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Week of March 23rd: Enter The Trout

The stocking is ongoing and now, we can all sigh a collective breath, the rivers are full of water, too.  These massive rain events are getting to be a bit much, but we’ll focus on the things we can control and be patient with what we can not.


As previously mentioned, the TCAs remain open and I took advantage of a few minutes after work on Friday to sneak over to the Musconetcong. From a previous trip earlier in the week, I had a heavy jig followed by an olive unweighted bugger and found a nice rainbow in a likely spot after only a few minutes.  I returned to the parking area and I was lucky to run into a fellow fly angler who had some intel on the recent stocking and had gotten into some fish upstream.  His rig involved two flies, similar to what I use, but he had a small caddis larva.  Having recently tied a few myself, I changed to a small midge roughly the same size and chartreuse hue and gave it another shot.  Within minutes, I had another and another.  Just for fun, I switched the trailing fly for the LBS pattern that produced so reliably in the previous weeks - nothing.  I went back to the chartreuse caddis larvae and was getting hits again.  Satisfied that the stockies are keying on patterns that resemble the naturals, I went home and waited for the rains, hoping it would not be as dire as predicted.


Well, we know the rest. The rivers burst their banks and we had some flooding. 


The SBR will fish again first - maybe early this week and by the time this report is published.  The Musky is best around 400 cfs and under and the Pequest is best below 350 cfs.  Things are slippery so be sure to watch your step.  We have wading staffs, studs for your boots, and boots with studs ready to go!  The rather larger storms pushed this year really changed the contours of the rivers and the winds knocked some large trees into new parts of the stream, creating new features.  This makes for both potential new habitat and hazards.  


There is an exciting offer at the shop - while supplies last we have Winston Alpha+ 7 & 8 weight rods along with a few classic Lamson reels on sale for 50% off.  Every Lamson reel incorporates their unique conical drag system and is sealed to protect from sand and grit.  If you’re in the market for a new streamer or bass rod, come check out the Winston Alpha +. 


Oros strike indicators are available in Chartreuse and X-small and we now carry Nature’s Spirit fly tying materials including maribou and additional CDC colors.


Mark your calendar for Trout Fest 2024 in Califon Island Park, April 20th!  Lots of great food, fishing, and craft vendors.  There will be a beer garden to get your confidence up for the casting contest and other events. 



I wish I had more to say this week!  The wind and cold and weather are more conducive to fly tying than fly fishing - at least for me. A few more Blue Quill dry and Hendrickson emergers for the box never hurts.  It may not be show-room pretty, but I think it’ll work!


See you out there,

Roy B.


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