When: Sunday, February 21st, from 8am to 12:30pm
Where: Round Valley Reservoir (very briefly), then the South Branch near Califon and The Gorge
What: Trout fishing with spinners, crawlers (not in the Gorge), and a local secret
Weather: High probably near 40, stiff NE wind at 15 mph
I have to admit that when Pat told me he bought me a birthday present, I was fairly confident there wasn't anything I didn't already have.
I was wrong, he nailed it. Thanks Pat.
We arrived at Round Valley with high hopes, however, after seeing most of the available shoreline already taken by icebergs and other anglers, our only choice was to set up shop with a stiff, cold wind coming right at us.
We didn't last long.
A beautiful drive through Hunterdon County (God's Country) eventually landed us near Califon on the South Branch of the Raritan River. We set up shop again, this time minus the mini-gale, and spent a couple hours fishing. The fish wouldn't cooperate.
One more time, we made a move and were fairly confident that we could change our luck in the "elusive" Ken Lockwood Gorge.
Instead, we got exercise.
Unless you're standing on safe ice, freshwater fishing in February can be a a difficult task. It isn't until the ice and snow are well gone and water temps are closer to 50 than to 30 that fish start "waking up." I'm not saying that catching fish this time of year is not possible, it's just a bit tougher. Probably more than any other month, February is a time that one must go fishing to fish and not to catch fish.
That being said, this was a wonderful day. The Gorge was stunning, the weather was great, and so was the company.