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New Jersey Fly Fishing Report March 25th- March 30th 2017

Updated 3/25/2017-JH



Shannon's 2016-2017 Winter Stocking Effort & River News . . .

Shannon's River Update: February and March flip flopped this year. February was mild but March brought some much needed snow and more rain is in the forecast. This is all good news, we need continued precipitation to bring up river and groundwater levels. Fishing has been pretty good this winter and it continues. Midges, small nymphs including stoneflies and egg patterns have been the best options and should continue to be until the water warms and hatches begin. 

Consistent fishing in the Gorge and Point Mountain TCA's continues. The Pequest TCA has been fishing well too with some large 5+ pound Rainbows being reported by the regulars. Fly selection is still in winter mode, small nymphs size 16-20 followed by a midge or egg pattern is one way to go but you may want to mix some late winter patterns in now. Add a Chimarra Caddis Larva or a Grey Scud or perhaps a Black Stonefly or Copper John to the mix. Streamers are also taking fish as well. Fishing has actually been pretty good at times but you have to find the fish, big bruiser Rainbows in the 14-22" class. Certain sections of the South Branch and Musky are also seeing some decent action on post spawn wild Brown Trout. Holdover Rainbows have been partial to egg patterns and midges along with streamers and emergers.  


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.     

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General Hatches, Fly Recommendations and Tips . . .

Hatch Update: Midges are the active insects on the water now.

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. 

  • 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, #16-18

  • 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 3/25/2017

Note: Some hatches overlap time periods

MORNING (6am-10am)


ALL DAY 10am-5pm

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



Early Black, Early Brown Stonefly Taniopteryx nivalis and fasciata Stonefly Nymph size 16-20



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.
















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