Dave Micus, Woods Hole Light

August 2nd, 2004

Woods Hole with Dave Micus and Josko
By Jed Proujansky

There was no sun to be seen in the morning, only the increasing light in a grey dawn and an overcast and light rainy morning. On the shore line, with a backdrop of Woods Hole Light, were two fishermen casting flies into the dark waters searching for Stripers. There were no noises, no traffic and no other signs of life with the exception on a solitary jogger and birds starting to move in the early light. There was a wind coming across their shoulders from the south. A steady 10 - 15 knots with gusts to 25. Not an ideal situation by any means.

We had placed ourselves there, because anywhere else would be fighting the wind and here at least we could work with the wind. We, with only a word or two, agreed to space ourselves and slowly work down the beach. The rhythm was set and we slowly moved at the unstated but mutually agreed on pace towards the other end. We were working well together, no egos involved, both willing to give or take as it made sense. A shared enjoyment of doing something that we both loved to do.

Dave Micus casting, Woods Hole Light in the background

This pleasure was more as we had only met 12 hours before and shared a most amazing dinner with Josko and his family. This meal was not for a king, as there is no king good enough for this meal. We had tuna sushi with a brochette followed by farm fresh corn and grilled tuna for the main course. Not just tuna, but fresh tuna, caught the day before. Not just one kind, but Yellow Fin, Blue Fin and Albacore. It was quite the taste treat. Cooking and fishing have a few things in common. Presentation and detail, and this meal had both, to the point of warmed milk for our coffee. The portions were large, equal in size to the warmth and hospitality of Josko and his family. Dessert and coffee, with talk about the fishing earlier in the day that Josko and Dave had done before I arrived, but that is a story better told by them. There was also talk of tuna, sharks, striper, trout, politics, the cape (Cape Cod), schools and education from elementary to college. Talk about fly tying and fishermen known to all. Talk about FAOL and other boards, people on those boards and why we all love to fish. We talked about catch and release. All of us kept fish sometimes, but there was a respect for those fish and those that we returned to their waters.

We fished along the beach, moving with the wind, looking for a strike. I got the first hook up, and landed a "schoolie." Then Dave got one and then I, another. There were a few that got away, but they were just long distance releases. We did that stretch twice, then tried to find another location. As we moved on, the wind got stronger and was more in our face. Today was not a day for easy casting. We fished until it was time to meet Josko for breakfast. We were going to get together and see if it made any sense to go off shore for tuna or shark. With the high winds, small craft warnings and the rain, we decided to have breakfast and relieve Josko of any promises to take us out on his boat.

In to Woods Hole we went, with the requisite tourists, summer residents, researchers and locals. Parking was doable, but it made me glad that I did not have to deal with this every day. Over coffee and croissants we talked some more and then Josko, in his generous way said, "I know a few places we could get to with my skiff. The rain is letting up so let's get suited up and give it a try." Off to his house, into waders and rain jackets and then to the skiff.

Out we puttered, outside the harbor and over to a few good locations. Josko would put us a few feet off a rip and tell us where to cast, "there is a boulder 10 feet down and then the water drops to 20 feet immediately after that." It was as though he knew every boulder and every rip, every drop off and every change in that area. No, he probably did know every one of those places, for he was accurate in everything I could see. Dave got a few hits and short hook ups, probably with Blues as the leaders were frayed from battle.

straightened hook

While we were sitting in the skiff there was an Osprey sitting on top of a channel marker, only a few yards away from us. It was sitting there in all its majesty with legs extending beyond its feathers and strong wings ready to take to flight at any moment. We saw a Cormorant come up from a dive and then the Osprey with talons extended leap from its perch and try to snatch the Cormorant. The Cormorant must have seen this as well because it went back down in the water as fast as it had popped up, having the Osprey miss its dinner by a mere fraction of a second.

As we started to head back in, Josko, in his understated fashion said, let's go take the boat out. I know a few other places to try. So off we go to his boat. A beautiful 26'center console boat set for fishing. The boat was exactly what you would expect from Josko. Clean, well organized, well equipped, redundancy where you would want it. The engine purred. I was a mechanic for 20 years and if that engine was anything less than perfect I would have heard. It purred. Off we went, and fished, with Josko as guide, the difference being that he probably forgot more than most guides will ever know. Dave and I took turns casting to towards shore. We did not catch anything else that day, but the fishing was great, the company better.

Josko and Dave

I fish to relax and to get closer to nature. The smell of the salt air, the roll of the waves, the birds diving for fish, rain in my face all create the moments that I remember. Friends add to that, bringing laughter and insight to what I see. This visit to the Cape and to Josko's home waters was one to remember and I certainly will. I learned more about fishing and have gotten to know one friend better and made a new one as well. It doesn't get any better than that. ~ Jed

About Dave:

Dave Micus lives in Ipswich, Massachusetts. He is an avid striped bass fly fisherman, writer and instructor. He writes a fly fishing column for the Port City Planet newspaper of Newburyport, MA (home of Plum Island and Joppa Flats) and teaches a fly fishing course at Boston University.

Previous Dave Micus Columns

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