Well it seems like it's been a while since I have been able to get out to rivers for a good day on the water. Last week we got pounded with rain here in the East and then it was Easter week with the kids off from school. It didn't matter, the rivers were blown out. So this morning I headed out to the South Branch of the Raritan River at the Ken Lockwood Gorge. It was a beautiful day after some early morning rain. I started by fishing the the lower section above the posted private water and picked two fish with purple wooly bugger. The smaller brown had a lip tag but I released him before I could read it. It might be from Shannon's Fly Shop or the State F&G. I moved up to the lower parking area and fished
there for a while. As it got closer to noon some caddis and BWO's were in flight over the water. It was starting o feel like spring! I took this picture of a guy fishing below the lower handicapped access. Both of these accesses are completed and hopefully will serve those anglers well. The road along the river seems to have held up with all the rain. There were
a few places were there was some runoff and potholes had formed. The river was still up but it was clear and loaded with fish. I tried nymphing for awhile, picked up one, bit went back to a black wooly bugger and had steady action with that in the big water. Before I left I turned over some rocks and found this caddis larva exposed from it's case.
It was a nice morning and I headed out around noon to get over to Lyon's Hospital for the Project Healing Waters fly tying class. I learned about PHW from Bob Cohen whose also a member of the JSTU. About 8 guys came to help out and we had about 8 veterans who came to the hospitals meeting room for the class. Each vet tied two wooly buggers each and if they want they can take the trip in May to the Pequest Hatchery to fish the big pond there. The vets had a good time and they did a great job tying for the first time. Since I not much of a fly tyer the class was just as good a learning tool for me as it was for the guys in the class. It looks like tomorrow is going to be in the 90's which will totally confuse the bugs and hopefully will not alter the hatch schedule as last years week of high temps in April did. Tonight I got a call from an old fishing and work friend who asked me to go a few days to the West Branch in late April. I told him I would bring the drift boat and take him and his friend for a trip on the lower West and upper Mainstem. The timing is good as I am heading to Plattsburgh next week to get the boat, check on the lodge, and to fish the West Branch of the Ausable!