Out of Pawtuckett, Rhode Island, Captain Rene Letourneau of On The Rocks Charters guides for striped bass, false albacore, bluefish, and more. Capt. Letourneau recently sat down to answer some questions about his fly fishing and guiding pursuits for The Venturing Angler:
1. Why do you guide where you do?
I was born and raised in Rhode Island, also known as the “ocean state.” With its abundance of rocky shoreline and miles and miles of bays and rivers flowing into the Atlantic Ocean, I can think of no other place I’d rather fish.
2. What is your favorite fish specie?
I have fished both freshwater and saltwater all my life, and I enjoy catching all fish. But my true passion has to go to our state fish, the striped bass.
3. What is your favorite thing about guiding?
I especially enjoy fishing with children and beginner fisherman. I truly get immense satisfaction when I see the smile on their face. There’s nothing more satisfying to me than to watch a person’s reaction, as that first fish comes over the side of the boat.
4. What is the most memorable trip you’ve guided and why?
It’s very difficult to single out one most memorable trip. I’ve had fly fishing clients catch over 100 stripers in a day many times. I’ve had days conditions were so challenging to successfully land fish is very satisfying itself. It’s always a memorable day when you land multiple species, for example, striped bass, bluefish, false albacore or Atlantic bonito … or when you take a client who has little experience fly fishing. Watching their skill level improve, and they come tight to a few fish … I consider those to be very memorable days.
5. What is the funniest thing you’ve experienced while guiding?
I was fishing in another state. The area is heavily populated with seals … rather large seals. A friend of mine and I were on the boat and he was about to land a very nice school striper. This giant seal came alongside the boat and took the fish almost right out of his hand. It was a little scary for him, but I thought was rather funny. We were both safe and landed several more fish successfully. For the rest of the day, we decided to net the fish as they came alongside.
6. What makes your guide service great?
I consider myself a people person, and I believe in treating people the way I like to be treated myself. I have a good sense of humor, and I believe in having fun while fishing. As we all know some days are better than others, but I like my clients to leave feeling they had an enjoyable day no matter what the conditions like.
7. If you had only one day off all year, where would you fish and what fish would you target?
Fly fishing is my passion with striped bass my favorite specie. There’s nothing more enjoyable than tossing the fly into the whitewater of heavy structure and coming tight to a beautiful striped bass. With that said, my favorite place to fish, would be the Ocean State, from Newport to Narragansett.
8. What are your favorite three flies?
My go to fly would be a half-and-half tied in olive over white.
Sand eel pattern tied from 4-7 inches long.
9. What is the one piece of gear you couldn’t bear to leave at home?
The one piece of equipment that I always have to have on my boat is a camera. I consider myself an environmentalist, and I practice catch and release. I do not force my beliefs on my clients, but I believe in most cases a good quality picture and a quick release will ensure that our children and their children have fish to catch.
10. Do you have any other passions?
I have a few other passions. I very much enjoy playing golf. And I really enjoy being on stage with community theater groups. Snow skiing is also one of my favorite things to do.
To check out more from Rene Letourneau and On The Rocks Charters, please click here.
Disclosure: On The Rocks Charters is in a professional relationship with the Fly Fishing Guide Directory, LLC and the Venturing Angler. Though potentially benefiting from this relationship, we do not post what we do not believe to be true. To read more, click