salt. But he recommended Mark Drummond as one of the best. I trust Kevin’s judgement. Here is a link to Drummond Fly Charters: http://www.fishlikemad.com/

Fly Shops would include Eldredge Brothers in Cape Neddick, Maine. They are very near the town of York. Shop manager at Eldredge Brothers, Jim Bernstein, created the Guitar Minnow, the fly responsible for all these fish. Here is a video link to tying the bucktail version of thew Guitar Minnow:

http://dailyflytyer.com/2011/03/guitar-minnow-jim-bernstein/

And Dave sent this two-part link in a comment on tying the feather version of the Guitar Minnow; that is what Dave has been using to take these fish.

Part I:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckGi75lM-ag

Part II: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B82iolPJWRQ

After sending this link, Dave said he got six more stripers there after I wrote this post.

Mouth of the York River, Maine.

Mouth of the York River, Maine. Photo by Dave Lomasney.

Mouth of the York River, Maine. Photo by Dave Lomasney.

Mouth of the York River, Maine. Photo by Dave Lomasney.

Mouth of York River, Maine. Photo by Dave Lomasney.

Mouth of York River, Maine. Photo by Dave Lomasney.

Striper caught on Guitar Minnow at mouth of York River, fish caught and photo by Dave Lomasney.

Striper caught on Guitar Minnow at mouth of York River, fish caught and photo by Dave Lomasney.

Head macro of striper with Guitar Minnow, photo by Dave Lomasney.

Head macro of striper with Guitar Minnow, photo by Dave Lomasney.

Striper caught on Guitar Minnow. Photo by Dave Lomasney.

Striper caught on Guitar Minnow. Photo by Dave Lomasney.

Another bass eats the Guitar Minnow. Photo by Dave Lomasney.

Another bass eats the Guitar Minnow. Photo by Dave Lomasney.

Head macro of striper and Guitar Minnow, photo by Dave Lomasney.

Head macro of striper and Guitar Minnow, photo by Dave Lomasney.

Congrats to Dave on his good fishing! These bass were all between 26″ and 30″. Nice fish! Thanks Dave, for permission to post your report and photos.

Here are two more photos that Dave e-mailed me after his fishing on the evening of Wednesday May 29th:

At the mouth of the York River, Maine.

At the mouth of the York River, Maine.

Another 28" striper, victim of the feather version of Jim Bernstein's Guitar Minnow.

Another 28″ striper fell victim to Dav’e rod and the feather version of Jim Bernstein’s Guitar Minnow.

Dave Lomasney

Dave Lomasney of York, Maine, and a big striper from last season. This fish also ate the Guitar Minnow. I gotta tie some of them!

Don’s Delight – Carrie Stevens Pattern

Just so you all don’t think I’ve lost my marbles and turned this blog into Wild Kingdom – Cogan Station, with all the recent deer sightings and fawn births, I am posting the Don’s Delight, a Carrie Stevens pattern, as promised, “before too long,” from a few days ago when I posted the Don’s Special.

The Don’s Special was one of three streamer patterns that Carrie G. Stevens, of Upper Dam, Maine, created for George Donald Bartlett. Don Bartlett first visited Upper Dam in 1909 at the age of nine. He made annual trips there for thirty-six consecutive years until his untimely death in 1945 at the young age of forty-five. Don was from Willimantic, Connecticut, as were a couple other notable Carrie Stevens friends, customers, and guide clients of her husband, Wallace. These included Frank Bugbee, for whom Carrie never created a fly, but it was he who thought of the name, Gray Ghost, for Mrs. Stevens most famous fly, indeed, the most famous streamer ever created, bar none. The third individual was Alfred “Allie” French, for whom Carrie created the Allie’s Delight and Allie’s Favorite.

I mentioned not too long ago that among thirty-five Rangeley style streamer patterns I have recently created, one of my patterns, designed in honor of Frank Bugbee, is called Bugbee’s Ghost. I promise to tie Bugbee’s Ghost and get it on here “before too long.” As part of that collection, I have also tied my original patterns – Carrie’s Ghost and Carrie’s Killer. They have been sitting here for weeks, patiently waiting for their photo shoot.

On to the Don’s Delight:

Don's Delight - hook is a Gaelic Supreme Martinek / Stevens Rangeley Style sttreamer. Tied and photographed by Don Bastian.

Don’s Delight – hook is a size #1 – 8x long, Gaelic Supreme Martinek / Stevens Rangeley Style streamer. Tied and photographed by Don Bastian.

Two card-mounted Don's Delight streamers. Tied and photographed by Don Bastian.

Two card-mounted Don’s Delight streamers. Tied and photographed by Don Bastian.

 

Don's Delight - tied and photographed by Don Bastian.

Don’s Delight – size #1 – 8x long, tied and photographed by Don Bastian.

Don’s Delight

Thread: Black or white Danville 3/0 Monocord or Uni-Thread 3/0, for under body build up on larger hook sizes, 6/0 can be used on smaller hooks

Hook: Any standard long-shank streamer hook, sizes #1 to #8, 6x to 10x long.

Tag: Flat silver tinsel

Tail: Red hackle fibers

Body: Flat silver tinsel

Throat: White hackle fibers

Wing: Four white hackles

Shoulder: Golden pheasant tippet

Cheek: Jungle cock

Head: Black with a red band, finished with Danville #100 Black and #56 Red Flymaster 6/0

The Don’s Delight, as a predominantly white streamer pattern, is an effective baitfish imitating fishing fly.

YThese are the three patterns Carrie Stevens created for Donald Bartlett: Top to bottom: G. Donald Bartlett, Don's Delight, and Don's Special

This photo presents the trio of patterns Carrie Stevens created for Donald Bartlett: Top to bottom: G. Donald Bartlett – #2 – 8x, Don’s Delight – #1 8x, and Don’s Special – #2 – 8x. Tied and photographed by Don Bastian.

 

Birth of a Fawn – II

I can’t believe my run of luck, simply being in the right place at the right time. I know this is supposed to be a fly tying and fly fishing oriented blog, but yesterday and again today, I can’t help it. I was sitting at my dining room table, packaging up the boxes for five Carrie Stevens Collector’s Edition Sets, (gotta take care of business), and I looked out the window to see a deer in my neighbor’s yard, about 150 yards away. It was a doe, and she was standing, but bent over, and held that position for a couple minutes. I thought, “That’s odd.” As I watched, she raised her head and then I saw it – something was on the ground beneath her – a newborn fawn! Unlike yesterday, where the doe and fawn had merely bedded in my front yard (I just went out and checked for evidence of birth and found none),  this doe gave birth on the spot where she stood in Jim’s yard. My neighbor mowed that grass on Memorial Day, so the freshly-clipped lawn provided me with a perfect view. The doe was licking, licking, cleaning off her fawn. In a couple of the photos, the fawn appears almost black; I suppose that’s the mixture of blood and fluids coating the fawn at birth after exiting its mother’s womb.

I grabbed my camera, and rested it on the patio railing, but even then, zoomed out to 24x magnification, the camera still trembled from the touch of my finger on the shutter button. Even at a shutter speed of 1/640, I still wanted to eliminate camera shake. I said to myself, “I gotta get the tripod.” Then I remembered that I had an extra tripod on the patio, right beside the door. It was leftover from a yard sale last summer. I got it for free, figuring I could use an extra tripod. So I hastily set up the tripod, mounted the camera, set the custom timer, and took these photos.

The doe is licking her newborn fawn, right on mowed grass in my neighbor's yard..

The doe appears attentive to something across St. Michael’s Road. She gave birth to the fawn right on mowed grass in my neighbor’s yard, barely forty feet from the paved road.

The doe is licking and cleaning the fawn.

The doe is licking and cleaning the fawn. The appears to be sitting on its hindquarters with its nose pointed up into the air. Notice how dark (wet) it is.

 

The natural cleaning process continues...

Nature’s cleaning process continues…

After several minutes,a car came up, traveling north on St. Michael's Road.

After several minutes, a car came up the road, traveling north on St. Michael’s Road. The vegetation along the road and my neighbor’s barn acted as a sound-proof barrier, screening its approach. When the car passed the barn and the doe at about forty feet, the sudden sound of the car startled doe and she wheeled about one-hundred eighty degrees. She knocked the fawn over in the process. The fawn is out of sight, but lying in a slight depression in the yard. She struck the fawn so quickly with her hind hooves that I was concerned she may have knocked it out, or worse.

After the alarm of a passing car, the doe is checking on her youngster.

After the alarm of a passing car, the doe is checking on her youngster.

The fawn had stood up, appearing unscathed.

The fawn stood up, apparently unscathed. The doe saw my movements on the patio and was checking me out.

One last

One last look and a pause; five minutes later they were gone.

Another good day! I suppose next I’ll be seeing a wild turkey with poults, or maybe even a black bear sow with cubs.