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New Jersey Fly Fishing Report February 9th- February 16th 2017
Shannon's 2016-2017 Winter Stocking Effort & River News . . .
Shannon's River Update: River levels are slowly recovering through the winter. We finally are seeing some snow just as the first stoneflies of the year begin to hatch. Most of the action has been on small nymphs and midges as you might expect. At times of higher flows, egg and sucker spawn patterns have been effective. Now as we move into February there will be a few changes. While midge fishing will continue to be productive the larva of the Chimarra or Early Black Caddis will begin to be active anytime after mid-February. John Collins spotted his first Hendrickson nymph and it was a little larger than would be normal for this time of year due to the above average temperatures this winter. Does that bode for an early Hendrickson hatch? Too soon to tell, but downsizing those nymphs to imitate the size they are right now is a strategy long advocated by Matt Grobert.
Stoneflies have also begun to appear on area rivers and streams this last week or so. These early emerging stones won't be too prolific yet; there will still be many more midges and scuds in the water but spring is right around the corner now. On warm days they may hatch in better numbers.
Copnsistent fishing in the Gorge and Point Mountain TCA's continues. The Pequest TCA has been fishing well too with some large 5+ pound Rainbows being reported by the regulars. Fly selection is still in winter mode, small nymphs size 16-20 followed by a midge or egg pattern is one way to go but you may want to mix some late winter patterns in now. Add a Chimarra Caddis Larva or a Grey Scud or perhaps a Black Stonefly or Copper John to the mix. Streamers are also taking fish as well. Fishing has actually been pretty good at times but you have to find the fish, big bruiser Rainbows in the 14-22" class. Certain sections of the South Branch and Musky are also seeing some decent action on post spawn wild Brown Trout. Holdover Rainbows have been partial to egg patterns and midges along with streamers and emergers.
All of our trout are purchased from Vern and Jeff Mancini at The Musky Hatchery in Asbury, NJ and are certified disease free. Thank you to all of our donors who have contributed so generously. Also, we are grateful for the support and assistance of Affinity Federal Credit Union in supporting our effort.
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General Hatches, Fly Recommendations and Tips . . .
Hatch Update: Midges are the active insects on the water now.
the day: Fish
tandem rigs to improve your nymphing success. Fish
nymphs and emergers or midges in tandem. I always
prefer to fish the larger fly first, but to each their own. The
easiest way is to tie the first fly on as usual then attach the
second by using a clinch knot tied to the bend of the first
fly. Space the flies about twenty inches apart. It is also a good idea to
balance your tandems by keeping them within a couple of hook sizes
of each other. Use enough weight to keep the flies just off the bottom
drifting slowly. Drag free drifts are a must now. Keep as little fly
line on the water as possible and pay attention! Strikes may be
subtle or fierce. If using a strike indicator, place it one and a half to
twice the depth of the water you are fishing from the first fly. Any
additional weight should be about six to eight inches from the first
fly. Streamers: Muddler
Buggers, Grey Ghost, Black Nose Dace,
and Zonkers if the water is off color.
Note: I use larger nymphs and bead-heads when the water is higher and less weight when water drops. On the South Branch, use the heavier flies when the stream flow exceeds about 175-185 cfs.
Current Local Hatch Chart . . .
Note: Some hatches overlap time periods
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