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New Jersey Fly Fishing Report  February 8th- February 15th 2016

Updated 2/08/2016-JH


Shannon's 2016 Stocking Effort & River News . . .


Shannon's River Update: River access is much improved as most of the snow has melted. Streamflows are excellent. Black Stoneflies have begun to hatch, especially on warmer days. Chimarra caddis larva should begin to tempt fish soon as well. Plenty of scuds in the rivers too. The fish are strong too so be ready to give an inch if you want to land some of the large Rainbows that you may encounter. Dress appropriately and fishing will be comfortable. We now have Redington base layers that are light and warm. Bubba contest is in full swing on the South Branch and there is some excellent angling at the Pequest TCA and on the Musky too especially at Point Mountain. 

Bubba is back with plenty of friends in and around Califon down to the KLG. For those not familiar, the event is sponsored by Shannon's Fly and Tackle in conjunction with GBW Insurance of Flanders, Affinity Federal Credit Union and Raritan Headwaters Association as well as those customers who have donated to our continuing stocking initiative. Special thanks once again to the Mancini family, owners of the Musky Trout Hatchery in Asbury for supplying the fish. Lots of Rainbows this year with a few Goldens in the mix. Almost 500 trout were stocked just in time for the holidays! There are two tagged fish named "Bubba" a brown and a Rainbow and both are bruisers in the 8lb class. The other fish range between 11-22 inches in length. If you catch and release one of the big tagged fish, simply bring us the jaw tag to win a brand new fly rod, a GLoomis Pro 4X 9'5wt or a T&T LPS II 9'5wt. Good luck and Happy Holidays! -JH

If you don't believe me then check out last year's video. Happy Holidays courtesy of Shannon's and our sponsors: The Musky Hatchery, GBW Insurance, Affinity Federal Credit Union and Raritan Headwaters Association. Egg patterns, small nymphs and midges are the secret to success. Cold nights make the early morning fishing slo but spend a little time in the warm sun and watch the trout react. Try stripping a streamer. Trout maybe spreading out with higher flows fish pocket water and runs. Plenty of fish remain to be caught in area rivers. Good numbers of fish in the 13-22 inch class in area rivers plus some cagey holdovers. We stocked Califon Island Park with over 100 trout two weeks ago. These stockings also included any relevant TCA's. For a full explanation please visit the Division's website:  


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: Midges are dominating winter hatches now. Small midge patterns and the RS2 Emerger should be very productive. Small emergers as well as egg midge tandems have been catching fish. Want to try a streamer? Buggers are hard to beat.

During 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 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 #14-18. 

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

  • Trail a RS2 or WD40 #16-22 Grey, Brown or BWO to imitate those small Baetis so common now.

  • Rainbow Warrior #18 Another great midge larva pattern

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

  • 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 . . . 


Updated 2/08/2016

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-6pm

Midges may be hatching. Try a small Adams or BWO Parachute #18-22


 Early Black Stonefly Taeniopteryx nivalis Black Stone #14-16


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 are smaller now. Worms, Egg and Sucker Spawn patterns, 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.














Shannon's would like to thank the following companies for sponsoring our events. 



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