Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Conditions are Improving...Finally!

After almost 2 months off from trout fishing in New Jersey, the weather and water temps finally reached trout friendly alignment this past Sunday, so I spent some time wading, casting and catching trout.  The weather cooled late last week, and by Sunday the water temperatures were around 66 degrees at 5:00PM, when I stepped into the clear, low water of the South Branch.   The skies were overcast but fairly bright; the sun fighting to find its way through the thin clouds.  I had the river all to myself.

The trout weren't looking up, so I went down to them.  Not very far down, as the water levels are fairly low and very clear.  Caught a bunch of holdover rainbows, the largest being about 14 inches, and they all fought well and seemed healthy even after a few hot weeks with little rain.  The pumpkin head  midge, size 18, took all but one; fished it without any weight on a long leader with a fine, 6X tippet.  I also took one on a brown serendipity, size 16.  I also drifted this on the same long leader without any weight.  The takes were subtle, and the lack of split shot on the leader provided a direct connection to the fly, and little resistance to the trout.  My leader would jump a mere inch or two, I'd lift my rod quickly but gently, and a short battle ensued.

There's nothing like spending an hour and a half on the water to work out the rust and invigorate the soul.  With any luck, we'll get out a couple of more times before heading to Montana in a couple of weeks.  Maybe next time, I'll tie on a beetle or ant pattern and fish that exclusively.  The trout have to start looking up for their food, don't they?   If not, we'll still have fun.

Sharpen those hooks!

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