Late summer and early fall have become ritual for me the last couple of seasons. As the doldrums of summer make the trout wary and the river flows can become less than desireable, an old friend returns wreak havoc on the hordes of bait that reside off the coast. When Euthynnus alletteratus shows up in good numbers, many anglers who get the chance to tangle with them can’t focus on anything but chasing them.
Euthynnus alletteratus is more commonly referred to as the false albacore, fat Albert, little tuna, or little tunny. These wonderful pelagic species make their appearances for a very small time frame most years and provide the shore angler with a small taste of an offshore species. With their blistering runs and often visual feeding frenzies, false albacore make for an awesome experience for the fly angler. As long as you can get close enough or are graced with a passing school, you will often have a chance of hooking one. Hang on and watch your fingers however as they are true speed demons and will take your line and a fair to large amount of your backing before turning around on you mid fight.
So far this season the chase has been real, the feeding great and the catching somewhere in between. A bit of a challenge at times as they can be very selective on what they eat, and a majority of their food preferences area on the smaller side, false albacore can make some affairs as maddening as matching a hatch of tiny insects on a trout stream. Needless to say I have recently become addicted to these fish like a trophy hunter with his quarry. Here are just a few highlights from the small handful of outings this season. And I can’t wait to get back out there and chase them again. Hopefully more to follow, and some interesting fly patterns to share over the winter. Stay tuned.