Thanks to Kayla Gordon for this week's cover photo of a beautiful brown trout caught a few weeks ago!
Wouldn’t ya know it. No rain and lots of sun is great for summer vibes and beach but less so for anglers in New Jersey looking to fish for trout with a mind on conservation. Note - fish for trout. As previously stated, and it bears repeating, trout can not live in water with low oxygen and fighting a five weight from Douglas only makes their situation more dire. Some may say that the fish will die just from the summer heat once the temps breach 72 degrees. Respectfully, that is bunk. Left alone trout can live through the summer. Proof is in the Fall when we see holdover fish and in the Winter when those beauties stick grow. Seasoned anglers tell tale of three or four year old trout living to achieve massive proportions. We can leave them alone to find cool thermal springs, undercuts below deep rocks, and other nooks to live in for a couple of weeks.
When I think of summer fishing my mind returns to my youth and bass fishing in Morris County. Somehow, even without Google Maps and GPS, we found the parks and municipal fields with ponds, friendly farmers would allow us to cast buzz baits over cattails, and we even knocked on a few doors of houses with decorative water features that held behemoth largemouth bass. It wasn’t the ‘50’s, but the late 80’s and early 90’s and now it is much easier to find these warm water fisheries:
Once you are there, wiggle out some line and get ready to roll cast! Imagine a 180 degree plane at your feet and start along the bank to your left or right. My first fly out is actually an imitation of a frog: the popper! We have a variety of colors and sizes, some small enough to catch palm sized blue gills. I “pop” my way along the bank before fanning out into the water in front of me, working around until I am casting along the bank on my other side. I said, “get ready to roll cast” because not every pond offers overhand casting opportunities. Some, like Teetertown Ravine Nature Preserve - do have casting docks! These offer equal opportunity for anglers of all abilities to reach the deep parts of the water, often in the middle. Other times, for those who are careful and adventurous, it is worth walking around the perimeter and maybe wading out a bit. Once we can find a good place to cast, a good choice of fly is a streamer, like a wooly bugger or Micky Finn. Dry flies work, too! Stimulators, Bees, Grasshoppers and Crickets, twitch and wiggle when they happen to fall into the water.
Nearby Teetertown is Mountain Farm Pond (further down Pleasant Grove Road, left at the playground and ball fields and drive through the parking lot to the end). This is a fascinating place because the pond bed is very flat and shallow. Gingerly wade out a bit and turn around to face the bank. Mountain farm boasts croppie and bass! Not bad for about three miles from the shop.
More opportunities await the further we fan out. If you have a kayak, canoe, or even a paddle board, the options get better and better. Come by and tell us your favorite warm water locale. We have more poppers in more colors and sizes than we have ever carried before! Pick up a few locally tied, tried and true, tested and trusted poppers and streamers from Kino’s flies! They are almost too pretty to fish…
Reports from upstate NY look good, too, but I will stick around here for a bit longer. There is simply too much to do!
(new for 2023 - Roy’s pre-dawn report)
First light to 9 am:
Blue Wing Olive Drunella attenuatta BWO #16-18
Griffith’s gnat #16 - 22
Olive or black wooly bugger (drift or strip) #14 - 10
White or olive zonker #12 - 10
Mickey Finn, South Branch Chub, Ken Lockwood Streamer
From the archives
Local Hatches 6/16/2019:
Morning 9-11 am:
Spotted Sedge Hydropsyche spp. Tan Elk Hair Caddis #14-18,
Green Rockworm or JC's Electric Caddis #14-18,
Green Sedge Rhyacophila sp.
Elk Hair Caddis Olive #14-16,
LaFontaine's Sparkle Pupa #14-16
Cream Caddis Psilotreta sp.
Tan Elk hair Caddis #18
Midday through Late Afternoon 12 noon - 5pm:
Grey Fox Maccaffertium vicarium Grey Fox #14
Hare's Ear or March Brown Nymph #14
Blue Wing Olive Drunella attenuatta BWO #16-18
Pheasant Tail # 18, RS2 #18
Baetis Emerger #16-18
Baetis species (Tricaudatus, interclaris, levitans, etc.) Adams Parachute, BWO, 18-20
Pheasant tail #18-20
Slate Drake or "Iso" Isonychia bicolor Iso Parachute or Comparadun #12
Light Cahill Stenacron interpunctatum Light Cahill #12-14,
Golden Drake anthopotamous distinctus & A. ruffous Golden Drake #10-12
Yellow Drake Ephemera varia Golden Drake or Sulphur Comparadun #10-12
Large Golden Stonefly Isoperla Sp. Yellow Stimulator #10