Monday, October 20, 2008

Took a Holiday Today

This morning just before leaving for work a friend called me and asked if I wanted to meet him at the Ken Lockwood Gorge today to do some trout fishing. What else could I do but take a holiday? We met at the trestle and then split up.

It was chilly, but bright and the river was low, cool and covered with the colors of Autumn. When we first got there we didn't see another angler. By late morning there were a few, but not bad at all for one of the more popular Trout Conservation Areas in the state .

There's a reason the South Branch is one of my favorite wild trout streams in NJ. It's loaded with them, even in the gorge. Most of the wild fish are brown trout, but there are also good numbers of brook trout, and even some wild rainbows. I decided right off that I was going to fish only dry flies, and after prospecting with an ant for while, I noticed the trout were gently sipping something right in the film. I seined the surface and sure enough there were some BWO duns and spinners floating in the meniscus among the red, yellow and oranges of Autumn. Some of the leaves were even a light chartreuse in color - they looked like they were from the maple trees that line the steep banks of the gorge along with the evergreens, oaks and other hardwoods.

I tied a #18 dark rusty spinner to the 6X tippet at the end of my 12 foot long leader, and shortly after was into an average sized wild brown - about 7-8 inches. I concentrated on the glides and side eddies and found plenty of rising, willing trout by timing my cast so my fly would land in a window within the leaves a short distance up current from where I saw a rise. The largest fish was a brightly colored male brown of about 11-12 inches. All but one were browns, the one was a nice 10-inch rainbow with lots of small, black spots and pale pink flanks highlighted with light lavender parr marks. No stockies were caught today, but saw tons of them in the deeper pockets and pools, which I stayed away from. No pics of fish, left my camera on my tying desk. But here's a pic of the well-chewed fly I used.
I love fishing in the fall, and today was one one the reasons why. It's so invigorating and energizing - just ask my wife - when I got home I cleaned up a few planting beds for the winter and mowed half the lawn before it got dark. She gets it - she's always telling me I should fish more often.

Get out there if you can and wet a line. The water may be low, but it's cold and all the more challenging being so clear.....and full of leaves.

Life is good. Take a break from work, go fishing or do something outside, and get energized.

1 comment:

micah said...

I'm sure my girlfriend likes me more when I come back from fishing.

She didn't even mind the last time I went and woke her up at 4:45am and made all kind of noise!

...then again, if I was her I'd rather sleep with the dog too.