Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Nice Rainbow Trout Fly Fishing New Jersey

Fly fished as the sun nearly set, hoping for a hatch of some sort with the mild weather, a little disappointed that a slight breeze came up, and yet something of about size 18 or 20 flitted near the surface, off-white color suggesting small mayflies of some sort, but no trout rose, so I stuck to a Zug Bug and other beadheads.

I found my casting in great shape with size 16, but when I tried a size 6 Woolly Bugger, I soon began to wonder what had happened to my surge of confidence catching steelhead on the Salmon River last November. Well, wading out in the much larger casting arena of that river affords more control, if closer accuracy just wasn't a need anyway. Tonight I also worked very hard at trying to control drifts, finding that mending the fly line, for just one issue, is something I don't only need to practice more, but pick up a good book and read about. I would pass on the online videos before resorting to the local library, but may instead consult both.

I missed a strike, the trout flickering beneath the surface of the seam (in the upper right of the photo) like lightning, the line jerking forward for a second and halting before my reaction lifted it off the surface. Not too much later, I hooked a trout by dead drifting the Zug Bug through the main thrust of current. The fish leapt thrice, two to three feet high, and I felt I handled the fish well, a rainbow caught of over two pounds.

Persistently, I worked at that drift, fishing close to the seam on my side of the flow and the other, although getting any sort of controllable drift trying to work across the current seemed pretty futile. More to read about. And that didn't deter me from continuing to try.

Fishing the main current, I missed more hits than made me comfortable and finally decided to move upstream to the next pool. My first cast laid out nicely on the flat surface of the tailout, lightning striking again almost immediately, and I missed the fish. I cast again, got hung up by an overhang a more experienced fly caster would have noticed, snapped the nymph off, and then tried to tie on a parachute ant, finding that I had misplaced my collection of parachute Adams. (Nothing rose, but that flat water looked nice for a slow-drifting buggy piece of hair.) I put on my reading glasses in the gathering gloom and still couldn't get the 4X tippet end through the tie loop. Is 4X too thick for a size 16? Seems unlikely, but it's another problem to figure out.

So back to the Zug Bug, a nice size 10 or 12, and the first cast to the tailout resulted in a slam, a trout running zigzag, Nice fish, over a pound-a-half. I cast again, hooked up, and caught a rainbow of about the same size before I fished the rest of the pool and I guess dusk had settled too deeply.    


  1. So much to learn. I am going to take a course at LL bean, then do the guided trip. But that will just be a start of course.

    1. I recently looked at my burgeoning collection of flies and told myself to get a book at the library to identify them! Not that I didn't know what--when I bought them! Can sort of tell some, but far from all. Do a guided trip, but then, above all, get out and mess around, find the little things that just clue you into a good time. Should be some native and wild trout close to home. Don't try to do too much all at once. The Adams parachute is a good all round dry. Pheasant tail & Hare's Ear nymphs--various beadhead sizes--good subsurface. And remember, if you get info on native brook trout whereabouts, those char are not so selective. In June you can fish an entire stream with a floating ant about size 16 or so. And if you get the itch, try nymphs--I used to catch loads on shad darts!


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