Tonight, I purposefully approached the river with a game plan in mind. The other night I had scouted an area that was holding a decent number of fish but it required a bit of stealth to reach casting distance. Normally, just a few small fish might be found here but with the above average flows we've seen this spring a number of larger fish were still using the slot just a above a riffle. I saw a couple of large Isonychia fly by. This was as John Collins likes to say a "night the fish want the meat." Isonychia bicolor or Slate Drakes are a primary hatch in June and they are large. In our area they are most often a size 12 although a size 10 isn't uncommon. On the larger rivers of the Catskills and across the larger rivers in the range east of of the Mississippi they can be a size 8 although more commonly a #10 is adequate. Tonight one of our stocked Browns came to hand but don't be surprised if a big Rainbow doesn't decide to come for dinner.
As we move towards Father's Day weekend fly fishing for trout on our New Jersey streams and rivers is likely going to see some of the best action in years. First, the weather has remained fairly cool and second, rain has been abundant. As a matter of fact, stream flows on two major rivers the Musconetcong and the Pequest just reached ideal levels last weekend. Both of these rivers had been heavily stocked but since last October have been running high and off color, their trout largely safe from angling pressure. Given the current conditions on those rivers and the South Branch, trout fishing is likely to continue well into the summer barring any major shift in the weather. The reason is groundwater. The region is 9-10 inches of rain in surplus over average precipitation meaning that cooling spring seeps are full and flowing.