First, I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year. We will be open from 8am until 1pm. Yes, as of this writing, our license machine is holding up. After 1 pm, look for us on the river as catching the first fish of the year on New Year's Day has become a tradition. Many people are excited about the new Cortland Nymph rods. We received our first shipment earlier in the week. They come in a 10' 6" 2,3 or 4 weight versions. They retail for $299.00.
The winter pattern has basically set up now and it brings a variety of opportunities to catch trout. Most anglers will likely fish nymphs. Most of the flies should be on the small side, size 16-22. Pheasant Tail, Hare's Ear and Prince Beadheads are all great choices for your tandem rigging. We also have some great flies from Dave McKenna at Guide flies. These are tungsten beads and are quite effective. Try rigging one of the heavy flies trailed by a black Glass Bead Zebra midge. Copper Johns are another effective anchor fly. In the middle of the day, it is tough to beat a small #18-22 Grey or BWO RS2 or a small Scud as the trailing fly. Egg patterns are still catching fish and it is good to use a small midge as a dropper to double your chances.
Streamers have also been effective during this period of warmer weather; the water is still cold but just warm enough for the trout to grab a big meal. Woolly Buggers in Olive or Black in sizes 10-12 worked slowly along current seams have taken a number of trout for me in the last several weeks. Sculpin patterns such as the JC's Sculpin is a personal favorite. Muddler Minnows and classic streamers like the Grey Ghost will also catch their share of fish as will Zonkers. Len ties a great Red Leech which works very well on the newly stocked fish from the Bubba Contest. Incidentally, both Bubbas are still at large and the balance of 500 trout stocked along with them are still roaming free in and around Califon.
Fly tying classes on Saturdays with Len continue. Sunday classes will return on January 12th with Tim Flagler and January 19th with Matt Grobert. Classes start at 9:30 am and while there is no charge, they will fill up. Later in the month on January 22nd, Bob Mallard will help kick off our Mid-Winter Hatches Presentations at The Raritan Inn with a presentation on the state of Brook Trout in their home range. He will also have copies of latest book, Square Tail, from Stonefly Press. A few years ago, Brian Cowden and I collaborated with Bob on the New Jersey segments of another of his books, 50 Best Places To Fish in the Northeast. Both the South Branch of the Raritan and the Musconetcong were featured. The presentation will also include a hot buffet dinner for $25.00 per person.
I've selected Tim's videos on tying a Perdigon Zebra Midge and Tim's Take on Pat Dorsey's Top Secret Midge.