Friday, April 29, 2011

04.29.11 Weather is wreaking havoc south to north

Photo Brian Mann/North Country Public Radio

     Yesterday I got a call from sister telling me I better make some calls to Ausable Forks where the lodge and future fly shop are located. We're on the banks of the West Branch of the Ausable River and right now the guage is 4 feet above flood stage and the entire Lake Placid area is having issues. In Saranac Lake, workers have opened the dam at Lake Flower amidst that the dam may fail. Several roads and bridges in Moriah and Jay are shut because they have collapsed after being undermined. The photo above shows a house in Keesville, which is the town below Ausable Forks, after the surging Ausable River rose. 
   It's not that bad in the Catskills where there hasn't ben any reports of flooding, but all of the rivers continue to rise. This morning the West Branch at Hale Eddy is over 7,000 cfs, down from yesterday 10,000 plus. This weekend is supposed to be great, but more rain is coming early next week.
     I'm off to Hancock and the One Bug. Hopefully the weekend will go great for all those involved. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

04.28.11 Quick check on some Upper Delaware Rivers

     I have been keeping an eye on conditions up in the Catskills over the last few days. There is water everywhere, and too much of it. A storm today into Friday should bring more rain. The FUDR One Bug is Saturday and Sunday and hopefully the river will drop markedly once it decides to stop rising. 

Here's today, at 7,630 cfs with a 1,501 bottom release and 1,858 coming over the top,

Graph of

and the Main at Lordville, at 15,400 cfs

            Graph of

and the Beaverkill at Cooks Falls, at 2,060

              Graph of

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

04.26.11 Back to the grind and getting ready for the One Bug this weekend

     Nothing like getting back from vacation and getting slammed with work and kid stuff. I have to clear some photo assignment work before I leave for the Catskills on Friday morning. This weekend I'll be guiding for the Friends of the Upper Delaware River (FUDR) annual One Bug Tournament. It's my first year and I'm glad I was picked to guide it. It goes from Friday night dinner through Saturday and Sunday on the river. We find out what our beat is on Friday. Today the West Branch was over 5,200 cfs and is now coming down and is 4,200. All the rivers up there are running high, if not blown out, regardless of what you may hear or read. The only way to go is to drift one of the rivers. Hopefully the reservoirs will stop spilling, the rain will stop falling, and the runoff will stop running so we can get on with spring. The bugs are there now, it's just hard get fish to get up to them. Streamers have been the ticket.
     I did find a small window to hit the flume on 8th Avenue in Asbury Park today. S wind at 5-10 with no one out, except one surfer on the Loch Arbor side.

Monday, April 25, 2011

04.25.11 Raritan Bay..56 degrees! And stripers in Long Branch

     I started out today checking out the Raritan Bay action which has been heating up since I went to Florida. I first stopped at Leonardo and found the above lone angler who didn't move an inch while I was there. If he was dead, he was peaceful doing it, so I left him alone. I then drove to Union Beach and I was the only one with a rod in the water. I spoke with a few guys who were out on the scout and they said the following. Fishing has been decent, some keepers, no bait close as of now, herring was here and went, bunker should start, and then the blues will come. I stuck the water with my theremometer, 56 degrees, yes 56 degrees! It felt warm, I checked it twice in two spots and checked the USGS at Keansburg when I got home, which said the Burg' was 58 degrees. I worked the creek for a half hour without any takers.
     Later in the day I met up with my friend Rob in Long Branch so I could loan him an 8wt. Next week he's off to Sanibel Island for snook and tarpon on a guided trip. He just wanted something to have to throw around when he wasn't on the charter. While we were down on the beach with his kids we saw a guy hook up off the groin at Madison Ave. I went over and talked to the guys who had two keepers on clams. The water was crystal clear and 48 degrees. This are slowly heating up and it's just a matter of time.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

04.24.11 Happy Easter! and back from Florida and ready for some fishing!

    Well back from a week in Florida. The picture above was taken by my son Sean when we went early one morning to Sebastian Inlet. We saw that incredible blitz that first day and that was it. It was a great family trip but not much for fishing. Right now at 9 pm on Sunday it's pouring out.  How much rain are we going to get around here? I see the West Branch of the Delaware at Hale Eddy is running at 2,800 cfs, and I am sure it will get higher in the next few days. I hope it sits down before the One Bug in Hancock next weekend. I'll have to get over to Raritan Bay in the next day or so as I imagine the action there has picked up.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

04.21.11. I wish finger mullet were a gamefish here in Florida!

Just a quick update. The blitz we happened upon the other day is just like happening upon a striper bunker blitz in the wash at home. We were at the right place at the right time. And since we've been early, late, or it just wasn't there. We've seen some fish, and about a billion mullet. Family trips are a tough time to really go full tilt fishing. You give it your best shot taking any chance to sneak away but it just winds up leaving you frustrated and questioning your skill level and wondering if you should take up golf. I have a few more opportunities to get out so hopefully I'll catch something right before we return up north.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

04.19.11 Florida is great! Took my boy fishing-monster reds and jacks!

Just a quick word from sunny Florida. Vero Beach is great. Took my soon fishing early Monday morning at Sebastian inlet State Park. Starting soaking shrimp and then switched to a bomber when the huge jacks and monster redfish went on a tear through mullet balled up in the inlet. My son had a big jack on that spit the hook after a jump. I should have taken some pics of the fish the others caught, but we were too caught up in the moment. I went back last night to fish the incoming tide. Found a nice cove and picked up a flounder on a shrimp fly. At night, it looks just like 8th Avenue in Asbury Park when things are hot. I hope to walk the flats before the weeks up, or get a shot at those big reds and jacks one more time!

Friday, April 15, 2011

04.15.11 Off to Vero Beach, Florida

    Off to Vero Beach. All packed up for the "money saving" drive. Gas is only about 5 dollars per gallon outside New Jersey, but it's cheaper then the 5,400 dollar round trip tix for six. The little research I did is showing that I am hitting a good time for snook and tarpon in and around Sebastian Inlet. Can't wait. Have fun with the blues and stripers in the Raritan Bay. I'm sure it will be a "you shoulda' been here a few days ago" return.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

04.14.11 Fished Raritan Bay twice and our JSTU stream restoration project

     This morning was beautiful so I took a ride up to Union Beach to fish the Raritan Bay. It was great timing as I caught the start of the outgoing tide. There were a few guys fishing off the beach with clams but no one hooked a fish. There were about 6 kayakers out and I talked to one guy as he was walking his kayak back to the car. He said within the last week he had been present when at least 20 keepers were caught by guys on the water on kayaks, mostly on plugs. I spoke with some other guys who said they saw a fish caught here and there. I fished some really nice water along one of the deeper channels into where it empties into the bay. I have been taking a lot of time scouting the bay during the low tides. You can really mark the structure and mud flat locations and hard cuts. It was the first time I used the Orvis Acces 9ft 9wt. For the money, it's a great rod that loads and casts nicely. I had no luck but enjoyed the morning. I took the temperature while I was out there and it was 48 degrees, so where getting close.
     I ran back up to the same spot this evening, start of the outgoing tide. This time there were at least 35 rods in the water , with most soaking clams and a guy here and there plugging. I returned to that same channel which was deeper and a little harder to fish because the banks were high. I saw one guy take a wrong step and go up to his shoulders and then struggle to get up the bank. The encouraging thing was to see gannets dive bombing out in the bay. That means the bait, most likely herring, is around. I only stayed for an hour and all those clams in the water didn't get touched while I was there. I figure within a week the bluefish will be crashing the bay, hopefully on bunker that should bring the big girls out to play.

     Between fishing and a little office work I ran over to my Trout Unlimited's new project, stream restoration on a part of the Squankum Brook in Howell. It was once a nice wild brook trout stream. It's a nice little section between Routes 527 and 529. It runs along Soldier Memorial Fields. I walked a portion of it and took some pictures to share with the members and those organizations we are partnering with at the local, State, and Federal level. Below are a few pictures

Squankum Brook, Howell

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

04.12.11 Pics from the drift boat lettering last Friday

     I was planning on adding these pics to Fridays post but I'll just put them here. Luckily I didn't loose my Canon G12, I just left it Powerhouse Signs and was able to pick it up this week. John did a great job getting the boat all lettered up and ready to go. 
     The big "storm" that was racing east slowed down and I should have made the trip to the East Branch as planned. It worked out well as I got other stuff done and made an eye appointment as I recently cant see anything within 18 inches of my face. Sounds like glasses are in my future. 


Monday, April 11, 2011

04.11.11 WOW!- 80 degrees in NJ and things got going in some areas

     Crazy busy last week and a half. Been getting the drift boat all tuned up and ready for what was to be the new "Julie"s first float of 2011. I was planning to float the Lower East Branch of the Delaware tomorrow but some nasty weather is hitting the Catskills starting tonight so that's off the table. Wednesday I have a photo shoot up in North Jersey for New Jersey Monthly Magazine and then on Friday we head off in Bertha for an alleged 18 hour drive to Vero Beach. That's six bladders ranging in age from 5-48 years old. Maybe 24 hours!
     Ocean temps are up and down, today saw 46 degrees out front, and a report on Betty and Nicks said they had a keeper weighed in from Island Beach State Park. That's the third keeper striper from the surf, all on clams. It's all good news, things are getting there, just slowly. One step forward, two steps back.

Here's what's coming

Hancock Weather

Updated: Apr 11, 2011, 10:45pm EDT

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Saturday, April 9, 2011

04.09.11 Opening day for trout in NJ and still working on the drift boat

Opening Day 2011 Manasquan River

     Well today the flood gates opened and thousands of anglers took to New Jersey streams for the opening of trout season. I stopped by a very quiet Manasquan River and found only one angler at Prevetorium Road in Howell. There were two other cars but those folks must have hiked for better water. The water at the bridge, and throughout most of the river that I saw was, well, horrible. It was up and it looked like chocolate milk, well maybe more like caramel milk.  I spoke with the lone angler and he said he had been fishing for a bout an hour and there were a few people out, and one guy said he saw one guy who talked to a guy who saw a guy who caught a fish. Hopefully some of the other waters were kinder to the season opener anglers that braved the crowds today.
     After checking things out there I headed to TSC, aka Tractor Supply, and got some rubber mats to cover some of the drift boat bottom. If you've ever been in an aluminum drift boat and someone drops a reel, it can be heard for a distance, especially if you down between the hills in the Upper Delaware. I worked on the boat with my brother and my nephews and in addition to the bottom rubber we also tackled the wood floor. I need to get these boat things done before the trip to the East Branch on Tuesday. The full swing season will be here just on the other side of the trip to Florida next week.

Friday, April 8, 2011

04.08.11 Drift boat lettered today

Today the drift boat got lettered. I took plenty of pics but forgot the camera at the place. Pics coming soon. It's a push getting the boat ready for it's first float. Looks like it'll be the East Branch on Tuesday.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

04.07.11 An up and back day to Roscoe, Deposit and Hancock

Shehawken Creek at the West Branch of the Delaware

     So yesterday I had  quick one day trip up to Roscoe, Deposit, and Hancock. I went up to speak with managers or owners from three of the larger fly shops about guiding opportunities. As with anything else related to business, it's business. That's one of the drawbacks about doing something you love, you have to cross passion with business. But I had some great conversations and learned a lot, so I hope to be getting more through some shops up there. 
     I would have to describe everything up there as I would down here. Early. It looks early, it feels early. It even smells early. It's that weird time between the end of winter and the beginning of spring. I did spend some money yesterday. I picked up a landing net I had been eyeing up for sometime. And, I was glad to purchase it through a shop and not order it online. It is called the Measurement Net. It's telescoping and has a rubber bag, and can hold fish to 40 inches! 

     By about 330 I was done driving around so I decided to hit the water for a little while. I started at Shehawken and spent some time throwing streamers and nymphs but only had one hit. Water temps are still just below 40 degrees and the water is clear, but up. I then moved down to Buckingham and made some casts from the bank. I did see one big fish rise to little black stones trying to take flight. It was one rise and he was just off the bank in the Last Chance Pool. I stuck the water there and it was 40 degrees. Between the two locations I saw the little black stones. chimarra or little black caddis and baetis. So spring is on the way. Below are a few shots I took along the way. I went home through Lordville, taking Route 97 down to Hankins and up over the hill down to Roscoe. A few slices at Raimondos and I was back on 17 and home at 1115pm. 

 East Branch of the Delaware below East Branch

Lordville Bridge in Lordville

Early Season Trivia

                                                                Where and what is this?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

04.06.11 Checked out the Raritan Bay with a stop in Union Beach

Cool temps in the air and water are keeping things in the back bays and surf quiet. I read on Scott's Bait and Tackle that anglers on Graveling Point hit the early jackpot the other day as a pod of keeper fish came in to munch on clams and worms. Water temps still in the low to mid 40's. Today I went to Union Beach to check on the sod banks there. A few guys were set up watching their bait soak. No action at all. The bay was clear, but later me and a buddy hit White Diamond in Clark for lunch and on the way back I glanced at the bay from the Driscoll Bridge and it was heavily stained from Raritan River runoff. Hopefully things kick off soon. Maybe I'll hit the Nuke plant outflow before I head to Florida next week. I'm staying in Vero Beach near Sebastian Inlet State Park. Tomorrow it's off to Roscoe for a sit down with Evan from the Beaverkill Angler.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

04.05.11 Two workers killed at Tennessee wastewater treatment plant collapse spilling sewage into the Little Pigeon River

Photo by the Associated Press 

     CNN reported tonight that two workers at a Tennessee waste water treatment plant were killed when a wall collapsed and sent millions of gallons of sewage into the West Prong Little Pigeon River. It is estimated that between 1.5 to 3.2 million gallons spilled into the river in the town of Gatlinburg in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Monday, April 4, 2011

04.04.11 Hey, I'm blogging from my iPad !

I couldn't hold out any longer. Broke down and bought an older iPad. Don't know how it will look but this is my first post from it. I'll be sitting at the Genius Bar in Freehold tomorrow getting some help with it. But I'm not getting an iPhone! Yet.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

04.03.11 We hit 7,000 views and added some Dead for your listening pleasure!

Today we hit 7,000 views on The Average Angler blog and added some Grateful Dead for you to hear while you visit this blog.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

04.02.11 Busy day, went to prison, picked up the drift boat, took the big boat for a bath

       Bayside State Prison       AP Photo

     Had a super busy day. Started off getting up at 5 am to visit my friend in prison in South Jersey. One thing I am glad of, that I am not in his shoes. Visitation is held in a large gym with sets of seats set up in rows. Inmates on one side, visitors on the other. I watched as parents, friends, wives, and kids came in and smiled and lit up when they saw their loved one. It is really something to see. I couldn't help but wonder what each story would be like if it were in a documentary. No matter what, you have to feel for the kids. I stayed for two hours. We had a nice visit, and lucky for me, I could leave when it was done.

    I then ran up the Parkway and picked up my other friend who helped me out today as I juggled my boats around. First I had to pick up Julie who got her new paint on yesterday. I still have to add some stickers and maybe an accent stripe and she'll all set for the trip to Roscoe. How good do those new rims and tires look? I am very happy with the new look, and if the Gluv-It helps the bottom and stopped the leak we should be like new. Then we had to move Das' Boot from my father's construction yard to another location. During the trip I took a detour and we stopped and washed it at a large bay car wash. It cleaned up nicely. Now I just have to get someone to once over it to see if it will be worth it to get it going and in the water. Everyone in my camp, I mean everyone, says burn it, junk it, bury it, donate it, yada yada. I met a nice guy at Lockwood Marine in South Amboy who I might ask to give it a look over before I decide what to do. I purchased this boat during a real bad time in my life, and I never really got to enjoy it, and it basically sat for just about 9 years. Well I'm in a better place now and I'd like to get it going and chase some stripers with it!

Friday, April 1, 2011

04.01.11 New rims and tires for the trailer and a sneek peak at the paint job

     Today my buddy and I took a ride down to Hecht Trailer in Tons River and picked up three new rims and tires for the trailer for the drift boat. While there I received a picture from John at Marlboro Auto Body of "Julie" after her paint job. I pick her up tomorrow!