Friday, September 6, 2013

Middle Fork Provo River - 9/1/13

On my way back from a great hike with my wife in the Uintas of Utah, we "found" ourselves the middle fork of the Provo. Great public access led me to the headwaters just below the dam of the Jordanelle reservoir near park city.  There were a bunch of guys around but i found a protected stretch with a major mayfly hatch going on and happy dun eaters castable from shore (with some creativity).  I have to say despite great flows its been a rough couple months on the WB (as the summer tends to be for me) so it was a delight when these browns would actually EAT.  The first was a nicely colored brown close to 15 inches which took a large cdc olive pattern. Did not fight like a west branch brown! Caught four more and in true lout fashion I pushed my luck trying to get the theoretical NJ limit.  When i got it I rushed back to the car to the wife who was waiting to go to dinner.  Not bad for an hour and a half tactical mission...i will have to explore more or there on a later trip.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Monacacy Report 12-8-12

 Fished the Monacy saturday. Mid 40's and drizzle. 10 to 2  fish looked to be taking what might have been midge pupa. One of the bamboo guys got 5 on #24 black midge and #22 two. I got 3 on #20/22 bwo. The olive hatch was very sporadic.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Fishing report: Musconetcong Trout Conservation Area 11-11-12

I had the day to fish and decided to try out the Raritan near Califon in the morning on Sunday November 11.  The air was crisp in the morning but warmed up to high 50's pretty quickly.  Nymphing was slow so I moved on to the trout conservation area in the Musconetcong.  I have only fished this stretch once but this time parked at the upstream end and worked my way down.  Man the sticker bushes and thorns are nasty up there.  I made my way a third of the way down passing some anglers and doing a little fishing but it was pretty slow.  The guys were saying they had caught fish here and there and down by the bridge in particular.  Everyone was nymphing and popular patterns were scuds, zebra midges and egg patterns.  I used my home tied stone fly and pt nymphs for a while with no luck.  I could see thousands of nymph casings on the rocks all around me.  There were two types, typical looking dark husks around a size 16.  Inside were greenish grubs.  Another kind were beige colored grubs about the same size or smaller that were husked in tiny pebbles.  Caddis maybe?  Seeing these i moved from big/small nymph rig to small/smaller, using a size 22 bwo nymph below a size 16 pt nymph.  I also tried a rainbow czech and a large pink scud. Still no luck in some promising water, though the sun was very high.

As I made it down into the classic nymphing water I saw a few more guys and got a few more tips.  At the plunge pool in the middle of the TCA, I had had it and decided to go medieval.  I started nymphing a wooly bugger but that would not satisfy my boredom so i tied on an orange beaded translucent scud pattern and a green lightning bug, size 20 below tied to 6x fluoro tippet.  With three unorthodox flies I figured nothing would happen.  And nothing did until on the retrieve I suddenly had a fish on.  After a bit I realized it may have some size and then i saw its back and tail and realized it was a giant rainbow trout.  It was not exactly blowing up my spool but it was intent on staying far away from me though.  A guy and his young daughters watched for a while, but as I fought the fish for over 30 minutes they had moved on already when i finally landed it.  It was difficult to land on a 15 foot leader (it was on the bottom fly) and it was bigger than my net. Embarassingly i missed the net job several times and chased the fish all over the hole before finally bringing her to net right where I had started.  I was very disappointed to see the hook was in the side of her neck rather than her mouth, foul hooked.  I could not figure out how to let her breathe underwater while getting out my phone to snap a photo so I let her go.  She was over 20" and really fat.  I think she must have weighed 5 pounds as it was larger than any fish we caught on the Missouri River this year.  What a fish!  I was able to remove the hook without touching her and she slithered back into the deep.  What a great stretch of water in NJ if you can come across fish like that!

I made my way down, removing the bugger and going with the two fly rig instead, plus indicator.  In the bends above the bridge I netted three beautiful rainbows with big heads and vivid colors.  They fought and fought, all taking the green lb.  I think I am going to tie some of those this winter!  Talk about a bicoastal fly!

Near the bridge I picked up a small 9" brown in a scumline where he was supposed to be.  What a day!  Not sure why I am sitting here typing this rather than going back today...

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Recipes for Missouri River Nymphs

Zebra Midge
Dai-Riki Size #125 16 - 20 emerger hook Reverse bend 2x Short
Cyclops Bead 1/16th inch silver
UTC 70 Deneer Black thread

Little Green Machine

Hook: Mustad 3906, sizes 24 to 14.
Head: Extra small copper bead.
Thread: Size 8/0 (70 denier)—light gray thread
for gray and chartreuse abdomens, black
thread for pheasant tail abdomens.
Tail: Pheasant tail fibers.
Abdomen: Micro Tubing—chartreuse, pheasant
tail, gray, or red.
Rib: Small Ultra Wire, color to match the
Wing case: Pearl Fire-Fly or micro Flashabou.
Gills: White Antron fibers.
Thorax: Olive brown Ice Dub.

Purple Lightning Bug
sz 16-20 3/32 nickel tungsten bead
Black thread
pheasant tail fibers (tail and legs)
small silver ultra wire
purple haze holographic tinsel
medium flat pearl tinsel
peacock ice dub

Grape Slushy
size 16 scud hook Dai Riki
purple glass bead
purple 6/0 thread
red ultra wire
uv brown ice dub

Rainbow Czech
Dai Riki #135 sz 12 
1/8" gold tungsten bead
thread - black 6/0 uni
small black wire
1/8" clear scud back
wapsi sow scud rainbow dubbing
wapsi sow scud rainbow dubbing bighorn pink

Orange Gold Kreelex
orange and gold kreelex
size 6 streamer hook

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Conservation 2012

Conservation 2012

As Suburbanglers, we feel the need to give back to the waters from which we draw so much strength.  We are contributing members of Trout Unlimited. This year the NYC TU chapter began to branch out in its conservation efforts by participating with other chapters around the region to restore trout habitat.  As anglers and city dwellers we each have our favorite spot outside of the city to fish.  Our chapter is proud to contribute time and money to worthy projects in the tri-state area in order to give back to the areas which provide us so much enjoyment.  According to new Conservation committee member Pete Kocubinski: “Through contributing volunteers to three fun work days this year our chapter is raising its profile with area chapters and conservation groups.  We are building momentum within the conservation committee and the NYC chapter in order to contribute more time and resources in 2013.  Our ultimate goal is to land our very own chapter restoration project.”

The first volunteer day was on May 5th in New Jersey on the Pohatcong Creek.  Seven chapter members joined the Ridge and Valley chapter to help restore a stretch of the creek which had been dammed into a lake for many years.  The new landowner requested assistance from TU and on this day we planted saplings and willow grafts in the banks and flood plain.  This is generally called a riparian buffer project where vegetation is reintroduced to guard against erosion, provide shade to keep water temperatures cold and to provide habitat for trout and other animals including the all important insect life.  Another major benefit of such plantings is that the vegetation helps to filter water as it enters the creek which lowers pollution from fertilizers and other chemicals which may be nearby.  In this project we also performed some work on the stream channel itself by repositioniong rocks and boulders by hand at the direction of Brian Cowden, the director of the Musconetcong Home Rivers Initiative of TU.  By creating an upside down V shape with the obstructions, the natural force of the water is slowed down and projected towards the banks creating depth and undercut banks which are great trout habitat.   Allowing the water flow to scour the channel helps avoid sediment deposition which robs streams of their depth, coolness, and habitat.

Planting willow sprigs and other saplings along the Pohatcong Creek

Haphazardly placed boulders which we moved to form stronger trout habitat

The second project of the year was a trash cleanup on the well known Monument Pool of the West Branch of the Delaware.  In years past residents had dumped trash down the very steep banks of the river about of quarter mile downstream of where the West Branch Angler resort currently sits.  Five volunteers from our chapter joined a large group including Friends of the Upper Delaware and multiple local TU chapters from NY and PA.  The intricate operation included a dumpster at the top with a winch for pulling up tubs of trash, and a staging area below where larger items were loaded onto drift boats for transit to a nearby ramp.  We found all manner of old appliances, tires, windows and other damaging items.  By removing the trash we have protected the pristine water from leeching chemicals and beautified the area.  The event concluded with a casual lunch and an opportunity to meet local guides to pick their brains on tactics for catching the wily natives of the river.

What is this, a phonograph?

Things that don’t belong near the river!

Volunteers from NYC TU

In the last project of the year, Conservation committee members Chris Tufts and Grace Kocubinski brought a total of seven people to contribute to Brian Cowden’s October 13th project on the Musconetcong River.  This major initiative by Trout Unlimited was discussed at our spring chapter meeting and is very exciting as the river is already one of the best fisheries in the state and it will only improve as dams are removed and habitat is restored.  Over 50 volunteers from around the area showed up to plant over 700 trees along the river on an active farm.  The buffer will be instrumental in allowing wild trout to take root and thrive in the river.

A couple of notes from the conservation committee:  At almost all of these work days there is ample opportunity to fish and some members are known to “make a weekend” out of it.  We are actively pursuing volunteers to help with similar projects in 2013 and ideally are seeking a mobile army of 30-40 chapter members who are available to help.  Please let us know if you can be one of these people!  If we can get close to this number it will allow us to take on our own conservation project and the opportunities to learn about conservation will be that much greater.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Under the wire

With my trout needle on 98 thus year and Hurricane Sandy beating down on us, Sunday i headed out to the South Branch of the Raritan Ken Lockwood Gorge area.

The water is low and the bugs were sparse.  In the classic dry fly bend, some small trout were sipping and i spent three awesome hours there investigating.  They did not want isos or bigger olives, it was something tiny.  The cool part was a couple small trout of my boot served as Guinea pigs.  They thumbed their nose at just about everything.  At one point i unfortunately snagged a small brown that had refused, and landed/released safely.

I went through my entire box of baetis, also trying some small midge patterns and tiny spinners. What i could see on the water were a couple tiny pseudos and some very tiny cream midges.

I put on an olive midge pattern with mylar wings from in size 24 behind a large bwo bomber.  It was so small and in the film that i had several swirls before i realized they were eating it.  Finally in a long down and across drift i firmed up on an 8 inch brown trout to go over the century mark!

Thanks to all who were part of a great year in the water

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Craig, MT day two

Sore arms at the beginning of day two because day one was so good!  PG and I floated with Kevin who took one for the team and rowed through the 30mph sw wind gusts at our backs and quartering across the river all day.  I committed to steamers for most of the day, bright white, yellow and brown clousers with metal eyes.  Kevin showed me to water haul which helped some in the wind (and I still have some work to do). The morning was much warmer than the day before and cloudy.  We held out hope the baetis would come but they did not.
I hooked into a small rainbow and big brown in the first five minutes but the steamers went quiet until the very last drift of the day.  PG had some hot stretches on the short leash nymph rig.  We floated from spite hill to the ramp after mid canon.  Saw eagles, mink, mule deer bucks.  We boated 10 fish in all and had a wonderful day.
Dex and Doc floated with guide Kurt on the same route and crushed it with the same or more fish than day one!