Monday, October 18, 2010

A Gale-Force Gathering

A fall-stocked rainbow trout from the South Branch of the Raritan River.
When:Saturday, August 16th
Where:The South Branch near Clinton and a local pond in Tewksbury, both in Hunterdon County
What:Fishing with Martalus and Lido
Weather:Cool in the morning, warmed up into the 60's. WINDY from the NW to probably 30mph
Moon:Waxing, 6 days before full
River:Water level was up from recent rains, but still fairly low. Stained, but not too bad.

It was common knowledge among New Jersey anglers that the wind was going to be whipping this past weekend. As a result, our options were pretty limited as to where we would be able to fish. The ocean and bay were not options nor were big open lakes like Budd or Hopatcong. The canoe didn't seem to be such a hot idea either.

Things always seem to have a way of coming together though. After reaching out to Lido and hearing that he was going to be fishing the South Branch near Clinton, Martalus and I decided that we'd join him. This would be only the second time the three of us got out together, and I hope there will be many more.

Just as last time, since we were on his home turf, we let Lido be the guide. He did a money job of putting us on the fish.

Getting them to bite was a different story.

Although we were fairly well protected in the river, there was still a hefty wind about that did its best to make fishing difficult. With Martalus and Lido wielding fly-rods and myself a spinning rod, we covered a healthy stretch of the river. The fish were not plentiful, but we did have some action. The only three trout that came to hand came to mine as I scored two native browns and the rainbow you see above. All fish fell to a Blue Fox spinner.

After our morning/afternoon on the South Branch, Martalus and I headed to see his folks before they went to visit our man Brian over in the Congo. Brian has been living in Africa for a bit now, and although I sorely miss fishing with him, I may get the opportunity to do just that before the year is over.

When we left his folks, Chris was looking for some redemption to his slow morning, so we hit a local pond out in Tewksbury that has always produced in the past.

It didn't disappoint.

Chris caught a nice assortment of crappie, bluegill and bass in the two hours that we were there, while I simply slayed the population of stunted bass. I probably landed close to 30 of them and have the thumb to prove it.

By day's end, we were on our way home to watch baseball. Chris would later see his Phillies drop game one of the NLCS to the San Francisco Giants and I would watch Texas knot the ALCS at a game-apiece with my Yankees. Despite the Yankee loss, it was a great day. I probably caught over 40 fish, three of them being nice trout.

I normally don't do well with the trout.

Looking back, I realize that there had been a point on Thursday when I saw the weather report and almost decided to scrap the weekend.

I'm glad I didn't.

After finding a way to comfortably and successfully fish in 30 mph winds, it's good to know that I now have exaclty one less thing to prevent me from getting outside.

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