Thursday, October 10, 2013

Delaware and Raritan Canal Recreation at Weston

Tried the Delaware and Raritan Canal again, at Weston, attempting pickerel with shiners--nothing happened. But I fished with vital enjoyment, practicing my pitching and casting in and around thickets. I must have made half a dozen really good casts that barely missed getting hung up, one of these angled around a whole row of branches allowing me to reel the shiner underneath them. Twice I got hung up. Duckweed is still present and the tactic was to allow the shiner to swim into the darkness underneath the matts. I was a little surprised nothing was ever there to grab the bait. I walked a good eighth of a mile downstream of the lock, fishing hard as I went and really enjoying the solitude, no one having braved the weather to bike, jog, or walk the towpath.

The canal is a small waterway 66 miles long, but it's no place for an expensive boat. Most of the fishing I do is in small waters, and while I would like to fish larger waters with better fishing more, I stay within my means as I have to--and get out there. I don't limit myself to the big trips I take a number of times each year. If I can have a half hour's fishing and get my head cleared out, the positive gain is more than time easily invested. That's what recreation does--refreshes you for more serious matters.

And a lot can be said--a lot more than I will note right now--for small waters, even small waters that typically provide poor fishing, like the canal has for me during the past 20 plus years, better longer ago. Why do I keep returning to the canal? I could have fished Round Valley instead. I could have tried plastics on top of remaining duckweed at Colonial Park for bass--last I did that, I missed seven explosive hits. It's a funny thing, but while I unambiguously love lakes, rivers, the Atlantic, bays, I won't give up on little places like those I first began fishing. The first place I ever fished was the canal, when I was eight. It no longer has the mystery for me it had at that age, but I know the mystery is there and when I go, I don't want to leave detached and bored. I want to tease out a response that makes me happy, to tell me not everything in this world is good only because it is big and costs a lot.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Fly Casters Attempting Round Valley Trout

Since the weather's cooled off, I tried for trout at Round Valley, two lines out and just lying back, reading a novel by David Mitchell, Black Swan Green. I had a fly rod in the car, but didn't care to work a streamer, although this is the time of year that streamers can be effective here. Two fly fishermen waded in the shallows, stripping streamers.

It's the matter of whether or not rainbows swing in close enough. They usually do for short periods, when they do, then move on along the shoreline. Of course, the advantage of having a mealworm or two floated off bottom by a small marshmallow is that it's there waiting for any trout that might come on the scene.

I usually float mine about four feet above a 3/4-ounce steel egg sinker cast well out there, but I noticed guys using split shot and not casting very far more than a week ago, when I stopped on separate days to see what was happening. They caught rainbows. Sometimes the trout will be right up against the edge in very shallow water this time of year.