Wednesday, May 20, 2009

05.20.09 Good hatches on the South Branch of the Raritan

   What a pleasant surprise. I grabbed this sulphur in the process of hatching off the water. After dropping off my daughter at school I shot up to the South Branch of the Raritan river near Clinton. I forgot that in an hours drive I could have a short day of good fishing and fun. I got into the river and I met an older guy who was frustrated because he had fish rising and wasn't able to get one on. He asked me to jump in because he wanted to see one caught. I had tied on a size 18 caddis emerger earlier and gave a go. Basically there was a pod of 15-20 fish that were working under the wide bridge that we stood under. It only took two casts and I got one, a 10" brown. He was so happy that one of them got caught. He asked if he could keep it for a friend but I played like I lost it before he got over. He really wanted to get one on. I knew that that pattern would get another so I offered him one, but he refused. I went back at it and caught another while he tied on some tippet. I went over to him and said, " Look, take this one, if you offered it to me, I would gladly take it." So he tied one on and a few short casts he had his own. He said it made his day. With the fish in, a quick snap of the neck, and it was tossed onto the bank. He did check use a knife and cut into the trout to check the stomach contents. It was loaded with small nymphs, size 22's, all with a bright green back to them. Apple caddis? I wasn't sure. As we stood there watching the fish rise all around, sulphurs and march browns started to hatch, and it was a nice steady hatch. I left him and headed downstream. I saw some some fish working and gave them a downstream presentation and caught a few more. All 10-12" inches, but their fight was better then their size- and in the fast water it was fun. I made my way down the bend and changed over to a nymph because I didn't see any fish working but had no luck. I worked my way back upstream and hit a nice stretch on the tail end of a run with a few fish consistently rising in the fast water. I caught a few more there and made my way back up to the bridge. By then it was 1230 and time to get going back to Middletown for the afternoon pick up. I called Tom on the way home to tell him of a good days hatches and fishing right here in New Jersey. Hopefully we'll get a chance to wet a line together before the water drops and the temperatures rise.