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New Jersey Fly Fishing Report November 22nd- November 30th 2014

Updated 11/22/2014-JH


Shannon's Fall Stocking Effort . . . Winter Fishing Is Going To Be Good... 

River conditions remain good with lower flows typical of late fall. The division of Fish and Wildlife stocked major rivers with small 7-9 inch Rainbows. These fish are available along with many holdover trout and the most recent stocking of the Ken Lockwood Gorge by Shannon's back on November 7th. Spawning activity means that we are moving into egg season. Small egg and sucker spawn patterns will be very successful. Lots of fish being taken on small flies. Don't forget those midges!!

Shannon's Fall Stocking Update November 7th: Shannon's stocked the KLG with 375 Brown and Rainbow Trout ranging in size from 11-20 inches. The last stocking of the year will be our Bubba stocking coming soon. 

Harvey's Beach Update: The action has been sporadic on bass and blues. It looks like a late run this year. Plenty of bait but few consistent stretches of fishing so far.


Fish runs and pools with small flies. Caddis and olives are winding down but egg and nymph action is very good.

This is a most unusual year for all of us who fish the upper South Branch. There has been an outbreak of Furunculosis at the Pequest hatchery that has forced the state to destroy a large number of trout. This major loss of fish will impact area streams. Some won't be stocked while others saw trout stocking curtailed. The NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife is doing everything they can to correct this issue. There will be no state stocking of the Upper South Branch from Lake Solitude dam upstream, including the Ken Lockwood Gorge. This will substantially reduce trout numbers available for the Spring Season. More information on the subject can be found on the Division's website:

Shannon's has spearheaded an effort to organize a series of stockings on the South Branch. We have an annual stocking budget but it will be nigh on impossible to stock 9000 fish. We will do what we can and with your help, we will enjoy yet another great season on our favorite river, the South Branch.

To date we have stocked over 2500 trout from Long Valley through the Ken Lockwood Gorge TCA (Trout Conservation Area). 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: Mostly midges now. There may be a few caddis and BWO's left. Spring creeks have more reliable BWO's in winter.

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.

  • RS2 #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.

  • 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 11/22/2014

Note: Some hatches overlap time periods

MORNING (6am-11am)


ALL DAY 10am-5pm

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




RS2 in Grey, Black, Brown (especially on the Pequest) or BWO #16-22 seems to work everywhere as it matches any number of small midge and mayfly emergers (Baetis)

Nymphs should be small for the most part: Pheasant Tails, Hare's Ear and Prince patterns #14-18, scuds, midge patterns such as Kaleidoscope Midge, Zebra Midge,  Rainbow Warrior and Fat Lady Midge, Caddis Larva and pupa.  








This time of year, midges are a very good option. Use them in a nymph tandem as the trailing fly or suspend them behind a caddis if surface activity is noted.



Try egg and streamer patterns in low light. You may be surprised how good the fishing still is...








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