Monday, September 5, 2016

Headwaters North Branch Raritan River Outing

Places exist, accessible, where owner's rights don't make it impossible to enjoy the wild in good conscience, even though most of the headwaters flow off limits to anyone who doesn't live on the land that edges the water. Sometimes you have to get a permit to cook hotdogs, but to my mind, that's an equitable deal. The township makes the cookout possible, so why not uphold their accountability in the matter?

Water's really low. All this year, I've seen the river down here in Bedminster flood only once, and that time it really didn't come close to breaching the bank.

I got down below a falls to mount my D7100 on tripod for a shoot, knowing in advance this effort just wouldn't cut the margin. I'm going to have to come back for more pictures when the falls behave that way.

And then I took out my two-weight fly rod, wading in sneakers, cast a dry Muddler Minnow that floated, cast it well back in the shade, and a wild brown trout struck with a splash. A tried to set the hook, but the trout was gone before the point grabbed.

The main thing to remember is that all of this land and water, owned privately or not, is wild and free, most of it unknown to anyone, because it takes effort and time to really experience what's in front of you. And you have to get to what's in front of you, too. It's so easy to measure acres and miles, and then pretend you have what the quantifications represent. But to see infinity in a speck of sand breaks all the rules.

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