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A Robust Rain & The 2019 New Jersey Fly Fisherman of the Year

We are getting ready for the NJ Fly Fisherman of the Year One Fly Contest and Banquet this coming Saturday November 2nd. We will be kicking off our annual fly tying classes the week of November 16th and 17th. Len Ruggia will be leading the Beginner classes on Saturdays from 9:30-11:00 am and Bill Ninke will be our first Featured Tyer on Sunday November 17th. We are proud to have been asked to contribute to what will become a standard reference on New Jersey fly fishing.Tom Gilmore will be signing copies of his new "Fly Fisher's Guide to New Jersey" on Saturday November 16th from 10am until 1pm.

Today may not have been the best fishing day but the trout are sure happy. They've had some quality rain which should cause the South Branch to rise close to 1000 cfs and other local rivers are also on the rise. This will help the trout to start spreading around after low water conditions for the stocking. Also, many of our wild Brown and Brook Trout should have been able to access spawning tributaries. I expect the river to drop quickly to optimal levels by tomorrow afternoon and fishing should be excellent all week. Fishing has been hit or miss depending upon where anglers have been fishing. It is always nice to see these big two year old Rainbows and many of them are in the 15-18" class but they aren't everywhere. There are also holdover trout from the spring and they've gotten pretty smart but a good presentation will still catch them. The Ken Lockwood Gorge, Point Mountain and Pequest Trout Conservation areas or TCA's are good bets right now as are some other sections of South Branch, Musconetcong and Pequest rivers but move around to find the best fishing. Again, this rain should start moving fish.

Tan Caddis and Baetis (BWO's) are still hatching but trout are also keying in on streamers such as Black Nosed Dace, Grey Ghost, Zonkers or Woolly Buggers. I prefer size 10-12 for my local streamer fishing although a size 8 will do in high water. Prince, Hare's ear and Pheasant Tail nymphs are catching fish. Prince and Hare's Ear nymphs should be a size 14-18 and the Pheasant Tail #18-22. #16-18 Egg and Sucker Spawn patterns are catching fish especially when you add a midge like a #18-22 WD40 or Zebra as a trailing fly. Add some weight twelve inches from the egg to get the flies down.

This coming Saturday November 2nd is our annual New Jersey Fly Fisherman of the Year Contest and Banquet sponsored by Shannon's Fly and Tackle, The Raritan Inn and Trout Unlimited. The contest pits twelve anglers from around the state in a One Fly Contest. Anglers are chosen by ten TU chapters as well as two great non profit groups, Raritan Headwaters and Casting For Recovery. There is a morning round and after lunch the top three finalists compete against each other in three of the same sections of the river in thirty minute heats. After the contest is over, banquet attendees have about an hour to fish or take part in the casting course set up by Bart Lombardo of Central Jersey TU and a prize will be awarded to the winner. James Jindal of R.L. Winston will be on hand with plenty of "green sticks" to test cast. The banquet is always well received catered by Redwoods of Chester, New Jersey and a cash bar. After dinner, we will have dessert and coffee while we get ready to determine auction winners. The proceeds of the auction benefit the NJ State Council of TU and its many cold water conservation activities in conjunction with the ten local chapters. We will then award the lucky winner a trophy and a fly reel from one of our vendors. The day and evening are much anticipated. Tickets are $65.00 per person and are available under "Events" at or you can call the shop at (908) 832-5736 and I will process ticket requests.

I'm remembering two past members of Ken Lockwood TU who we miss, Bill Silvia and Glenn Hagen. Both competed in the NJFFOY, Bill Silvia was our first winner and Glenn tied dozens of the featured flies, the Evil Olive for the shop. I've included Tim's videos of the 2016 event and the Evil Olive.

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