No Fluke

Fly tying great fun for men, women and children


“Just fluff it up, like this, to give it that 3-D effect.” said Mike Maddalena as he instructed saltwater fly fisherman on how to make a Peanut Bunker (juvenile menhaden) fly. The Peanut Bunker fly ended up being about four inches in length. All five anglers at his table including, Jim Mancini of East Greenwich, RI, watched intently as Mike fluffed up his fly strategically being held in place by his fly vice as he instructed the group.

Maggie Grenier of Jamestown, RI has been fly fishing for over ten years with her husband and tying flies for about five years. “We fly fish together, but I do most of the tying. We usually fish freshwater even though we are surrounded by saltwater in Jamestown.” Maggie and the group at her table were tying what you might call a juvenile May Fly… a blue winged olive emerger.

Michael Fotiades and his son George from Narragansett, Rhode Island were tying a bass bug diver fly that used a Stacking Deer Hair technique at an intermediate skill level table. Mike said, “George is eleven years old and he has been tying for three years now. He first started with the United Fly Tyers of Rhode Island’s Junior Program for youth and now has advanced to tie intermediate level flies. We fly fish together, both salt and freshwater so living in Narragansett is ideal.”

I experienced these and other fly fishing and fly tying stories from men, women and children at last week’s United Fly Tyers of Rhode Island’s (UFTRI) monthly fly tying workshop held at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 475 Post Road, Warwick, RI. They meet there the first Wednesday of each month from September to May at 6:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend and try fly tying at no cost the first time, then if you like it, become a member for $30 a year and receive expert instruction and fly tying materials for the entire year.

Each month 40 to 60 members in groups of five or six meet to tie flies. The UFTRI has an online catalog of flies on their web site at . Members who see a fly in the catalog that they would like to learn how to tie can request it as one of the five or six featured flies they focus on each month. The UFTRI meeting I attended last week was great. Club members and volunteers are very welcoming to newcomers and beginners and it was obvious that members enjoy each other’s company, that they meet to tell stories, learn from each other and often end up fishing together.

Peter Burgess, UFTRI vice president, said, “The first thing we tell people when they come in the door is just try it tonight, don’t give us your $30 membership fee until you think you might like to join.” No need to be concerned if you do not have the tools. Peter, UFTRI president Mike Maddalena or one of their fellow club volunteers will greet you at the door and set you up with a fly tying kit for the night that includes a vice. For information visit their website at

NOAA considers whether river herring should be on endangered species list

NOAA has determined that a petition to list alewife and blueback herring, collectively referred to as river herring, under the Endangered Species Act presents enough scientific and commercial information to merit further review. As a result, the agency will conduct a formal review of river herring population status and trends. If NOAA determines that a listing is appropriate, the agency will publish a proposed rule and take public comment before publishing a final decision. However, if NOAA determines that that listing these species is not appropriate, the process ends.

Both alewife and blueback herring are found in coastal waters and rivers from Canada to North Carolina, although blueback herring’s range extends farther south to Florida. Both species are managed by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.

Rhody Fly Rodders to meet Tuesday, November 15

Rhody Fly Rodders, the oldest saltwater fly fishing club in America, will hold their next meeting on Tuesday, November 15th. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for a short session of fly tying, with Steve Messier tying Atlantic salmon flies and Armand Courchaine tying his favorite Striped Bass Fly. At 7:30 p.m., a slide presentation on Tarpon fishing, and the story of artist, Armand Lamontagne's carving of Ted Williams will be presented by Gene Matteson. The meeting, which is open to the public, will be held at the Riverside Sportsman Association, Mohawk Drive (off Wampanoag Trail, ¼ mile north of the WPRO radio station) in East Providence.

Where’s the bite

Striped bass. RISAA angler Joe Petuli said, “Caught about eight fish mid morning (Saturday) around Conimicut Light, all on the troll fishing amongst the birds. (Striped) Bass were deeper (used down rigger)and a couple were in the 32-34" range. Two heavy bluefish came on top… blues were spitting juvie menhaden. All fish released.” Striped bass bite has slowed around Block Island but some great fish still being caught.

Tautog fishing is fair to good when anglers can get out due to rough seas last week. Captain Rich Hittinger said he fished the Seal Ledge area off Newport early last week catching keepers with shorts mixed in with rough water. This weekend I had the pleasure of tautog fishing with Liam (four years old), his brother Richard (six years old) and their dad Richard Palumbo from North Kingstown. The boys caught their fist tautog ever off the north side of Hope Island. Tom Pelletier an associate at Quaker Lane Outfitters, North Kingstown, said, “Customers are catching fish off Newport and southern coastal shores.” Dave Howe on the RISAA blog reports, “All keepers on Brenton Point today (Sunday) in 30 to 35 feet.” The Seven B’s party boat out of Galilee, RI reported a good black fishing day Saturday with a few limits on the boat with the largest fish over seven pounds.

Fresh water. Angler Chris Catucci of Warwick, said, “ I was fishing Warwick pond for a couple of hours this weekend and ended up getting a couple nice bass on a finesse jig. Seems like this time of year you don't get many bites but the ones you do happen to get are good sized bass.”

Captain Dave Monti has been fishing and shell fishing on Narragansett Bay for over 40 years. He holds a captain’s master license, a charter fishing license, and is a member of the Rhode Island Marine Fisheries Council. Your fishing photos in JPEG from, stories, comments and questions are welcome… there’s more than one way to catch a fish. Visit Captain Dave’s No Fluke website at or e-mail him at


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