As I slipped into a local pool on the South Branch I scanned for activity. At first glance it seemed a bit sparse. However, first impressions were a little deceiving. While not a blizzard hatch by any stretch of the imagination, trout were rising purposefully and consistently. I finally took a beautiful wild Brownie on a #16 Sulphur Comparadun, a personal favorite on many of our glassy pools.
The fine weather we've been enjoying has seen good flows and moderate temperatures. As we move through June, we can expect to see some warmer days and the first appearance of summer heat. Water temps have been mostly in the upper fifties to low sixties in the morning. Expect to start seeing warmer temps. Does that mean trout fishing is over? No, but it is important to leave the trout alone when the water temps near 70 degrees and we may see that for a day or so this week. I carry a stream thermometer.The trout don't die but they do slow down. It's not the best time to target them. Afterwards, cooler temperatures and a little rain are on the way later in the week and this will improve the trout fishing. All that being said, June can be one of the best months to fish for trout in our area. Lots of hatches and lighter crowds make for some memorable fishing.
What does this mean for those of us who need to find some water in the heat? The South Branch below Clinton has some nice Smallmouth fishing as does the North Branch below Far Hills. This action can be found all the way down to the confluence in Raritan. All you need are some nymphs like the size 10-12 Beadhead Prince, a handful of Woolly Buggers or Crayfish patterns and a couple of bass popper