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Week of February 25th - A little lighter, a little longer.

Greetings again after another couple rotations around the sun to face the final week of February. The fishing continues to please and reports are consistently positive. I was lucky to begin this week with a little trip to Mendham, NJ, with fellow guide and clerk, Conor D.  The sunny day on a small stream was a great way to spend the President’s Day holiday.  With small streams, we both bumped down to a shorter rod and lighter tipper.  Conor got the job done with this beauty:

The stoneflies are activating with warmer days and joining the mix is a Chimarra caddis larva. If you do not have specific imitations, think tandem small and dark (heavy) nymphs and orange to green midge/larva. If you don’t have a stonefly, a Prince nymph, Copper John, or tiny Pheasant tail just does fine. Zebra midges still work as well. Euro and indicator anglers are still fishing long and light - long leaders and light tippet are more important now. Get your flies down and trust yourself with another foot or two on your leader and to the drop fly, if you fish two. Try 7x if fish are feeding and getting slightly more selective. Midges and eggs will increase in number in the coming weeks.

It may be time to adjust your equipment and aspire to a new level of fishing. I shamelessly suggest taking a look at a rod from the R.L. Winston rod company. The Pure and Air 2, like all Winston rods, are individually made in Twin Bridges, Montana. The Air 2 is their all around rod, from dries to streamers. We currently have rods in 2 through 6 weights. We have the Pure in a very packable 7 foot 2 weight up to a 9 foot 5 weight; this medium slow action rod is a casters dream! If you are looking to level up your nymphing, check out the 10 foot Boron III Super, available in the shop in 3 and 4 weights. If throwing streamers in the salt or for Salmon is more your speed, we offer the Alpha + in 6 - 8 weights -- which is currently 30% off! Since we are an authorized Winston Dealer, we can order direct from their factory if there is a product you’d like that’s not currently available in the shop.

Ironically, the warmer days’ snow melt drives down water temps and the fish slow their feeding as the day progresses and temps go down. When the trend is up, look for both fish and insects to respond. Consistency in water temps encourages feeding in trout and forty-four degrees is the number we are waiting for. Other fish have a lower threshold and I hear reports of white sucker action beginning, too! They are getting ready to spawn and you may encounter whole schools if you move slowly and watch for them. While not much fun to unhook, they can be fun to catch; please return them to the water as they’ll add their eggs to the smorgasbord of offerings that fish love to eat in the coming weeks.

There is something about the river in the winter - the clarity is amazing. If you get out now, you’ll start to hear more birds and other animals moving around. Soon will be the end of the silence that accompanies such sojourns.

See you out there,

Roy B.


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