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Week of June 16th: Heat Wave & Warm Water

Well - I hate to say it, but it looks like trout season - for conservation minded, catch and release fishing - is on hiatus unless we get a series of low, low temps after this next week or we wait until September.  Safe bet is looking for cold water elsewhere until the late summer and early fall.

The reason is for the well being of the trout and ensuring a good number of stocked trout become holdover trout!  They can make it, and many of them do, but so many more will survive if we enjoy watching them and not catching them.

Instead, head south and west - warm water rivers will draw small mouth bass from the Raritan and Delaware Rivers.  The series of parks, below the town of Clinton and along route 31, offer some deep pools and long riffles that can hold bass and panfish that love chasing wooly buggers, top water poppers, or just about anything else a trout would consider. You never know…

Some local Hunterdon county and Morris county parks are full of panfish and bass, too. There are even crappie to be found! Here is one I fooled casting into the wind from a bank on a farm pond atop a small local mountain.

We can also point north and West to find some cold water in bottom release dams in New York.  A recent trip to the East Branch yielded a species I had never seen in person - shad!

I was not sure what I had on after the take;  it took an ISO emerger I cast in some riffly water where I thought a rainbow was working.  Indeed, I thought I was fighting a bow and was wondering why it had not taken a few jumps! My heart sank a tiny bit wondering if this wasn’t some monster river chub. 

If you decide to take a trip to the Catskills, be careful wading and be patient!  I always find a trip to the East or West Branch a humbling experience. 

If you go chasing small mouth mass, or toothy critters, we have several options for heavier weight rods in the shop.  For a more visceral panfish experience, go the other direction and pick up a fiberglass 3 wt - we are an authorized Moonlit rods dealer or graphite small stream rod from Redington or Douglas.  

To the dads out there, or anyone with young people or anyone looking to get someone excited about fly fishing, panfish on a flyrod is easier than trout and as much fun!  

The warm water fly selection is out in the shop now. Find your streamers and poppers and other just-adjacent-to trout flies under the leaders in the shop.

See you out there!

Roy B


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