After a long, snowy winter it really is beginning to feel like spring. The NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife is currently working on a modified stocking schedule similar to last year. Changes that were mandated due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Most of the annual spring allotment of Rainbow Trout from the Pequest Hatchery, around 500,000 fish are being stocked prior to the April 1st Catch and Release Opener. Starting on April 10th, anglers fishing general regulation waters will be able to keep their limit of six trout over nine inches. In the Brook Trout Conservation Zone in the area of the state north and west of Routes 287 and 787, all Brook Trout must be released and on the Brown Trout Conservation water on the South Branch of the Raritan from Solitude Falls to the Schooley's Mountain Bridge, only two Brown Trout may be kept and the minimum length is 12 inches. A further 70,000 Rainbows will be stocked in area waters in May.
Most of the action has been on midges, scuds and streamers but hatching activity has begun to pick up. Early Black Stoneflies and Black Chimarra Caddis have been keeping the trout interested and it does look like the first Baetis or Blue wing Olives are beginning to hatch as well. We will have to wait for the Hendricksons to start hatching but the Quill Gordons will likely be just ahead of them. Either way, it won't be long before the bugs really get going on area rivers and streams.
It's been nice to see familiar faces once again along with some new folks as spring begins to ramp up. Our deliveries of new rods has ramped up. We saw our first shipment of the Scott Centric this week along with the GLoomis NRX Plus and NRX LP along with the Winston Air 2. As many of you may know, I am a fan of the Winston Pure series and the Scott G series of rods. We also have plenty of Douglas DXF rods in stock and a full assortment of Hardy, Fenwick and Grey's rods with Fenwick rod/reel combos starting at $125.00. On the reel front, I am always impressed by the Bauer RX series and the Galvan Rush and Torque series. The Hardy and Grey's reels offer great performance for the money and I really like the Redington Run series as well. Peak and Renzetti vises have been popular and were recently restocked. Don't forget to check out our Fishpond inventory including Nomad nets. If it's not already in the shop, it's coming.
Late March Hatches:
Early Black Stonefly Taeniopteryx nivalis Black Copper John #14-18 Black Elk Hair Caddis or Stimulator #16
Black Caddis Chimarra aterrima Chimarra Larva #16-18 Black Elk Hair #16-18
Early Iron Blue Quill Baetis tricaudatus Adams #16-18, Pheasant Tail #16-18
Here is Tim's take on a great Baetis BWO pattern: