On the Rhodie: Pluggin Away

On the Rhodie: Pluggin Away

  • Posted by Ed Berger
  • On June 30, 2016
  • Comments

Report: Wednesday – Thursday

After deluding ourselves that our conversations were actually making sense, there was the stark realization that we were no longer intelligent human beings. It dawned on us that we had once again turned the corner to that semi-functional condition we refer to as the Zone. Z for Zombie, O for One more cast, N for Numb, and E for eat anything resembles anything edible. It only took until day two to get there this time, but this would be the land we live in for the rest of the week. There is no room for phones or texting in the zone, no room for worries about paying bills or worries about the job, there was just… the zone.

3:00 AM came pretty fast as I once again heard the un-needed auto bean grinder kick in on the coffee pot. I again reminded myself that pushing one little button could have kept me in bed for at least another 5 minutes while the pot brewed the double dump of French Roast I piled in there blindly very late the night before. Nectar of the Gods. I know I woke the people below us when I hit the floor to turn it off, but I really could not concern myself with earthly issues like that. I flopped back on the bed for 5 more minutes of peace until I realized that my partner Craig made it to both the coffee pot and the head before I did. This was not a good way for me to start the day.

Guzzle coffee, pull on clothes, brush teeth, down 2 Alleve, and out in the truck and on the road by 3:30. This morning we wanted to air out our flyrods a little bit, especially since plugging away was just not making it happen in our regular spots. The region is peppered by salt ponds that through big conduits and roadside bridges have huge tidal swings, flushing bait through narrow chutes into the mouths of waiting fish. With a Sage Salt 8wt. and my trusty Tibor Everglades reel, with Airflo Intermediate cold water line and a 9′ leader we tied the night before. Seguar 30# to 20# to 15# as the water was gin clear. For flies, it was a sparse sandeel pattern for me while Craig put his faith in a small crab pattern. As we waded in just below the bridge we realized the big moon has done a good job of filing up the pond already and we would not have much time with current. A couple of big splashes in the pre-dawn told us we were in the right place but would they eat? Yes they would, but again, they were all small. No big runoffs, no big hits, just a few good laughs between waist deep friends with stripping baskets. We worked it until the water and the bite stopped. Spent a little time casting plugs at the open water on the other side of the seawall, then packed up the truck and headed back to Newport.

Although the touristas will tell you that the prettiest spot to take a long stroll is Cliff Walk, behind all those amazing mansions in Newport (a great way to lure your wife into a Newport vacation, BTW) our favorite walk is actually the Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge. There are a multitude of access points along the 1.5 mile Ocean View Loop and in past years it has guaranteed a bluefish bite in June with heart-stopping top water explosions and aching arms.

The area around the peninsula was always full of sand eels and squid with hungry choppers under birds in the open water and schoolies in close to the rocks. This is 11′ rod and long throwing plug (Roberts Rangers, ST4 Surface Tensions, Tady C’s, and metals) country for the blues as the casts to the birds were always an “all u got” heave. I have both caught and missed a couple big bass off the backside rocks here over the years and it was only a couple minutes from where we were staying. This was usually a midday stop for us, but with the way things were going we thought that mixing it up and hitting it pre-dawn would be worth a cast, or two… hundred. We always start at the first access point and then walk the rocks and trails until we reach the point. Since Craig is part mountain goat, he likes to teeter out on the very end, not for the faint of heart when the swell is crashing. I set up just below him and beat it parallel to the structure and pound the whitewater hard…. when there is whitewater. A full morning tour there had my score at one blackfish (on a soft plastic eel), a short flounder, and one beautiful little 12″ bass. The lack of blues, gave me the blues… the lack of bass, burned my aft. It was a long walk back to the truck and unfortunately, a theme that this year the Newport part of our trip was going to be a bust.

We burned every spot we knew about for the rest of the day and into the night with little or nothing to show. We had, in past years, caught so many bass doing exactly the same thing on exactly the same moon, tide, water temps and offerings that it is both incredibly frustrating and mentally stimulating to try and understand the “why.” Right around 10PM, just to keep the trend going, we dove into some super unhealthy New England Clam chowder, a pile of wings, and a pair of greasy burgers before flopping dead tired into our racks. We had an date with the Block Island Ferry tomorrow, and maybe, redemption.

Stay Tuna-ed!


Gear Used

Sage Salt Fly Rod


Sage 890-4 Salt Fly Rod

The Sage Salt Fly Rods offer both precision and power. These rods feature Konnetic Technology which provides for cast accuracy, strength, and precision. These rods are saltwater rods that are fast loading with high line speed. The Salt rods salt action taper gives the power to maximize today’s heavier fly lines to deliver flies of all sizes at all ranges with effortless precision.


Tibor Everglades Fly Reel


Tibor Everglades Fly Reel

The Tibor series of reels were first introduced in 1995 and have established themselves as the benchmark for custom-crafted fly reels. The spool’s large arbor design significantly enhances the rate of line retrieval which is critical when you’re trying to control speedsters like bonefish, bonito, or wahoo.


Airflo Striper Cold Saltwater Fly Line


Airflo Striper/Cold Saltwater Fly Line

Airflo’s Striper lines are the ultimate line for fishing the chilly salt. Floating & Intermediate (Aqua Clear) feature Power Core technology; these lines have zero memory and the uncanny ability to set hooks at long range, helping you catch more fish.




Seaguar Fluorocarbon Fishing Lines

Seaguar Fluorocarbon has it all over mono when it comes to underwater visibility. In fact, Seaguar Fluorocarbon practically disappears in the water. That ultra-low visibility assures a much more natural presentation and it’s far less likely to spook the fish.


Read More: On the Rhodie, Parts I, II, & III


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