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New Jersey Fly Fishing Report December 19th- December 31st 2014
Shannon's 2014 Stocking Effort . . .Bubba is back, Winter Fishing Is Going To Be Good...
Shannon's Bubba Stocking Update December 19th: Conditions are excellent for late season fishing. The Bubba stocking was completed on December 19th. A total of 327 trout were stocked in the Califon area bringing our combined Fall Stocking total including the KLG November stocking to over 700 trout. This year, we stocked two Bubbas, yes that's right- two! A big Brown and a big Rainbow. Most of the trout were between 12 and 21 inches but the two Bubbas are very big. I think it is a fitting end to an extraordinary season which saw a creative effort by Shannon's, the Division of Fish and Wildlife and most importantly to you, our customers who love fishing the South Branch. My personal thanks to Shawn Crouse, Senior Biologist at Fish and Wildlife for his support and cooperation in granting us the permits needed to make this effort possible. A special word of thanks to all of those anglers and others including Vern and Jeff Mancini of the Musky Hatchery whose efforts helped us stock over 3400 trout in the upper South Branch this year.
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. We have two new Douglas DHF rods, an 8'6" 5wt and a 9' 5wt each valued at $350.00. These rods are sweet!
River conditions are ideal. Flows are up and the water is cold. 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.
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 fall run was sporadic at best. See you next year!
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: http://www.nj.gov/dep/fgw/news/2014/troutmtg14.htm
To date we have stocked over 3400 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. 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.
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
Buggers, Grey Ghost, Black Nose Dace,
and Zonkers if the water is off color. Work them slowly!
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.
Note: Some hatches overlap time periods
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