Friday, June 10, 2011

Day 29: The Riverkeeper

Andy S.

When: Friday, June 10th, from 6pm to 7:30pm
Where: The Raritan River
What: A guided fishing tour from Andy
Weather: Hot, high near 90. Only a few clouds, didn't feel much of a breeze
Moon: Waxing, getting closer to full.
Water Conditions: Stained and swift

I've mentioned before about how the Passaic River I've come to know is very different from the Passaic River that most people think of when they hear the name.

Quite the same, the Raritan River that I know is the sloppy, muddy, shallow, goose-dung filled spillway that flowed behind my freshman dorm at Rutgers College. So, when I recently started hearing about the big stripers, great smallmouth fishing, walleye, pike and even musky being caught there, needless to say I was a bit interested.

Rivers are spectacular in the sense that one end can be completely different from the other. They are also resilent, and even decades worth of industrial scars can heal over time.

Such is the case with the Raritan.

I was probably long overdue for a visit, or I guess a return to the big river that flows past my alma mater. And when it comes to the Raritan, probably no one knows it better than Andy.

Andy's passion for the survival of this river is admirable, and being a local, he knows all the ins and outs and secret spots. I felt honored that he was willing to share a few of the Raritan's secrets with me today.

I was nothing short of amazed.

At one point, after we both nearly landed but missed small stripers from a small overflow, I looked down the river and could not believe the scenery. Surely, this was not the same river that meandered behind Campell Hall on College Ave.

But it was.

We saw a couple of huge carp, a trout and I know all too well about the pike, stripers and musky that are being caught there on a regular basis.

I knew that my 365 day adventure was going to put me in touch with some great people and that I was going to discover some amazing new places, but this was probably one of the nicest surprises yet.

A special thank-you to Andy S. for taking the time to show me his river and a thumbs-up for the incredible work you're doing to see that it continues to become on of the finest fisheries in New Jersey.

Next Up: THE BEACH!!! With Linds. 30-minutes of fishing followed by R and R.

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