Thank you all for coming out and supporting our first TroutFest! Despite a late-day deluge, it was quite a success! Folks were able to try Winston rods, Bauer and Lamson reels, the full lineup of Douglas rods, and Miss Mayfly women's waders, in addition to delectable apple cider donuts from Riamede Farm, soaps from Lusitania Soaps, and Jersey Barnfire hot sauce, among others. The casting clinic and competition was great, with some amazingly far casts -- the winner, Pat Munz, almost spooled the reel and walked away with a new Lamson Radius 9ft 5 weight rod and Guru reel! Second place winner Aiden Nodoro shot out a solid effort and was rewarded with a Redington Run 9ft 8 weight combo kit. The kids fishing derby snuck in just before the rain, with a few sunnies plucked from the pond. Winner, 5-year-old Nash, received a new Shakespeare Micro spinning combo. We'll see you all next year, with an even bigger and better TroutFest (and hopefully no storms next year)!
-- Lindsey + Abraham
And now, back to our scheduled content...
If you are lucky and get out to New Jersey’s rivers, streams, and ponds, you witness nature’s cycle reborn. A slight tilt of the earth’s axis towards the sun results in the return to life.
Surface activity can be found throughout the day and thus is mostly midge (Chironomidae) and emerging caddis (Trichoptera). Accordingly, do your best to fish where you can see feeding activity - flashing a few inches about the stream bed or fast, upward dashes, resulting in boils, backs, or occasional aerial leaps.
The La Fontaine sparkle is still our favorite fly. Match the head - olive, tan, and brown - to the species of caddis. RS2s are a good start for the midge, but a recent night out revealed they are not the panacea on all occasions.
Late this past week, after an evening of numerous looks from trout but not a single take, I finally asked the angler above me, who was doing a little better, what they were using: “Zebra midge,” they graciously informed me. Additionally, I think an Al’s rat or other tailless trailer could have worked.
Blue-Winged Olives are next in line, so to speak, even though these minuscule members of the Baetidae family are abundant all year. Size #16 or 18 Adams or standard BWO up to #22 mimics the long riding mayflies which make for a great opportunity to work on your mend. Try extended drifts over riffles or along banks.
Hendrickson emergers and drys were successful, according to reports, from eastern Pennsylvania and locally. The hatch may be finished after a mini heatwave brought water temps on the Flatbrook to 65 degrees this week! Everything, from the bugs to the blossoms, are a bit early. The low levels let trout inspect the insects, so don’t get discouraged!
March Brown and tan caddis materials are available if you are one step ahead of the naturals at the bench.
Hare’s ear and pheasant tail nymphs, caddis larvae, zug-bugs and so many more options are entering the ecosystem in larger sizes and numbers so do not forget we can trail larger droppers as well. It is easy to get frustrated, as I did the other night, but the trout have had time to wise up and focus on their easiest next meal. They do not make it easy on us, but we can help make it easier for you! Stop by for a grab-and-go baker’s dozen cup of flies or linger over our stock and be selective yourself!
-- Roy B.