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Sparse Grey Matter and Shannon's Hot Stove Fly Sessions

We're really looking forward to our annual Sparse Grey Matter Fly Tying Event this Sunday February 23rd at the Califon Firehouse in Califon located just up Main Street from Shannon's. Tyers from around the area look forward to this event to reconnect and demonstrate their fly tying skills and maybe pick up a trick or two. The event is free and open to the public. Trout Unlimited chapters from around the state will be on hand and we encourage tyers to participate. The Califon Fire Company will be on hand serving a variety of food and beverages for hungry and thirsty participants. Set up begins at 9am.

The weather looks favorable for weekend fishing. Trout have been mostly on the bottom the last couple of weeks which is to be expected; the water is cold! Nymphing has been the most reliable technique and I think that will remain the case for some time to come although working streamers slowly through a deep run or pool has been working for some of us especially later in the day after the water has had a chance to warm up. President's Day Weekend is usually when the Chimarra Caddis begin to show up. These small amber colored larva are actually the Early Black Caddis or Chimarra aterrima which commonly emerge in late March and early April. The larva become more active, drifting in the current in the weeks before they begin the pupation process, building a cocoon which will allow the amber larva the opportunity to transform into an pupal stage greyish-black caddis. Early Black Stone Flies are also continuing to emerge sporadically and it is a good idea to have a few small black stone fly nymphs in your fly box. If it happens to warm up in the afternoon, I like to trail a Grey or Olive RS2 or a WD40 #18-22 behind a Prince Nymph as I prospect with my nymph rig. You just never know when midges might begin to hatch.

I’m really proud to once again work with Tim Flagler, Matt Grobert and John Collins, expert anglers​ all as we present our

2020 Shannon's Hot Stove Hatches Presentations. For those not familiar, I've included some Bio's on the presenters.


Join us beginning Wednesday evening March 4th @ 6:30 p.m. and continuing for the next four weeks concluding on March 25th as we present a wide ranging view of local hatches, the flies that imitate them, and presentation skills to successfully take trout under a wide and varying set of conditions.

3-04-20 Tim Flagler - Tightline Productions, L.L.C. is a video production company located in Califon, New Jersey. Since their start in 1997, they have produced video programs for broadcast, DVD and the web, over a wide range of topics but their specialty is fly tying and fishing. Tim has become one of the most widely recognized internet instructors and his videos are popular worldwide. He will be speaking on moving flies for more action.

3-11 & 3-25-2020 John Collins & Jim Holland – John Collins – a regionally and nationally recognized master at tying traditional and innovative patterns and a terrific guide, John will lead a class loaded with tips and techniques. A lifelong fisherman, Holland teaches U.S. History and Economics at Villa Walsh Academy and is a co-owner of Shannon’s Fly and Tackle Shop in Califon. For over ten years he has written a fly fishing column in the Black River Journal titled What’s Hatching. The shop and Jim have been recognized by the Raritan Headwaters Association, Trout Unlimited, the legislature of the State of New Jersey and the U.S. EPA for their contributions to conservation. John & Jim will cover Spring Hatches on the South Branch and local waters.

3-18 Matt Grobert - An accomplished fisherman, author of Fly Fishing New Jersey Trout Streams and numerous articles including a fly fishing column in the Newark Star Ledger, Matt will present a program on one of his specialties, Tips for Fly Selection and Presentation.

Join us for the nights you can, or every night in the series.

All classes will be held at the Raritan Inn conference room.

$40.00 per class for members, $65 for non-members.


6:00 p.m. Catered Dinner courtesy of Oscar's Gourmet Deli in Califon

6:30-8:00 Presentation

8:00-8:30 Q & A

This week, I've selected a couple of Tim's late winter patterns: The Matt's Chimarra and Tim's Phat Pheasant Tail.

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