Major rivers in North Jersey were or will be stocked this week with the South Branch including the Ken Lockwood Gorge stocked tomorrow. It's been a wet summer and fall so far. Rivers and streams are flowing above normal. That bodes well for the Fall Stocking as the fish will have a chance to spread out in the days and weeks to come. These Rainbows are big too, 14-21 inch two and three year old fish from the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife's Pequest Hatchery. Many of our customers enjoy the trout fishery that develops in the colder months of the year. Some discomfort at times is off set by sparser crowds and the chance for a trophy trout. Wild trout will begin to move towards spawning grounds over the next several weeks but the heavy rains from earlier this year gave cover to many spring stockies and these "hold over trout" are once again available to anglers as water temperatures have cooled down.
With at least two distinct populations of trout in our rivers what are the best tactics to achieve success on the water? The new Rainbows will be aggressive at times and they like color. The Infamous Pink Worm or IPW is a great pattern. So are small egg and sucker spawn patterns in Pink, Orange, Cream or Yellow Cheese. Fish the eggs like a nymph and let them tumble along the bottom. Try a #18-20 Black or Red Zebra Midge or perhaps a Rainbow Warrior trailing behind the egg pattern. Streamers like #8-12 Woolly Buggers in Black, Brown or Olive will be chased down by these fish. A season's worth of baitfish are in the rivers right now. Black Nosed Dace, Black Ghosts and Zonker Streamers are all good choices now. They will get on dries too especially small 18-22 BWO's and Adams along with the more wary hold over trout. These fish are likely to be fooled on more subtle patterns such as a WD40 or any of the aforementioned Midge Patterns. I like the Grey or BWO RS2 for Brownies in the fall. Tan or Grey Scuds are also a good bet. As for nymphs, small #18-22 Pheasant Tail Flashbacks and natural Pheasant tails will fool the wary hold over or wild trout. I move away from the Flashbacks on sunny days. You can count on some prolific late season Caddis hatches. Make sure you have some Sparkle Pupa patterns and a few Tan or Grey Elk Hair Caddis in your box. The Isonychia and Light Cahills may persist for a little longer but look to Caddis and BWO's for the more consistent action.
Tuesday October 9th: Black River: 330 Trout Paulinskill 1440 Trout
Wednesday October 10th Musconetcong River including Point Mountain TCA: 2840 Trout
Pequest including Pequest TCA 1530 Trout