Got out of work at 2 this afternoon and since it was such a nice day I needed to go fishing. always tempted by the salt, I decided to change it up and check out my childhood haunt.....the beautiful Manasquan River. While it is no FlatBrook or Upper Delaware River, it is the place where trout fishing started for me some 30 plus years ago. Below is a pic of what I looked like some 30 years ago.....just as my passion for fly fishing became an addiction. Love the Trout hat!
As I looked around and figured out where the trees were, in front of me, besides me, and behind me, I started to remember how I used to fish these waters. I had started with ultralight spinning gear before switching to the fly rods. The river is stocked well and receives a tremendous amount of fishing pressure. As a freestone it is at the whim of low water levels and high temperatures, and the fish that do survive the onslaught of anglers have to find refuge mostly from the downed trees and holes that they cover.
I came upon my spot and felt like Norman in A River Runs Through It. I just knew there was a fish there. I had on a Rich Garfield Ausable Ugly and worked it up along the downed tree towards the other side. Strip...strip....drift.....strip. Then cast again. After a few casts I saw the shadow follow.....SET!!!! The only problem was I was about 5 minutes too early, and then the fish retreated.
That bothered me. I walked and fished wherever I could get in and close enough to make some kind of cast. I had another fish bite the fly but I missed the hook set. I really enjoyed the weather but wish there was some more water and maybe a few more fish. I stayed for two hours but then made the
move to a place where I had caught a bazillion trout, and kept most of them. While it is the same color as the 191 Bridge over the West Branch of the Delaware this one is a tad different. But passing under both, one in a drift boat, and this one on foot brings back great memories of days gone past and fly fishing and trout. Today as I walked I looked down.....how many of these did you have? It was a Mini-Magnum tackle box. They came in assorted sizes. They were gold or rust in color. Opening this
just made me laugh. Tiny ass hooks for salmon eggs or meal worms and split shot in various sizes. After this find I remembered a section on the river that I always did well one. It wasn't too far
just made me laugh. Tiny ass hooks for salmon eggs or meal worms and slip shot in various sizes. After this find I remembered a section on the river that I always did well one. It wasn't too far and it became more familiar as I made my way through the woods. It was at the bend. You know the bend, with the one tree that sticks out that you basically hug to get out past the other trees and branches. I
found some deeper water past the bend and worked real hard getting my fly to work the drop-off and then along the bank.....nothing. I mean I worked it. As I walked back to my truck I remembered just how many times I had done the same walk, and how many times I had a leaky Arcticreel over my shoulder with a few stockies inside.