Thursday, October 25, 2018

Boats Coming Out Soon

Not much going on here this past week…We had hoped to be able to rent boats into November sometime, but with the earlier start to the 5 foot drawdown, it has affected us more than it usually does. We are unable to keep our docks in the water, which means the boats have to be pulled sooner than we thought.  We will still be open with bait and tackle for some time, but please call to check on our hours. (973) 663 - 3826. We will be stocked and ready to go for ice fishing season.  Thank you for your support for 2018 , a Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year to all. It will be here before you know it !!! Have a great week...

Laurie Murphy

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Savage Summer Flushed Clean

As we departed our cars for the river, Pat asked if I expected us to catch any. I said, "I would be surprised if we didn't." Such is my belief in this river and the stretches we fished, but if reality never checked my presumptions, I would get all too full of myself very quickly. We found the South Branch running high but very clear. So clear and cold my first impression told me the bass weren't going to come easily. Pretty soon, I figured they weren't going to come at all, but part of the game involves narrowing down where those fish might be, in spite of their refusal to let you know for sure.

The edges and shallows where bass struck last I was here weeks ago were empty. No hits, and by wading these areas, we sighted nothing but a little smallmouth about five inches long. Pat waded across the river and examined the edge on the other side, the first of any of my parties, including myself, to do this. He sighted a carp about three feet long and nothing else but rocky ledges and bottom. Eventually, I crossed the river and though I distinctly saw bottom five and six feet deep, no fish made themselves evident at all. My conclusion that the bass must be down in about eight feet of water hugging bottom felt all the more certain. The current moved powerfully through these depths, but right at bottom it doesn't move much. We probed that bottom repeatedly, but nothing was interested.

Cold and clean, the water gave us no doubt fall has settled in. Trout water, but bass will still hit sometimes. Today we fished the middle of the afternoon under sun and clouds, but a lot of sun. Last November, I came here with Steve Slota at daybreak, frost crunching under boots, and I caught a smallmouth about a foot long on my second cast. The magic hour early or late makes a difference. It is possible water somewhat off color that morning did too, although I'm more under the impression that the clarity it has now would be even better for catching bass.

There was an impressionistic feel to the place. I've never before experienced it like this. Seurat could have filled a canvas with dots as if things weren't quite real in the hard-edged ordinary sense, and yet every time I looked down through that clear water at bottom--whether soft, gravelly, or rocky--I felt nature had flushed the savage life of summer clean, as if all that is left are the elements without the waste life inevitably leaves behind.

We drove downstream where trout got stocked weeks ago and fished salmon eggs for whatever still awaits in the currents. Not a hit. But I got absorbed by use of my three-and-a-half foot wand, not doing any more magic than controlling the drift. That's a matter of allowing the egg to ride with the current near bottom, while keeping monofilament nylon fairly tight so a strike can be detected and hook set. Pat was into it, also. I thought of springtime ahead, and I realized that perhaps the most beautiful thing about fishing in April, before trees green and confirm the fact of spring's presence really here, is the expectation.