Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holiday Egg...

The holidays for me are filled with rushing around and dealing with crowds.  Something I don't like. Fortunately the weather and fishing are still good. Fewer anglers makes winter fishing some of the best. I try to get out before the holiday rush and chaotic family time. Eggs were the ticket the last time I was out, and these eggs delivered a pre-holiday treat. 

Eggs are on the menu.
My tungsten egg.
20" hog of a Rainbow
Egg in the face.
One phat Bow.
Happy Holidays!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Signs of Fishing Pressure...

No matter where you go, there's always fishing pressure on our streams. We all want the rivers to ourselves.  Let’s face it, that doesn’t always happen. We have to share. While out fishing last week, I had a good day Czech nymphing.  However, I did come upon signs of another fisher working the water ahead of me.

This very stealthy character should have been heading south. Yet, like the geese, it's now a resident fisher in NJ. You might have guessed by now. I'm referring to a Great Blue Heron. I'm seeing more and more these days, well into the winter. It seems they'll stay as long as there's open water and food.

The Great Blue Heron is a marvelous fisher and we can all learn from them. You can increase your catches if you simply wade and dress like them. While they are great fishers, they do miss some from time to time. Here's a freshly wounded rainbow (ouch!). Maybe too big or too deep...but this one got away. Mind you, it kept on feeding and took my anchor fly.

Freshly wounded Rainbow.

Looks like it just happened (less than a day).

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fishing With My Two Unique Boys - What's a Dad to do?

Even though it was cold out, my older son still wanted to go fishing.  My younger son wasn't wholeheartedly into the idea.  What's a Dad to do?

I put on my thermals. The boys dressed in layers and packed a spare set of cloths, just in case.  While no one went for a swim, there where cold feet and hands.  This put a limit on the time we could fish, but as long as there was action, no one asked to go home.

With rain levels spiked, the 100cfs streams were at 300cfs.  At 300cfs, my home stream is  challenging to fish and next to impossible for the boys. We ended up fishing the banks - no stream crossings.  While it was cold and high, the fishing was good.  Together we netted 6 rainbows, 1 brown...long line released a monster.

Both boys were happy in varying degrees, and I'm sure we'll be heading out again soon.

One happy lad.

Boy my hands are cold.

Cold + Egg = Rainbow

Bow on a rock worm.

They liked the rock worms.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Feather-Craft Fly Fishing Giveaway - The Steelhead Addition.

Here's a new give-a-way from Feather-Craft Fly Fishing.  First prize will be a FULL day guided trip for WILD steelhead on the Pere Marquette River.  Feather-Craft teamed up with Indigo Guide Service & Third Coast Fly for this great prize.

For this give-a-way, you'll have to use your Facebook profile to participate.

Here are the steps:

Step 1: Go to Third Coast Fly’s Facebook page click the ‘Like’ button.

Step 2: Go to the Feather-Craft Facebook page give-a-way
and leave a quick comment.

All who do both steps are entered to win one of theses three prizes.

1st Place: Full Day Guided Trip for WILD Pere Marquette Steelhead with Indigo Guide Service
2nd Place: 1 Dozen steelhead flies in custom fly box + SA Steelhead Taper Fly Line
3rd Place: Feather-Craft’s Bob’s Favorite Tech Shirt

Good Luck,

Fly and Fin

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fishing with Matt

Finally, after juggling our schedules, Matt Grobert and I final got out fishing this past weekend.

You may know Matt from the The Star Ledger's Fly Fishing column.  His work also includes:
Fly Fishing New Jersey Trout Streams, published in 2008; Caddis Chronicles, a blog -  "A celebration of the well-chewed fly."  He's also ties patterns at the International Fly Tiers Symposoum, the Fly Fishing Show (NJ), Shannon's Fly Shop in Califon.  He's also featured on video at Tightline Productions.

Matt chronicled our trip in his Short Report post of December 4th.  I don't have much to add other than the photos and comments below.

It was a cold morning, but warm for December - low to mid 40's.  It always feels colder when your feet are in 42-degree water.  It was even colder for Matt.  He left his thermals home and his waders had a leak.  (It's safe to say Matt's leg and foot never warmed up until he got home.)

The water was high, clear and cold, but fishing was good.  Matt took his fish with a bead head Bird's Nest, LaFontaine Sparkle Emerger, and one on Walt's Worm.  I, on the other hand, was Czech nymphing and took most of my fish on a my "big and ugly" variation of Hans Stephenson's "Bomb".   It was a good day; we both got into fishing.

Matt fishing down and across.

Mat with an nice bow.

Fish on.

To the net.

Czech rig and bow.

"big and ugly"

Good day with Fly and Fin

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Fall Review

This year, the fall fishing was more like fishing in the spring.  Our water levels shot up after hurricane Irene.  Some say it was a 100-year event, but I think it was closer to a 500-year event.  The high water levels weren’t bad; it just wasn't what you'd expect.  The trout that remain have good water levels, and judging by the river gauges the ground water is recharged.

The other difference was the foliage. It hung around longer because of the drought-like conditions in the late summer and excessive rain in the fall.  That's not a bad thing.  I use the dropped foliage as a clock to know what bugs to use and where to find the trout.  It's just a guide. I also use it consciously and unconsciously to locate per-spawn Brown Trout and Rainbows that are looking for egg. 

The two biggest impacts on the fall fishing was hurricane Irene and the early wet and heavy snow.  Irene moved a lot of boarders, which altered pools and habitats. Now my old home waters are anew.  The early snow and downed foliage caused lots of property damage.  Cleaning up cut into my fishing time more than anything else. Besides these minor obstacles, I got my share of trout and spent some fine days on the water.

Here's the usual trout porn from this fall's outings.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Results of the 2nd Annual NJ FLY FISHERMAN of the YEAR

As The Jersey Angler said in his recent post "He Could Have Been a Contender...", well I was a contender.  All kidding aside, I recommend reading his post.

The New Jersey Fly Fisherman of the Year competition is the brain child of Bill Asdal owner of the the Raritan Inn Bed & Breakfast, Shannon's Fly & Tackle Shop and New Jersey Trout Unlimited (NJTU). 

The 2011 Contestants:
  • Hacklebarney Chapter -  Jeff Kurt;
  • East Jersey Chapter - Paul Reithmeir;
  • Fred Boroughs Chapter - Warren Weglinski;
  • Ridge and Valley - Fredy DeLeon;
  • Ken Lockwood - Bill Silvia ;
  • Central Jersey - Lou DiGena (a.k.a. Fly and Fin);
  • Ray Neirle Chapter - Bob Powel;
  • Jersey Shore - Bob Simpson;
  • Rahway River - Mike Appello;
  • Ernest Schwiebert Chapter - Angelo Conti;
  • Headwaters Raritan  - Bill Kibler;
  • Musconetcong Watershed - Stewart Shafran.

It was a cold morning, 28º F at the start of the event, a low 50º F by the final round.  Each participant drew a number which gave them times and beats to fish. Each fisher had two beats to fish in the morning.  The 3 top scorers would advance to the finals.

The first beat for was was slow - only one 14.75" Rainbow. This gave me 20 points for the first session.  The second morning session was much better.  I hooked 4 fish and landed 2. This  gave me an additional 38 points to put me in second place.

Official Score Board

Warren Weglinski was in first.  I was second, and Angelo Conti was in third.

In the final session, the points from the morning didn't rollover like last year's and the fishing was slow.  We all rotated through the same three 20-minute beats. Warren was the only one to hook and land a Rainbow in the first rotation, worth 14 points. We all went fish-less in the second session.  In the last session with around 5 minutes left, I hook and landed a 13" Brookie worth 18.2 points.  Around the same time my fish was landed, Angelo hooked and landed a 19" Rainbow worth 19 points.  With that, he won the 2nd Annual NJ Fly Fisherman of the year for 2011.

Here's a shameless video shot of "me only" during the event.  

It was truly a fun event.  I'd like to thank all the judges, Bill, Shannon's and NJTU for all their hard work.

Thank you,

Fly and Fin

Monday, November 7, 2011

2nd Annual NJ Fly Fisherman of the Year and New Jersey Trout Unlimited 40th Anniversary

The 2nd Annual NJ Fly Fisherman of the Year one fly contest is this Saturday November 12, 2011.  Like last year's event it will take place at the Raritan Inn Bed & Breakfast, in Califon, NJ.  The contest is held on the Inn’s mile of private waters on the South Branch of the Raritan River.  This year 10 New Jersey chapter of Trout Unlimited and local Watershed Associations, select one angler each to participate.

New Jersey Trout Unlimited (NJTU) along with Shannon's Fly & Tackle  Shop and the Raritan Inn in Califon will be hosting the 2nd Annual New Jersey Fly Fisherman of the Year Competition. 

Last year The Jersey Angler represented the Central Jersey Chapter of TU.  This year I have the honors of and will represent CJTU.

Wish me luck and tight lines.

Here is a clip I put together of The Jersey Angler from last years event.

A banquet will follow follow the competition in celebration of NJTU's 40th Anniversary.

Come out for an evening of fun, auctions and tales of lore as we celebrate the winner of the one fly contest review 2011 fly fishing year or the "rain / water year" as we have come to know.

Tickets are $60 (and strictly limited to 60 people) and available at Shannon's Fly & Tackle - 908 832-5736.

Details available at and

Thursday, October 20, 2011

International Fly Fishing Film Festival

The 2011 International Fly Fishing Film Festival ( IF4 ) Commercial from Fly Max Films on Vimeo.

The International Fly Fishing Film Festival is joining The Fly Fishing Show in 2012.  Angling Trade posted on 10/19/2011 that The Fly Fishing Show will screen films at the closing of the show at 5 locations.

The showings will be at the following locations: Denver, Jan. 6, 2012; Marlborough, Mass., Jan. 20, 2012; Somerset, NJ, Jan. 27, 2012; Lancaster, Penn., Feb. 18, 2012; and Pasadena, Calif. March 3, 2012. The viewings will start around 6:30PM and my change depending on location.

The International Fly Fishing Film Festival (IF4) features 16 short and feature length films with local and global reach.

Having gone to the Denver and New York screening last year I can say it's well worth your time.  It's a great way to get your blood flowing during the cabin fever months.

Mark your calendar and get your trout porn on.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Save the Date: The International Fly Tying Symposium November 19th & 20th

The International Fly Tying Symposium is coming to Doubletree Hotel in Somerset, NJ on November 19th and 20th, 2011.

The event is now in it's 21st year and features some of the best fly tiers on the planet.  It's always a great time, where you get to talk and ask the tiers about their pattern.  I've been going since the beginning and  haven't missed one.  There are free programs, celebrity tiers, classes, lots of stories, flies that catch fishers and tall tails.

Here are some of the programs I'm looking forward to:
  • JOHAN KLINGBERG “European Nymphing- History & Techniques”
  • ERIC STROUP “Catching Trout in Tough Conditions”
  • BOB JACKLIN “Yellowstone and Montana Sampler”
  • and ARON JASPER “The Newest in Nymphs and How to Construct Them”
Here are some photos of the flies from the videos I shot last year.

 "Bill's Hellgrammite" by Bill Skilton
"Tungsten Torpedo" by Kevin Compton
"Fire Fly" by Aaron Jasper
"Peel-and-Stick" Jay by "Fishy" Fullum

For more information go to

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October Caddis Time

Leaves are starting to turn. There's a crispness in the air, and the last of the big bugs are about to pop.

It's fall - October caddis time.

Here's a weighted wet-fly patten that I use during the fall. It's a great addition to your Euro-nymph rig or fished alone. Make sure you swing the fly at the end of the drift and hold on.

October Caddis

Hook: Standard Wet Fly Hook (Mustad S80-3906 or similar)
Size: 8 - 12
Head: Black Tungsten Bead sized to hook
Thread: Brown 6/0 or 8/0
Rib: Red and Gold wire (.32 gauge Parawire or UTC Size BR)
Abdomen: Equal parts, Hareline Ice Dub Orange, Tan UV Ice Dub,
and Hareline Rabbit Dubbin HD15 (Hand blended)
Thorax: Hairline Ice Dub Peacock
Rib: Gold Wire
Legs: Hungarian Partridge

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Don Bastian to offer a Tying class in Febuary 2012

Selection of Don's Wet Flies for Bergman’s Trout

It's no secret that I'm friends with Don Bastian. I've taken his classes in the past and raved about them. I'm excited he's offering more - February 3-5, 2012.

Tying traditional wet flies
Selected Carrie Stevens style streamer techniques
At least one blind-eye wet fly pattern from the 1800′s

Fishing Creek Angler Fly Shop and Bed & Breakfast
570.925.2709 /

My post from Don's 2011 class: Tying Classic Wet Flies with Don Bastian.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Which Rugged Camera To Buy?

Digital Photography Review group test photograph.
Back in February I posted an announcement on the new Pentax Optio WG-1 and Optio WG-1 GPS.  Mainly I love my Pentax W90 for the auto macro setting.  This feature turns on the LED lights and engages the macro - no fumbling with settings.  The down side, as with  most compact digital cameras, is the noise at a high ISO and in low light.  Let's face it.  These cameras can't replace a DSLR.  Regardless, it's the camera I keep with my fishing gear.  I can do things to it that I can't do with a DSLR.

Digital Photography Review posted it's new "Waterproof compact camera group test" and the new Pentax Optio WG-1 didn't fare well.  For daylight conditions it's a middle of the road choice, and in low light it's in the bottom of the class.  The camera which took best of the bunch in every category is the Panasonic DMC-TS3.  Sony TX10 came in a close second.  Missing from the test group was a Canon and Nikon camera.

Canon has not updated its Powershot D10.  Nikon's Coolpix AW100 just entered the market.  The new Nikon has my eye, mainly for brand reasons.  I've shot with a Nikon SLR and now a DSLR for the last 30 years. I did the math and could not believe it has been that long since my first Nikon. (These product reviews make to feel old.)  

The Nikon looks good on paper and is similar to the Panasonic.  Both cameras offer GPS tagging with a compass, shooting full 1080i HD video and image stabilization.  The Nikon edges out the Panasonic in the mega pixel area and optics, 16M vs. 12M / 28-140mm vs. 28-128mm equivalent. 

While the Nikon edges out the Panasonic on paper, the true test comes in the field.  Which one to buy...?  To add to the dilemma, both cameras cost less than $400.

The right answer for me is to wait for a full review with sample images.  By that time, I'm sure a new camera (maybe from Canon) will enter the mix.

If any of you have either camera please comment and give me your recommendation.


Fly and Fin

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pheasant Tail Anchor to the Rescue

Many readers know The Jersey Angler and I are friend's and we go out west and fish together quite often.  While in West Yellowstone this summer we'd tied up a few flies.  One of the pattens I'd tied up during one of our evening tying session was his Pheasant Tail Anchor (click to load his post).  It's been hard getting out fishing because of the  crazy high water.  Hurricane Irene and few tropical storms have flooded and kept our stream over flowing. 

The river I fish, fishes best around 150 cubic feet per second not the 250-300 it's been running.  I did manged to wet a line the other day, mainly to see what Hurricane Irene did to the stream.  Many of the pools and runs I know well have all changed.  It's like fishing a new river.

The water was high and moving but thanks to the Pheasant Tail Anchor and that over-sized  disco tungsten bead, I did well.  The fly sinks like a rock on steroid, ticking the bottom every time.  They worked so well I lost everyone I had in my box. Luckily I'd tied some up with standard tungsten beads. Now I'll need to stock up on those disco bead

Here are a few of the fish taken on that day.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

NJ Fall Trout Stocking Coming in October

The Fall stocking of trout in New Jersey is set to start in the second week of October.  According to the Divisuion of Fish and Wildlife the fall stocking will start on Tuesday October 11, 2011, an estimated 20,000 Brook and Rainbow trout averaging 2 years and 14-17 inches will be stocked in 16 stream and ponds over a 2 week period. Beside the 20,000 an addition 1000 broodstock trout averaging 18-24 inches are to be stocked.  These breast are going to be mixed in with each truck load.

Here is a map of the stream and ponds being stocked and the listing of waters with numbers.

Week 1 - October 10-14, 2011

Monday, October 10 - No stocking
Tuesday, October 11

  • Manasquan River - 650
  • Metedeconk River, North Branch - 150
  • Metedeconk River, South Branch - 240
  • Tom's River (including TCA) - 360
  • Raritan River, North Branch - 920
  • Paulinskill River, and E/Br and W/Br - 1,720
Wednesday, October 12
  • Musconetcong River (including Point Mt. TCA, Hunterdon County) - 2,820
  • Pequest River (including TCA, Pequest WMA) - 1,550
Thursday, October 13
  • Big Flat Brook - 1,620
  • Wallkill River - 470
  • Black River - 330
  • Rockaway River - 1,290
  • Pohatcong Creek - 800
  • Wanaque River - 330
  • Ramapo River - 880
  • Raritan River, South Branch (including TCA, Ken Lockwood Gorge) - 2,570

Week 2, October 17-21, 2011

Monday, October 17 - No stocking
Tuesday, October 18
  • Giampetro Park Pond - 170
  • Hammonton Lake - 340
  • Mary Elmer Lake - 170
  • Maurice River - 400
  • Crystal Lake - 170
  • Grenloch Lake - 170
  • Oak Pond - 170
  • Sylvan Lake - 170
Wednesday, October 19
  • Greenwich Lake - 170
  • Iona Lake - 170
  • Schadlers Sand Wash Pond - 170
  • Swedesboro Lake - 170
  • Colonial Lake - 170
  • Farrington Lake - 340
  • Roosevelt Park Pond - 170
  • Rosedale Lake - 170
Thursday, October 20 - No stocking Friday, October 21 - No stocking

For more information visit:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The next A River Runs Through It?

Coming to a theater near you Salmon Fishing in the Yemen the movie.  This adaptation of Paul Torday's 2007 novel Salmon Fishing in the Yemen premiered at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival this week.   No release date for general audiences, but CBS Films acquired the U.S.distribution rights.

Here is the plot according to the Wikipedia. "A fisheries scientist finds himself reluctantly involved in a project to bring salmon fishing to the wadis of the Highlands of Yemen, and change British political history and the course of his life."

Will this be the next A River Runs Through It? I don't know, but they do need to practice their casting.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Henry's Fork Rainbow

Here is a short video from my trip out west this year. It's the first shot with my new GoPro HD camera while using the chest harness. The Rainbow took a double bead black stone fly nymph. The current was moving and the trout used it well.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Dam Removal, always a good thing.

Here in the east we have a lot of small Dams, some which date back to the colonial era and others to the industrial revolution, and some like the Calco Dam are recent.  All dam have an impact on the streams environment, while large bottom release Dams create cold water habit for trout these smaller top water release Dams have major negative impact trout and migrating species.

It's a always a good day when one of these dams is taken down and fish migration is restored.  It will only take a short time for the Shad to re-establish themselves upstream and soon there after the Striped Bass should follow.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Return of the Old Style Guide Wader by Simms

Simms 2012 Guide Wader
Simms is re-introducing it's Guide Wader to the market.  While I could not go the International Fly Tackle Dealer IFTD show in New Orleans this year I been keeping my eye out for news on new gear.

I was happy to see that Simms is bring back it's popular Guide Wader, which hasn't be available since 2006. The main reason for my excitement is my old pair of Guide Wader which I purchased some time before 2006 are starting to show signs of wear.  Matter of fact, I was going to replace them this year but just couldn't see me ponying up for Simms G4 Pro Wader, so I'd repaired my old ones.

There's nothing wrong with the G4 they look to be good wader's.  I won't buy another brand, because my Simms have given me many years of service.  Before purchasing Simms I was in to new waders almost every year (every other if I was lucky).

In short this camper is glad to see the return of the old style Guide Wade.  I like the design and I don't need all the bells and whistles of the G4.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Damsels, Trout and Grayling

In Yellowstone country there are many great rivers to fish for trout, but there are many great lakes, other than Yellowstone Lake. These lakes require you to hike in a few miles, most have well groomed trails, but make sure you have your bear spray while in the back country (see The Jersey Angler's post "Brookies and Bears").

These high mountain are have many insects, Callibaetis, Damsels, as well as Caddis.  The hatch can be tremendous, and if your there at the right time you'll have a glorious day.  Well that's just what happen on our hike to a undisclosed lake in Yellowstone country with Grayling. (There is only one lake in Yellowstone country with Grayling*.)

On pattern that worked splendidly, was my K.I.S.S. Damsel, it's simple, extremely fast to tie and works everywhere there are Damsels.

K.I.S.S. Damsel

Hook: Nymph hook 4x long (200R*)
Size 8 - 12
Thread: Olive
Tail:Olive Marabou
Body: Olive Marabou
Rib: Gold Wire
Head: Tungsten Bead sized to hook
* I've found 200R hooks with a bead ride hook point up.

Slide bead on to the hook and attach thread.
Tie in wire rib.
Tie in Olive Marabou and form a short tail.
Wrap the marabou forward and tie off.
Counter wrap your wire forward and secure with several wraps.
Whip finish and your Damsel nymph is completed.

While in West Yellowstone we (Jersey Angler, Rick and I) would tie up some of the patterns we would use the next day.

Tying session in the cabin.
This Rainbow smashed the K.I.S.S. Damsel
Greyling takes the Damsel
*The undisclosed lake is name at the end of the video.