Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Lamington River North of Interstate 78

Having taken paperwork concerning Sadie to the vet in Oldwick, I got curious, hung a left and kept on driving, made a right and then another right, and sure enough, found an access point along the Lamington River. I just didn't feel convinced all of the land is privately owned, so I went looking. We've lived in Bedminster for nearly 20 years, and yet within nine miles of driving from home, places exist I haven't just driven through to find what's there.

I came back before sundown with my two-weight fly rod and Sadie. I waded and walked past thin riffles to a stretch that looked like it could possibly hold smallmouth bass, not that I'm certain any exist north of I-78, although just below the highway, I have caught them. North of that howling zone of pavement, the river is Trout Production designated by the state, and now that the country club situated immediately to the south has had the river restored, pools dug deep with ground water releases stocked with lots of big trout, the state has designated Trout Production for a mile of river further south as well. The trout stocked in February all rainbows, brookies, and tigers, I've heard of just a few wild browns caught, fish that may have meandered southward as if sensing the improved pools.

I started casting towards some fallen timber with stuff collected on it when Sadie swam across the shallow pool, spooking half-a-dozen or more suckers of about 16 inches. I spotted a longear sunfish, but no smallmouths. Any wild browns have made it to spring releases to cool off in this heat, I suppose.

On downstream I waded, and I must have walked 300 yards before I turned back, finding nothing worthwhile. This doesn't mean having lots of time and some serious ambition for a man of my age at covering distance wouldn't be worthwhile. Here the river is very rocky, and lots of sand and gravel fill cracks between rocks. Very little silt and mud settles near some of the stream edges, and I noticed lots of what could have been Johnny darters about an inch long scoot off silt leaving tiny pluffs. Some toad tadpoles and killiefish hung near the edge. What I think was a redfin pickerel darted away from a cluster of aquatic weeds.

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