Saturday, April 6, 2013

Brook Trout at Locatong Creek, Big Rainbows at Pohatcong Creek, Cliffs Behind Frenchtown

 We fished in the Hunterdon Hills this morning, my brother Rick, me, Rick's son Kyle, my son Matt, and their Uncle Jim Purdon. Some of it is really pretty country. We began at the Route 519 bridge over the Locatong Creek at Kingwood, not as many brook trout present as Opening Day last year. The water was very low and it was evident the trout were bunched and hadn't spread out. We caught less than a dozen and moved on after an hour, Matt and I down Federal Twist Road, Rick and Kyle to Milford, and Jim back to Maplewood where he lives with my sister.

Had spoken to Rick at length yesterday, and he said he doubted any parking exists any longer near the mill. Actually, I'm not sure where we ended up is where the mill used to be, if it still exists further downstream, but it was Mill something or other road we took in from Federal Twist in hill country. We've fished this series of streams by Native American names from the Pohatcong to the Alexaukin near Lambertville since the 70's on occasion. I clearly recall fishing with Rick when he was 10. Matt & I found some trout bunched just below the bridge of Mill Road and caught another dozen, leaving when the fishing was still good after 45 minutes. I tend to feel too much of a good thing diminishes it, and Matt had no inclination to stay any longer either.

We phoned our party. Rick had already stopped at the Hakihokake Creek, finding it wasn't stocked, and learned of a 20-inch rainbow caught at Pohatcong and a lost 26-inch or so rainbow. The Pohatcong, a larger stream, is the exception when it comes to large trout. We rode down the 300 feet or so of hill and took SR 29 to Frenchtown, the sky beautifully blue and the Delaware River marvelous, flowing at a level perfect to invite fishing.

I always take Creek Road up along the Nishisakawick, rather than fish in town with the community park and the kids' play sets. In no time, you're among impressive scenery. My favorite hole, about six feet deep, is set against a cliff of sandstone with rounded features somewhat resembling the limestone columns of LaRue/Pine Hills of Shawnee National Forest in Illinois, stunning features that Meriwether Lewis noted in his journal during his adventures with William Clark, and my son and I have visited. The New Jersey cliff rises about 60 feet total, whereas the Pine Hills bluffs are at least 200 feet with singular 60-foot columns, but what you can see just beyond Frenchtown is impressive.

Water was clear--six feet deep looked less and the bottom was perfectly visible. No trout stocked here, unfortunately, but it was the highlight of the morning. takes you to a comprehensive article on salmon egg fishing. 

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