Last week Tim Flagler asked me to help out on a video he was asked to make for the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife, to promote their fall trout stocking. We met up with the good folks from the hatchery one early morning and did some fishing in the South Branch of the Raritan River for the cameras, and this is what Tim put together using some of that footage along with a bunch of other shots from the hatchery and elsewhere. If you're interested, I'm the guy in the red cap that doesn't know what the hell he is doing with the fly rod.
I also managed to get out a few times recently, all before this week's stocking took place, and the fishing has been good. In addition to catching plenty of wild fish, we also caught holdover trout from the spring stockings and before. Oddly enough, I did go to the pool where some of the footage above was shot for an hour or so, and only took two fish that I think were put in the day of the filming.
The rivers are in great shape for this time of the year - a little high, clear and cool. During the day there are some Slate Drakes hatching and Tiny Blue-winged Olives. Just before dark there have been small size 16 tan/gray caddis that come of in waves. It's pretty cool the way these caddis will hatch in a wave that lasts maybe 5 minutes, the trout come up for them, and then they disappear along with the rising trout like someone flipped a switch. Then 15 minutes later, they show again for a brief time. Mr. Q managed to catch a wild rainbow, brookie and then a brown the other evening during one of the caddis hatches, all of the fish around 6-inches long and pretty as a picture. These caddis are fast fliers, keeping low to the water, and I have yet to capture one to I.D. them because of this. I think I know what they are, but I'd rather know for sure.
Wednesday late afternoon, was also productive, with scuds and beadhead Bird's Nests being the ticket. Caught a bunch of wild and stocked fish in the quiet that only fall can bring. While fishing through one long riffle, I had the pleasure of watching a mink as it moved about the rocks and limbs on the opposite bank, occasionally taking a brief bath in the cool river.