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Winter Striped BassDuring the winter in the northeast most fisherman have hug up their rods for the season and anxiously await for spring to come. But the striped bass fishing in southern new england never really ends. Some of the larger tidal rivers have populations of resident stripers that never leave and can be caught throughout the cold months. You just have to know where to look. One of these spots is the convergence of three rivers that meet into the main stem. Its a big piece of water but its lined with docks that let you cover big portions of it from shore. So the other night the evening lows were to be just above freezing and with a new moon and an outgoing tide I decided to see if I could catch a fish. As I walked down onto the dock I found quite a few boats already there. Lures were whizzing through the air and landing with a splash all around me. Reels were screaming and there were high fives all around. I just stood by and watched for a few minutes while I finished my coffee. The boaters were sitting over a school of stripers and catching one after another. There were canoes, kayaks, tin boats and just about any other kind of floatation device sitting in the icy water no less than a fly cast away from me. So I threw a fly out there and as it sank I could feel the line running over the striper’s backs. They where packed into a tight school and getting bombarded by lead and plastic. I reeled up and as I walked by, one of the fishermen said, “hey, you ever catch anything on that fly rod?” I replied as nicely as I could, “yeah, I do alright.” I continued down to the end of the dock where the current is a little stronger and the bottom drops off a bit. Casting up current and feeding line, I tried to get my fly down while staying in contact. As the line came tight I started to strip slowly. After a few more casts I felt a subtle hit and I was on. The fish went straight under the dock and eventually wrapped me around a piling. Retying I could hear the other fishermen whooping it up but I wanted to find my own fish. I made the same cast and fished the fly in the sweeping current and then wham. I was on again. This time I fought the fish hard to the point where i felt the rod would snap like a twig. The striper came right up and thrashed the surface to a froth. It was a good one and it went wild when it saw my light. I gently worked it to the dock and grabbed it by the lip. Sweet, but I wanted a photo so I walked back to the fishermen I spoke with earlier. I asked him if he could take a photo and when I shined my light on the striper he said, “holy ****, you caught that on the fly.” He snapped a few and as the words, “are you gonna keep it”, left his mouth the fish went back in the water with a splash. My fingers were now numb and with my guides frozen I decided to leave on that note. A solid twelve pound striped bass on the fly on one of the last days of February.