Friday, September 19, 2014

Rainbow Trout are About to Show up in Shore Catches

Greeting incoming rainbows, possibly browns. Once the surface temperature of Round Valley Reservoir dips to 70, they move in close to shore. I suppose that's about where the temperature has fallen over the past week-and-a-half. You would think browns would come in before rainbows, since they're warmer water fish, but I've never seen browns until October. Some of the rainbows, moved by frustrated spawning urges--they don't spawn here, nor browns, though lake trout do--cruise in pods right against shore when wave action stirs sediment and likely offers some tidbits to feed on.

I walked onto the ramp dock and cast a marshmallow & mealworm on three feet of leader, tied off by a small barrel swivel, enough to weight the line a little at a 3/4th-ounce steel egg sinker. The marshmallow floats the hook and the mealworm. Then I kept the bail open and stripped line to set the rod on a stone. Nothing happened. A typical fall, winter, or early spring Round Valley trout stint. Once and awhile something does happen, and I've caught rainbows as large as about 5 1/2 pounds.

I kept watch over the rod--easy to have the line stripped to the spool and rod lost--as I enjoyed photographing scenes and reading otherwise. Most of us fish three lines, and pretty soon I'll be fishing two. I don't like to get more involved than this.

That's all for smallmouths on the South Branch Raritan this year for me, I think. I didn't fish the river much this summer, disappointed in high water levels, for one thing. The Neshanic River flowing into the large river is reduced to a trickle and has been this way awhile, but a lot of water has been let loose from Spruce Run Reservoir over the weeks. I didn't see the South Branch today, but every time I saw it, it flowed fast.

Beautiful day at the reservoir. A couple of people were out paddleboarding, but that's about the last of this anyone will see for a long while.


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