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New Jersey Fly Fishing Report March 28th- April 4th 2015

Updated 3/28/2015-JH

 

Shannon's 2014-2015 Stocking Effort . . .


Shannon's Hot Stove series is back! Thursday March 26, Tim Flagler presented his take on "Early Season Tactics" and will tie patterns that match the bugs in his portable tank!  April 1st, Jim, Brian Cowden and John Collins will present on "Major Spring Hatches and Stream Restoration". John Collins will lead students through several of his most effective patterns and Jim will host a discussion full of time tested tactics to improve your game on the water. Brian will present the Current State of Stream Restoration in NJ. Classes begin at 6pm and will run until about 8:30pm. Dinner is included as is a return trip to the Inn's Shannon's Private Waters with your presenters when the hatches are in full swing. Cost is $100.00 per person payable by check to: "Shannon's Private Waters" and includes the rod fee.

Shannon's River Update March 28, 2015: The river is running high but clearing fast, we are switching over to early spring mode on area rivers. Just get those flies down! Remember we stocked some great fish late last fall and around the holidays. When fishing resumes, remember New Jersey rivers and streams under general regulations remain closed for stocking and will reopen Saturday April 4th at 8am. Trout Conservation Areas including KLG, Point Mountain and Pequest along with Wild Trout Streams will be open to catch and release fishing only, no bait is allowed. Due to the unusual amounts of ice and snow, the Ken Lockwood Gorge is slated to be stocked on now on April 1st. Point Mountain has been stocked. Pequest Open House is this weekend at the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife's Pequest Hatchery in Oxford, New Jersey. Check their website for details: http://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/.

Check our "Home Page for details on the Redington Wader Rebate Program!

This is a good time to go over your gear and to get ready for some good preseason fishing. Go over your fly inventory and tie some flies! Check your reels and fly lines. How are your waders? A general tackle inventory is a good idea. Chances are that we will see some good fishing in March. 

Bubba Contest Rules: Catch and release Bubba and bring us the jaw tag. Do not kill the fish under any circumstances. Kill the fish no prize. 

Both new Bubba are females aka Bubbettes! We have a new Douglas DHF rods, an 8'6" 5wt and a St Croix Imperial 9' 5wt. These rods are sweet!

Update 2/06/2015: Keith Gardner caught Bubba Bow and Brett Carmen caught Bubba Brown. Both fish were caught and released. Great job guys! Bubba II is still at large......Two more Bubbettes, one of which the big Rainbow was caught but the big Brown is still on the loose! 

 

River conditions are cold. Flows are excellent but there is ice on the edges so be careful. Use some weight to get those flies down. Small nymphs and midges, egg patterns and scuds are all catching fish. Keep a few streamer patterns handy; the fish are hungry. The NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife stocked major rivers with 7-9 inch Rainbows back in October and by all accounts these feisty fish are growing quickly with some over ten inches already. 

 

Last year we have stocked over 3600 trout from Long Valley through the Ken Lockwood Gorge TCA (Trout Conservation Area). Based on customer feedback, we will be continuing these efforts in 2015. Look for spring stockings of the KLG as well as the Kid's Fishing Contest and the Bubba Contest in December. 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.     

Please help us keep up the efforts, and click the "donate" button. Every little bit helps!

 

 

General Hatches, Fly Recommendations and Tips . . .


Hatch Update: Stoneflies are showing up. Look for early season Baetis to start soon as well once water temps move into the forties. Quill Gordons won't be far behind.

During the day: Fish tandem rigs to improve your nymphing success. Fish nymphs and midges in tandem or add a small egg pattern. I always prefer to fish the larger fly first. It is also a good idea to balance your tandems by keeping them within a couple of hook sizes of each other. Other good choices include the Lenny's Hot Bead Midge or Rainbow Warrior or a Tan or Grey Scud size 16-18 or RS2 18-22 about 18-22 inches apart and hold on! 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 Minnows, Woolly Buggers, Grey Ghost, Black Nose Dace, and Zonkers if the water is off color. Work them slowly!

  • Hare’s Ear nymph standard and beadhead #12-18. 

  • Any egg or sucker spawn pattern. Trail with a midge.

  • Pheasant Tails #16-22 with or without a bead.

  • RS2 or WD40 #16-22 Grey, Brown or BWO

  • Rainbow Warrior #18 Another great midge larva pattern

  • Prince Nymph/ Zug Bug (Beadhead, Poxy Back, Standard) Great for Isonychia and stoneflies.

  • Black Stonefly #16-18

  • Scuds and Sow bugs: Olive, Grey or Tan, # 14-18

  • Caddis Larva: Olive, Green or Chartreuse is a must right now #14-18.

  • Midge Larva: Disco midges in Green, Red, or Black size 18-22

  • Woolly Buggers: Black, Olive and Brown #10-14 Conehead Muddler Minnows work too.

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 . . . Hatches are largely confined to 

midges with BWO's on certain spring creeks. 


 

Updated 3/28/2015


Note: Some hatches overlap time periods

MORNING (6am-11am)

 High stick nymphing is recommended as is working a streamer deep and slow through likely pools and runs.


ALL DAY 10am-5pm

On warmer days, you may see a few of these bugs still hatching but the active season is winding down.

 

 

 

WD40 or RS2 in Grey, Black, Brown (especially on the Pequest) or BWO #16-22 seems to work everywhere as it matches any number of small midges.

Nymphs should be small for the most part: Egg and Sucker Spawn patterns, San Juan Worms, Pheasant Tails #16-22, Hare's Ear #14-18 and Prince patterns #14-18, scuds, midge patterns such as Kaleidoscope Midge, Zebra Midge,  Rainbow Warrior and Fat Lady Midge, Caddis Larva especially JC's Electric Caddis.  

Early Black Stonefly Ptaeniopteryx nivalis Black Stonefly #16-18

 

Little Iron Blue Quill Baetis tricaudatus Adams, Blue Dun #16-18

 

 


1pm-6pm

 

 

 

 

 


LATE AFTERNOON-EVENING 6pm-dusk

 

Try egg and streamer patterns in low light. Also over slow pools try a high floating dry like an Elk Hair Caddis then trail a Zebra Midge behind it by about eighteen inches to two feet. -JH

 

 

 

L

 

 


 

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