Saturday morning I came across a 300 grain type 6 (fast sink) Rio shooting head that I forgot I had. I used to use it on an 8 weight with a Rio intermediate running line. I stuck it on a reel that had LLC13 backed with Amnesia line, after I cut off the LLC13. I never did like the way the leadcore casts. I wanted to see how the 7 weight I built for steelhead would cast this 300 grain setup in the surf, so I went down to the beach to try it out. This 7 weight has a rosewood reel seat, I hope it doesn't get ruined by the saltwater. I tied on a little size 8 perch grub kind of fly and got my waders on. Then I realized I had forgotten my stripping basket. Ken Hanley had been talking to a few of us at the flyfishing show, explaining how to surf fish without a basket so I tried it out. It doesn't agree with me. I tried stripping the line and keeping the loops in my fingers, but that sometimes tangled. I need a stripping basket out there. The rod and line worked good together, though.
Well Tyrone Fly got me thinking about stripers, so I went to the forebay today. I didn't invite anyone because I didn't know what to expect. Got there around 9:30 after making breakfast for the kids and loading the boat. Went to "check 12" first since I thought it was the most likely spot. The fishfinder marked a school 16'-19' deep on 22 feet of water, so I was letting it sink a long time, then hard strips and long pauses. I tried for quite some time with no hits at all. I got tired of hearing the bait dunkers constantly talking so I motored around and fished other spots to see it I could find any more schools, but I ended up back at check 12 in the afternoon. There were some kayakers there so I motored down current a ways till I marked some more fish. There were some fish about 16' deep at this spot. I started getting some soft hits by counting it down less and using short strips varied with pauses, just slowing down the retrieve. Just as I started to figure it out, it was time to go home! Went home and went for a bike ride with my kids.