First off. Apologies to everyone who expected a coastal update on my Seaforager site. Traveling this month took me off the bite. I'll be back on the updates in June.
Wow. Ireland. Not really sure what to say. Good to get away from the states if for no other reason than to see how other peoples/cultures are getting along in the year of our Poseidon 2012.
Reflections On The Ancestral Homeland:
The nicest, most helpful, most emotionally self expressed citizenry on the face of the earth. Three bands in every bar on a Tuesday night. Kind of funny when you ask the guys what key they're playing in (so you might join in) and nobody knows. Which means there's a very large percentage of self-learned musicians. The best kind. Very strange how often, in the midst of a "trad" music jam, right after Whisky your the Devil, or Whisky in the Jar, (anyone ever tabulate the percentage of Irish songs that contain some reference to Whisky?) someone breaks into Creedence.
Rolling across the rugged peninsulas of the SW catching up on my Pogues. "And the boys in the NYPD choir were singing Galway Bay... and bells were ringing out for Christmas day..." Fly fished in the surf for a couple of hours in Waterville... a coastal stop along the Beara Loop. Tantalized by these massive mullet that wallow in the shallows and refuse to take a fly. I even went so far as to dig up some sand fleas and throw that at them. No dice. (Nothing great about this video. Just put it here for the background).
Spoke to a fisherman in Dingle, who informed me they commonly get 15-30 pound conger eels, off the jetties. Looked into this further and discovered that congers get up to 100 pounds. Typically caught by means of 6/0 hook, mackerel head and wire leader. Crazy. One guy told me he attaches the line to a crab buoy and leaves it overnight. I was quickly disabused of thinking that poke poling for congers was the way to go. My informant laughed and said, you could definitely get them to bite, but pulling a five foot, 30 pound eel out of a hole in the rocks "would not be possible unless you were Hercules."
I close my eyes and vistas of lush meadows and rocky, windswept coastline dance through the interior vaults of my eel obsessed brain. I felt kind of like Alex Haley must've felt when he went to Africa. A good portion of my (and probably about 40 percent of everyone else in America's) DNA derives from the land of Eire. Was thinking a "Barak O'bama" tee shirt would sell very well over there.
Anyhow, I've made two more night smelt trips since my return but the little guys are nowhere to be found. That's 6 trips this year for a whopping total of 2 pounds of nighties. What does it mean? Is the universe crumbling? Is the end at hand? Good news on the "dayfish" though, here's a pic from yesterday:
Anyway. This is just a "hello I'm back" post. Hopefully I'll have some more stuff to report on as the durned Chinooks move closer to Duxbury. Also having a bit of an inkling to shed my saltwater ways and head upstream for shad. Could use some insight from anyone willing to give it.
Smelt ran yesterday at high tide so I'm out of here.
Much as I miss the emerald isle, it's good to be back.