I've fished trout four or fives since I reported last, lost a nice one, and have witnessed three lakers 15-20 inches, two browns 19 and 22 inches, and a 22 inch rainbow. Mike got the browns on shiners, and the lakers also took shiners. A man and his young son fished together, the boy catching the rainbow on what I forget, but the fish was a conversation piece. Whatever I had on hit a marshmallow and mealworm. I've noticed a couple of guys using 9-foot rods to get extra-distant casts. My son and I each own 11-foot steelhead noodle rods, and I'm thinking about it. Can't use more than 6-pound test; noodle rods are light power, but that's the test I use now anyhow.
The word has been that the browns are gone, but it's rainbows I've heard little about. Oliver fly cast his 10 wt. recently and watched a golden palomino follow his nymph. Not a taker, but a close encounter.
Lake Hopatcong has as many as seven inches of ice in the coves, but this ice may thicken considerably more before the reservoir freezes. In any event, the reservoir won't freeze unless we have more sustained extreme cold than we have enjoyed as yet.
You've got to admit it. Cold can feel good on the face. It stings the nerves and can make the face burn for an hour after you come in, but it's a sure sign that you're responsive and alive.