Jorge Hildago hasn't fished trout until this morning, besides trying some Power Bait in ponds. He hooked and fought a rainbow on his first cast. One of those fish you might not know whether to claim as a catch or not. He got the trout in, but as he lifted it with the rod, I stammered that you pull the fish ashore, since two-pound test line risks a knot break, or more likely, a weak hook connection pulls free. The hook pulled and the trout inches from Jorge's temporary possession dropped into inches of water at his feet. An arrangement with my son afforded Jorge's use of a three-and-a-half foot micro-light rod. A very auspicious initiation for him to this esoteric form of fishing trout streams. In fact, of all the people I have introduced to this method, Jorge has impressed me most. And he's the first, besides my son, with no stream trout fishing experience. He caught trout after trout.
In a moment, Jorge had another, and I told him after he caught a couple more rainbows that Peapack Brook hosts wild brown trout. "Maybe there's one in this pool," I said.
Minutes later, that's what he caught. By creek standards, a pretty good-size wild brown trout. On a salmon egg no less. Brown trout haven't been stocked in New Jersey for years now. We felt anxious to make sure this fish got back in the water quickly, so I didn't slow down for close-up photography. You can still see those spots. Nice and prominent.
Very nice early morning, not quite a couple of hours, and at least a dozen trout caught and released. Peapack Brook's water quality is known among other anglers I know to be of very high quality, but I pointed out to Jorge the brown algae growth on rocks while raising issue about the clean rocks of Dunnfield Creek in Delaware Water Gap Recreation Area. That water is so pure it always gives me the impression it's entirely of spring water quality. The Creek descends 1200 feet through mountainous terrain from the top of Kittatiny Ridge. "I drink from that creek," I said. "People tell me not to, I'll get an amoeba, but every time I'm there, from age 17, I drink from it." To tell any fellow New Jersey resident I drink from a creek--in New Jersey--might be a little edgy, but I've told a lot of people. Maybe because I believe in this state's environment despite so much offense to it. So I serve myself, our region, and anyone who hears, because it's true: I've imbibed water from the Dunnfield Creek at least two dozen times, yet here I am, aged 56 without a trace of dysentery.
A great way to begin the day at 6:00 a.m. preparing to meet Jorge at 7:00. And then off to breakfast with my family thereafter as Jorge had left for his son's soccer game. And then to my job. Loved that today. I'm on to making marinades and I really like the creativity.