Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fly Fishing for Wild Trout in New Jersey

For those of you unfamiliar with the Garden State, you should know that it maintains incredible geological diversity. In the south, the acidic Pine Barrens are home to rare species of fish, flowers, animals, and Devils. The east coast of the state forms part of the Atlantic seaboard, and boasts beautiful beaches, wonderful bird migrations (especially at Cape May), and Snooki's hair. The western part of the state, however, is part of the Delaware River/Delaware Bay watershed, and features plenty of bald eagles, osprey, and peregrine falcon. But the part of the state I most like to fly fish is located north of Interstate 78 and west of Interstate 287. This section of New Jersey is situated in the foothills and mountains of the Appalachians, and contains enough elevation and cooler temperatures to keep wild trout alive year-round.

A few weeks ago, I fished a number of these wild trout streams, as well as the special regulation area of the Musconetcong at Point Mountain. I first went to Rockaway Creek, one of the few wild brown trout streams in NJ. It was a beautiful April day, I caught 6 wild trout on a small wooly bugger streamer, and Jackie found some jack-in-the-pulpit flowers. We next moved on to Teetertown Brook, a wild brook trout stream located a few miles away. It began to rain, so Jackie stayed in the car while I landed 5 more wild fish. At the end of the ride, I stopped briefly at Hickory Run and Little Brook, catching one wild brook out of the latter stream. A few days later, we drove to the Musconetcong. I caught two stocked brook trout in about 45 minutes before it started down-pouring.

It was nice to catch some wild trout on the fly so early in the season.

Image #1 - Jack-in-the-pulpit
Image #2 - Wild brown from Rockaway Creek

Overall Total: 48

River Breakdown:
McMichaels Creek - 10 (5 Stocked Brook, 5 Stocked Rainbow)
Paulinskill River - 7 (7 Stocked Brook)
Rockaway Creek - 6 (5 Wild Brown, 1 Wild Brook)
Teetertown Brook - (5 Wild Brook)
Penns Creek - 4 (4 Wild Brown)
Sevenmile Creek -4 (3 Wild Rainbow, 1 Steelhead)
Brodhead Creek - 2 (2 Stocked Rainbow)
Bushkill Creek (Pike County) - 2 (2 Stocked Brown)
Musconetcong River - 2 (2 Stocked Brook)
Raritan River, South Branch - 2 (2 Stocked Brown)
Bushkill Creek (Northampton County) - 1 (1 Stocked Rainbow)
Little Brook -1 (1 Wild Brook)
Marshalls Creek - 1 (1 Wild Brook)
Twentymile Creek - 1 (1 Steelhead)

Species Breakdown:
Brook Trout - 22
Stocked - 14
Wild - 8

Rainbow Trout - 13
Stocked - 8
Wild - 3
Steelhead - 2

Brown Trout - 13
Wild - 9
Stocked - 4

Stocked Trout - 26
Wild Trout - 20
Lake Erie Trout - 2

Trout 15+ inches - 3

Fly Breakdown:
Bead-head Black Wooly Bugger, size 10 - 7 (4 Stocked Rainbow, 2 Stocked Brook, 1 Stocked Brown)
Bead-head Olive Wooly Bugger, size 14 - 7 (5 Wild Brown, 2 Wild Brook)
Bead-head Pheasant Tail Nymph, size 14 - 5 (3 Wild Rainbow, 2 Steelhead, 1 Stocked Brown)
Bead-head Black Wooly Bugger, size 14 - 3 (3 Wild Brook)
Bead-head Red Wooly Bugger, size 14 - 3 (3 Wild Brook)
Bead-head Black Wooly Bugger, size 8 - 2 (2 Stocked Brook)
Bead-head Golden Stonefly Nymph, size 10 - 1 (1 Steelhead)
Bead-head Green Wooly Bugger, size 10 - 1 (1 Stocked Brown)
Black Caddis, size 16 - 1 (1 Wild Brown)
Tan Caddis, size 16 - 1 (1 Stocked Brown)

Angling Breakdown:
Fly Fishing Rod - 31 (8 Wild Brook, 6 Wild Brown, 4 Stocked Brook, 4 Stocked Brown, 4 Stocked Rainbow, 3 Wild Rainbow, 2 Steelhead Rainbow)
Spinning Rod - 17 (10 Stocked Brook, 4 Stocked Rainbow, 3 Wild Brown)

State Breakdown:
Pennsylvania - 25
New Jersey - 23

1 comment:

nicole said...

The picture of the Jack-in-the-pulpit is amazing.