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New Jersey Fly Fishing Report  May 24th- May 31st 2016

Updated 5/24/2016-JH



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


Shannon's River Update: Sulphurs, sulphurs and sulphurs are hatching all over area rivers and streams right now. The South Branch finally lit up while the Musky and other streams have been going for about two weeks. Lots of spinners especially the larger Invaria. Get out towards dusk for some fast action. Fish emergers one to two hours before the hatch begins and switch to dries as fish begin to feed on the surface. Caddis and small Baetis are also very common right now. There are also some March Browns hatching sporadically all day.

Rivers have received some much needed rain over the last week and fishing conditions should be much closer to normal in May after a low water April.  During the cool, wet stretch of weather, hatches have been somewhat sparse. Look for that to change this week as the inventory of aquatic insects ready to hatch  should be excellent. The rain has set the stage for some great fishing in the coming weeks.

LaFontaine's Caddis Sparkle Pupa in sizes 14-18 have been key flies of late. The Blue Quill hatch has been pretty solid as well. Get those Pheasant Tail nymphs and trail a Grey RS2. Keep the flies on the small side, size 16-18 for the PT's and size 18-20 for the RS2. In the late afternoon and early evening, swap out those caddis pupa for sulphur emergers.


Some nice holdover fish left over from last year's holiday stockings.

If you don't believe me then check out last year's video. 


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: Look for Sulphur hatches and several others including tan caddis and Blue Duns to take center stage this coming week. Plenty of small mayflies around as well. Scattered March Browns are now appearing on the water sporadically throughout the day.

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 #14-22 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 5/24/2016

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 11am-5pm

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


Blue Winged Olive Baetis levitans, vagans, interclaris, quebecencis Adams, Blue Quill, BWO #18-22


March Brown Maccaffertium vicarium March Brown #10-12


Green Sedge Rhyacophila lobifera Henryville Special Caddis #14-18


Spotted Sedge (Tan Caddis) Hydropsyche species (sp)  Tan Sparkle Pupa, Bird's Nest Tan Elk Hair Caddis #14-18


Blue Quill Paraleptophlebia adoptiva Blue Quill, Adams #16-18


Small Slatewing Brown Quill Pseudocleon Carolina BWO 20-22


Iron Blue Dun Leptophlebia johnsoni Adams, Blue Quill #14-16


Dark Iron-winged Olive Drunella cornuta BWO #12-14


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 Baetis, Paraleptophlebia and midges.

Nymphs are larger now as we are in spring mode. Worms, Egg and Sucker Spawn patterns are great choices in higher water and because Rainbows like color, 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, 






Sulphur Ephemerella invaria Sulphur #12-14


Sulphur Ephemerella dorothea Sulphur #16-18




Rusty Spinner #14-20








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