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Fishing Report: Week of May 21 - "Bug Soup"

If you don’t follow John Collins on the interwebs, you should. In particular, his Instagram is a wealth of information about what the insects are doing in the local NJ, NY, and PA fishing destinations. His camera work focuses on the details John, aka, the Electric Tyer, imbues into his creations (available at South Branch Outfitters and a couple other fine fly shops). His and another overdue credit will be posted at the end of this report.

The pictures included here are taken by yours truly. I made a point to fish each evening this past week. My gracious heterolifemate provided all the blessing I needed and I waited until at least six-thirty to venture out. I made a point to stay past dark. The intent was to fish popular, well known places along route 57, south of Hackettstown on down to the bridge at route 31. As a call back to the title of this report, fellow guide and master fly tyer, John Collins, was on the SBR and on southern portions of the Musky. His mid-week post summarized the situation: “Bug Soup.”

BWOs and PMD and PEDs were the flies that worked best for me - #16 and #18.. The sulphurs are out in abundance, but I could only raise a few heads with a proper sulphur dry fly. Light Cahills took a few too, but the smaller offerings proved productive when the larger flies got the ol’ snub. Caddis with CDC or caribou, riding low, catches consistently, but truly, small comparadun and other emerging patterns (klinkhammer PEDs are in stock!) were the ticket until just before dark. Then, spinner patterns until you can no longer find the way back to the vehicle.

Did I catch fish each night? No. Sadly. I will not lie. Being out there, with no trout, can still be rewarding. After stalking what turned out to be a river chub for about 45 minutes, this beautiful specimen graced me by floating by.


See last week’s report about the variety of flies that fall under the broad umbrella of BWO. Little, yellow midge - who knows what they were - bloomed before my headlight on the way off the water near Beattystown one evening. They were in my nose.

I want to give a shout out to Check out the site for information on the insects bugs eat, where to find them, and what they look like.

I do not have a cool on-line profile or website, but I am thinking about one….

Until then, see you out there!

-Roy B


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