Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Day 47: Unlocking The Secrets Of The Rahway River

The Rahway River near Winfield Park
When: Tuesday, June 28th, from 6pm to 6:30pm
Where: The Rahway River
What: Fishing
Weather: Cloudy and warm. High in the 80's.
Moon: Waning. A couple days before new.
Water Conditions: Water level normal. Surprising clear.

Anyone who has spent time driving through Union County has undoubtedly crossed over the Rahway River at some point. This lazy river seems to be ever-present as is snakes its way through some of the most "urban suburbs" in the state. I've been on its banks in several different places, and I still feel as though I have barely scratched the surface of all it has to offer.

That fact was made even more apparent by what I found today.

On a tip from my friend Scott, I went to check-out another part of the Rahway that is literally on my way home from work. The interesting part of this is that my home incudes crossing the Goethals Bridge, driving down crowded Route 1 and then crossing over the Parkway before entering Cranford.

The picture that I took above is no more than 5 minutes from any of that.

I find that pretty amazing.

After I parked my car on a small patch of gravel next to one of the river's many waterfalls, I grabbed my fishing rod and made my way down to the water. Atop the falls was a beautiful, still portion of the river that honestly looked like a wildlife sanctuary. The water was bursting with sunfish smacking insects, carp were kicking up mud puffs, frogs and turtles scampered into the water and swans and ducks dotted the landscape of lush vegetation.

Had I really just gotten cut-off on an interchange by a tractor-trailer a few minutes earlier?

When I ventured below the falls, I found a trail that followed the stream. I walked it for a bit, fishing the shore and eventually came to a bend in the river where a heron was catching fish. I snapped the photo above from the same area.

I did catch one bass at the end of this mini-hike, but I was more enamored by what I had just discovered. Sometimes I think of how far people travel to see beautiful places, and although that's something that I love to do myself, I always make sure I take the time to find out what's hiding in my own backyard.

Next Up: Another convenient Union County trip tomorrow before heading down to West Virginia.

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