Friday, March 31, 2017


Is fishing a niche, or a universal contemplation? Maybe the tackle companies and outdoor media want us to think it's the former, because they do quite well with the status quo in that respect. The CEO of Bass Pro Shops is a major player with Goldman Sachs, from what I've heard. The rest of society seems to readily agree it's a niche, but many look down their noses on people with a passion to fish, so "unimportant" compared to the professional workplace and the world of social concerns that workplace implies.

I won't leap onto the high road and write the sort of sentences you may be familiar reading of my outing accounts, words a lot of readers would get lost on. I'll just say it's obvious to me fishing is only a niche as a sort of advertisement. Food is universal. We put most fish back, but you get the point. And where we go to fish. The outdoors is no niche interest more than planet. In a universe 13 billion light years wide, all of what it is inseparable between the most distant points. 


We need the rain, but it's interfering with plans a little. Had hoped to fish a pond with Mike Maxwell on Tuesday, but we figured--muddy. That's no way to get introduced. Looks like we might get there on the 12th. Too much later than that, and the weeds forbid much hope. I made a mental note of this place last fall, and I haven't forgotten. It's time. We just have to coordinate time off from work with clear water we hope is at least 50 degrees, but I did catch a bass Tuesday in the rain here in the neighborhood with water in the 40's. Not on live bait, either.

On the 5th, we may fish Pompton Lakes, but I need to look into how rain affects clarity there, since we have rain forecast two days in between now and then, not including tonight's. (Thunder.) Especially a concern, since the chief area to fish is the creek mouth, with northern pike spawning. Bass and pickerel elsewhere in the lake might attract our curiosity, also.

Hope to get to the Meadowlands with Fred soon, striped bass. School size for the most part, but a keeper size bass--to put back--is possible. I am deeply fascinated with that environment, and would like to do a photo-study of it in some breadth and detail. This will take time, and I don't have any in the foreseeable future, but if I find the time in a decade or so, I don't think my advanced age will stop me from getting my boots muddy and my knees wet. I've read two good books on the Meadowlands, though the titles and authors escape me at present. I hope to read them both again and more yet.

New Jersey is not short of amazing, geographically. Such little square mileage, compared to other states, and yet the environmental diversity in little space might be more varied than any other. Don't know. Would be interesting to find out. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Got One, Mike!

Hit a quarter-ounce white Rooster Tail. Right before I was about to lift for next cast. Reeled at pretty good clip, since it catches bottom a lot, this shallow pond.

Protected my camera inside my coat, rain.

That's my first fish since October 12th. Looks to me like it's all getting started. And that Rooster Tail feels about right for a deeper pond.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Round Valley Reservoir RVTA Trout Stocking

Round Valley Trout Association, with its client, Musky Trout Hatchery, of Asbury, New Jersey, by the Musconetcong River, stocked Round Valley Reservoir this morning with an as yet relatively small undisclosed number of big rainbow trout as large as four or five pounds, a hundred golden trout less than legal size, and 200 brown trout also less than legal size. The same number of browns got stocked last year. Last year's bear an RVTA6 jaw tag; this year's--RVTA7.

Especially the brown trout we want released, since the idea is to witness them grow to trophy sizes of eight pounds or more. The current state record brown trout of 21 pounds, six ounces got caught in the reservoir in 1995. Since then, brown trout's chief forage is missing. The alewife herring population is now virtually non-existent or altogether gone, due to the thinning out of the reservoir's fertility, as well as relative lack of weedbeds which herring depend upon for reproduction, apparently. However, at present the record low water level results in thick vegetation growth along shorelines. When the water comes back up, we hope in three to five years, accumulated vegetation in decay will spike the water fertility, such as happened in the early 1990's, conditions combined with the pumping of more fertile South Branch Raritan water into the reservoir. That water, reportedly, is no longer as fertile as was more than a decade ago, so our proposition is a iffy, although club members don't know of the exact difference in river fertility and what the difference will mean. If alewife herring get re-introduced, there may be another renaissance of trout fishing here, with trophy fish abundant for a few years. And these brown trout we've stocked now and last year, some of them will surely remain in the reservoir five years out.

Member turnout more than I had expected, as Musky Trout Hatchery's truck drove onto gravel at about 9:00 a.m., boats seemed to suddenly arrive from nowhere, since I hadn't noticed them coming from parts unknown on the reservoir. Naturally, the guys got on early and had fished for hours. Now four or five boats began serving a mission that benefits everyone who uses Round Valley Recreation Area, since a thriving fishery is at the heart of this crystal-clear water everyone admires. Some of the guys, including a boy about 11-years-old, carried nets of trout from the truck to the boats, which roared off powered by 9.9 horsepower. The motor power seemed a lot more than that this morning, as the force behind the effort is moved by a lot more moral motivation than the typical feeling about a little engine. A boat would disappear into distance very quickly as water-filled coolers in another got loaded with trout, and just as the two coolers had filled, another boat could be seen coming in at closing distance. A small crowd of onlookers developed, shooting pictures with mobile devices, but more than this; they really got a load through eyeballs.

Cold weather deterred no one. I wished at first I had brought my wool cap, but once action got underway, I never noticed the chill, driven hard into us all by a stiff breeze coming off the water from the east. I stepped into water over my hiking boots to get closer shots with my Nikon. Didn't care, and didn't feel it. Overcast sky, cold, wind. Instead of any disfavor, the conditions served the will behind the effort, overcoming any resistance of things all too settled in that clear water.