We are due for a fishing report, and since I haven't been able to get on the water recently, here's a report that I received this week from a reader, who fished the Musconetcong River last weekend.
I read your report of February 1 and thought I’d share some good fishing news among this inexorable winter onslaught. This time of year usually has me daydreaming of that first warm blast we sometimes get around Valentine’s Day. You know the one - It usually only lasts a few days, but the sunshine and water temps are enough to get the early brown stones active and gives us that opportunity to get on the water. This past Saturday morning was (although brief) one of those days – seemingly out-of-nowhere we had sunshine and temps in the 40’s. Nothing hatching, but the water was running a nice level and was a surprising 39.5 degrees at 1:00. Normally I would have had a little more discipline and tended to chores and other non-fishing activities, but having just taken delivery of a new 3 weight (Sage Circa) on Friday, I was a just a little more motivated to hit the river for an hour or so.
I fished the lower end of the Musky below Rt 31 for about 2 hours. I was very pleasantly surprised with 7 fish fought and landed 5. Four fat, healthy rainbows 14- 16”and a 13” brown. The rod is very soft (that’s what attracted me to it) and I think the first two fish simply let go of the fly as I actively “set the hook” on the others and they were all landed. I fished a beadheaded Ptail softhackle with a baetis nymph dropper. Every fish hit the Ptail on point. Dead drifted on the bottom, 5X tippet. The bank ice extended out about 2 – 3 feet and instead of tapering down to a sharp, melted edge, slower areas had a blunt 3 – 5” thick face which looked like it was likely seriously locked up earlier and giant slabs had broken off leaving the substantial shelf. No fish along the ice, all hook-ups were down the middle.
A nice surprise to break-in the new rod and help get me out of this winter funk. At least for a few hours. I’m still daydreaming about that stone hatch that should be right around the corner.
Thanks, Anthony, glad you had a good day -great for February!