Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Balanced Weekend for Fish and Fisherman

Despite working most of the day Saturday, I managed to be on the river by 5:00PM. To my surprise and delight, I saw one other angler (jerk is more like it), so I essentially had the river to myself. The jerk I saw wasn't really fishing, although he did ruin one or two pools he was wading in, and polluted the air something fierce with noise.

When I got to the river after walking a good 1/2 mile from my car, there wasn't a soul sight. The warm air was filled with Hendrickson duns and spinners, Dark Grannom caddis, and midges. I stood on the bank scanning the pool below me for rising fish in order to decide where I should enter the pool for optimum positioning. As I did this, I hear someone speaking very loudly downstream around the bend of the second pool down. I thought okay, the guys loud, but that may be so his buddy can hear him over the running water.....but why was it getting louder?

Simple, because it was a jerk. A bonafide, wader wearing idiot complete with a silly cowboy hat that looked about as comfortable on this guys head as a biker at the ballet. He was wading right up the middle of the pool below the one I had intended to fish, fly rod under his armpit, cell phone at his ear. And he kept coming, right up the center of the pool, leaving a wake that would make a weekend power boater proud - a bank-to-bank wake that put every fish down for the count. As he moved up stream he literally yelled into his phone so the person on the other end of the line could hear him over the sounds of flowing water rushing around his rapidly moving legs.

As he moved through that pool, I thought to myself (wished desperately) that he might have the sense to make a right turn and head to the bank before he entered the pool I hoped to fish. Not a chance, a jerk is a jerk is a JERK. Just after he had the audacity to wave to me, he waddled up over and through the short riffle that separated the pool he just ruined from the one he was about to ruin and that I was about to fish. Instantly, every fish in the pool stopped rising.......

I didn't wave back. Disgusted, I turned and headed upstream in the opposite direction and didn't stop until the jerk was well out of hearing range.

Here's what I don't understand: Even if one is too dense to understand that wading up through the center of a river might negetively affect the fishing for anyone that may come along, wouldn't it be easier to head to the bank and walk back to your vehicle on land rather than fighting the current? And what's with the cell phone? Does that enhance the outdoor experience? Is electronic stimulation so vital to one's existence that it should be plastered to our body everywhere we go?

Anyway, fortunately I can get over jerk fairly quickly. I walked upstream a good distance to another, long, smooth pool and found a quite a few fish rising throughout its length. After I got in at the the head of the pool and positioned myself I watched the rising fish to see what they were munching on. On the water surface, there were Hendrickson duns and spinners, lots of spinners, and egg-laying caddis. I watched the spinners and duns first, and all of them drifted unmolested by the feeding fish. I then followed a caddis, and then another, and another. All of them became part of a trout's well-balanced dinner. So I tied on an egg-laying caddis.

And for the next several hours until it was too dark to see, I caught lots of these beautiful Rainbow trouts and one big-ass brown, all on the same fly. The Rainbows ran 10-14 inches in length, and the brown, well he was massive, somewhere between 24-26 inches! No shit, I measured him on my rod. What an evening.

The big-assed brown. I didn't lay my rod down next to him for perspective, as the bank was soggy with mud from a recent rainstorm, but you get the idea.

And the fly.
With the exception of the Brown trout, I repeated the evening on Sunday in another section of the river. The best thing is, the river is a ten minute drive from my home.

Life is Good. If anyone tells you trout fishing in New Jersey is so-so, don't believe them. And if you see a jerk with a cell phone plastered to his ear standing in the river, give him a shove for me.


Dan (aka Beaverkill) said...

At first I thought you were being the jerk when you didnt wave back...I didnt know you had a problem with my hat..Jeez, some people are soo critical :)

Matt Grobert said...

I thought that was, are you looking old and lawyerly lately. So, did you get someone to jackhammer that cell phone off your ear yet?? : )

Anonymous said...

matt , are you using snow shoe rabbit for the wing of that grannon pattern?