Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Franklin Parker Preserve New Jersey Pinelands/Fly Fishing North Branch Raritan

My computer is in the shop. Possibly I won't have it for more than two weeks, since we leave for Ocracoke, N.C., next weekend. I'm using my wife's laptop with no way to load images.

I took my fly rod over to the local North Branch Raritan this past Friday for an hour, catching a 9 1/2- inch smallmouth, missing a few others. I began to get a long back cast. Surprised that the excercise made my arm ache, I know now that I actually have to develop muscles to fly fish half decently. My son and I may go this coming Friday. Right now the river's turbid from yesterday's heavy downpour.

I had hoped to fish Delaware and Raritan Canal today--it's muddy.

My son and I visited Franklin Parker Preserve near Chatsworth in the Pine Barrens Saturday. Searching especially for pine snakes, we found fence lizards, brown skinks, American toads, and pickerel frogs. We hiked into Bald Eagle Reservoir with rods ready for pickerel. Sometimes you have to accept very little and glean some satisfaction from that. The reservoir was extremely shallow, but had some baitfish in very clear water. I found a cut along the bank way out near the west side that deepened to two feet. A small pickerel--11 inches or so--attacked my Chompers. (I couldn't begin to use a Rapala with all the weeds and even a Johnson Silver Minnow would have been entirely awkward in those shallows.) I spotted another the same size, nice to know they are present.

We later tried Chatsworth Lake. If anyone knows better, please tell me. I fished a Rapala, but the tannic acid stain is so thick the water was black like coffee, I couldn't see more than a few inches into it. I doubt any fish exist in the lake.