Monday, March 29, 2010

03.29.10 Toms River floods as east coast gets pounded with rain

Well the eastern seaboard continues to get hammered with rain. I had a tiny window today so I decided to take a quick drive over to the Jersey Shore TU's home water of the Toms River. Needless to say it was swollen and roaring. The state stocked it last week some time and I bought along my rod to fish the Trout Conservation Area. As I walked along the flooded road that follows the river I thought that float stocking couldn't spread these fish out any better. I made a few casts with a wooly bugger to no avail. What I did notice was the states sign for the special regulation area was down

and laying waterlogged in the leaves. There was also part of an old sign hanging on a tree. The signage there is poor. If I was using fatheads I wouldn't be able to tell where the TCA starts and the open area ends. I am going to mention it to our club to see if we can get some better, and maybe even some educational, signs down there. People wouldn't know it's special regulation area unless they knew on there own. During my trip I did "take" two pieces of trash out, a couple of

plastic bottles. It was fun being out but I can't wait till May !!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

03.25.10 Water, water, and more water

Just looking around to see how the water levels are at some of my favorite rivers. West Branch at Hale Eddy 3,970 cfs. Salmon River at Pinesville 1,930. Lackawanna 566. Might hit the Toms River tomorrow for a bit.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

03.24.10 Releasing the "Trout in the Classroom" trout

Today Jersey Shore Trout Unlimited chapter President Duane Lloyd and myself met the third grade class and their teachers from Howell NJ Greenwood School to release their trout in a small tributary of the Manasquan River in Allaire State Park. Along with the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife and the Pequest Trout Hatchery, TU chapters distribute the eggs in October and then release them with the kids in late March through May. After a quick walk with the eggs, including dropping the bucket and putting them back in it, the kids lined the bank to watch the release. Duane gave a speech and I had the pleasure of letting them go. The kids oohed and aaahed as the fish swam in a real current for the first time. It was fun, and a lot of credit must be given to the teachers who oversee the program along with Jessica Griglak from the NJDFW.

Friday, March 19, 2010

03.19.10 All alone on the Manasquan, till the law came

Had few hours to kill so I ran over to the Manasquan River in Howell. The river was down about 10 feet from where it was during last weeks super rain. It was off color but you could make out the bottom. I tied on a black wooly bugger on and worked the sides and cut banks of the river. After about an hour I just felt like I wasn't alone, because I wasn't. I turned and there was a NJ State Park Police officer squatted down on the bank watching me fish. I continued to cast and we went back and forth about the last rain we had and about the river. Funny thing is, no matter how well you hit it off with someone- you just wonder when they are going to ask you for your license. They have a job to do. Well he stuck it in there at the right time and I exited the water to show it to him. Like I told him, I am glad to see him out here and have no problem showing my license here, or in PA or NY. The only thing I hate is wearing it. I keep my licenses, both three state fishing and guide licenses in a waterproof lanyard with my phone and camera. They prefer it to be displayed.

After he left I moved down and things started to heat up. Soon little black stoneflies swarmed over the river and divebombed to the surface. I saw no fish activity and continued with the wooly bugger with not a hit. As I was walking on the bank something bright on the ground caught my eye. It was a string of lead split shot and a rusted hook. A river like this must have 40 tons of lead in it, it's one of those rivers that if you don't get snagged then your catching fish. I am glad I went to the environmentally safe shots. Here is what they looked like on the ground.

After a couple of hours my surgically repaired right pinky hammertoe was starting to throb from being in the waders. In keeping with the national campaign of 'Take your limit, please!" I harvested a nice collection of trash. A string of split shot, a few water bottles, an oil quart container, a glass bottle, a plastic chewing tobacco container, and I almost forgot because I jammed it in my waders, a nice purple hair brush.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

03.16.10 "Bug of the month" at Jersey Shore TU

As you all know I have been working hard trying to step my game up. I have been studying as much as I can about the bugs we have to come to love and hate. Last month at my Trout Unlimited meeting I asked chapter President Duane Lloyd if I could do a presentation every month called, "Bug of the Month". He said sure and it took off. For my first month I picked the Quill Gordon, or Epeorus Pleuralis. I made up a quick poster board with a nymph and dun and a little side view of the river during an emergence. It lasted about 10 minutes, I think gave a good overall of one of the first mayflies that guys will encounter. Big thing about quill gordons, the hatch on the bottom of the streams and the duns float to the surface before standing high on their legs to dry their wings and take flight. Next month will be the hendricksons!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

03.14.10 Water everywhere in the tri-state area

Well I am sure this is a familiar scene in your basement if you live in the tri-state area. Reports of 4-7 inches of rain fell yesterday and needless to say all the streams, rivers, lakes, and ocean have hit flood stage. Some of the local waters- the South Branch of the Raritan River was a little under 20 cfs on March 7 is now at 2,700, the West Branch of the Delaware was at 1,800 on March 7 is now at 3,300, and the Lackawanna River was around 2 feet on March 7 and is now at 5 feet. So there is a ton a water out there. This week temps should be up in the 50's so it should dry things up quickly.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

03.10.10 " Can't touch this...." Hammertime!

Got back home at 230 am, just in time for my 630 am surgery. So we were stranded from Sunday morning through Tuesday night in the Adirondacks after the trans blew on the pickup. All in all it wasn't bad. On Monday I borrowed some wheels so I loaded up my mother and headed to Malone to scout the Salmon River for the upcoming season. Found some beautiful water after a long journey through the city and the countryside along the river. I have seen some videos of the wild browns that live here and can't wait to get into some. I followed the river to Chasm Falls and then into Titusville State Forest. Lots of water up to the park but looks like
little access. On the way back to Saranac Lake I stopped by a place that was selling a used drift boat last summer. I knocked on the door and the owner said he still had thee boat it was around back if I wanted to see it. It's a 16 foot aluminum two angler plus rower boat. It's in pretty good shape just needs a little TLC and some use out on the water. I placed a call to the

manufacturer and he told me it was built it 1995 in Oregon, and was sent to Colorado. As far as the picture above this morning I had surgery to repair a hammertoe on my right foot. I don't know if you know how painful a hammertoe with the associated corn is, but if you hit it just right you will pass out from the pain. Forget about jamming it into waders. So my podiatrist opened up my pinky toe and shaved down the bones along thee outer edge of my toes and foot. Needless to say I won't be fishing anytime soon- as MC Hammer would say- "Can't touch this"

Monday, March 8, 2010

03.07.10 Blown transmission on the way home

So after a quick breakfast with my sister in Lake Placid my mother and I headed home, or so we thought. As we traveled through Keene Valley the transmission started to slip, then smell, then smoke. We pulled into one of the trail pull offs outside of town and then got the truck pointed down hill and coasted into town. That was around 10 am. At 330 the mechanic was loading up the truck to take it to Plattsburgh to repair or replace the transmission. They gave us a ride back to Ausable Forks and then from there my sister and her man came and brought us back to Saranac Lake. We should be home by late Monday night, or Tuesday at the latest, if all goes well.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

03.06.10 Saranac River landlocked salmon fishing, not catching

Took a quick trip up to the Adirondacks for a winter check on the lodge, and while here I decided to give the Saranac River in Plattsburgh a try for landlocked salmon. Todays weather was mild for this time of year, around mid 40's, so I figured it would be good. I made the drive along Route 9 out of Ausable Forks and then onto the Northway before getting off at the Plattsburgh exit. I first stopped at the mouth of the Saranac at Lake Champlain to see what it looked like. It was around 930 when I got into the river below the Broad Street bridge. The water temps were 34 degrees and my line and chartruese wooly bugger kept getting caught on the loose ice that floated down. I stayed there for awhile and then moved upstream above the police station near the old Saranac Street bridge. I thought for sure this would be a great spot. The river is wide and has long runs, deep pools, eddys, and riffles. What more could you ask for. For the next five hours I threw everything I had into that water- nothing. Dead drift, high stick, Euro nymph, slow strip, fast strip- nothin'. I fished hard and from both sides, from the bank, and up to my waist. I couldn't find a fish. I started to think that maybe the fish weren't here. They come into the river in the fall and make their way up to spawn, staying in the river for the winter, and returning to the big lake in the spring. I thought maybe I wasn't up far enough. I decided to go up to Schyler Falls to the dam to see if there was good water and access, but there was none. I decided to try the section of the river behind Plattsburgh SUNY. I got there around 330 and found more good variety of water, and it was 38 degrees. The river splits around a island that must be inhabited by 300 beavers- because every tree was either down or had some degree of bite into it. I'll refer to this as Beaver Island. Around 530 I knew it was done. I had a great time even though I couldn't find a fish. I "caught" four interesting peices of trash today- a losing NY lottery ticket, a beer can, a container for Canadian worms, and a pair of busted polarized glasses. I also saw some real nasty shelf ice that was set up over some deep water- very bad. The environmentally sound split shot I now use was put to good use today since I lost a few setups on the rocks and trees in the water. I would really like to know where the fish were today. I have to give props to Richard Garfield, a guide from Fly Fish the Adirondacks- he seems to know where the fish always are- as I have looking at his website and following his winter landlocked outings. 

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

03.02.10 Great day on the Lackawanna River

Last night I decided that I would take a day trip out to one of my favorite rivers, the Lackawanna River. The tri-state area has recently seen a lot os snow, and the Scranton area wasn't spared. I got on the Garden State Parkway around 730 at exit 100 and fours hours later I was pulling into A&G Outfitters in Dickson City. This is the local fly fishing shop for the Lackawanna. They used to be in a different location and I can remember visiting them with the boys when they opened there years ago. I spent some time talking with Gerry the owner about the river and how things have been both with fishing and business. It is nice to see a fly shop still open these days. In the shop are a few boards with pictures of anglers and their fish, I remembered then how healthy Lackawanna wild brown trout really are. After a half hour he kicked me out of the shop to get fishing and I took the 15 minute ride up to Archbald to a place where I have had many good memories. I parked along River Road and trudged through the snow that covered the Lackawanna Heritage Trail and found my way down the snow covered bank to the water. I forgot my thermometer so I don't know what the water temps were when I got in but the air temp was above 40. I worked my way

upstream and fished some great water, and fished it hard. I tried, my own fly that has no name, a size 14 black stonefly nymph, a tungsten beadhead prince nymph, and a black wooly bugger. Nothing. Around 1pm I started to notice more midges in the air, and when I turned and looked they were walking on top of the melting snow on the banks, along with early black stoneflies. It was neat to see some bugs and I spent some time catching and photographing them. I then

saw something that caught my eye, caddisflies- both in the air and on the downstream sides of the snow and ice covered rocks. Now I was having fun. Even though there were no fish for me, I always enjoy studying bugs. Just when I

thought it couldn't get any better, I looked down into a small eddy and saw a couple of size 16 mayflies on top of the water. A hatch? Yep, there were a dozen or so baetis on drying their wings out. I was able to get a hold of one before it

flew away. So I had a, well not a trifecta, but four different bugs up at the same time, midges, stoneflies, caddisflies, and mayflies- not bad for a cold early March afternoon. After a few hours I made my way back to the car and stopped on the bridge on River Road and took a quick look down. Of course I found two healthy browns below the bridge both taking midge nymphs or pupa. I tried to get on them but I surely chased them off after a few casts. I worked my way downstream past the park into bigger water with no takers. During the day I was able to take my "limit" in garbage for the day, which was three, a styrofoam cup, a take out rice container, and a plastic bag. Thanks to the bugs it was well worth the long round trip 7 hour drive. Catching no fish will only make me want to come back even more when things warm up a bit.