This coming Saturday April 11th is the official Opening Day of Trout Season in New Jersey. As many of you know the season was opened early so as to encourage people who wanted some time on the water to practice safe distancing and catch and release fishing on all open or standard regulation waters. By all accounts, people had a enjoyable time. Hopefully, more folks will release a few more fish. Now with the official Opening day upon us normal regulations will apply and anglers may keep six Rainbow Trout over nine inches in length as their daily creel limit. Remember that in our area north and west of Interstate 287, all Brook Trout must be released and on the upper South Branch of the Raritan, only two Brown Trout 12" inches or better may be kept. PLEASE CHECK THE FRESHWATER DIGEST PUBLISHED BY THE NJ DIVISION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE AND CONTINUE TO BUY YOUR LICENSES ONLINE. THIS IS NOT A NORMAL YEAR AND WE ALL MUST DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO FLATTEN THE CURVE ON COVID-19.
I plan on being at the shop by 7am on Saturday but please call ahead. Please also visit the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife's website: https://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/
State and county parks are currently closed due to the Covid-19 Emergency. Wildlife Management Areas, (WMA's) including the Ken Lockwood Gorge are open but we need to practice safe distancing again here. People can't be stupid or they will shut down too. I don't want to hear about people who think this whole thing is a hoax, it's not and the State of New Jersey's number one priority is ending this emergency. It's serious. The areas of the South Branch Reservation which are unimproved river access points are also open but check signage. Wild Trout streams in the Delaware National Recreation Area may or may not be available. Call the National Park Service for the latest information. With remote staffing websites have been lagging on the most update information.
Having said all of that, fishing has been really off the charts with the Division accelerating stocking this year. The Hendrickson hatch is past its peak but fish will still see them for another week or so. Caddis hatches are taking over and Grannoms are taking center stage. Swinging wet flies is a great way to get in on the emerger action. An old favorite is the Partridge and Olive Soft Hackle or the Leadwing Coachman.
We've been getting deliveries but the situation in the country has impacted supply chains. Still we have leaders and tippet and stream accessories. I expect a big fly order tomorrow and maybe Fishpond. We have a very good selection of Winston rods. Right now the dry fly fishing is good and what's better than a Winston for dries? We just received shipments of Fenwick Aetos including the coveted 10' 3 and 4 weights. We also received a shipment of Douglas DXF fly rods and our Chota Boot selection features the new Tremont and East Prong boots. Both great products for under $100.00. We have a good selection of fly tying materials, just ask and we'll put together an order for you to pick up or have mailed to you.
Local Hatches 4/09/2020:
Morning 9-11 am:
Some midge and BWO activity. Most action this time of year occurs in the afternoon.
Midday through Late Afternoon 12 noon - 3:30pm:
Little Black Stonefly Capnia vernalis Tim's stonefly, Black Copper John #18
Blue Wing Olive Baetis leviatns, quebecensis, etc. RS2, BWO, Pheasant Tail Nymph #18-20
Grannom Brachycentrus numerosus Henryville Special, JK's Grannom, Peacock Caddis #16
Hendrickson Ephemerella subvaria Light Hendrickson #12-14, Red Quill #14
Blue Quill Paraleptophlebia adoptiva Blue Quill #16-18
Baetis Duns and Spinners #16-20
Hendrickson Spinners Rusty Spinner #14
Egg Laying Stonefly Black Caddis skittered over the surface.
Tim's videos this week are his take on a classic, The Atherton Nymph and the BPS Spent Caddis.