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Week of June 9th: Little Bugs & Conservative Tactics

The big bugs, Sulphur and Isonychia are still out there! There are Caddis and even Hexagenia.  However, it seems like little bugs may work best moving into June.  We have to be a little more conservative minded.  Just a few days ago, it seemed like just about any fly, midge, nymph, streamer, dry, would do it.  Then, it sort of turned off!  The fishing is still very good, don’t get me wrong, but the selectivity of the trout appears to be a factor. Traditional anglers will be pleased to hear small hare’s ear and pheasant tails are producing.

The lower flows certainly play a role.  For a while we could not catch a weekend without rain.  The sun is welcome, of course, but the mid day temps exceeded safe Catch and Release parameters on several consecutive days and the end of this week looks hot again.  

When the streams get skinny, it may be wise to go with a skinny fly.  Small Adams, Griffith’s gnats and BWOs work well in riffles and along banks where the color change indicates a deeper part of the river.  Little midges won’t pull Elk Wing Caddis or Stimulators down, so remember that a zebra midge can serve as the dropper and pull trout up.  With tiny flies assume every take, nose poke or subsurface splash is on your offering.  Really big trout won’t even break the surface in obvious or perceptible ways, so if that dry fly indicator subtly moves or disappears, it is worth checking things out.

When streams get skinny, they heat up more quickly.  Oxygen levels in water depend on water temperature.  This is why it is important to NOT FISH when the temperature is nearing 67 degrees if you plan to safely release fish to fight another day.  Stream thermometers offer protection for the glass thermometer when lowered among rocks.  Fish Pond offers a digital thermometer that does not need to get wet!  Check out both varieties next time you are in the shop.

We can also take this opportunity to be more conservative minded when it comes to our environment.  Low flows expose tires and other trash.  Lend a hand and pull what you can out - safely - and dispose of litter properly.  Hunterdon County and Trout Unlimited’s own Ed Haversang took advantage of our river-litter-receptacle from Airflo:

Bring in old fly line, fishing line, leader butts, and tippet spools!  We will return these items to Airflow for recycling! 

Once things are too warm, I like to turn my attention to bass and panfish.  We are moving our fly selections around constantly to have available everything we need for fishing NJ, NY, and PA!  Stop by for your bass poppers and larger streamers for toothy fish.  We have some really nice heavy weight rods to check out, including a few Scott and Winston rods in 6, 7 and 8. 

The Douglas SKY G did it again and won the Best 5WT Fly Rod Award in the YellowStone Angler 5 WT shootout this year!  Come cast one today.

See you out there, 

Roy B

Local Hatches 6/9/2024

Morning 9-11 am

Spotted Sedge Hydropsyche spp. Tan Elk Hair Caddis #14-18, LaFontaine's Tan Sparkle Pupa #14-18, Hare's Ear Soft Hackle #14-16, Tan Bird's Nest #14-18.

Green Sedge Rhyacophila lobifera Olive Elk Hair Caddis #14-18, LaFontaine's Olive Sparkle Pupa #14-16, Partridge & Soft Hackle #14-16, Olive Bird's Nest #14-18, Henryville Special #14-16

IBlue Winged Olive Drunella attenuatta Pheasant Tail Nymph #16-18, Blue Wing Olive #16-18

American Iron Blue Quill Paraleptophlebia mollis Blue Quill #16-20, Grey Flashback Hare's Ear #16

Midday through Late Afternoon 12 noon - 5pm

Caddis may continue to hatch. see above.

Blue Wing Olive Baetis levitans, interclaris, quebecensis, vagans. RS2, BWO, Pheasant Tail Nymph #18-20

Pale Speckled Wing Olive Callibaetis ferrugineous Adams, Blue Quill, BWO #16-18, Pheasant tail #16-18

Dark Red Quill Rhithrogenia impersonata Red Quill #14-16 Pheasant Tail #14-16

Little Quill Gordon Cinygmula subequalis Pheasant Tail #16 Adams or Blue Dun #16

Evening 6-8pm

Yellow Drake Ephemera varia Yellow Drake Parachute #10-12, Potomanthous nymph #10-12

Pale Evening Dun Ephemerella dorothea Sulphur #16-18, Sulphur Emerger #16-18, Pheasant Tail #16-18

Eastern Brown Quill Siphlonurus quebcencis Adams, Grey Wulff or Blue Dun #10-12

Yellow Sally Stonefly Isoperla bilineata Golden or Yellow stone #14 Yellow Sally dry #16

Golden Stone Isoperla & Acroneuria spp. (Meck and Weamer) Golden stone Nymph #1-12, Yellow Stimulator #10-12

Grey Fox Maccaffertium vicarium Grey Fox #14, Sulphur #14

Grey Winged Yellow Quill Epeorus vitreus Sulphur #14

Mayfly Spinners #12-20 (Use a Rusty Spinner for species listed above  except for E. dorothea., use Sulphur Spinner #16-18)


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