New Jersey: South Branch of the Raritan River 6/26/18 6 – 10 am

Date: 6/26/18

Time: 6 - 10 am

Location: South Branch of the Raritan River, Ken Lockwood Gorge

Weather: Partly Sunny Sky, Morning Air Temperature 56, Water Temperature 64 - 65, Flow: 51 CFS (Mean for the South Branch: 211 CFS), Light Wind, Moon 98% Visible

Catch and Thoughts: I thought of today as my last Jersey trout fishing trip before summer sets in. In July and August, our freestone rivers can get low and warm. This might be old news to readers, but you don't want to fish for trout when the water reaches 70 degrees or higher. A lot of fly fishers, including myself, lay off once it hits 68. At these higher temperatures, water holds less oxygen and the fish get stressed. Even if you catch and release a trout in warm water, they may die.

On this day, cool temperatures were predicted. I arrived at 6 am and my dashboard was reading an air temperature of 56. Good stuff. The water was 64 - 65, so I was in the clear. But at 51 CFS, it was low. I stuck to my plan of contact nymphing and given the low water, I ended up doing pretty well. That's what I tell myself anyway.  

I landed 3 fish and lost another to a bad knot. Live and learn. I also either pricked another fish, or just bumped it with my rig. I thought I had a take, I set, and knocked a good size fish off balance and saw it.   

The two flies that worked were weighted and tied on size 14 jig hook - a Frenchie with a pink hot spot and a Sexy Walt's Worm.

Now's the time to either travel for trout or fish for other fish.

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