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John Craine's Trips

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This user has 48 trips in their collection.
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A Nice Day

Avg. Rating: 5
# Reviews: 5
Views: 1091
eastern Massachusetts
6/5/2015

A friend and I called in sick to work last Friday for a day of fly fishing. Our first stop was the Assabet where the water was running high after last week's rain. Still, from 9-noon we managed to pull 8 nice browns between us and had a lot of fun. After a quick lunch break we drove south to another eastern Mass river and soon found a pocket of fish, netting 5 more fat rainbows including the whale this photo.

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Skunked!
Avg. Rating: 5
# Reviews: 1
Views: 1177
12/26/2014 - 12/27/2014

I had high hopes for this weekend given the decent weather and mid-40s temps. Hit Houghton's on Friday AM. A fairly stiff wind made fly casting a challenge. About three hours on the water yielded not a bump. I returned on Saturday morning. The sun was shining and wind had laid down, an absolutely perfect day to be on the water. Four and a half hours later I went home empty. Only one tug on the fly the entire time. There were three other fly fisherman that came and went during that time. One of them was able to land a rainbow. The rest of us made the walk of shame.
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Trout-o-rama
Avg. Rating: 5
# Reviews: 8
Views: 1297
undisclosed
12/6/2014

No fish porn attached but I've been having steady luck on the fly at the local stocked pond for the past several weeks. Three rainbows yesterday so mark me down officially for December fish. Three last week including a very nice brownie, and an epic day two weeks ago with 10 to the net and another 4-5 dropped (included three browns 16-18"). Thanks to everyone who has already hung up their gear for the season. I love being the only one on the water and catching fish 8^)
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April Struggles
Avg. Rating: 5
# Reviews: 7
Views: 1500
multiple
4/18/2014 - 4/27/2014

This trip is more for my own record keeping than for any sort of chest thumping. After my triumphant return from North Carolina where I absolutely slayed the trout three weekends ago, I have once again been humbled by Massachusetts pisces. I spent Friday, April 18 fly fishing two local ponds, both recently stocked, for trout. After fours hours I managed just three small bass on a woolly bugger and go bit off by a pickerel. Saturday April 19 was spent in the kayak on Ponkapoag where the reward for three hours of battling high winds was one small bass and one small pickerel. On Friday April 25 I spent a lovely afternoon fly fishing Buckmaster with a friend. No fish. Followed that with a trip to another stocked pond in the area, 5 hits, no hookups. On Saturday, I stood in the rain at Houghton and Buckmaster for a total of 4 hours with only a single pickerel showing up. Yesterday, April 27, NEKF held it's Spring Thing event at Chebacco. Three hours on the water and one pickerel. It can only get better from here.
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Asheville Brookies!

Avg. Rating: 5
# Reviews: 6
Views: 1368
Asheville, NC
4/12/2014

So where the heck is Asheville, you ask? In North Carolina. I had to travel for business so I thought I'd combine it with a little bit of pleasure. I located an outfitter, hired a guide and spent a half day on the west fork of the Pigeon River. My guide, Jason Van Dyke, had me into fish within minutes and the action didn't let up all morning. I hit for the cycle catching brookies, rainbows and browns. Most fish were stockies in the 10 inch range but we also hooked into a few 3lb+ bruisers. If you ever find yourself in that area needing a most excellent guide, contact Hunter Banks and ask for Jason.

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Single Solitary Striper
Avg. Rating: 4.6666666666667
# Reviews: 3
Views: 1603
Duxbury, MA
10/26/2013

Hit up Duxbury again this AM with a couple buds from NEKF. Launched before dawn, temps around 40° with no wind. Hit a short right after launch but nothing else. Both friends were skunked. No signs of bait either.

Watch the video http://youtu.be/_iqFtuyhZ9Y
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Single Solitary Striper
Avg. Rating: 4
# Reviews: 1
Views: 1365
Duxbury, MA
10/26/2013

Hit up Duxbury again this AM with a couple buds from NEKF. Launched before dawn, temps around 40° with no wind. Hit a short right after launch but nothing else. Both friends were skunked. No signs of bait either.
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Blue Sky Schoolies

Avg. Rating: 5
# Reviews: 6
Views: 1597
Duxbury, MA
10/13/2013

October 13, 2013 - Finally, a calm day with blue skies. I launched about an hour past high tide to fish the outgoing. I picked up three fish in the first 20 minutes at a spot that's proven quite reliable over recent weeks. I then pedaled into a section of the marsh I hadn't yet fished but was told held some big fish. Alas, no biguns for me today but a boatload of schoolies to 22". I know this water holds big fish, the locals keep regaling me with tales of monsters taken on live pogies. I may need to tie some larger flies and change up my technique a bit. They say practice makes perfect. At least this kind of practice is a blast.

TIGHT LINES!

Watch the video http://youtu.be/-1O6Mc41DTM

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Blow Hard
Avg. Rating: 5
# Reviews: 10
Views: 1564
Duxbury, MA
9/11/2013

October 11, 2013 - A steady wind at 15-20 knots kept other kayakers off the water but the Hobie excels in this type of slop. I was fishing the outgoing, starting about 2 hours after high and headed toward the estuary in search of some calmer water. I picked up my first fish 10 minutes in but it took a while to find my stride. After an hour I only had three fish in the boat. That's when I stumbled upon the mother load at the mouth of the estuary. The stripers were all stacked up where the wind and the current were at odds creating a nice chop. After that I couldn't put my line in the water without hooking a fish within seconds. Over the next hour and a half I boated at least 16 more fish. That's how many I caught before my camera battery died. But I kept on fishing and catching for a while after that so I know I caught well over 20 in a three hour trip. None were legal but all were fun.

Watch the video http://youtu.be/BsSv5G4GSXc

TIGHT LINES!
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It's Raining Schoolies
Avg. Rating: 5
# Reviews: 11
Views: 1626
Duxbury, MA
9/6/2013

Rain and wind was the story of the day, but that didn't deter me from fishing. Protected from the elements in my rain gear, my GoPro in its waterproof housing, I set out with my 8 wt St. Croix Triumph to conquer the mighty striped bass. I launched two hours ahead of high tide and had my first fish 15 minutes later. Dragging a size 1/0 white/olive/black Clouser I picked up six fish, including one herring, before the bite died at slack tide. Once the tide started moving again I found a nice rip loaded with schoolies and started to slay them one right after another. No legal fish today but I had the water to myself and a boatload of fun on the fly rod. Watch the video http://youtu.be/T7b4xWs6GUM
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Schoolies on the Fly
Avg. Rating: 5
# Reviews: 6
Views: 1083
Duxbury, MA
9/28/2013

September 28, 2013 - Ritzy1 from New England Kayak Fishing (loosely) organized this informal striper get-together in Duxbury, MA. The water was dead calm at launch and the schoolies were hitting everything. I might have been disappointed using heavier gear but I was smart and had brought my 8 wt fly rod and had a blast. I boated 17 fish and lost several others. Sure I would have liked to land something more substantial but only a hopeless curmudgeon could complain about catching that many fish on a beautiful fall day in Duxbury.

Watch the video http://youtu.be/8gRZ_Yem1NE

TIGHT LINES!
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The River Swift

Avg. Rating: 5
# Reviews: 6
Views: 1462
Swift River
9/20/2013

My friend Cynthia and I decided to play hooky on a beautiful Friday afternoon to go fly fishing at the Swift River. The Swift flows out of the Quabbin and the top section of river is a fly fishing mecca. It is a remarkable place with crystal clear water and tons of big trout just hanging out. Of course there are a lot of fly fisherman hanging out too so sometimes things get a bit crowded.

I was told that the best way to catch trout on the Swift was to use small nymphs. In fact, my friend Cynthia had purchased some nymphs that were custom tied for her by the "Dean of the Swift River" Dan Trela. So as we were gearing up we were preparing to nymph. The guy parked next to us was just coming off of the river and I noticed that he had a black streamer tied on. When I asked him about it he said he'd had zero luck with nymphs and was just trying something different. That something different netted him three fish. Mental note recorded.

Soon, Cynthia and I found ourselves trudging upstream along the path bordering the river's western shoreline. Looking down into the gin clear flow to my right I was excited to spot several very nice rainbows languidly riding the current. This was now officially beginning to get exciting. We found a break in the shoreline brush and cautiously waded into the river. The water level was fairly low and the current moderate, nothing to worry about here. Peering around it dawned on me that we were surrounded by trout, upstream, downstream, sidestream, everystream. And many of the trout were rising.

Cynthia positioned herself about 50 feet upriver from me and we both began dutifully fishing our nymphs as we'd been instructed by numerous fellows of greater fly fishing provenance than ourselves. Within minutes Cynthia was into a rainbow that put a nice bend in her rod, and then just as suddenly it was off. I worked the nymph for about 20 minutes without stirring up any trout interest. But I kept thinking about those rising trout and soon had my fly box open. I selected a big ol' brown fly with lots of hackle. I don't know the name, I only know that I tied it 40 years ago as a teenager and it had been waiting patiently all those years for this very moment.

I cast my fly upstream and let it drift down on the current. A trout swam over inquisitively and then swam away. Interesting. Cast and drift, cast and drift, cast and...BAM, FISH ON! My first Swift River trout and my first trout ever on a dry fly! But I hadn't landed it yet, first I had to wrestle it into my net knowing that only 6x tippet stood between me and disappointment. Speaking of which, where was my net? Back at the car of course. So there I stood in the river with no way to land the fish. I think he knew this because a few seconds later he spat the hook.

Nothing to do but try for another. Cast and drift, cast and drift, cast and...BAM, another fish on. This time I would be super careful and play the fish until tired (the fish, not me) before gently lifting him out of the water for his fishy photo op. And my plan went swimmingly, up until the moment that I tried to lift the trout out of the water by my 6x tippet. SNAP! Fish, and fly, gone. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

So back to the fly box I went, but I didn’t have any more of the big hairy brown flies. I had lots of little brown flies that all looked the same to me; I wondered how they would look to the trout. I tied one on and give it the old heave ‘n’ drift treatment. Again, and again, and again, and again. Nothing. So I walk upstream toward Cynthia, methodically working my little brown fly over the tops of the quite obviously disinterested trout. Cynthia too has had her travails hooking and losing a couple of fish. We commiserated.

After more hours of hopeless flailing we decided that it was time to head home. Wading downstream we encountered another angler fishing from the shore. He hadn’t had any luck but just after we passed he hooked into a trout. Even after the fish came unhooked I heard him say that he could at least leave the river happy. I could relate.

By accident (or perhaps providence) we waded past our entry point into the stream and found ourselves in a pool we hadn’t fished on the way up. We noticed some trout rising downstream, ahead of some deadfall. We looked at each other with that “oh, what the heck” shrug and began casting, Cynthia with her nymphs and I with the little brown dry fly. After about my fourth pass over the trout he rose to take it and I had my third fish of the day on. This time I had help and so I carefully manoeuvered the fish to where Cynthia could net him. Finally, I had my fishy photo op and I could at least leave the river happy.

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Surfin' for Stripers

Avg. Rating: 5
# Reviews: 9
Views: 1360
Sandwich, MA
9/11/2013

A friend and I took an end-of-day trek down to Sandwich to do a little night-time fly fishing from the beach. The weather was warm and the sky clear but the wind was blowing out of the south something terrible making it difficult to back haul. Before dark I started off throwing a white Deceiver and was able to nab a little guy up against a jetty. After the sunset I threw on a black Deceiver and managed to nab the little guy in the photo below. That was it for the evening. My friend was blanked.

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Dark Spinners
Avg. Rating: 5
# Reviews: 6
Views: 1058
Ponkapoag
9/5/2013

From the house it looked like a perfect overcast day to do some fishing but when I arrived at the pond a mighty N/NE wind had whipped up. I hit my first bass on a black spinnerbait in the middle of the pond but the wind made it impossible to anchor in place. So I paddled to the windward side to use the trees as a windbreak. It worked for a short while but there were no fish to be had. Then the wind started to swirl and blow unpredictably. Soon it was blowing out of the East, so I threw on the drift sock and drifted west casting the spinnerbait. I was covering a lot of water and eventually hit a few fish. After finishing a drift I would paddle back to the eastern side and begin a new drift. It turned out to be a half decent day but I had to work my tail off, and by the end, I thought my casting arm was going to fall off. Enjoy the video.

Watch the video http://youtu.be/4L8iOf9Lqik
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Sandy Neck Striper
Avg. Rating: 5
# Reviews: 2
Views: 1062
Sandy Neck, Sandwich
9/4/2013

To get a fix of fly fishing I decided to take part in the weekly Wednesday night striper meet-up organized by The Bears Den in Taunton. This week we met up at Sandy Neck in Sandwich. There were only three of us, myself, Seth, the organizer and Mike from Worcester. It was a beautiful clear night with calm seas, and standing waist deep in the ocean, casting a fly rod into the black night illuminated only by the milky way was a most peaceful and humbling experience. I was able to nail a schoolie on my 3rd cast but that would be my only fish over the next two hours. If you are into fly fishing for stripers these trips are a great way to meet some great guys, pick up some pointers and learn about some new locations.
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Dirty Water Bass
Avg. Rating: 5
# Reviews: 6
Views: 975
Charles River, Millis
8/30/2013

August 30, 2013 - It took me about 30 minutes to find my first fish. It was tight against the shore in less than a foot of water with no weed cover and slammed a black Live Target frog. Two more bass quickly followed and I thought it was going be a great day. Then, just as suddenly, the bite died. I don't know if it was because the cloud cover broke and the wind kicked up or the solunar window had closed. Over the next four and half hours I only scared up two smallish bass, both on the senko.

Watch the video http://youtu.be/mSI3T1EA9Nc

TIGHT LINES!
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Pea Soup & Fly Bass
Avg. Rating: 5
# Reviews: 4
Views: 783
Ponkapoag
8/29/2013

Watch the video http://youtu.be/1ZmLCng06Rg

My fly rod finger was itchin' so I scratched it with a short morning jaunt to Ponky. The forecast had called for light winds but Ponky had other plans. I was able to find a few areas shielded from the wind and land some fish but eventually it became more work that it was worth and I called it a day. I finished with a couple decent bass and about six pickerel.

TIGHT LINES!
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NEKF Mass Bay Striper Shootout
Avg. Rating: 5
# Reviews: 2
Views: 927
Winter Island, Salem, MA
8/16/2013 - 8/18/2013

Watch the video http://youtu.be/2sln7eTVjUs

August 17, 2013 - This is a brief look at the fish that won me first place in the fly fishing class at the Mass Bay Striper Shootout at Winter Island, Salem last week. I started fly fishing again this year after a several decade hiatus and thought that mingling with other fly fisherfolk at this event would give me some insight into striper fly fishing. Things worked out a little better than I hoped.

TIGHT LINES!
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Kayak Tournament - Dudley Pond, Wayland, MA
Avg. Rating: 5
# Reviews: 1
Views: 845
Dudley Pond
8/24/2013

Watch the video http://youtu.be/LhXTS3_3Ht0

August 24, 2013 - A beautiful late August day and some early small bass had the field feeling optimistic. Alas, it was the day of the dinks and picks. The winning bag of four fish weighed only 3 lb 14 oz and three of the nine contestants were blanked. I managed three bass for 3 lb 2 oz but only submitted my two largest (2 pounds 7 oz) because I didn't know if the small one (11 oz) was a legal fish. As a result, I ended up in 4th place. Still, the action was pretty good so long as you like pickerel. Beers and burgers at the Dudley Chateau afterward improved everyone's spirits.

TIGHT LINES!
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34" Striper on the Fly (my first!)

Avg. Rating: 5
# Reviews: 9
Views: 1134
Winter Island, Salem
8/16/2013 - 8/18/2013

I spent the weekend fishing in the New England Kayak Fishing ninth annual Striper Shootout at Winter Island in Salem with 180 of my closest striper yak friends from all over. What a great location and event. Four of us went out Friday night on a dead calm sea with a 3/4 moon for illumination, my first time fishing at night from a yak in the ocean. We fished for a few hours, Val , Jack and I were fly fishing while Jesse was trolling a Hogy. First creepy sighting, a dead seal. Val was the first to get a hit on a popper but didn't hook up. Jack and I didn't see any action, but Jesse managed a 26" schoolie on his Hogy near a breakwater at a small cove. After a few hours we called it a night and went back to camp to socialize before retreating to our respective sleep locations (my car).

After a restless night, I woke up early Saturday and found a 24 hour Dunks in Salem for breakfast. God that tasted good. I returned to camp to find everyone awake and prepping their yaks for another day of fishing. Went out around 7, this time by myself. The sky was bright blue, the air crisp, the sun warm and Salem harbor was filled with the most beautiful collection of boats. I started fishing the rocks and cove along the power plant because I'd heard scuttlebut that this area had been productive. After 3 hours I had zilch and was feeling defeated, but it was still a beautiful day to be on the water so I sucked it up and paddled around to the eastern side of the island where we had fished the previous night. At least I knew that someone had caught something over there.

The sea on the eastern side wasn't as calm as the night before and some of the swells were pushing water up through the footwell of my Hobie into my seat giving me that phenomenon known as "shriveled Hobie ass". After many hours of casting an 8 wt my arm was getting pretty tired so I tied on a classic chartreuse and white Deceiver and slowly trolled it along the rock line. Eventually I arrived at the small cove and breakwater where Jesse had nailed his schoolie the night before.

I was about 30 yards into the cove past the breakwater when I had my first hit. My rod doubled over and fly line started burning through my hands, OUCH! I had to let go of the line, and then tragedy, fish off! I can't begin to explain how dejected I felt, after working for so many hours to find a fish, to finally get a strike and hookup only to lose it due to my own ineptitude. But at least I had found a fish in this great big ocean and perhaps some of his friends were nearby.

I paddled the perimeter of the the small cove so that I eventually found myself back at the breakwater and BAM, my rod doubles over again, line goes screaming out, and I find myself on a sleigh ride. But theres a problem, the fish has headed through the break into deeper water and has pulled me into the rocks. Now I'm going backwards! But even worse, he has wrapped me around one of the channel marker buoys. And this isn't a simple once around kind of wrap, this is a full fledged cluster f***.

Let me just say that trying to lift a buoy with one arm, while steering a kayak and holding onto a fly rod in the other while a big fish keeps pulling on the line is not an experience I would like to repeat. It took me all of 6 minutes before I was finally free. Of course, the fish had worn himself out by this time so it was just a matter of reeling him to the boat.

Now up until this time I had thought that I had hooked into a schoolie, something in the mid-20s. So as the fish gets closer it finally dawns on me that this a really good fish, good enough to potentially win the fly fishing division. My hands violently shaking, in part because of my struggle with the buoy and in part because of my amazement at this catch, I pulled the beast into my lap to begin photographic documentation.

To all my MAFF kayak tournament buddies, if you think photographing a largemouth from the kayak is challenging, it's nothing compared to doing it with a fish in your lap that hangs over both gunnels. It took four photos to capture the entire fish. Physically and emotionally drained I released the fish and returned to the launch. Only afterward did I realize that I had failed to include the official event tag in my photos, a prerequisite for tournament entry. I have printed my photos with my Google time, date and location tags and will present them for review this morning. Hopefully I can get the jury to accept my entry.

Epilogue - my entry was accepted and I won first place in the Fly Fishing Class. Not bad for my first striper on a fly.

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PERSEVERANCE!
Avg. Rating: 5
# Reviews: 5
Views: 862
8/3/2013

Watch the video http://youtu.be/sNDgTq1wrVU

An unanticipated herbicide application and a slow start to the day had me wondering if I'd made a bad choice of locations. But a steady and measured approach, working the docks and overhangs with a wacky rigged stick bait, gradually filled the bag. When a pickerel swam off with my last black/blue worm I put on a watermelon and didn't miss beat. No monster fish today. Final tally - 14 bass, 3 pickerel, 2 perch.

TIGHT LINES!
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Frustration!
Avg. Rating: 5
# Reviews: 8
Views: 842
7/31/2013

Watch the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AYnNvSfGTc&feature=share&list=UUj8Hn-T812FEvv5K0YgnSJQ

A blue sky afternoon turns cloudy and windy with spitting rain. I can find the fish but have trouble getting them into the boat. One after another the fish play Houdini, magically escaping before my very eyes.

TIGHT LINES!
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A gray day at Ponkapoag
Avg. Rating: 5
# Reviews: 5
Views: 665
Ponkapoag
6/28/2013

Watch the video here http://youtu.be/w6tfWOjo9P4

A gray, overcast morning with moderate temps and light breeze is usually a good time to fish. I started out alternating between a frog and a stick bait but was having trouble finding fish in the usual spots. After an hour I tied on a black spinnerbait knowing that is a foolproof tactic for pickerel here. I was not disappointed and was soon into three very nice fish. Even though the first threw the hook, at least the skunk was off. I switched back to a stick bait and soon hooked into a couple small bass. But for some reason I was getting impatient with slow fishing, I wanted to cast and retrieve, so I went back to the black spinnerbait and was soon into my 4th decent pickerel. Instead of focusing on the edges, I sought out deeper water where the weeds weren't as thick. I was rewarded with three more bass on the spinnerbait.

TIGHT LINES!
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Sudbury River, Fairhaven Bay
Avg. Rating: 5
# Reviews: 6
Views: 1058
Sudbury River, Fairhaven Bay
7/13/2013

Watch the video here http://youtu.be/zbQKOoRel0s

An overcast morning and cooler temperatures promised good fishing for me and my fishing buddy Rick Bradley a/k/a pirougejoe. Sadly, that was not to be. We worked the entire perimeter of the bay with a variety of lures. After two hours and out of ideas, I simply stuck with the stick bait and was finally rewarded with a couple of decent fish. This place gets a lot of fishing pressure and there were at least five other boats, canoes and kayaks rubbing elbows with us. This river also has a strong population of northern pike. In fact, I busted my pike cherry here last year. But out of four trips here within the past year I have only had one day that I would consider to be half decent. TIGHT LINES!
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This user has 48 trips in their collection.

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