Today the NJ chapter of Project Healing Waters had a great trip to the Pequest Trout Hatchery with some local veterans that we have been tying flies and fishing with. Today was the grandaddy of the all the days. Previously we had tied some flies and last month fished a sunny and bass pond, but this was their first shot at some trout on the fly. The volunteers met around 9am and set up up the rods with leaders, tippet, and flies. Some guys ventured down to the teaching pond at the hatchery and had fun casting to fish that ranged from 18 to 25 inches, and the biggest going ones over 5 pounds. The veterans came around 10 and were eager to get fishing. Some of the guys casted by themselves while others who weren't physically able worked
with a volunteer who casted for them and gave them the rod to strip and bring the fish in. James and I had the first fish on, and then had about a two hour drought with nothing. Guys were catching fish all around us. It was funny to see one guy gently release his 22 inch rainbow by throwing it about 30 feet into the center of the pond. Needless to say his "guide" for
Andrea Tarr photo
the day had a quick lesson on a better catch and release technique, and that was the last flying trout we saw. Before lunch James and I caught the hot hand and had four around 20 inches to the net right before lunch. We all had lunch together and soon James was ready to go back to work. We picked up where we left off, casting a barbell eyed wooly bugger that this pod of fish
couldn't lay off. I had met Wally, another veteran, who hadn't caught a fish yet, at lunch and asked James to invite him over to share in our secret spot. Soon Wally was yelping it up as he
Andrea Tarr photo
landed two big rainbows. The afternoon seemed to pick up as guys were landing fish all around the 2 acre casting pond. I had to pull out early and get to my daughters track meet back home, so I said my farewells and left them casting, catching and yelping- but not throwing.