Monday, July 21, 2008

Trout Update #11: Late July

The summer's sweltering temperatures and lack of rain are taking a heavy toll on the northeast's trout. River water is nearing 70 degrees on some rain-fed streams - much higher temperatures and the trout will begin to suffer and die. I did, however, manage to catch a few fish at the Bushkill on Saturday evening. I also caught a few at Marshalls Creek, which could badly use a dose of steady rainfall. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera. However, I will upload some pictures from years past.

Marshalls Creek:
I've been attempting, quite unsuccessfully, to fly fish Marshalls Creek. On Saturday I tried a new plan: fish streamers in the pool beneath the waterfall (pictured below). This worked to some extent; a few fish hit the streamer I was using, but I wasn't able to land any. I switched to a small copper john nymph and tried dead drifting it in the current. This didn't work either. I then started moving the nymph artificially and two wild brook trout went after it. I also added two small wild brookies on the spinner. After only a half hour or so I moved on to the Bushkill.

Bushkill Creek:
The water was very warm at the Bushkill. So was the air. I survived a two mile hike to one of my favorite isolated spots on the river. As I approached the pool I was seeking, I saw a beautiful bald eagle fly away. Apparently the bird had noticed the pool was full of potential food: I counted about thirty trout near the surface alone. Normally the fish in this section of the Bushkill rise with impunity. Not so on Saturday. I slowly drifted nymphs (assorted variety, the trout didn't seem to care) to their open mouths and caught four: two rainbow and two brown (both stocked fish). I missed a few trout on a slate drake dun, including one of considerable size. Overall it was a nice evening, even if the air felt like a sauna.

I also saw one of my favorite birds - the scarlet tanager. I love the tanager's bright red colors. It seems tropical and out of place this far north. I also spied a pretty red flower growing on the opposite bank. According to my memory and my wildflower book this bloom is called cardinal flower.

Overall Total: 143

River Breakdown:

Raritan River, South Branch - 22 (13 Stocked Brown, 7 Stocked Brook, 1 Wild Brook, 1 Wild Brown)
Bushkill Creek - 21 (17 Stocked Brown, 3 Stocked Rainbow, 1 Stocked Golden Rainbow)
Marshalls Creek - 20 (20 Wild Brook)
Pequest River - 17 (9 Stocked Brown, 6 Stocked Brook, 2 Stocked Rainbow)
Beaverkill River - 10 (7 Wild Brown, 2 Wild Brook, 1 Stocked Brown)
Poplar Run - 9 (7 Wild Brook, 2 Wild Brown)
Faulkner Brook - 7 (6 Wild Brook, 1 Wild Brown)
Stony Brook - 7 (7 Stocked Rainbow)
Spring Creek - 6 (3 Wild Brown, 3 Wild Rainbow)
Brodhead Creek - 4 (3 Stocked Brown, 1 Stocked Rainbow)
Paulinskill River - 4 (4 Stocked Brown)
Penns Creek - 4 (4 Wild Brown)
Rattlesnake Creek - 4 (4 Wild Brook)
Mill Creek - 3 (2 Wild Brook, 1 Wild Tiger)
Stony Run - 2 (1 Stocked Brook, 1 Wild Brook)
Cherry Run - 1 (1 Wild Brook)
Lawrence Brook - 1 (1 Stocked Brook)
Musconetcong River - 1 (1 Stocked Brown)

Species Breakdown:

Brown Trout - 66
Stocked - 48
Wild - 18

Brook Trout - 59
Wild - 44
Stocked - 15

Rainbow Trout - 17
Stocked - 13
Wild - 3
Golden Rainbow - 1

Tiger Trout - 1
Wild - 1
Stocked - 0

Stocked Trout - 77
Wild Trout - 66

Trout 15+ Inches: 5

Angling Breakdown:

Fly Fishing Rod - 77 (34 Stocked Brown, 14 Wild Brown, 11 Stocked Rainbow, 9 Stocked Brook, 5 Wild Brook, 3 Wild Rainbow, 1 Stocked Golden Rainbow)

Spinning Rod - 66 (39 Wild Brook, 14 Stocked Brown, 6 Stocked Brook, 4 Wild Brown, 2 Stocked Rainbow, 1 Wild Tiger)

State Breakdown:
Pennsylvania - 81
New Jersey - 52
New York - 10

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