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.