Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Trout at North Branch Raritan AT&T

Finally, some sustained trout action. At first I thought the state stocked very lightly. We fished 10 or 15 minutes by the first bridge approaching from the north; my son got a hit on his Mepp's, and took a single hit on a salmon egg in my favorite pocket of the AT&T area. My son led the way downstream to the slower water near the second bridge. As I missed several hits and lost two trout, I reasoned that the high water (although without stain) created such a bow in the line that I couldn't adequately set the hook. Meanwhile, the sun went behind the trees, and my nerves raced since I did not want to get skunked. I must have missed four or five more hits when I got around to adding another split shot. I had motioned to my son, who had headed even further downstream.

By the time he moved next to me I said, "I got this one," sure it wasn't coming off, and he caught another rainbow on the Mepps. Action remained steady until dusk progressed beyond some point or other. The feeding abruptly stopped, although I caught a brookie after more than a dozen fruitless casts, which I presume is from last week.

Seven nice trout, most of them about 11 inches, ran through just about all the leaders I had tied over a week ago. Especially with challenged eyesight now, leaders are hard to tie and the process time consuming. But I knew the chore was worthwhile. I confess that I don't seem to have improved over the years handling such minute terminal tackle. I kept breaking the leaders with the trout on the rocks at water's edge. But I love using my tiny, three-and-a-half foot ultra, ultra light. I made myself patient and relaxed in dealing with my own, and my son's, leader and knot tying needs--but these hatchery trout really put the pressure on. Once they begin coming in one after another, the natural response is to enjoy the greed.  

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