A nice-sized brook trout that I caught on our rainy day on the South Branch.When: Saturday, April 23rd, from 9am to 1pm
Where: The South Branch of the Raritan River
What: Trout fishing with Lido, Niles and BOTH Martalus brothers
Weather: Cool, rainy and cloudy.
Moon: Waning, half-moon.
River: High and rising, but still fishable.
All parties involved in this outing were well aware that it was going to be a rainy day. However, with Brian Martalus back from Africa and Niles having gone a few too many days without any fishing, it would've had to have been a lot nastier out to keep us off the river. Also, with trout streams tending to be a bit crowed this time of year, we figured the gloomy day would keep a lot of anglers on their couches.
Lido was the first to arrive and had already fooled one trout before I got there. After gearing up in my waders and my rain jacket, I joined him in the river. By the time Niles showed up, it had really started pouring; prompting him to ask, "whose idea was this?" The Martalus brothers arrived shortly thereafter, and the five of us were once again fishing together for the first time since Brian was home over Christmas.
It's no secret that I'm no trout nut, so I didn't feel too bad about being the only one who was not fly-fishing. The action was by no means fast and furious, but there were definitely a few bent rods over the course of the morning. More often than not, that bent rod was being held by Lido.
Growing up a bass fisherman, I'm more used to covering a lot of water than meticulously picking apart individual pools. So, it was no surprise that while everyone else was focusing their attention on the few deep holes that I was wandering up and downstream looking for new and exciting places to throw my jig.
This paid off.
I was standing about a hundred yards from Lido in chest-deep water when a solid fish took the jig I tossed under a tree. The fish quickly made a bee-line for the current and a jolly-good time ensued. About 5-minutes later, everyone was gathered on the shoreline taking a look at what I'm fairly certain is the largest trout that I have ever caught.
A little later on, we checked out another Hunterdon County creek where I added a couple more trout to my day's total. After I left the boys, they continued to catch a few more fish with the highlight being a beautiful, 15-inch native brown caught by Chris Martalus. It apparently did some aerials.
I got back home fairly early and was happy to have gotten a good day's fishing in and to have seen Brian and the rest of the crew. This adventure also confirmed my plan to do a lot more fishing in inclement weather, because regardless of how good the fishing is, the solitude is priceless.
Next Up: A much anticipated trip for stripers on the Delaware River with my father and Big "D" River Guide Dieter Scheel. STOKED!!!!!