Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bass Update #4: Canal Days Continue at the Millstone River

Last evening I ventured into the wet and muddy mire that comprises the mutual Millstone River and Delaware-Raritan Canal floodplain (pictured to the right). The plain contains a mix of shagbark hickory, black hickory, black walnut, and sugar maple trees. These common and conspicuous tree species loom over a wooded grassland that possesses wild grass occasionally shoulder high. It is a singular micro-environment made possible by the unique shared floodplain of the canal and river. If the canal begins to overflow, gravity takes the extra discharge one way: down the west bank to the Millstone. Likewise, when wide-scale inundation strikes the Millstone, the muddy river has only one way to flood - back east toward the canal (due to the high banks on its west side). Keep in mind that this distinctive style of floodplain only exists in the Griggstown, NJ area; elsewhere on the canal, the flooding pattern is different. It is my belief that the constant flooding (it has twice the possibility of becoming deluged) represses the growth of small trees; consequently, wild grass thrives in the open forest-floor environment.

As for the fishing: I caught one 12 inch largemouth bass in the Millstone on a stonefly nymph (pictured right). I also lost a fish of considerable size. The mystery fish struck so quickly and with such force that I never had a chance. You can bet I'll be back to that spot tonight. I landed another largemouth on a silver Rapala. I also fell hard twice, and slipped countless times in the mud. While the trees, grass, flowers, and mushrooms were nice to photograph, the river's difficult access made the expedition damaging. I'm still hurting.

Wildflowers: purple loosestrife, skullcap, monkey flower, aster, evening primrose (pictured right) and sumac.

Mushrooms: one unknown, one of the collybia variety, ganoderma applanatum, and boletus edulis (pictured down to the right).

Wildlife: two white-tailed deer, mallard and late ducklings.

Overall Total: 17

River Breakdown
Stony Brook - 5 (4 Rock, 1 Smallmouth)
Delaware River - 4 (4 Smallmouth)
Potomac River - 3 (3 Smallmouth)
Bushkill Creek - 2 (2 Smallmouth)
Millstone River - 2 (2 Largemouth)
Difficult Run - 1 (1 Smallmouth)

Species Breakdown
Smallmouth Bass - 11
Rock Bass - 4
Largemouth Bass - 2

Type of Fly
Streamer - 10 (6 Smallmouth, 4 Rock)
Popper - 4 (3 Smallmouth, 1 Largemouth)
Nymph - 3 (2 Smallmouth, 1 Largemouth)

State Breakdown
New Jersey - 10
Maryland - 3
Pennsylvania - 3
Virginia - 1

No comments: