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Week of March 17th: May the Trout Rise to Meet You!


Happy St. Patrick’s Day (week) and good luck to us all this trout season, which begins on April 6th.  This date becomes important as all of our rivers close on March 18th to allow for the new additions to our rivers, lakes, and ponds.  Opening day traditions are born from this anticipation and regular anglers in our area know the lure of a freshly stocked trout.





Some of us simply cannot wait and can slake our thirst for fishing in the Trout Conservation Areas (TCAs) on Toms River, the Flat Brook, Pequest, Pequannock, Musconetcong, and the South Branch.  Each day may reveal the emergence of mayflies or one of our local caddis varieties. I hear tell that there was a prodigious hatch of Caddis near Hampton last Saturday afternoon.  


That being said, the little black stone has produced the most pictures and posts I have seen and, happily, many young browns are showing up!  I can attest to the success of a soft hackle LBS and agree with those wiser than me that we can expect this fly to be important for a bit longer. The usual early season suspects are enticing. Remember to bring along a few RS2, Waltz worm, and wooly buggers and pheasant tail and Hare’s ear are available in both nymphs, wet, and soft hackle in #16 and smaller. 


The caddis worms seem to be phasing out of the Chimarra brood. Use a tan or brown until we see the Chartreuse brood appear.


Remember to update your license online - before stopping in to select your new rod for the season!  The DXF from Douglas lives up to its reputation as a workhorse of a rod time and again and our ability to fulfill warranty conditions is second to none.  South Branch Outfitters is fortunate to be a R.L. Winston dealer as well.  Their hand-rolled, small batch graphite rods are inscribed with a unique number, hand painted, individually on each section.  A Winston is a dream to cast.


New Lamson reels are in!  Pair one with an Airflo line and a braided leader.


Use pre-season closures to build your fly box.  Nature’s Spirit is a welcome addition to our tyer tested distributors of feathers and fur - natural and synthetic materials for the Quills, Henricksons, and BWOs to come. In fact, a picture of a Hendrickson spotted on the Flat Brook was shared with the shop! 


Our Tuesday Tying nights, “Fill your Box,”  and 101 classes have wound down, but there is still time to sign up for a special engagement with John Collins - creator of our best selling flies and one of our top guides. John has mentored countless anglers and fly tyers and this is an evening not to be missed!


See you out there, 

Roy B.





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