Yesterday, I managed to get out to the South Branch of the Raritan for a couple hours with Vinnie, on our annual Easter Sunday fishing excursion. As is usually the case, the wind made its annual appearance, but otherwise the sun was out and the air was moderately warm. We first fished a well-known section that was void of anglers, and then we went to a more secluded part of the river that is loaded with wild fish. Again, we did not see another angler.
The river was low and clear, much as it usually is in July or August, but fortunately much cooler than it is then. We saw bugs, not tons, but enough to get the fish to feed on top. With the sun being so strong, it likely was too bright for the bugs to hatch given we were on the water from about 3:30 to 6:00. I heard from Jim at Shannon's that the bugs really got going once the sun moved closer to the horizon. What can you do? Had to get back home for the big dinner.
The bugs we saw were Hendrickson duns and spinners, Blue Quills, Light and Dark Grannoms, and a few Blue-winged Olives.
In the morning I tied a bunch of Hendrickson Cloud Emergers, and in my haste to get to the river, I forgot them. So I used a soft hackle Hendrickson emerger, and that was the only fly I fished as it worked like a charm. Here's the well-chewed fly after a very good afternoon on the water.
That one fly took wild brookies, wild browns, and a couple of rainbows. One of the rainbows was a fat stockie that fought great before being quickly released. And the other may have been wild, you be the judge.
One of the brookies.
A nice brown.
And here's the smaller rainbow.......is it wild, or is it natural? BTW - The South Branch does have naturally reproducing rainbows. This one had no fin wear, and white bands along the fore fin edge.
So there you have it, lots of trout caught on one fly on a beautiful afternoon in the company of a good friend. Vinnie also caught a bunch of fish, all of his on a thorax style Hendrickson dry. He used his 5 weight, while I used my 2 weight...guess who worked harder to cast in the wind, but was too stubborn to switch to his 5 weight?
Sharpen those hooks, its works. Check out the fly above, the hook point is shiny because I sharpened it a few times......