The fifth annual Sparse Grey Matter Fly Tying gathering was another hit today. It was held at the Califon, New Jersey firehouse, and the hall was filled with plenty of fly tyers and lots of folks that came to see watch and chat about all things fly tying and fly fishing. Thanks to the sponsors, Dette Flies of Roscoe, NY, and Shannon's Fly Shop of Califon, NJ. And a special shout out to the firemen that hosted the event and provided food and drinks. It was great to see everyone and catch up with some folks we only see during the season on the rivers.
After show Vinnie, Brian and I headed to the South Branch of the Raritan River to do some seining to check out the aquatic insect population in the river. The river was still somewhat high and a little turbid, but not so much so that we couldn't get some good samples. First we had to find a spot where we wouldn't interfere with all the anglers enjoying the nice weather. It was like opening day on the river!
I didn't have my waders, so I got to play Marlin Perkins on the river bank, while Vinnie and Brian did the seining.
If you don't know what to fish when you are on a NJ river or stream, fish a scud. Yes, the net teamed with these little, translucent pale grey/tan crustaceans. Here's a few in my hand that I picked out of the first net full. They ranged in size from as large as a #12, and as small as a #18.
Here's a crane fly larva. There were quite a few of them, so be sure to carry and fish Walt's Worms in various sizes.
We also caught a bunch of crayfish. These guys are very abundant on this river and you can bet the trout see plenty of them. I know a few guys that fish crayfish patterns regularly and they catch some impressive trout on them.
We also netted Hendrickson nymphs, March Brown nymphs, Isonychia nymphs, caddis larva, Cress bugs, and fresh water clams.
Sharpen your hooks.